Make the Most of Every Opportunity
This is the time of year most Christians want to tell the Gospel story. More people are more open to the message during this season because Christmas has a captivating story and message. God comes to the world He created and became a baby. Jesus teaches a message of love, hope, and peace. There is a greater awareness of joy and that there is a need for brotherly love. To tell the Gospel story feels like making the most of every opportunity as we are commanded (Colossians 4:3-6).
Please bear with me with the rest of this post. I know we are preach Jesus. How can they believe in the One whom they haven’t heard (Romans 10:14)? I’m just not sure we are to preach in every encounter. What message are we really communicating if we are forcing a discussion that people are not ready to talk about.
How Did Jesus Treat People?
People tell us they like a Christmas song we are listening to, and we go into the Gospel message. We take Christmas cookies to our neighbors, then tell them how they need Jesus. Does everything need this ulterior motive? Was this how Jesus treated people?
- Jesus goes to a wedding where they run out of wine. His mother talks Him into making more, which amazes the leader of the party. It is Jesus’ first miracle and a perfect place to introduce His ministry, but only a handful of people saw what happened and Jesus asks them to remain quiet (John 2:1-12).
- Jesus is approached by a desperate man whose daughter is dying. On the way to her house, she dies. Jesus continues on and walks past all the mourners to go see the dead girl. With three disciples and the immediate family, He raises her from the dead. Without mentioning any need for repentance, believing or following, Jesus hands the girl back to the family and asks them not tell anyone (Luke 8:40-56). To us it seems like a missed opportunity.
- Finally, we all know the Christmas story. Almighty God comes to earth by being born of an unwed, teenage girl in a small town away from the capital. Even in Bethlehem, there is not a nice home for Him to be born, just a small shelter for the animals. It almost seems God goes out of His way to go unnoticed some times.
What Does God Want From People?
If this is the case, why do we always go out of our way to make Him known? What is God looking for with people? Let’s remember why Jesus came to earth. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son (John 3:16). I know the eternal life section comes next, but the motive is God’s love. God loves people. He is constantly looking for ways to bless people. It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
God is constantly drawing us to Himself by loving us without conditions. Can we love others this same way? Will we still be nice to our neighbors even if they want nothing to do with Jesus? Will we enjoy our Christmas music even if nobody else can hear it? Can we love others without them being a project to be converted? Can we love people to such a degree that they ask us questions about Jesus?
The Meaning of Christmas
I don’t want to discouraging anyone from sharing Jesus; that is not the intent of this post. However, I think God would rather people know that He loves them, than for them to know that they are sinners in need of Him. I think Christmas, above all times, is a time where God shows His love for the world to such extravagant measures that people themselves become more loving.
I believe that if we can love people the way that God loves them, they would naturally want to know how to return their love to Him. Repentance comes naturally to those in love. When you are in love you will move any obstacle that stands between you and the one you love. That is why God became man. That is the meaning of Christmas.