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Finding Common Ground – People, Not Projects

Personal Evangelism 2Key Bible Verse: “And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him [Zacchaeus] who are lost.”  – Luke 19:10

Bonus Reading: Luke 19:1-10

At an evangelism conference session I led, a man asked, “What do I do if I’m trying to reach out to someone, but have little in common with him?  Actually,” he added, “I don’t really enjoy being with him.”

“If this person never came to faith in Jesus,” I asked, “would you still be his friend? … still hang out with him?”

The man swallowed hard and said, “I’m not sure I’d still connect with him if I wasn’t trying to win him to Christ.”

I encouraged the man to consider stepping away from this person for a time and praying for his own heart to change.  When we reach out to people out of guilt or duty, they’ll smell it and know that we see them as a chore on our checklist of things to do.  When we make people our personal outreach projects without really loving them, we may actually push them away from Jesus.

However, when we walk with people on their spiritual journey because the love of God overflows in our hearts and because we see them through the eyes of Jesus—this is powerful. People outside of the family will know they’re loved by God long before they enter a relationship with Jesus.

—Kevin Harney in Seismic Shifts

My Response: You have placed _____ in my life. I’ll commit to care about and spend time with him.

Thought to Apply: We must know people—like, enjoy, and take trouble for them—before it may even be right to speak to them about spiritual matters.  —Sam Shoemaker

Adapted from Seismic Shifts (Zondervan, 2005)

Prayer for the Week: Teach me, Lord, how to live the gospel naturally among those that You care deeply about.


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