Love God, Love People: Reflecting the Son
Duane Vander Klok
Did you know that the word “gospel” means “good news?” When you share the gospel of Jesus, you are bringing the good news to those around you. You may know that Jesus died and rose again for your sins, but still ask: What is the good news? What happened when Jesus died?
John 10:10 says, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Jesus came to bring us life – everlasting and abundant. Not only did His death restore your relationship with God, but you also gain access to all His glorious gifts—righteousness, the Holy Spirit, and the promises of God!
Why did Jesus have to die?
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them dominion over the earth to tend, guard, and keep the Garden of Eden. Psalm 8:6 says, You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. But they disobeyed God, and they gave their dominion and authority over to the enemy. As the representative man, Adam passed on this brokenness to all people coming after him, including you and me. We entered a world full of sin, pain, sickness, death and, worst of all, a broken relationship with God.
But Adam was not the only representative for mankind. Jesus came as the second and last representative. In His death and resurrection, He delivered us from the broken condition that we were born into and offered full redemption. Just like you were born into sin through Adam, when you accepted Jesus’s gift of salvation, you were placed in the grave, raised, and seated with Him!
Through the death of Jesus, we were made right with the Father, and through His resurrection, His Kingdom was established on earth. Rather than a religion or philosophy, Christianity is a Kingdom. And as a believer, you are a part of building His Kingdom here on earth! Think of it this way: You are an ambassador of God’s Kingdom to the world. Everywhere you go, you represent the King.
We know that Jesus is the only way into heaven, but that is not the ultimate purpose of Christianity. Jesus died so that He could get Heaven into you. See, God’s Kingdom is established when His will is done and He is glorified. It is His will that His children are free, healed, and pursuing a relationship with Him. So when you are building the Kingdom, you are bringing heaven to earth!
Why share the gospel?
Many of us have asked the question: What is my purpose in life? To understand the answer to this question, you have to change your thinking. The answer does not start with you, it starts with your Creator.
2 Timothy 1:9 says, Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began… Not only did God save you, but He has called you to have a purpose here on earth! He did not just save you from something—He saved you to something.
The Pharisees asked Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment?” In other words, what is the number one thing each of us need to do throughout our lives—what is my purpose? In Luke 10:27 Jesus answered,“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Your purpose is pretty simple: love God and love others!
Too many people believe that living a good life means chasing happiness and doing things your own way. But the Bible tells us that when we are loving God with all our heart and loving people to the best of our ability, only then will we find the contentment, peace, and joy that we are looking for. Matthew 9:38 says, Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Jesus asked us to pray earnestly, but know that you are also the answer to that prayer!
As a laborer in the vineyard, you can think of each interaction with people as an opportunity to plant a seed and share the gospel. God is at work in their lives even if you cannot see it. They may be facing difficult circumstances or wrestling with hard questions, and by showing the love of God and sharing the gospel, you can point them to Jesus.
Mark 16:17-18 says, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” As a believer, your life is marked by the gospel. When you walk in faith, blessings, miracles, and favor follow you! When the gospel fills your life, it is difficult to stop talking about it.
Reaching the World
Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus left us with one last instruction in Matthew 28:18-20, And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. This passage is known as the Great Commission where Jesus instructs us to reach the world with the good news!
Have you ever felt called to be a missionary? What are your initial thoughts when you are asked that simple question? Do you think about a third world nation, a foreign language that you would have to learn, or think, “Oh no, that’s not for me!” What if I told you that all of us are called to be missionaries? You don’t have to go any further than your current home, neighborhood, or place of employment to find your mission field.
Jesus was very clear that we are called to love God, and to love people. We are also called to be the light of the world. The great news is that we can be a light right here, right now. Wherever you are, that is your mission field.
Reaching the world isn’t only about selling everything you own, learning a new language, and moving to some different part of the world. Instead, it’s a posture of the heart and an alignment to God. Maybe your parents have walked away from Jesus; that’s your mission field. Maybe your friends at school don’t know Jesus; that’s your mission field. Maybe your neighbor needs some help with their yard work; that’s your mission field.
When we are filled with the passion of Christ, we become bolder in sharing the gospel. Disciples can’t help but share the love of Jesus! Do not be anxious about sharing the gospel with someone, but trust that God will work in their heart. We may not always see the fruit of our efforts, but God can use us to plant and water the seeds. In 1 Corinthians 3:6 Paul says, I planted, Apollos watered, but God has been making it grow. God will grow the seed in their heart, but you have a part to play.
In Matthew 9:37 Jesus says, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. There is so much to be done in God’s Kingdom, and the Church is called to do the work as the hands and feet of Jesus. If you are looking at the mission field as some far off land, stop and ask for God to reveal the mission field right where you are. Step out and share the good news!
If you need help leading someone to Christ, here is a prayer you can pray with them:
I believe Jesus died on the cross. I believe His blood paid the price for my sins. I believe He rose again victorious over death, sin, and the devil. I give Jesus all of my heart and all of my life. I hold nothing back. I receive Jesus as my King and my Lord, and I will no longer live for myself, I will live for Him.
If you just prayed the prayer of salvation asking Jesus into your heart we want to connect with you and send you a free book called Your New Life to help you on your journey. Go to walkingbyfaith.tv/salvation to request your free copy today!
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)