Going With A Message
We've talked the last couple of weeks about who we should be going to and what we can do for those people. Each one of these groups require a specific type of action if we are to find success in reaching them. However, there is only one message we need to bring to all people. It is found in Luke 4:19 and the topic of our final discussion on Go Ye.
Proclaiming and Heralding Precedes Doing
To preach in Luke 4:19 means to herald and proclaim. Just as with the actions in Luke 4:18, we are tasked with going before God to set the stage for His arrival. This honor is not something new to Christ's time. Heralding and proclaiming God's coming was done throughout the Old Testament:
Moses did it before calling for the deliverance of Israel.
David did it before going into battle.
The prophets did it to the kings of Israel, Judah and beyond.
These are just a few examples. Really, anyone who did anything in the Name of God proclaimed and heralded Him before they did it. If we want to do great things in God, we are going to have to proclaim and herald Him before doing so. So what specifically are we to proclaim and herald about God?
The Appointed Time
Going back to our examples, Moses proclaimed deliverance when God was prepared to deliver. David proclaimed victory when God was ready to give victory. The prophets proclaimed repentance and faith in God when God was pleading for someone to turn to Him. We must proclaim what God is prepared to do in our time and place. How do we know what he wants to do, though?
All of the examples we have given are people who had deep relationship with God before they started proclaiming and heralding Him. We can't know what God is planning if we aren't regularly communicating with Him. A messenger can't proclaim to a people what a general is prepared to do if he hasn't sat in on meetings, and we can't tell people who need God what He wants to do for them if we aren't meeting with Him.
We've talked about getting into relationship with God already in this series. Once we've established ourselves in that relationship, we are going to know exactly what to say and when to say it to those we are witnessing. Moses knew exactly what to say to Pharaoh, David knew exactly what to say to his men and the prophets knew exactly what to say to the kings. Their words weren't always received or acted upon, but they did what was necessary to open the door for connection to God. Once that has been done, we can only sit back and hope that they make the right choice.
Where Do We Proclaim God?
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)
The highways here represent the public places. This is where the populace of your city congregates. Its the markets, the department stores, the restaurants, etc. Anywhere that people meet, we are commanded to go and be witnesses. In order for people to open themselves up to a conversation about God, they have to be open to a conversation. They aren't going to receive something from someone who isn't friendly and presented well.
The hedges brings it into a more personal and private place: the home. Neighbors are separated by hedges. In old times, the hedge is where neighbors met to discuss their days. We can do a lot of good by witnessing to those in our neighborhood. These people are often times more comfortable talking about God with us because we are neighbors and not strangers. Of course, this requires us to get to know our neighbors.
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There is also a website that provides further information on this topic.
Start practicing proclaiming the gospel to those in your community. Make God and His wonderful ways a part of your regular conversation. Pray for God to lead you to people who are open to hearing about Him and what to say to them. Do this in both public and personal settings.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.