The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God created man for His glory (see Isaiah 43:7), therefore, the ultimate purpose of man is simply to glorify God.
We must always remember, that our evangelism will be fueled and sustained by recognizing who God is, and bringing glory to His name.
In his book, “Let the Nations be Glad” John Piper wrote, “when the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth the light of missions will shine to the darkest peoples on the earth.”
As we grow in our worship for the Lord, we will see an awakening in Kansas City and across the world.
We’re prone to think of “one” as small and insignificant. Afterall, who wants just one cookie?
But the Bible consistently speaks of one: one pearl of great price, one lost sheep, one wayward son. We as followers of Jesus, often overlook the value of one. One invitation to church, one message of hope, one neighbor, one coworker, one friend.
Billy Graham said that the Great commission will only be accomplished by one-on-one evangelism and not stadium events. This is the way Jesus taught and modelled for his disciples, one person inviting another.
Jesus emphasized the value of one in the parable of the lost sheep, which Jesus closed by making this statement in Luke 15:7, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
The Gospel makes this all possible. You see, our role is simply to begin to pray for the person that the Lord lays on our heart and then to start the conversation, but the real work is done as the Holy Spirit takes the words of the Gospel and empowers them (see Romans 1:16).
In Matthew 13:45-46, we read of the parable of the pearl of great price. Jesus is the pearl of great price, and when the man found Jesus, he sold everything he had. One man found one pearl, our salvation is deeply personal. I was not saved because my father and mother were Christians, I had to find the pearl of great value for myself. I had to have a personal encounter with the living God. Only through a personal relationship with Jesus can we find peace of mind, freedom from addictions, security, identity, and rest for our souls.
If you are a Christian, you have found the pearl of great price. There is nothing more important in your life than your eternal home, and the Bible says that, “there is no other name among heaven whereby we may be saved” (see Acts 4:12).
The call of Philip and Nathanael to discipleship is recorded in the first chapter of John verses 43 to 49. Jesus went to Galilee and found Philip first, who then went to Nathanael, his friend and told him that he had found the Messiah. Initially, Nathanael was skeptical and said, “…Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (see John 1:46a). This response was understandable; at that time Nazareth was an obscure little hill town, remote and of no consequence. It was not a place that anyone expected the Messiah to come from. Remember, the people of Israel were looking for a mighty king, the messiah, who would free them from the Romans.
Philip doesn’t try to convince Nathanael, he simply says “Come and see.” That is the key, in our sharing the Good news, we are simply introducing people to Jesus. When you are inviting people to come to church, you are asking them to simply, “come and see”. Our role is simply to bring people to Jesus and then let the power of God transform their lives. We have the joy of walking alongside them and seeing what God does.
Despite his skepticism, Nathanael followed Philip to meet Jesus. When the Lord saw Nathanael coming toward Him, He said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit” (John 1: 47).
Notice that Nathanael didn’t argue, but wondered how Jesus knew his character, having never met him before. But Jesus astounds Nathanael by saying, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you” (John 1:48).
Nathanael then immediately recognized Jesus as the Christ, calling him “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49). We don’t know what Nathanael was thinking about while sitting under the fig tree, but Jesus did, and his statement cut to the heart of Nathanael and he had no doubt that Jesus was the Messiah.
This is an amazing promise for us as we reach out to our one. Before we even speak to them, God has seen them and has been preparing their heart. You see, God is always at work preparing people for the Good News, before we even open our mouths to tell them.
But our role is to be intentional as those God conversations will not simply happen. It all begins with prayer, the most challenging and effective tool that we have for evangelism. Prayer is the most powerful activity you and I can do for the spread of the Gospel. Prayer aligns our heart with the Heart of God. As we pray, God will miraculously open the door for opportunities for us to share the message of salvation with that one person.
As we pray and focus on the one, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of people who don’t know Jesus as Lord and savior. Someone said, “We can’t see the forest for the trees.” The problem is, we can’t see a tree for the forest, just one!
Would you join with me in beginning to pray for the salvation of one?