Rev. Jay Crout
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious is the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Do the “statistics” of your evangelism efforts ever discourage you? How many people
did I share my faith with this week? How many of those people wanted to hear more?
And how many of those people prayed a prayer with me at the end? As someone who
had a career in sales, this doesn’t look very different from my old performance
meetings with my bosses!
Evangelism is decisively different than that though. And this is where our passage in
Jeremiah is so helpful. The image we have here is the very heart and posture of a man
equipped to evangelize. He does not trust in himself, rather his trust is in the Lord. In
fact, his trust is the Lord! He is so rooted in his union with Christ that no matter what
circumstances surround him, he remains healthy and vibrant.
The discipline behind evangelism is found not in a statistical chart akin to a sales plan.
Rather, it is found in the discipline of being rooted in the Lord in all seasons and all
circumstances. The Lord opens doors for us to share our faith and to testify to the
Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Of course, we must open our mouths when those doors
are opened – but when we are rooted in Christ, we are ready and prepared to give an
account in those times.
So if you struggle to evangelize and share your faith, it’s probably not because of an
insufficient strategy, which might require a sales-type discipline. The call to evangelism
is actually a gracious call from the Lord to seek to be one who is so connected with
Christ that the world cannot help but see your faith and be interested to hear where
your strong root comes from.
May we, today, all pray for the Lord to mold us into this type of person. And from there
– to provide us doors to give a witness to where our trust is found. Indeed, our trust is
in the Lord, and our trust is the Lord. May we as a denomination seek to live this out!