Knowing Jesus and Making Him Known
Have you ever encountered the motto “To know Jesus and make Him known”? It is the simplest of principles to remember when defending the gospel becomes somewhat awkward, either because we are stumbling over our own understanding, or our listener does not have the ears to hear it. When we reflect deeper on these words we may find a new appreciation for their value in helping us become a more effective evangelist. In his gospel, John wrote “And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” ~John 17:3. Jesus wanted every person He encountered to understand His ultimate mission and that being to glorify God by drawing people to Himself. He provided for people’s immediate and physical needs, but also prepared them to see their spiritual needs. He delivered the people from the enemy, but also directed them to the Father.
We may long to become more like Jesus, though we can’t expect to reach His perfection in this life, we must not forget that we can certainly try to reflect Him in all we say and do. Here are a few suggestions to help us grow closer to Him.
Be in a Relationship with Jesus. It is essential that we enjoy a personal relationship with Christ. The deeper our relationship becomes, He will demonstrate His power in our lives. We must allow our will to be broken, our egos to be destroyed. In Galatians, Paul writes, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” We must deliberately crucify our selfish ways and cultivate the loving nature of Christ within us.
Allow the Holy Spirit to fill us. The Holy Spirit works as the motivating force in our lives to propel us forward. He indwells and empowers us. For continuous power in our witnessing, we must keep our cups filled with the Holy Spirit.
With purpose, walk with Christ. We often forget to walk with Christ and start walking in our own counsel. A sure sign of walking with Jesus is the peace we feel in our hearts. Jesus gives us His peace. The peace of Jesus Christ is not the absence of trials and tribulations. His presence in our lives is this peace. When we begin to lose our peace, we should see it as a firm indication that we are no longer in regular communion with God. We should immediately take steps to identify any sin in our lives, confess it and enjoy the restored fellowship with Him.
Be in Fellowship with Other Believers. Whenever sin enters our lives, one reaction we have is to “hide” from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We start to feel isolated and alone, no longer comfortable in community. Fellowship with other believers reflects our fellowship with Christ. We must do our best, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to be a person who can be trusted. Jesus calls Christians “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” ~Matt. 5:13–14. We are here, as salt, to flavor the dreary lives of those who have not tasted the power of Christ and, as light, to expose and eliminate the darkness that resides in the human heart with the forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ.
Be a Believer that Prays. We can never overemphasize the need for prayer in our lives. Prayer keeps us in contact with Christ, enables us to remain dependent on Him, permits us to grow, and allows us to develop our capacity to love and cherish others in Christ. Jesus’ disciples were people of prayer and the first churches were assemblies of praying believers. The person who purposely prays and spends time on his knees praying accomplishes more than the person who neglects prayer and rushes here and there working.
Be a Believer that is Growing. It only takes a moment to become a Christian. However, it takes a lifetime to grow the Christian within us. It is so vital to study God’s Word daily, to learn from it, and to grow in it. We cannot develop Christian perspectives without the daily disciplines of prayer, study and meditation on the Word of God. These activities, along with fellowship with other believers in the Lord, are essential for your growth as a believer.
Making Jesus Christ Known:
When the time comes for an encounter with nonbelievers, do we know to whom we are about to introduce them?
Recognizing the following truths concerning Christ’s appointment as savior of mankind for the work of the kingdom of God will enhance our motivation and priority for the work to which we have been called.
Jesus Was Appointed by God. We know that Jesus’ appointment as savior of mankind was from God, because God announced it and because it was acceptable and pleasing to God. Jesus did not appoint Himself; He was appointed. As a believer, we, too, have been appointed for the work of the kingdom of God, which is to rescue nonbelievers from their worldly kingdom of self. We must however, make sure that our specific role in this rescue is pleasing to God and is His will.
Jesus was Acknowledged by God. Jesus overcame the trials God predicted He would face. He did not give in to the pressures of the job. He stayed with His commission regardless of its demands. We cannot let anything get in the way of fulfillment of our mission to take the gospel to people who have not heard. Despite discouragement, we must continue to move forward in the community of nonbelievers leaning on our fellowship with Jesus Christ. Jesus endured to perform the task that was assigned to Him despite its difficulties, and, as God promised, His perseverance resulted in people’s trust in His great and powerful name. We must stay on course and allow God’s Spirit to cause others to put their trust in Jesus Christ.
Remember, our work for the kingdom of Christ depends upon the power of the Lord Jesus who lives and works in and through us. Paul wrote “he who has set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach Him among the Gentiles” ~Gal. 1:15. Paul goes on to state the principle by which he preaches Christ to the gentiles “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” ~Gal. 2:20.