Engaging the Culture: Connecting with Those We are Called to Reach

Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Friday, October 30, 2015

Engaging the Culture: Connecting with Those We are Called to Reach


Remember the days when you had to go to a store to buy what it sold? Amazon and other online retail companies changed all that. However, you have to wait until delivery services created in the pre-Internet age bring you what you purchased. Soon those days will be gone as well.


Walmart has applied to U.S. regulators for permission to test drones. They intend to use them for checking warehouse inventory, curbside pickup, and home delivery. Their strategy will compete directly with Amazon, which wants to do the same thing. 


Taking the store to the shopper is now central to commerce. People are buying cars on eBay and taking delivery on their driveway. Investors are buying real estate after viewing the property virtually. Doctors are diagnosing conditions via smartphone cameras and prescribing medications via pharmaceutical delivery services.


In this sense, Jesus was twenty centuries ahead of us. His Great Commission called us to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). He intends us to find those who will not find us.


We have noted this week that every Christian has a Kingdom assignment, people we are called to influence for the gospel. Yesterday we observed the importance of preparation, learning the beliefs and needs of those we seek to serve. Today let's discuss the urgency of engaging the culture by connecting with those we are called to reach.


In Acts 17 we find Paul, the former Pharisee, alone in Athens, a city teeming with idols and idolaters. What did he do? "He reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there" (v. 17). When he was invited to meet with the Areopagus, the intellectual leaders of the culture, he testified before them as well (vs. 22-31). And he made an impression for the gospel that is still visible twenty centuries later.


By going to the people where they were, as they were, Paul followed the example of his Lord. Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, where he asked her for water and then led her to living water (John 4). He met Matthew at his tax collector's booth, and Peter at his fishing boat, and Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, where he intended to persecute Christians. He went to those he sought to win and engaged them with the good news of God's love.


If we will ask the Holy Spirit, he will lead us to those he has prepared for our ministry. He will use the words he has prepared us to share. He will make us conduits of grace, instruments of Kingdom advance. If we will go, he will work.


When I was in Bangladesh a few years ago, it was my privilege to meet with a group of Muslim tribal elders. They were so grateful for the ministry of Gospel for Muslims (GFM) that they wanted to speak with our group. GFM had provided microloans, medical care, and other practical assistance. They earned the right to share God's word by sharing God's love. And together we planted gospel trees we may never sit under this side of heaven.


Are you praying by name for a group of non-Christian friends? Are you asking God to help you connect with them? Are you looking for ways to show them God's truth and love? Are you planting seeds of truth in eternal souls?



Publication date: October 30, 2015


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