Thursday, November 8, 2018

INVITING PEOPLE TO FOLLOW JESUS

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.”  (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

Paul is a prime example of the radical new ways followers of Jesus would spread God’s truth. He had not been among Jesus’ earliest followers, and in fact he had persecuted the first believers. But after miraculously experiencing the presence and resurrection power of Christ, Paul devoted the rest of his life to proclaiming the dual call to love God and serve Him through a life of disciple making: “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the LORD, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ.”  (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)

At great personal cost, Paul traveled throughout the world of his day inviting people to follow Jesus and then encouraging them to go out and invite others to do the same: “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our LORD or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life -- not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace.”  (2 Timothy 1:8-9a) 

-- Steve & Lois Rabey, General Editors, in “Side by Side”


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