I smiled a year ago when I opened the email. Last October, a customer sent this message:
Hello! I received my Turkish Nativity yesterday, and I really like it except for one thing. Baby Jesus doesn’t have a mouth. Should I just return the whole thing? I really don’t want to take the chance of messing it up if I try to put a little smile on His face. Please advise. Thank you so much!
Of course, we replaced the nativity piece, but the message lingers in my heart. Baby Jesus doesn’t have a mouth. Let that sink in for a minute.
We are to make disciples of Jesus who live on mission. We nurture four characteristics reflecting our biblical understanding of missions:
- learn about missions
- pray for missions
- support missions
- do missions and tell about Jesus
I think, for the most part, WMU members grow in their practice of learning about, praying for, supporting, and doing missions. I think we do everything pretty well except telling others about Jesus. To tell about Jesus is to share the gospel of Christ with another person and give that person an opportunity to confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Through His teachings and actions, Jesus Christ revealed that meeting the needs of hurting people and sharing His love would be expected of His followers.
When I recently led a group of WMU staff members in a discipleship group, we discovered everyone struggles with this very topic. One colleague responded:
I have to confess that the commandment to tell others about Jesus is the hardest one to obey. I accepted Jesus at the age of eight. I think my first recollection of witnessing was to my friend in the fifth grade. She accepted Jesus that day! I have been through all the programs my various churches have offered. I try to witness to others by my actions as well as my words, but it still seems like I fall short.
Others chimed in with similar thoughts and feelings. All people need God and come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. Telling about Jesus is a way of fulfilling Christ’s command to go into all of the world. Believers should witness because Christ commands them to and because of what it does for the people who hear the gospel.
Write down the name of one person you know who needs to hear the gospel. Now begin praying for courage to share your faith with that person.
We are to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are also to be Your ambassadors. Give us a passion for the lost and the boldness to proclaim You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Sandy Wisdom-Martin serves as executive director-treasurer of WMU, SBC.