Where to Go From Here
So you have professed your faith in Christ, you "walk according to the Spirit"(Galatians 5:25), and that has sparked an interest in someone around you. How are we to go about getting that person from simply understanding that Jesus is real, to an established faith on the solid rock? Do we talk their ear off? Do we bombard them with knowledge? Or do we do the opposite and distance ourselves from that person so they can find their own answers? Has it become a "bad" thing to want to spend time with another person with Jesus as the topic of conversation? Have we simply gotten so far detached from community and in-person interaction that we throw a Bible at them and hope that it works out? Do we skip right to the, "this is how we do it" phase?
It seems so condescending and arrogant to simply tell someone to read the Bible more and expect life-changing transformation. The fact is that we, as a family, have failed one another when we allow someone to wander aimlessly into the scriptures as if they will stumble through its many influential lessons blindly and come out as the "new creature" (2 Corinthians 5:17) that God intends us to be. I mean, what is the point in that? The disciples of Christ should take that person in, showing them how to live accordingly--both in the scripture and by example--with gentleness and humble hearts. We should tailor discussions with that person around where they are in their life. We need to meet them where they are, not where we think they should be. Isn't that what Jesus did for us? Or did he say, "Here, figure it out"? From where I stand, He met fishermen as mere fishermen and turned them into apostles. He ate with tax collectors and made them selfless, devoted followers. He healed "invalids" and made them again presentable to society. And didn't the apostle Paul say, "I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some"? (1 Corinthians 9:22, NASB)
Our overall mission in life should be to lead people to Jesus. For some, that means going door to door in hopes of finding and helping one lost soul. For others, that means one-on-one, personal interaction through the study of the Word. Yet for others, it may be a simple conversation over lunch. No matter the method of achieving interest in Christ, there comes a point in time when that person needs to know what is rooted in scripture. So where do we start? I would like to offer my suggestion as to what I believe is a great starting point.
The first place I would recommend is the Gospel According to John. If God is love, the ideal place to begin is showing the love of Christ; which can be found clearly in John's account. Yes, you will find all kinds of miracles here, but what you will also find is a style of writing that shows the love that Christ has for people. You will bring that wanderer face to face with things like "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh" (John 6:51,NASB), and "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37, NASB). You will help that person discover the words of the most beautiful prayer (in my opinion) ever recorded, found in Chapter 17. They will discover the comfort of knowing that "These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33, NASB).
In a world that is so focused on the individual failures and wrongdoings of its people, we would all do well to hear more about the love that is available for all. We can shift the cultural belief that Christians are "stuck-up" or "too good." But we must meet people where they are, and we have to show them what is truly worth living for--the love of Christ. We must continue to make disciples as Jesus commanded us. We must do a better job at nurturing those who are newly acquainted with the Lord. We must find out where to go from here.
I sincerely hope that this helps you in some way.
As always, if there is anything I can do to help you in your walk with Christ, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Until next time.