Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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A pastor I know was meeting one of the ladies from his large church one day, and he asked her, "What do you do?" Her answer was classic. She said, "Well, Pastor, I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ cleverly disguised as a machine operator!" I love that!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Clever Disguise."
Now there is a Christian who knows who she is and why she is where she is. She's there to be Jesus' personal representative to other machine operators! Who is a lost machine operator most likely to listen to about a relationship with Jesus Christ? All right, another machine operator! A lost mom is most likely to listen to another mom, a student to a student, a computer programmer to another computer programmer, a guy at the gym to another guy at the gym, a cancer survivor to another cancer survivor. Everybody's got a tribe. People listen to somebody from their tribe.
This strategy of sending someone who lives where the unreached people live is at least 2000 years old. In our word for today from the Word of God in John chapter 4, Jesus is on a mission to reach the people of Samaria. So, how does He go about it? They didn't really like Jewish guys there. There's lot of walls to tear down.
Well, He reaches one of their own. He reaches a Samaritan woman at the well, who is notorious in her village, apparently, for her promiscuity. By the end of Jesus' visit, the Bible says, "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him." Why? Well, you ready for the answer? It says, "Because of the woman's testimony." (John 4:39). It doesn't say it was because of Jesus' sermon, but because of the testimony of a new disciple of Jesus Christ, cleverly disguised as their neighbor.
It's one reason why Jesus came into your life one day; to send you back to your neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your tribe, to introduce people like you to Him. You're His chosen link between the people in your world and Him. How are you doing at bringing those folks together with Jesus?
The best person to tell folks who do what you do, live where you live, and face what you face about Jesus is you. In a post-Christian culture like ours, most lost people don't ever plan to go to a religious meeting to hear a religious speaker talk on a religious subject in a religious place. They will only be rescued spiritually if someone takes the Good News about Jesus where they are! And who is already where they are? You are.
The woman Jesus sent back to her village could have said, as you may, "Oh, man! My past! I'm so messed up. I'm so far from perfect." Isn't it something Jesus sends flawed ambassadors to be living examples of His great grace? This woman could have said, as you may, "Oh, but I'm not trained." Training is good. Our ministry is constantly in the business of equipping someone like you to represent Him. But your ultimate credentials are what Jesus has done in your life and your love for that lost person.
Your message is the same as that of this Samaritan woman. She simply said to her fellow villagers, "Come, see a Man!" (John 4:29). Not a religion – a man. Your message is a person; not your religion, not your beliefs, not your rules. It's all about Jesus! You're taking someone you know in one hand. You're taking Jesus in the other hand, and you are prayerfully bringing them together forever!
What a place God has entrusted to you, divinely positioned so you can take some people to heaven with you. Where you live, what you do; it's all just your clever disguise!