In my father’s business – Part 3
• Be Involved in the Work of Evangelism:
In Matt. 28:19, Jesus gave us the great commission ‘go and make the disciples of all the nations.” This is a task that must be done – winning souls for the Kingdom. We can adopt “Operation Andrew” for winning souls for Christ.
Who Is Andrew?
Like his brother Simon Peter, Andrew was a fisherman. Gospel states that they came from Bethsaida but at the time of Jesus’ ministry they made their home in Capernaum where they were in partnership in their fishing business with James and John, the sons of Zebedee, (Mark 1:16-20).
A disciple of John the Baptist, Andrew witnessed Jesus’ baptism and impressed by John’s declaration that Jesus was the Lamb of God, he decided to meet Him. This meeting convinced Andrew that Jesus was the Messiah and he resolved to follow Him. Thus Andrew became the first disciple of Jesus. He then brought his brother to Jesus who received him also as His disciple and named him Peter. Later Jesus called the two brothers permanently to His ministry, telling them that He would make them fishers of men, (Mark 1:16-18).
Andrew is a Greek name and means “manly.” He seems to have had a quiet strength of character and a helpfulness on which the others could always rely. At the feeding of the five thousand it was he who told Jesus of the boy with the five barley loaves and two fishes, (John 6:9). Again, it was to Andrew that Philip came for advice when some Greeks requested a meeting with Jesus, (John 12:20-22).
Strategy For Witnessing
Look around where you live, work, or go to school – it is your mission field. Make a list of names of individuals you know who need Jesus Christ. Try to identify them. Commit them to prayer and ask God for an opportunity to share God’s word with them. Look for ways to cultivate friendship. Give an open invitation (outreach event, a Bible study, a Christian concert or your Church) to help them share Christ. Help them grow in their new relationship with God, look after those who respond to Christ, give them encouragement and continue to love and pray for those who do not respond. Meditate on the word of God and ask for strength to communicate the truth of the Gospel. Depend on the Holy Spirit whenever there is an opening in sharing the word of God. Remember, the arms of flesh shall fail. Notice, you cannot give what you don’t have. Do you have Jesus?
• Believers should be involved in generous giving
The Bible is replete with people who supported the cause of the gospel in one way or the other. They include but are not limited to: The woman of Shunem, (2 Kings 4:8-10), some women who supported the ministry of Jesus, (Luke 8:1-3), the poor widow’s two mites, (Luke 21:1-4), Joseph of Arimathea – Donor of Jesus’ Tomb, (John 19:38-42), Lydia of Thyatira – a “seller” or merchant of purple cloth, (Acts 14-15) and the poor Macedonia Churches (Thessalonica and Berea, and especially the church at Philippi) – 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
In our own dispensation, what are we doing to support generously the work of the Church? I think we can assist the Church in some of these ventures: Agriculture: (farming, fishery, piggery), endowment, donations, Education: (building of mission schools, provision of health centres/clinics, provision of ICT centres and award of scholarships amongst others.
• Encouraging and Supporting those in the work of mission:
This means where we cannot go, our resources can go. We have scores of Pastors/Evangelists in the mission field who need encouragement. The more we encourage them, the more the Father’s business is attended to. Therefore, we must make up our minds to be instrument in God’s hand.
The Father’s business is ongoing and Jesus would soon return. In the meantime, He will depend on us to sustain the tempo for the Father’s business. Therefore, it is important to work while it is day, a time comes when no one can work, (John 9:4). We need to defend the cause of the gospel be involved in the work of evangelism generously, support the Church and those in the work of mission. The goodnews we have for believers today according to St. Paul is that “…their labour in the Lord shall never be in vain in the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.