Posted by: pastortomvabeach | February 6, 2013

Thought for the Week February 10, 2013

I read an article today by Mike Riccardi, a pastor and middle school teacher, about cultivating a passion for evangelism in the local church. Mike contends that the best way to develop a passion for reaching the lost is to renew our passion for the glory of God, Himself, saying a vision and passion for the magnification of the glory of God is the most effective way to motivate people towards evangelism.

His reasoning is this – God does everything for His own glory, even saving people as Jesus says in John 4:23, true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. Isaiah speaking the Lord’s words, says, For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off…For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. (Isaiah 48:9-11). God is very jealous about His glory and we are reminded over and over that we are created and then saved in order to love God and bring Him glory forever.

Riccardi goes on to say that God’s “desire in saving people is to create worshipers because He is actually worthy of that worship.” So, in saving us, he says, “God is after His own glory…and the amazing thing is that He enlists…the means of evangelism…in the pursuit of His glory. We get to get in on that! We evangelize because we love God’s glory and we want to see more people enjoy that glory.”

Think of it; you and I get to help more and more people understand that what God says is true, … I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25) We get to tell people about the wonder of a God who loved us enough to give His only Son as our substitute so that they can receive Him and rejoice in gratitude, too!

I think the same idea may hold true for growing a passion for prayer. If we grow in our desire to experience God’s glory, would that not motivate us to seek to be in His presence on a more regular basis? Then as we encounter Him in prayer, as He meets us and begins to help us to be involved in His great plan, would we not see more of His glory and be even further motivated to draw near to Him? This is the kind of circular reasoning I want to see happening!

Riccardi discusses ideas for helping people become more captivated by the glory of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One of those is through seeking His glory in the Word of God. Hebrews is a great book to examine Jesus and His glory. The writer of this book tries to cover all of the areas where Jesus is greater than or better than everything that had been pursued up to His coming. Hebrews tells us Jesus is better than angels, human beings, Moses, the Levitical priesthood, and the Law. It says He is the mediator of a better covenant and the perfect all-sufficient sacrifice that far surpasses the sacrifices of the law. At every turn His greatness and glory are on display.

One way we can get fired up about both evangelism and prayer is to begin to read and soak in God’s glory in the Word as we pray. This will help us to enter His presence and also prepare us to interact with the world around. Riccardi has some good ideas. I think I’ll try some of them. What about you?

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