Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford and COO Jeff Hopper talk about those who are giving Jesus a serious look, and how they may be more earnest in their intent than some of us! (6 in a series, 4:40)

Who Is a Christian?, Part 6: Earnest Seekers

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. (Acts 17:27, NIV)

I don’t know how familiar you are with Acts 17, but if you have an interest in the S of every Links Player’s Mission—Share Christ through the great game of golf—then this is the chapter for you.

Paul, as was his custom, began his time in Athens in the synagogue. He always wanted his own Jewish flesh and blood to hear the Gospel and be given a chance to respond to the new life offered through Yeshua (Jesus), their promised Messiah. Usually, there were some Jews who believed, but not infrequently they ran him out. In the dissenters minds’, the Messiah had not yet come.

So Paul had a backup strategy. Go to the Gentiles. Macedonian, Roman, Greek—he was not concerned about their nationality. He was concerned about their hearts.

If you are bent on evangelism, this is your same perspective. You want everyone, regardless of their background or position, their home life or their religious hang-ups, to know Jesus. And you delight in finding those who are interested in truly exploring who he is so they can make a definitive decision whether to follow him.

Among our Links Players staff, we call these people “earnest seekers.” For some reason, churches that have an eye toward seekers often draw criticism; but if pastors were honest, they would all tell you the same thing: “You bet I want people walking through our doors who are looking for Jesus!” Why? Because we have Jesus to give them!

In Athens, Paul was addressing a crowd of such seekers, people who stood around all day and “spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas” (Acts 17:21). Sure, there were some who were more enamored with the questions than they were interested in landing on an answer. But Paul seized the opportunity to engage these seasoned listeners and tell them what many of them were reluctant to believe: that God could be found by those who go looking for him.

This is still great news. God can be found by those who go looking for him. It’s what should excite even those of us who would tremble to say we are “bent on evangelism.” When you start by opening new avenues in conversation in order to gauge someone’s level of interest—in the same way you might ask a friend, “Have you ever thought about getting a new putter?” before offering some great new options to his 1970s potato masher—you will discover willing participants in this grandest of conversations. Let the shared study of who Jesus is take off from there. Before you know it, you’ll be making disciples!

Jeff Hopper
December 2, 2013
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