The Motivation of the Evangelist
Second, the evangelist’s motivation must be God’s love for people, not our love for them. Our love will soon grow cold in the face of human indifference, hardness of heart, and even mockery. But the love of God is a fire that will never grow cold! As Isaiah 52:7 states,
2006 First Colombian
Congress of Evangelists
“How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'”
How long has the Lord been calling the House of Israel to repent, and how long have many Jews resisted that call? Yet God’s love for the Jewish people will never fail. As Jeremiah 31:3-4 states, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel!”
Is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ still “for the Jew first and also for the Greek”? God’s plans and purposes for this present world will never change. Until Jesus returns, our Heavenly Father is continually seeking out both Jews and Gentiles who will repent and turn away from their sins. If it were up to most of us, however, we would soon act like the disciples who wanted to call down fire from heaven on the miserable wretches who dared to resist the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Oh, how quickly we forget how bad we were–before the grace of God transformed our lives, enabling us to become humble rescuers of others!
Who is it anyway who makes the feet of the evangelist “beautiful upon the mountains”? If we think that we have any goodness or worthiness in ourselves, we have already missed the point. For years, I have kept a saying from Cotton Mather in the front of my Bible–to remind me where every good gift comes from: “But what am I? Nothing. Who am I? No one. But the grace of Christ makes what I am, what I live, what I do.” The message we are called to bring is not about you or me, or about what we think. It is about the Lord and His undying love for lost sinners!
Years ago, I heard Billy Graham speak words that I believe go to the heart of why the Lord has been able to so powerfully use this former farm boy. He flatly stated that it is not his job to save people. It is God’s job! His job is to hide behind the cross whenever he preaches the Gospel, so that people see Jesus, not Billy Graham. Years ago, the long-time missionary to Colombia, Mrs. Lowe, pleaded with me and with other young people, that we would let God make us “safe for blessing,” people whom He can trust and use–without it going to our heads!