By, Isam Itson III
Matthew 2:1,2 – Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Followers of God in Jesus Christ are called to reveal Jesus Christ to others. God wants everyone to worship Jesus. “For God does not desire that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.”(2 Peter 3:9). These wise men from Persia came to the court of King Herod looking for the one who was born “king of the Jews.” The Roman appointed king Herod did not know who they were talking about. When he consulted the Jewish religious leaders they said that according to the scriptures, the Messiah would be born in the town of Bethlehem. So they sent the royal advisers from the Persian court to search for Jesus on their own.
We do not want to be like the chief priests and the experts in the law who simply know the scriptures for themselves and are content with that. When people who do not yet follow God want to know what the Bible says or why we have faith in God what they are really seeking is an introduction to Jesus Christ.
We listen patiently and show them how their point of interest or concern relates to Jesus Christ, because Jesus displays the love, grace, and wisdom of God. We join them on their journey, step by step, day by day, personally walking with them toward them to Jesus. Not simply providing a quick answer and sending them on their way.
The chief priest and experts in the law should have gone with the wise men to seek out Jesus and worship Him. When people come to our churches, we do not always know who they are. We only know that they are looking for Jesus. We need to welcome them, encourage them and guide them in a manner that is true to the love of God for them revealed in Jesus Christ.
God has blessed us to work with him in drawing people to himself and delivering them to a fulfilling and everlasting life with God from now until forever. We need to show up at church ready to engage fully with the people God sends us.
And if you don’t go to a local church…start going to a local church. And when you show up…take it upon yourself to greet the people around you. You might end up meeting someone who also came to church for the first time that Sunday, or you may end up meeting your next best friend. You never know. No promises. Taking a little extra time to focus on the people we encounter truly honors God ‘s love for them and leaves them with one less excuse to reject the love and lordship of Jesus Christ.
1. Prepare your heart the night before you go to church.
1a. Acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
1b. Remember God ‘s faithfulness.
1c. Thank God for His goodness, mercy and grace in your life.
1d. Confess your sins.
1e. Trust God’s forgiveness.
1f. Ask God to fill you with his Spirit for the upcoming church service.
2. Honor God’s love for the people you encounter at church.
2a. Focus on them.
2b. Greet them.
2c. Listen to them.
2d. Lead them where they need to go, or help them find someone to help them.