Where God is at work in the world around me
As we go through these 40 days together, we want to make this a time in the Word and in the World where we pray, “Lord, bring into my path today a Person of Peace, and give me the grace to speak your words to this person.” The truth is God is at work in the life of those around us every single day. If we are looking through the lens of the POP – Person of Peace – we can intentionally cooperate with the work where God is already at work in their life.
In the opening passages of Luke 10, we hear Jesus say to the 72 that they are to go into the world and look for people who “receive their peace.” When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Luke 10: 5-6
This should be our prayer as we venture forth each day! “Lord, bring into my path today a Person of Peace, and give me the grace to speak your words to this person.” The Person of Peace (POP) principle we see in Jesus’ life will be the big lens we look through as we consider daily passages for our 40 days.
A person of peace is someone who God has prepared to hear God’s message through you. That person is ready to receive what God will give you to say at that moment. God has been at work preparing that person for your presence in their life. Because of this preparation, these people will like you. They will listen to you. They will help, or serve you in some way as they encourage your deposit in their lives. Our job is to have our spiritual eyes open, looking for a Person of Peace to cross our paths.
As we think about POP there are a few ways we can look to see where and what doors God may be opening in the lives of people around us. Imagine you are standing in the middle of a room and around you are several doors and we are looking to see which door God is opening! As we see an opening door we see how best to invest in the POP. The POP is the big view, and sometimes having a smaller view helps us see how to engage in where God is at work. That smaller view is what these doors are about. Each day we may suggest one of the doors to look through to see what you see.
Stop Look And Listen
Q. Where is God working, what door should I step through next?
Perception is the first look. Stepping back to observe where God is at work in a possible POP before stepping forward. We stop to look and listen so we can come alongside where God is already at work and determine what door to the gospel may be opening.
Jesus Is Where You Are
Q. Why am I here? How does my presence matter today?
Maybe there is a moment of hurt, or mourning or success. Where you are, is always an opportunity to model Jesus; acting as he would act, speaking as he would speak. Sometimes just being there is enough; sometimes there is a greater opportunity. As you show kindness and speak encouragement, a Person of Peace may become evident to you.
Q. What investment can I make that may cultivate receptivity?
Preparation is similar to cultivating soil before planting the seed. Our words may only be one turn of a person’s soil. This person may be a POP, but I may need to do some personal preparation to till the soil. What investment can I make that will open this door? What is needed? Is it language, is it learning something, is it to get my bike and come back and meet them here again next week? Sometimes there is something I can do to help the person better receive the seed of the Good News.
Bump And Run
Q. What can I say or do that will be meaningful and memorable?
In a passing relationship, you may get to plant a seed or to water what has already been planted. The cashier at the grocery store, the Mom standing in line at the bank, that dude next to you on the plane, most likely is a passing relationship. Maybe this is a one-time opportunity to bump someone closer to the love of Jesus, just because you do not see the end result does not mean you are not a vital part of the process!
The Long Drive
Q. Am I paying attention and responding to what God is doing in this person’s heart?
Permanent relationships are in your neighborhood, school, jobs, family, and close friends. You see these people often. You may have to wait for a long time before he or she is a Person of Peace for you, but until that time their heart is not ready to hear you. It seems we have the hardest time sharing our faith with those closest to us. Sometimes this is, in part, due to our impatience. Pray, wait, and watch.
God Shows Himself Mighty
Q. Is God saying, “Move in the naturally supernatural?”
Jesus often used demonstrations of the power of God with the POP. The prayer for healing and the miraculous is sometimes the right next step when we encounter a POP. When the power comes, doors open!
Tell The Story
Q. Is this POP ready to receive the Good News, and what are the words You have for me to share?
Just as there is a time to just be present, there is a time to proclaim. We are not going to convince those who are not ready to receive your message. When we see a ready heart, we should have a ready word from our story with Jesus. Then commit to an ongoing relationship or connect them with others who can walk with them through the initial stages of discipleship. This is what evangelism really is, discipleship before the cross that leads to the cross and to the walk of faith, not just pray a prayer.