From the desk of Andrew Burchett…
As I read about Jesus sending his disciples out to tell people the good news of the Kingdom of God, He gave them some specific instructions in Matthew 10 and Luke 10. Jesus tells them to greet those they come into contact with “Shalom,” a greeting that was supercharged as a pronunciation of blessing of peace over an individual, a house, or even a city. When we enter any situation pronouncing blessing it begins to reveal whether the person we are encountering is a “worthy person” (Mt. 10) or a “person of peace” (Lk 10).
The principle that we should lead with a blessing and looking to honor and give favor to others without them earning it seems to reveal where other hearts are positioned. Jesus instructs us to remain with those who respond favorably to a blessing, as people who God is already at work preparing to receive the good news.
There are people that we encounter that immediately mock the idea of faith and are antagonistic toward even receiving a blessing. We are to move on and look for others who respond favorably to invest in, and pursue in bringing them the good news. This doesn’t mean that we don’t try to share with those who are hardened to the gospel. It just means that the bulk of our efforts in reaching out to those who haven’t experienced the grace of Jesus yet are often results of us pursuing the “person of peace,” whose heart is already opened up and seeking.
In your workplace or class at school, there is a person of peace just waiting for you to encounter them. In your neighborhood, there is a household that has a family in it that is open to receiving a blessing and prayer. There is an extended family member, maybe a cousin that will respond with much more interest in your faith than the rest of your family. After you have seen who these people are, make extra time, give extra effort and energy to being available to them and look for opportunities to live your faith and speak blessings over them. I think what you will find is a soft and open heart to receive prayer and the things of God.
When we encounter others that mock us for our faith and deride us for following Jesus, we must move ahead, looking again for the next “person of peace” that might be closer than we think!
We must always keep our eyes scanning our surroundings to see where God is working so we can join Him in the work that He is already doing in the lives of others. It is speaking a blessing that often reveals where the heart truly is.