I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. – John 6:35
Has your church ever done a community outreach event? Perhaps you’ve been part of one of these that has offered people free food, along with games for children and a chance to bounce around on inflatables. That’s all wonderful. We certainly want people in our neighborhoods to know we are friendly, perhaps even likable. But, quite frankly, any group of people—believers or not—can put on an event like that.
We must want more for our friends and neighbors than that. We must long for them to have an encounter with the risen Jesus and to find life in Him.
The best reason for a church to convene a community day, then, is the same reason for it to convene any gathering: so that men, women, and children might have a direct encounter with the living God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, we want unbelieving people around us to become committed followers of Jesus.
One way to conceive of sharing the good news is by reciting the ABCs of the gospel:
A – Admit: We all have something to admit. We have sinned, every last one of us. We have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And though “the wages of sin is death, … the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” (6:23). Unless we admit our need, we will never know the remedy.
B – Believe: There is something to believe. Jesus Christ died in the place of sinners like us. The good news of the gospel is not about what we’re able to do in order to make ourselves acceptable to God; it is the wonder of what God has already done in Jesus. The message is that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We must believe it.
C – Come: We must come to Jesus. We can have a sense of our sinfulness and even know that Christ died in our place, but unless we entrust ourselves to Him, we remain lost. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, emphasis added).
Sometimes people get stuck between B and C and, despite knowing they’re sinners and understanding the gospel, have never actually come to the Lord Jesus. It is worth checking that this does not describe you. If it does, it’s appropriate to ask, What are you waiting for? The Lord Jesus Himself said, “Whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” When you sense pangs and longings in your soul that nothing else seems to satisfy, then come to Jesus. Full and everlasting satisfaction awaits.
If you have come to Jesus and found life in Him, then do not keep quiet about Him. The “bread of life” is for offering around! So by all means let us and our churches show gospel kindness in our acts of love. But we are called to do more, too: to share gospel truth in what we say. To whom will you offer the “bread of life” this week?
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