26th October 2019

The Sweetest Words

“Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.”
Mark 16:15 (NCV)

A few years ago someone asked me to fork over one of his flower beds. As I moved along the bed I noticed a small hole in the soil. There was no activity around the hole so I sank the fork into the earth nearby. Instantly a humming ribbon of fierce yellow emerged and chased me across the garden. I told this to the garden owner a little later and he said, “Oh yes, I meant to mention that to you.” At that point I didn’t know which I disliked the most, the wasps or the owner!

Unless you are rather unusual, wasps are not your favourite creatures. Eat a cream tea outside on a warm summer day and you could well find you have unwelcome and persistent company. They have their place and no doubt do a good job dealing with various garden pests. We see them as annoying—a pest, even hostile with a nasty sting. Yet, they have a great lesson to teach us as Christians. It’s not their persistence—a good quality in some circumstances, but did you know that when a wasp finds something sweet it will go and tell its friends? How about that for a lesson from nature! Do we have something ‘sweet’ to tell our friends and neighbours? Only the sweetest thing of all: the glorious gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

There’s a way of doing it, of course. I remember some years ago, standing on Tottenham Court Road in London, handing out invitations to enjoy a free tea in the square outside our church. The idea was that people could enjoy a friendly chat with tea and cake, and if they desired it, prayer for any situation in their life that was causing anxiety. Nothing wrong with that and quite a few people did seek prayer or had questions to ask the church members in the square.

However, back on Tottenham Court Road, yours truly got a bit fed up just handing out invitations, so I tried to liven it up a bit by telling the passers by that Jesus loves them. Well of course it’s true, but believe me, that’s not the way to tell them! It’s a good way to get some very strange looks and to have people stepping out into the road to avoid you, otherwise it’s a dud. A softer, gentler approach may be more effective—an act of kindness and a word of encouragement will at the least set a good example and maybe God will use it to bring questions to the recipient’s mind. It’s how we should be as Christians anyway, and who knows if through this God may not provide an opportunity for a ‘sweet’ word in someone’s ear?

Father, the sweetest words of all are ‘Jesus loves you so much He gave His life for you.’ Help us share this with our friends and neighbours in a ‘sweet’ way.

Study by Doug Bass

About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Coulsdon
Coulsdon Community Church
Coulsdon Community Centre
Barrie Close
Chipstead Valley Road

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Brian Smith
Phone: 01243-699812
Email: coulsdon@gracecom.church

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