Dave Gibson is one of my friends, mentors and heroes. He may be the best I've ever seen at personal evangelism. Yesterday he was telling me that he uses the term "relentlessly relational" to describe their church's philosophy of evangelism. It's a slight twist on our "relational and relentless" tag line at Dare2Share and I love it! We should be relentlessly relational with our classmates, co-workers, teammates, neighbors, family members and friends. We should be relentlessly relational with strangers. We should be relentlessly relational with those who love us and those who hate us.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-48, "'You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
This brand of love only comes through the Father via his Holy Spirit to us ("…because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us" Romans 5:3.) As we learn to walk in a moment-by-moment declaration of dependence on Him he will enable us to love the unloveable and pursue them with the gospel in love.
If we truly have the divine agenda as the top priority on our human agendas then our #1 mission should be to "go and make disciples of all nations…." We should long to see everyone in our circle of influence (and outside of it for that matter) receive the forgiveness, life and hope of Jesus. This is the call of Christ for each of us: to lovingly, gently, persistently and prayerfully nudge anyone and everyone into the kingdom of God.
Aren't you glad that Jesus was relentless in his pursuit of you? In spite of us trying to get away from him and turn to our own ways he wouldn't stop until we were his. He chased us down and caught us. In spite of our protests he wooed us and won us. Jesus is the most relentlessly relational being in the universe.
Well guess what? We are his hands, feet, mouth and eyes on this earth! We are the eyes of Jesus so that we can see the lost from a divine perspective and have our hearts break for them in the process (Matthew 9:36.) We are his hands to touch the hurting (Mark 1:40-42.) We are his feet to run after them with the good news (Romans 10:15.) We are his mouth to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15.) If we truly want to be like Jesus then we won't give up, shut up or back down until everyone possible comes into a relationship with Him!
Let's love those around us enough to "seek and save what was lost" (Luke 19:10) through a relentlessly relational pursuit of them. Let's be kind, humble and wise as we do, but let's do.
I close with the words of Charles Spurgeon, "If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay….let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for."