Friday, October 26, 2012

E - Evoke

As we wind down towards the end of our journey through the word JOURNEY, we come to the letter E. In this context, we can let it be for the word evoke. Evoke isn't an overly common word, but essentially it is "to call up" or "to elicit". Of course, evoke is related to provoke which often has a more negative tone. But evoke can be good or bad. And a part of our role in making disciples is "to elicit" a response from others for Jesus.

As it relates to the ministry of the church, evoke represents the function of evangelism. To many people the idea of evangelism brings forth (evokes) the emotion of fear. But we evangelize all the time, at least in a  sense. To simplify things, the simple definition of evangelize is to bring a joyful message. The word evangelism, a transliteration from the Greek, is usually represented as gospel in English bibles. But if we remove the context from the bible for a moment, what joyful messages do you share? Perhaps when someone has a baby. Perhaps when you or someone you know is rewarded for something. Perhaps when your favorite sports team wins, or you find out your favorite actor or actress is making another movie. Of course, there are many more.

I realize some may say that I have dumbed down the meaning of the gospel. First, I am not talking about THE GOSPEL, I am describing the definition of the word. Only a handful of words in the Bible were original words. Most were a part of common language that the authors (and Author) used to communicate to the hearers and readers of the day. These words have taken on special significance over time (and rightfully so), but the words mean what they mean.

Thus, we are used to sharing good news with others. If you are already on your JOURNEY with Jesus, what more exciting news could there be? We should share the gospel not just because Jesus said we would (Acts 1.8), but because we can't help contain the GOSPEL within us. When we share God's Good News it should evoke others to consider it as well. Certainly, it is up to the power of the Holy Spirit to use our words in sharing God's story to bring someone to the sake of salvation. But if we are unwilling to share the story we have already received, we need to question how much joy we truly have in our hearts.

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