When it comes to reasons why Thai people begin to follow Jesus Christ as Lord, I believe there is a common theme that emerges through their testimonies.
There are two key experiences that come up over and over again:
When it comes to foundations, there is no other foundation that can be laid but that which is already been laid, Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 3:11)
However, Jesus himself is the embodiment of these two major influential qualities.
- Jesus is Pure Love because “God is love” and Jesus is fully God. He demonstrated his love by serving and laying down his life for all. (John 15:13)
- He is power through his resurrection from death, all power and authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. (Matthew 28:18)
When we meet Jesus through the Holy Spirit we don’t simply meet a good teacher or a nice doctrine, we meet love and power personified. (Colossians 2:9)
The Bible tells us that without love all of our work for God is “nothing” and so are we. (I Corinthians 13) But also, without power we are not fully demonstrating the reality of the risen Christ to the world. We are not declaring the “full Gospel.”
The Bible also tells us that God anointed Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit and with Power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38) He has called us to “follow” him, this verse is included along with another one about “greater works” (John 14:12).
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) His love and his power is still being experienced and it is our duty to set the stage for more of this world to experience it!
We can talk methodology and doctrine all day, but at the end of it all stands just a few key questions.
- Are we proclaiming Jesus Christ and His Good News?
- Are we bringing people to a place where they can experience the love and power of God that will change their hearts?
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power. (I Corinthians 4:20)
It is not a matter of a person encountering a good argument (apologetic) only, but more importantly, encountering a life altering experience with the living God.
So, I am asking and challenging myself:
- Are we proclaiming his goodness then demonstrating it by laying hands on the sick and hurting and seeing them recover?
- Are we praying bold prayers of deliverance over people who have lived in bondage and fear all of their lives?
- Are we stepping out in the Holy Spirit and letting him use us through the giftings he has provided for our use such as the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and the prophetic?
- Are we praying for people to have dreams, visions, and experiences of God revealing Himself in power?
- Are we serving people in such a way that they are amazed by how good God has been to them through us?
How are we setting the stage for the people to experience these things in their own lives more than we are looking for clever ways to answer their religious objections and use the correct methodology or approach?
To be sure, we need both; but I’m asking myself,
“What comes first and foremost”?
That is what matters most.
PS: This is some exhortation I recently found from Indian Church Planters who have seen hundreds of thousands of churches planted in Northern India:
You will not see a movement without signs and wonders. Ninety five percent of our house churches have signs and wonders.
Also some encouragement from Randy Clark:
When you pray for the sick, you are not required to heal everyone but you are required to love everyone. Everyone should leave feeling love.