“I’m delighted to report that authentic followers of Christ have answers. They have something unchangeable and eternal to believe in. Jesus is a rock, and unwavering firm foundation. The Bible has stood the test of time.” (The Jesus Dare pg 63)
Last week I introduced the concept of The Jesus Dare, a book by author Jay Payleitner available for purchase here (release date May 6th). The book also has a great website in which you can find more content, located here: thejesusdare.com
I had the opportunity to write and record a song which dovetails with the message of the book. It’s been a wonderful journey and I’ve been impressed to write a series of blogs inspired by The Jesus Dare. If you haven’t yet heard the song, below is a lyric video (The Jesus Dare - Dare To Believe):
While last week was more overview in nature, this week I’m impressed to take a moment to speak directly to Christians. To the church. To those who have taken the Jesus dare. If we call ourselves Christians, we all at some point have recognized our sin and realized our need for a Savior. That need brought us to Christ and it made us realize that outside of Him, there was nothing at all we could do to save ourselves. In that moment, we surrendered our lives to Jesus.
Jay describes the terminology surrounding this decision: “The moment you take the Jesus dare you will be “born again” or “saved.” Said in other ways, you will have “received Christ,” “come to Christ,” “invited Christ into your life,” or “met Christ.” (pg 34). Today, I’m assuming you’re tracking with me and have said “yes” to Jesus. From here, I believe there are 3 questions to pose to ourselves. These are personal and in no way a judgment on my part. In fact, I ask them of myself and ask God to examine my life; to reveal anything that does not point to Him.
So in regards to the Jesus dare:
1. Are you living it?
It might seem offensive to ask ourselves a question like this. I mean, if I’m a Christian of course I’m living it. I wouldn’t have said yes. I wouldn’t have said the prayer. I’d be somewhere else entirely if I wasn’t living it. But hear me out. For me, living it means more than just saying a prayer and then walking away. If you are living for Christ, certain things are going on (some visible, some invisible). Reading the Bible, praying on a regular basis, attending church, being around others who can hold you accountable and can pray for you…these all come with the territory.
Living it also means many things are going on under the surface, maybe only noticeable to yourself: “That decision we’re talking about will change everything about you except your physical self. Your mind will begin to see the world differently—through the eyes of Christ. When temptation heads your direction, you’ll have a new ability to distinguish right from wrong. Not only will you have an increased awareness of the needs of others, your heart will be opened to actually doing something to meet those needs! Don’t be surprised if you are more patient, forgiving, joyful, and generous. That’s the Holy Spirit working in you and through you.” (pg. 53)
2. Are you sharing it?
That last quote “your heart will be opened to actually doing something to meet those needs” is a game-changer. We can debate about faith and works all day long. But at the end of the day, there is a point at which, without works, the appearance of faith seems rather lifeless. Part of what we are called to do with the knowledge we have is sharing it. “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” Luke 8:16. The faith you have in Christ is the light you must share.
The Jesus dare is a perfect way to start the conversation with an unbeliever, a skeptic, or someone on the fence about Jesus. It’s conversational, it’s personal, and it presents the truths of Scripture in a way that anyone can grasp. If you are not sharing Jesus, I encourage you to pick up The Jesus Dare, read it through and once again have your eyes opened to where the mind of a non-Christian is at. Put yourself in their shoes and realize you were once like them.
3. Who is in your life right now that needs Jesus?
You know I had to go there. And for myself I had to go there as well. We can examine whether we are living for Christ and we can examine how well our evangelizing efforts are. But there’s something about sitting down and making a list of names of people we need to share Jesus with. Maybe you write down 3 names and that list goes in your Bible. Maybe it goes on the dashboard of your car or your bathroom mirror. Doesn’t matter. As long as it is a place readily visible and somewhere you’ll come back to often; at least on a daily basis.
From there, I believe you start with prayer. You start praying for those names and for God to begin softening their heart to the Holy Spirit. Beyond that, you pray for opportunities; open doors where the conversation can be steered toward Christ. You share openly and humbly. Share your story of taking the Jesus dare. And you find tools and resources that are helpful…again, I’m going to plug the book because it is powerful and it is a great tool to have available. It’s also something you can have with you at work, in your car, wherever; readily accessible to be given away and shared.
“This book is for those who are on the fence or have never really considered all the evidence. These pages will help you address the one big question about Jesus that must be answered: What if He is who He says He is?” (pg. 23)
Guys I think as Christians we can get far removed from this world and bemoan all of its downfalls. In that, we can pull back and be less involved and less willing to go out and preach Christ. But the Jesus dare doesn’t stop once we say yes to Jesus. Really it only begins there. From there, we are compelled to go out and tell others and be bold proclaiming the message we have received. I hope this message finds you ready not only to receive it but also to act. There’s too much at stake. This world needs Jesus. Let’s help them take the Jesus dare!
Finishing up this series next week with a message for the ones who are ready to take the leap!