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Who Are You Taking With You?

Having young children, I am well familiar with songs designed with young children in mind. An older one, that I am sure many are familiar with, is the Farmer in the Dell. It's a song about succession, each person mentioned in the song taking along someone or something with it: the farmer takes the wife, the wife takes the child, the child takes his nurse, the nurse takes the dog, the dog takes the cat, the cat takes the mouse, and the mouse takes the cheese. Unfortunately, the cheese stands alone, and equally unfortunate, you're probably humming this song right now, and it's stuck in your head. All that side, I consider this song to be a good lesson in evangelism: everyone (excluding the cheese) goes on their way taking someone else with them.

Consider for a minute that our great commandment to follow: to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and, the second half, to love our neighbor as our self (we will be accomplishing the point of all the Law and the Prophets if we but heed these two halves of this command, Matthew 22:35-40). Jesus also commissioned us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-20). Considering that He also said "If you love me, keep my commands" (John 14:5), who are you bringing with you? If you love the Lord, who are you telling? If you love your neighbor (and everyone is your neighbor), how are you demonstrating God's love to them to bring them to Christ? If you're making disciples of all nations, who, outside of your family, are you walking with on the road to Jesus? Who are you taking with you to meet Jesus? The great news is, unlike the cheese in the Farmer in the Dell, we never stand alone, for the Lord Himself promised: "Behold, I am with you always, even to the very end of the Age" (Matthew 28:20). So, I ask again, who are you taking with you? 1 Peter 3:8-22

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For

“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

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