Luke 10:1 The Lord… sent them… to [where] he planned to visit
Jesus is visiting these dear ones in ways often invisible to us. He is visiting them with dreams, visions, Christian TV programming, increased access to Bibles, and Muslim background believers we may not know about. He also ‘visits’ many of them with a sense of discontent with their often unsatisfying experience of Islam, as well as speaking to them through the godly lifestyle of followers of Jesus in their area, which itself is a powerful preparation for our ministry. Let us go forth in faith that Jesus is visiting these ‘sheep without a shepherd’ and preparing many for our ministry, even if we can’t see it happening.
10:2 The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few
Muslims are often a majority of the population, but get a tiny minority of the attention and resources. In addition to prayer, we need to get a ‘harvest now’ (Jn 4:35) approach and appropriate the resources needed to bring in the harvest.
10:3 I am sending you out as lambs among wolves
Some wolves that we need to deal with ‘head on’ are called by these names: Fear – “I’m afraid! I’ll get killed!” Wrong attitudes – “I don’t like them! We’re better than them! I can’t forgive them for what they’ve done.” Fatalism – “It’s no use, everyone knows they can’t be won to Jesus.” By the power of Jesus, and Faith, Hope and Love, these wolves can be effectively dealt with, and we can see good success, as Jesus works with us.
10:4 Don’t take along… don’t stop to greet…
Complications and distractions will always arise, and we must be focused and simple in our approach. Remember the mission, and swerve not.
10:5-6 Whenever you enter a home, give it your blessing
One of the most powerful things one can do is to bless others, to show them respect, and to show them love. In many ways, the Ms are just like us; they respond to the love of God thoughtfully and creatively expressed through a person full of the Spirit of Jesus. The Golden Rule is having very powerful effects in evangelism and mission; when the people of God excel in love (and not just doctrine or technique), their gracious, Jesus-like spirit opens many doors wide that were formerly closed.
If a man of peace is there…
Finding the man of peace can be easier by becoming familiar with the CAMEL approach (www.simsonwolfgang.de/CamelTracks.doc) to starting conversations with Muslims. If a person is clearly receptive to talking about ‘Isa based on such an approach, this can indicate that the discussion can move to the N.T. portrayal of Jesus and the Gospel with good results.
10:7-8 Eat whatever is set before you
Receiving their hospitality shows our respect for them and acceptance of them as people. This is also suggestive of our goal of not trying to ‘make them Christians’ who come to our meetings, or to change their dress, their diet or their name, but to teach them the way of ‘Isa. We are helping people follow Sura 3:50 where ‘Isa says “keep your duty to Allah and obey me.” We are helping people follow Him in a contextualized, Spirit-led manner, and not our Western, church-influenced culture, traditions and ideas. Help them start simple gatherings in their homes and culture, rather than pulling them into existing churches.
10:9 Heal the sick. As you heal them, say, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’
God delights to use miraculous healings (and other dramatic answers to prayer) as a key to seeing this population open up to the Word all over the world. Don’t minimize this powerful means of opening doors.
10:10-11 “But if a town refuses to welcome you…
” Many in this population will want to engage in arguments (or worse). While healthy and positive discussions can be very helpful, arguments will rarely be. If there is a clear lack of openness, move on, look elsewhere for a person of peace.
4 Ways to Reach Out to Muslims
There are more than 1 billion Muslims in the world, and more than 5 million in the U.S., making Islam one of the fastest-growing religions in America, quickly emerging as the second-largest religion behind Christianity. Here’s what you can do to make an impact.:
- Pray for them. The only way a Muslim will ever come to Christ is if the Holy Spirit works in her heart to draw her to the truth. Pray specifically that: Muslims would be open to reading the Bible and would believe the Bible is the preserved, authentic Word of God; they’ll believe Jesus was crucified for their sins and resurrected from the dead; God will remove any misconceptions they have about Christianity; God will give them courage to surrender to Christ.
- Know your faith. It isn’t as important to a Muslim what you know about Islam as it is important for you to know about your own faith. Know how to present Christ and His atoning work that reversed the universal effect of Adam’s original sin. Using God’s Word, address questions a Muslim may have about what the Bible and Christianity teach.
- Remove any misconceptions about Muslims. Not all Muslims are extremists, such as the Taliban. Not all of them hate Americans or Jews. Basically, they want the same good things from life we want. Many Christians assume all Muslims know Islam and the Qur’an very well. However, most Muslims are Muslim in name only; they know little of their faith.
- Befriend them. The best way to reach out to Muslims is to show them Christ’s love. Sharing the gospel isn’t enough to reach Muslims. They have on spiritual blinders (2 Corinthians 4:4) that require time, prayer, and the outpouring of Christ’s love working through you. The results of your persistence will be worth it (Galatians 6:9).