“I love you. Jesus, I will praise your name forever” – Daniel Sturridge
England and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been getting a lot of media attention in the last couple of years for his goals, skill on the ball and for his evangelism. Yes you read that right; the 24 year old’s evangelism is simple yet effective. After scoring in Saturday’s World Cup Brazil 2014 game against Italy Daniel did a little dance, followed by raising his head and arms in the air pointing to the heavens and proclaiming, “I love you. Jesus, I will praise your name forever”.
This wasn’t the usual habitual, superstitious action that we can sometimes see footballers (and others) do, but a genuine expression of his love for Jesus; what HE has done in his life and recognition of the gifts God has given him. To do this could make him unpopular and give him a bad reputation, but Daniel acknowledges every goal and the gifts he has been given by proclaiming the name of Jesus. What a great model for all of us, not just our children. Thank you Daniel.
Evangelism can take many forms; sometimes it’s messy, imperfect and scary, but we are each called to proclaim Jesus if we love and follow him Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:8.
D.L. Moody was once a great evangelist in the 19th century and one evening a woman approached him with a complaint.
The woman said to him, “Mr. Moody, I don’t like the way you do evangelism!”
“Well, ma’am, let me ask you, how do you do it?” Moody asked.
She replied, “I don’t!”
Moody responded, “Well, I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it!”
There is no perfect set way of sharing the truth of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension; if you wait for the perfect time you’ll never be ready and it will be to late. The Apostle Paul shared Christ in any opportunity the LORD gave him, even when a crowd were against him or for him, trying to cause a riot, and wether they accepted what he had to say or not (See Acts).
You may be timid, afraid, uncomfortable, not know what to say in the heat of the moment: that’s ok, me too. However sharing the gospel can be done in different ways, you don’t necessarily need to share the gospel at that very moment by mouth or scripture (although some situations may demand you do so). Get to know people and bring up the gospel in your conversations, ask questions and get them thinking. I have found the most successful method when I’m out and about and meet a stranger is to give them the 4 points tract ( http://tinyurl.com/kjjwa4a ).
Whatever you do, be confident in the message you proclaim and the God we serve. The TRUTH of the gospel is real, it sets people free, transforms lives and gives us a hope and a future. Culture today may call us arrogant, but I believe it to be arrogant only if it is a lie. The gospel claim would of course be arrogant, unloving and unhelpful; UNLESS it were true.
As David Platt boldly says in his book ‘Follow Me’,
“BUT Jesus is indeed more than just another religious teacher, and Jesus is indeed the resurrected God, Saviour, and King who alone has paid the price for sinners and paved the way for everlasting salvation, so telling people everywhere about Jesus is the only thing that makes sense. It is in fact the epitome of hate to not sacrifice your very life to spread this GOOD NEWS among every person you know and every people group on the planet.”
We can all learn something from Daniel’s passion for Jesus and making him known. Sometimes a small action points people to the big action of Jesus on the cross.