Teachers sometimes use the technique of "show and tell" with their students to enhance the learning process. In training His disciples Jesus used the "tell and do" technique as He prepared them to go out two by two in ministry.
"These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: '...go...to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons..." (Mat. 10:5-8 NKJV).
Go...tell...do. All three are vital components of advancing His Kingdom. Any one without the others is deficient.
"Go"...We need to make contact, rub shoulders, observe, listen, ask questions, communicate, visit people in their homes, eat their food. This isn't "rocket science" and doesn't require a voice from heaven. "Go make disciples of all the nations" (Mat. 28:19). "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). As someone once asked, "What part of 'go' do we not understand?" It should be obvious that the gospel cannot "come" to people unless Christian witnesses "go" to people. One foot in front of the other. One person at a time. One gospel presentation at a time. One invitation at a time. The first word in "gospel" is, after all, "go"!
"Tell"...Making contact and friendships with people is essential, yet if we never open our mouths to share the gospel, people will not be saved. We are not good enough that people will get saved by watching us. Jesus was...and even then people did not get saved merely by watching Him. He was compelled to announce the gospel. Why? "Now faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God..."
But..."how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom. 10:17,14) Let's ask the Lord of the harvest to empower us to follow His example of abundant, courageous, creative, persistent sharing the gospel everywhere we go. Let's ask Him to give us a clearer grasp of the wonder of the gospel so we, like Paul, will be eager, ready and unashamed to share the gospel (Rom. 1:11,15,16).
"Do"...Telling the gospel without "doing the gospel" will not cut it. Words need to be reinforced by deeds. People want more than words. Caring for people is confirmed by caring about real needs. As we care for people and their needs, we can pray, we can instruct, we confront demons, we can share the gospel, we can invite them to follow the Compassionate One. Deeds of kindness demonstrate genuine love. We become the hands and feet of Jesus. Through us He touches them and expresses His care for them. Kind deeds done in Jesus' Name confirms the words we share. Both words and deeds need each other in order to communicate God's truth and love.
"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons...they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover...And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through accompanying signs." (Mark 16:17,18,20)
This year let's renew our commitment to go, tell and do. And may the Lord be pleased to confirm His Word and bring forth fruit.