Pray that the saints would see their urgent need to contact people and would go forth to reach them in their daily life by making appointments to meet with some a few nights a week and at lunch and dinner times (John 15:16 and 16²; Luke 19:5-6, 9-10).
John 15:16 — You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.
John 15:16², go — The Greek word for go forth means to depart, implying to leave for another place; hence, it is rendered go forth. It is the same Greek word as that for go in 14:4 and 16:5. The fruit borne by going forth in this way does not denote the virtues of the fruit-bearer’s character, such as the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s living, mentioned in Gal. 5:22-23, but it denotes the believers produced by the fruit-bearer. This corresponds with the subject of this section, 12:20—17:26, which is Christ’s multiplication. The virtues we possess through our abiding in the Lord cannot be counted as Christ’s multiplication. Only the believers that we produce in the Lord are the tangible multiplication of Christ. The Father’s house in ch. 14, the true vine in this chapter, and the man-child in ch. 16 are all related to the multiplication of Christ.
Luke 19:5-6, 9-10 — And as He came to the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay in your house. And he hurried and came down, and received Him, rejoicing…And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.
You all must go to reach people. Whether you have the overflow of life or not, you must still contact people. If you do not reach people, you will have no way of knowing where you are. But when you contact them, you will be exposed and become desperate, saying, “O Lord Jesus, how can I go on? Lord, I have discovered that I am empty.” If I were to tell you that you are empty, you would probably be offended. You must go and discover this yourself.
More than forty years ago, I learned a principle in the church life. Everyone has an opinion. Usually those who do nothing are the ones who criticize those who do something. For example, someone who does not know how to cook may be the first to criticize the cooking of others. In the church life I have followed this principle: whoever criticizes others for the way they do a certain thing must do it themselves. If a brother or sister comes to me criticizing others, I say, “You are the best one to do it. Since you criticize others, you should do it yourself.” The first time I learned this principle was when a brother came to me, saying, “Brother Lee, those responsible for the cleaning are not doing a very good job.” I replied, “All right, you do it.” When he declined, I said, “You have been caught, and now you must do it. If you are unwilling to clean, then don’t criticize others.” Eventually, the news spread throughout the church not to criticize anything or anyone to Brother Lee. This one principle, which I still practice today, has silenced all the gossip and subdued all the opinions. The point is this: when you do something, you get exposed. If you do nothing, you will think that you can do a great deal. But when you attempt to do something, you discover that you cannot do the slightest thing. Therefore, go to reach people and discover how needy you are.
We all need to devote more time for contacting people. One evening out of the week should be used for your personal affairs, three nights for the church meetings, and the three remaining nights for contacting people. In addition to these three nights, I hope that you will use every lunch hour for this purpose. Make an appointment with people to have lunch or dinner with them. (CWWL, 1975-1976, vol. 3, “Young People’s Training,” ch. 4, pp. 349-350)
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