"Are you talking to me?" This line might be delivered by a tough-talking actor in a movie. Or it might be uttered by a lonely soul, yearning for direction from God.
"Are you talking to me?" is a very good question for someone wrestling with their faith. A non-Christian who has started to receive information and exposure to the Gospel might react with the objection: "religion is fine for some folks but it could not possibly be for me." A lack of self-esteem might prevent a person from believing that he or she is worthy of God's undivided attention and the promise of eternal life. The idea that Christians are "good people" that form some sort of club in which he or she could not possibly feel comfortable is another irrational fear that may be an obstacle to evangelism. No wonder such a person might respond to friendly overtures with the words "are you talking to me?" Moreover such words might be filled with aggression and suspicion.
Our human powers of persuasion are probably inadequate to meet such deep-rooted insecurities. Happily, scripture makes it abundantly clear that God is indeed talking to us:
John 12: 44-47: And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world." (ESV).
The judgment of God, and potential wrath of God, is a very real thing. But can we get our minds around the idea that Jesus came not to judge the world but to save the world? This throws stereotypical notions of religion and morality out the window.
This can get complicated. For further evidence that God is talking to us, we can review Matthew 9: 12-13:
. . . Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, butsinners. (ESV).
Sinners. Hey, that's me! I'm called. I qualify. What do I do, jump for joy because Jesus is talking to me, or cry in shame because of my sin? We Christians have been known to do a lot of both. As I said, it can be complicated.
But there is no doubt what our predominant emotion should be: joy. I love the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8: 26-40, where, after hearing the gospel, he immediately wanted to be baptized and then ". . . went on his way rejoicing." Yes, Jesus is our friend. He is talking to us. We should all be on our way, rejoicing.
Faith and fellowship,