February 13, 2013 was a really great day for me. It was the day I got engaged to my sweet and loving husband who happens to also be my best friend. It was a Wednesday night and he had me thinking we were picking up a friend before going to church. Lo and behold, we pull up at his “friend’s” house (which just happens to be in a REALLY nice neighborhood, by a lake, and REALLY far out of the way from church). For some reason, he wanted me to get out of the car and go meet his “friend” at the door. Weird. So I walked up the stairs, turned the corner, and this is what I saw:
Romantic right? It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. There were even strawberries (my favorite) and our favorite juice that we like to drink…don’t let the champagne glasses fool you.
After very kind words, Mike proposed to me on one knee. Of course I said YES! He even had a friend down the street waiting with a good camera because he knew my photographer-self would want good pictures to remember the moment.
Afterwards we went to dinner at a steakhouse and immediately started calling our family, texting our close friends and posting on facebook.
It was news we wanted to share. We wanted the whole world to know about it. This was important to us, a moment we wanted others to hear about and celebrate with us. I’m sure you’ve had a moment that was exciting in your life too where you wanted to share it with those you love.
So why aren’t we equally enthusiastic when it comes to sharing about our faith in Christ? While marrying my husband was the second best decision I’ve ever made in my life, the first best decision I’ve made was giving my life to Christ. The decision to live for Him and follow Him daily. Why can it be so difficult to share the Good News, the best news anyone could every hear, with those around me? Whether the excuse is concern over what others will think, the fear of losing a friend, not knowing what to say or putting it off to another time, we should be just as anxious to share about our faith in Jesus as we are to share about decisions that don’t matter after we die.
I think we could all agree that we are called to share our faith. But the execution is the hard part. Here are a few questions to think through so that you are prepared when those opportunities arise…and trust me, they will arise often if you are looking for them!
Where is my mission field? Who is your target audience? Jesus gave His disciples a mission group, an ethnic group to minister to. Who does God have for you to reach? Maybe your mission field is at your work, maybe it’s with the other moms from your children’s school or maybe it’s the members of the Lion’s Club in your town. Everyone is called to share, not just those who are called to vocational ministry. We need to be open to sharing the Gospel with everyone.
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 (NIV)
“For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 13:47 (NIV)
What will I say? Some of the biggest fears expressed to me regarding sharing faith is what to say, saying the wrong thing, or not knowing the answer to a question. My response? If you are saved yourself, then you know how to be saved! Memorize a few verses and share you own testimony. People can’t argue with a personal experience of how Christ changed your life. It may be rocky at first and maybe your Gospel presentation is not as smooth as your pastor’s, but the more you practice, the better you will get! I stumbled through sharing the story of how Mike proposed to me the first few times, but now, over two years later, I have the story down to a “T”. The most important part about sharing your faith is just saying something. It may not always be worded perfectly, but something is always better than nothing! If they ask you a question you don’t know the answer to, that’s okay! We are all human. Simply tell them you will look into it and get back with them.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)
What happens when someone rejects faith in Christ? Shake the dust off your feet. Don’t waste the precious time we have on earth with people who are adamantly opposed to the Gospel. Do your part by sharing, but remember – it’s up to the people to respond.
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16 (NIV)
What do I do when someone receives Christ as their Lord and Savior? Praise God! Pray with them right then and there. I often encourage them the pray out loud so that I can hear what they are saying. I like to ask a few questions just to make sure they understand faith in Christ is not automatic – it requires action on our part. The prayer does not contain magic words, it’s all about the heart! Invite your new fellow believer to church with you! Discipleship comes next.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but what Jesus has done in my life is miraculous. It’s a story that should be shared! I understand the fears and pressures that are involved in sharing the Gospel, I struggle with them myself. However, I can also attest that it does get easier the more you share. We have to be courageous, open our mouths and speak the Truth. The Kingdom of heaven is near, and for some, it’s here!
Yesterday my husband quoted a little phrase he’d heard before: “Heaven is sweet, hell is hot, we are going to one, ready or not.” It stuck with me.
My prayer for myself is to have the same fervor to share the Gospel as I do about sharing my engagement story. I want my heart to break for the souls of the lost and for my actions to reflect faithfulness to our calling.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17 (NIV)