I BELIEVE, THEREFORE I SPEAK.
What if I was not a Christian right now? What if I was not saved because no on loved me enough to speak? Or risk rejection? Or risk looking foolish? I shudder at the thought. It terrifies me. I weep even.
Today I want to talk about sharing our faith. (And please check out the PDF at the end of this post.)
It’s been a long time since I’ve met someone who became a Christian because of my invitation. A few years at least. And the reason is simple: I have not been actively sharing the good news.
Of course, I invite people to church here and there. And any Christian who asks me to study the Scriptures with a friend of theirs will always get a big, “Yes!” And I’m thankful that in the last two years, two of these individuals accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. But reaching out to those around me on a regular basis, if not daily, and leading someone to a saving relationship with Christ has not been a serious focus. I’ve not acted as though heaven and hell are the only options for humanity. I’ve not been urgent. I’ve been, for the most part, silent. Something I am ashamed to admit.
THE SPIRIT LOVES TO PREACH.
If I have the Spirit in me, and I refuse to share the gospel with those around me, it’s because I’m being controlled by the flesh and not the Spirit. The Spirit loves to preach. He loves to empower us for the mission. He loves to encourage us when we are timid. He loves to lead his faithful witnesses to those who seek and search for truth. He loves to open hearts. He loves to exalt Christ. He even loves to surprise us: Acts 9 – Saul the persecutor becomes a Christian – God’s first surprise! Acts 10 – Cornelius the Gentile becomes a Christian – God’s second surprise!
In fact, if we survey the book of Acts to verify the above truths, it becomes clear how the early church made such a huge impact: All kinds of Christians were spreading the gospel to all kinds of people in all kinds of places at all kinds of hours. And God’s Spirit did the rest. It’s really true. Check it out for yourself. The Spirit will lead us to those who are open to the truth. That’s one of His job descriptions so to speak. All He needs from us is a willingness to witness. So, it must go without saying:
Whenever I choose to be silent, it is not the Spirit in me, but the flesh in me.
Whenever I move among people and it never occurs to me to share the gospel, it is not the Spirit in me, but the flesh in me.
Whenever I see someone and pass judgement on them, talking myself into believing they are not “open,” it is not the Spirit in me, but the flesh in me.
Whenever I claim to be a disciple of Christ yet make no effort to make other disciples of Christ, it is not the Spirit in me, but the flesh in me.
Whenever I shrink back from sharing the gospel because of fear or shame or suffering, it is not the Spirit in me, but the flesh in me.
Whenever I stand in a crowd of people and remain unmoved because of apathy, it is not the Spirit in me, but the flesh in me.
Whenever I judge others, especially in a cavalier manner, for not being true disciples of Christ and yet make no effort to reach out to them, it is not the Spirit in me, but the flesh in me.
THE FOG OF THE WORLD ON MY SENSES.
According to the apostle Paul, “I believe, therefore I speak.” I’m glad someone believed enough to stand up in my grade 11 classroom and state that he was a Christian and a virgin. I’m glad someone believed enough to give me a tract called, “How to find peace with God.” (A tract that meant so much to me I kept it for years until I lost it in a flood.) I’m glad someone believed enough to give me a Bible to read, even when I lived in a quasi-commune and was steeped in sin. I didn’t look like I was open at the time and I certainly didn’t act like I was open. In fact, if I met my teenage self today, I probably would not share my faith with me! But others did. A debt I can never repay.
I have realized – no great insight — that the more I need the world to meet my needs, the less inclined I am to share my faith. The more at home I feel in the world, the more comfortable, the less inclined I am to share my faith. The more engaged I am with the world, the less inclined I am to share my faith. The more I envy those in the world, the less inclined I am to share my faith. The more distracted, entangled and worried I become from being in the world, the less inclined I am to share my faith. The world is a lie, a fog, a stupor on my spiritual senses. Can you relate to this?
The Bible gives very few reasons as to why a Christian does not share their faith: unbelief, cowardice, shame, laziness and apathy. However, I’ve put together a list of 50 biblical motivations meant to encourage and inspire us to actively share our faith! Hopefully, even one or two of them will move me to compassion and consistent action. To find another me! Or find another you! PDF: Biblical Motivations To Seek and Save The Lost