(March 04, 2020) Carol Round challenges…
‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile’ declared Paul in Romans 1:16.
- Is it difficult for you to share the good news, the gospel of Jesus?
- Does fear of ridicule stop you from sharing?
- Maybe you don’t share because you think only your pastor, or an evangelist like Billy Graham, can be successful in the quest to tell others about the greatest news ever.
- Well… you’re not alone!
God isn’t looking for all-stars
After her father passed, Anne Graham Lotz described her daddy, Billy Graham like this: ‘When I think of him, I don’t think of Billy Graham, the public figure. I think of my Daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat, who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. He wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap, loved lukewarm coffee, sweet iced tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s.’
Continuing, she added, ‘God is not looking for all-stars. He already has an all-star, named Jesus. He is just looking for ordinary people who will follow the all-star, Jesus, with unwavering hearts. That’s you and me!’
An unwavering heart
If anyone had an unwavering heart, it was the apostle Paul. He was singular in his mission. Wherever he travelled, he preached Christ crucified. Whether it was the Pharisees or the philosophers in Athens, he preached the good news. Many said he was out-of-his mind.
How would you feel if those in the crowds called you crazy? Even with his reputation as a scholar and wise person, I’m sure Paul was hurt. He understood the truth of the gospel message. But the crowds’ responses didn’t stop him. He laid the hurt aside, willing to be labelled a fool for his beliefs. All for the sake of Christ.
Even today, sharing the gospel exposes us to ridicule. But, it’s not about us. Paul understood that.
It’s not about us
Sometimes it’s difficult to let go of the pain when we share the truth of God’s holy word and we’re rejected. I’ve been there and it hurt when a relative dismissed my overtures to plant those seeds. That was 17 years ago. Since then, I’ve learned it’s not about me but what God has called me to do. I had to let go of the hurt.
Learning to let his light shine through me has led to many opened doors and opportunities to share my faith. But until I was able to deal with my own sins and failures, releasing them to Jesus, I was fearful of sharing my story. This anonymous quote says it all – ‘Your story is the key that can unlock someone else’s prison.’
Until we let go of our shame, we’re still locked in a prison of our own making. When we seek freedom from out past through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, He sets us free. Escaping from our prison walls isn’t just for our benefit. It’s so we can help others discover Jesus.
Sharing Jesus in everyday life
Learning to use opportunities as they arise helps us to share our faith. God will open those doors of opportunity if we will only ask.
Establishing a connection with others at the grocery store, gym, or other places is easy if we’ll open our eyes and ears. When an opportunity arises, based on what someone says or what I observe, I use it to share part of my story. For example, while checking out, either the checker or someone else in line might make a comment about one of my purchases or comment on the weather. I can usually find an opening to insert an anecdote about what Jesus has done or is doing in my life.
Those opportunities usually, but not always, open the conversation to more sharing. Even if the person I’m conversing with is already a believer, I know others nearby can hear the exchange.
God uses the ordinary in everyday lives
God uses the ordinary, us, to tell people about Jesus. The possibilities are endless if we’re following his leading. Writer/director Jamie Paolinetti said, ‘Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.’
We don’t have to be ashamed or fearful about sharing our faith. Like Paul, we should all be singular in our mission to bring others to Christ.
1 Peter 3:15 reminds us to ‘always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…’
Carol Round, Special to Dan Wooding’s Assist News Service (www.assistnews.net ) founded by Dan Wooding), follows her passion of using her writing and speaking abilities to inspire others. She loves hearing from readers.
Recommended: Faith Matters (Carol uses everyday experiences to encourage her readers to seek a deeper relationship with the Lord. In Faith Matters, readers will find her down-to-earth sharing of real life and her Christian walk woven into each daily devotional). Links: Carol’s A Matter of Faith weekly column: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.carolaround.com. __________________________________________________________________________________