Welcome to my blog! Each week I post new thoughts on worshiping God through a transformed life in Jesus Christ. I also invite you to check out my new book “The Isaiah Encounter: Living an Everyday Life of Worship” on Amazon and at selected bookstores (Published by Morgan James Publishing). I appreciate your help in telling friends and churches about this exciting resource!
At the end of a worship service last Sunday I had the privilege of spending a few minutes speaking with Joshua, a young man whose family I know. Joshua told me many of his friends hold an atheistic worldview—they don’t believe there is a God. Joshua really cares about them and wants to share the new freedom, hope, and life He has found in Jesus Christ, but they are resistant to conversations with him. He feels frustrated and disheartened by their lack of openness to reasonable discussions. At the end of our brief time together, a couple of us prayed for his friends. We also prayed for Joshua in his relationships and interactions with those friends, and then pointed him to someone who could walk alongside him as he continues being equipped in his knowledge of God and His Word.
Worship compels us to demonstrate and share God’s love and plan with people. I was moved by Joshua’s desire to share Christ with his friends. When we experience God in a deep way, we will want to tell people we know and love. In fact, one of the fruits of a life given over to God as an act of worship is another Christ follower! For those who have said “Yes” to God, He implants a desire to point others to Jesus. It’s important, however, that we become knowledgeable and discerning about the processes God uses to draw people to Himself. This isn’t about techniques or methodology, but about the foundational spiritual underpinnings of our faith in Christ, as well as His work in and through us.
With that in mind, here are a few thoughts to consider:
Before we even consider sharing Christ, we need to ask ourselves: Has God given me such love for this person —or these people— that I am driven to deep prayer for them? There are people in my life right now for whom I feel compelled to pray, sometimes on my knees in the middle of the night. If your heart isn’t filled with love for people, ask God to implant His love for them in you. Then allow God to fan that love into the flame of passion for their eternal well-being. We should never, EVER share our faith if there is any hint of the “I’m better than they are “ attitude or if we are sharing our story out of anger or to validate our own status. Prayer is always the first and most important step in sharing Christ with someone else, even if it takes years or decades before we see the answer to those prayers.
God is the initiator of His saving work in other people’s lives: not us.
Our job is simple: follow God’s promptings. We enter into dangerous territory when we get ahead of God and try doing things our way; it’s also dangerous when we are too slow or negligent in responding to God’s call. Pay attention to The Holy’s Spirit’s leading and respond when He indicates—don’t try to do His work for Him! Simply follow God and move as He leads and empowers us.
Each one of us is a link in God’s chain of salvation for someone. God may call one of us to plant a seed, and another to nurture what someone else planted. Finally, God may ask us to be ready to walk alongside and pray with someone when they realize their need for Jesus and want to know Him. We need humility so that we don’t claim people as our personal converts, but as brothers and sisters who were purchased at great cost by our Lord Jesus Christ—just like us. When we have this perspective, we can rest and faithfully do what God has ordained for us to do.
Live consistently. Many people are watching us to see if we will be true to our beliefs and life in Christ over the long haul. This is not about performing, but about standing firm in our relationship with God in the trials and triumphs of life. As one person told me years ago, “For many people, the only Bible they will ever read in your life.”
Serve humbly. It can be challenging to give to someone who is walking away from God, but Jesus reminds us that whenever we do for “the least of these” we also do for Him. When we have experienced the wings of God lifting us out of the depths of life, how can we say no when God asks us to share those wings with someone else? Serving someone in the name of Christ is an investment in God’s eternal kingdom, and gives our faith more credibility. Look for opportunities to serve the people God has put before you.
Be ready to share authentically and personally. In a world where so many people are revealed to be much different than their public image, we are called to be real, authentic people who have been saved by the grace of God in Jesus Christ. We are also asked to stand ready to share what God has done for us and in us. Here’s how the Apostle Peter stated it:
“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…”
1 Peter 3:15
Many times God has called me to share my faith with individuals and in front of large groups. With each opportunity I have asked God for His Holy Spirit and Word to shine through, and that I would listen and share out of love for Him and the people He has placed before me. I share my story and my deep need for God, pointing to Jesus Christ and His faithful, saving work in my life. I invite and encourage them to experience Him and show them the simple steps toward an amazing new life with God. Then I step back and let God do His work, knowing that I’m not responsible for the results, only for faithfully what He asked me to do.
I don’t know how God will use you to point people to Him, but I know He is calling us to do this. Like my friend Joshua, I pray that our love for people will compel us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them.
God bless you!