Monday, November 24, 2014

sharing the gift (part 1)

Most people believe sharing the gospel is important, however, they don't take the necessary steps to make it their own personal responsibility or priority. But it is important for us to always assess our role as Christ's followers to better understand what Jesus has called each of us to do regarding evangelism.

The apostle Paul expressed his feelings about being a witness for Christ in Romans 1:13-15. As he wrote about his desire to go to Rome to share the message of Christ, he described the act of sharing the gospel as an "obligation" or a debt to tell others about Jesus. When you think of how you view your family, friends, co-workers, even strangers - - do you also view it as an obligation... or perhaps an inconvienence? If it is the latter, you need to rethink your willingness to follow God's commands to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Sharing the gospel is an obligation. It is why we are here.... to love our Lord with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. There is no greater love than Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are called to share His message because we are to love.

Among the last words of Jesus in every one of the Gospels, was a command for His followers to be witnesses of what they had seen and experienced. In Matthew 28:19, Christ said to, "make disciples of all nations." In Mark 16:15, "to preach the good news to all creation." In Luke 24:47, "repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations." And in John 20:21, Christ says, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."

Paul worded it this way, "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20) What is an ambassador? An ambassador is one who is appointed by God to declare His will. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ - that is our designation: Ambassadors. We are on a special mission from Jesus to urge others to be reconciled with God through faith in Christ.

How do we urge others?

Too many people in this world have never heard the message of Christ. Romans 10:17 states that, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." In order for anyone to hear the gospel, someone must be willing to share it. So, to urge others, we must speak up. People need to hear the gospel in order to have the opportunity to believe the gospel.

According to John 3:18 & 36, the person who does not accept Jesus will miss abundant and eternal life. Without Christ, they will face God's wrath and judgement and ultimately be separated from His goodness. There will be weeping and nashing of teeth and utter despair for those who reject Jesus gift of salvation. Sadly, they will be in this hopeless state - FOREVER!

Think about that... Would you have wished such hopelessness for yourself? Of course not!!!

What about the people you already know who are not saved? Are you loving that person as you'd love your own self if you continue to refrain from sharing God's message?

What would happen if you did share the gospel and they accepted Jesus? How would it affect their lives and the lives of others that they know? What would the chain effect be if others became true followers of Christ also? Aren't such potential changes worth the risk? If you don't think so, I must ask - are YOU really following Jesus?

It is part of growing in Christ to genuinely care about people and love them as He does. Jesus showed us with His own life the lesson that no risk should outweigh the opportunity to present God's redeeming plan.

Admittedly, it can be uncomfortable to share the gospel. Paul expresses his own feelings of weakness, fear and inadequateness in 1 Corinthians 2:3. But Paul also acknowledges that being intimidated when sharing the gospel can increase our own faith and grow us further spiritually. God promises to give us great strength when we feel weak and inadequate. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "My grace is sufficient in you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

It is interesting to see that in our williness to share the gospel, God is also molding us to grow further in Him. God set up His plan for us to be involved in spreading the gospel. By acting as his agents, He also matures us.

We are to be like fishermen. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus said, "Come, follow me.... and I will make you fishers of men." Let's be honest...it doesn't take much to learn how to fish. Sure you need a little knowledge, but it isn't rocket science. Equally, one's amount of Bible knowledge will not make us catch more or less fish if we trust that God is really the One controlling the success of our nets. He has been clear that He wants us to share in the witnessing process... to show up... to throw out that net... Then, we must trust the Holy Spirit to enable us be effectively used as well as open the hearts of those who will accept and receive Him. We are accountable for our particpation, not our production. God will work out the results.

Let's stop here and reflect on these truths today. Let's pray to the Lord to give us a heart to reach the lost. Let's ask God to cleanse us of any sin that is hindering or preventing us from following His ways. (Lack of Compassion, Fear, Rejection, Etc.) Most importantly, let's submit to His call to LOVE our neighbors as ourselves.

It is so true that "the number of workers do not match the size of the ready harvest." (Matthew 9:36-38) Let's pray for one another, DW's. Let's ask God to use each of us to share His message to the many broken people out there who desperately need Him.

We can do this, ladies. We are HIS! Let's learn how to share the gift!!!

Blessings!

Victoria

© 2013 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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