Are You Telling Others About Jesus?
Will there be anyone in heaven because of you? This question got my attention in a recent discussion at our ladies’ weekly Bible study. The question comes from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, and I admit it made me stop and think about my life and how I respond to opportunities to serve the Lord.
One area of my life where I feel I have fallen short of what Jesus desires of me, is sharing “the good news about God’s kingdom.” (Luke 4:43) Jesus’ word tells me that I am His ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) and that I am to “go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) This is not a suggestion; it is a command.
The Amplified Bible states it this way:
2 preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 (AMP)
This verse states clearly that we are to preach the word at all times—not just when it is convenient or comfortable. We need to correct, warn, encourage, and teach with patience and love. God wants us to share with others that He loved us enough to send His Son to die on a cross for our sins so that we could belong to Him for eternity. (John 3:16) Shouldn’t we love Him enough to obey what He commands?
Every time I read verses telling me to “share the good news” or “go into the world and make disciples” I cringe in fear. I consider myself an introvert. I prefer to stay to myself, surround myself with people I know and love, and not “rock the boat” in mine or anyone else’s world. The reality is that I’d rather be a wallflower, unnoticed and unobserved. I’m not an evangelical speaker; speaking in front of people terrifies me, and speaking in front of strangers leaves me tongue-tied. In my mind, this does not sound like a person “qualified” to “go and make disciples.”
Who do I think is “qualified” to share “the good news?” I used to think it was someone who was knowledgeable and educated in Scripture, someone who was outgoing, friendly, and confident, and someone who was a very good public speaker. Again, these are not qualities I possess, so I have spent most of my Christian life feeling ill-prepared and unable to live up to this “share the good news” command.
However, as I recently looked more intently at this command, I noticed that Jesus didn’t tell us we have to follow a certain procedure to “go and make disciples.” He didn’t give us a checklist to complete or a step-by-step process we must follow. What He did give us is the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. He also gifted each of us with different Spiritual gifts to use in our service to His kingdom. Perhaps this was because each person reacts and learns according to his/her own personality.We have each been given the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us and gifted with our own unique Spiritual gifts to… Click To Tweet
What might reach one person through eloquent speaking may be confusing, intimidating, or too hard to understand for someone else. Some people might respond better through music, teaching, or a written story. Some might need to hear a message through shared life experiences, and another person might need to see it backed up with written Scripture. Some people can respond to the Word in a crowd, while others need more one-on-one discussion. There are as many different ways to communicate with others as there are individual people.
With this in mind, it seems that God may be putting people in our paths that will allow each of us to use our own personal gifts to reach out in our own special way. It may require us to step out of our comfort zone, but we would hopefully, not be frozen in fear as we share what we feel compelled to share. In addition to that, He has also given us his promise, that no matter what, He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). That means He is with us in every circumstance and every situation and should reassure us that when we don’t know the words to say or how to say it, we can ask Him to speak through us.
I have determined that I have been making this “share the good news” and “go and make disciples” a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Since I am not a theologian, public speaker, or educator, I can only share what I know. I am qualified to share what I have seen and what I have experienced. I can share how I have been encouraged and inspired by His word, and even share verses of Scripture that have spoken to me personally. Or I can share instances in my life where I have seen and experienced God’s presence. This is something I know I can do.
Occasions will come my way where I can share the “good news.” I decided to make a list of important things I want to remember so that I will be ready to meet these opportunities:
- I will remember that I am an “ambassador” of God. As His official messenger I am accountable for obeying His commands.
- I can ask God to place me in situations where I can be a witness for him. Opportunities will come—I just need to pay attention!
- I will look for opportunities to share what God has done for me in my life. Getting nervous and tongue-tied, I will probably not easily remember a pre-memorized script and if I do, it might not be appropriate in every situation. What I can do, is take advantage of any opportunity I have to share how I have experienced God’s presence in my life. I can also share how I’ve personally seen Him work in others’ lives as well.
- I will ask God for the words to say and allow Him to speak through me. I will remember that “it’s not about me.” I can do this as I take a few deep breaths before I dive in. With each breath I can say a prayer for God’s guidance and allow His peace to fill me.
- I will trust Him to be with me, guide me, and give me the words to say when I need them. I will remember that He has promised to never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5) and that He is always with me. (Matthew 28:20)
- I will remember that I cannot save someone; only God can do that. I can tell them about God and his plan for salvation, but I cannot make another person make the decision to follow Christ. I can only do what is within my power to do and that is share who God is to me, about His presence in my life, and about the hope I have of spending eternity with Him in heaven.
How about you? Are you sharing the “good news” and going out into the world to make disciples? Perhaps these reminders might encourage you to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. Psalm 96:3 (NIV)
But Jesus said, “People in other towns must hear the good news about God’s kingdom. That’s why I was sent.” Luke 4:43 (CEV)
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 (NIV)
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
Let’s determine today to live our lives in a way that when we get to heaven, someone will come up to us and say, “I’m in heaven because of you sharing the “good news” and introducing me to the love my Savior.”