Okay, my mind must already be on weekend mode because I am having a hard time staying focused today. I hope you all are doing better than me and can find something in what God has to say, through me, today.
Have you ever gone to a bible study and walked away with some great little tidbits of God that had really nothing to do with the intended bible study? Well, that is exactly what happened to me last night. We are currently doing a study on the Holy Spirit, which I did learn a lot about, but what really stuck with me were a few side comments. I will concentrate on one of those side comments today and share the other one next week.
My pastor asked the group whether or not we thought we were good witnesses. I immediately shouted “no” because I know it is an issue I struggle with. I am great about witnessing if I can hide behind a computer, but I rarely witness in person. Why? I think it boils down to fear of rejection and what others think about me. Furthermore, sometimes I feel that the information is out there, if people really want Jesus, they know where to find him. [It sounds a lot more callous when I type it out. Ouch!] However, we are called to witness and share our faith with others, so I must step up and start speaking about my faith.
That reminder was good, but what really got me was 1 Corinthians 15:1-11:
“Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters,[a] of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.[b]
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter[c] and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers[d] at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.”
Bible Basics According to 1 Corinthians 15
1) Christ died for our sins; (2) He was buried; (3) He rose again on the third day and was seen by many; (4) Grace
These verses lay out the fundamental points that we must share with new believers or seekers. Lets face it, the Bible can be overwhelming, so we need to share the gospel in baby steps. Someone pointed out last night that it is helpful to share the gospel to others like you would to your child. This is not to be condescending, but we all must start somewhere and children’s bibles can be very helpful when it comes to nailing down the basics. It is important to remember that God will build on the basics, so we don’t have to throw everything at them at once.
This was such a “light bulb” moment for me because I have been struggling with the whole grace/repentance issue and I have been getting so frustrated with people. I am in a place right now where God is pushing me to be obedient and to not let me rest in my grace; he is calling me to walk in obedience; therefore, I was feeling everyone should be there. God really got a hold of me last night and reminded me that everyone is in a different place in their walk with God. What I am ready for is not what my neighbor is ready for. Where I am is not where my best friend is. It is not my job to bring everyone to where I am; it is my job to bring everyone to where Christ is and allow him to work in them.
Let us make it a point today to share our faith with a least one person. I am not asking you to sit down and share the whole gospel with someone, but take a moment to talk about God with someone today. After all, you never know who could be listening.
Thank you Lord, for giving me answers in places we least expect them. Thank you for continuing to grow me and bring me closer to you. Help me be bold in my faith so that I can carry out your work and bring others into a closer relationship with you. Give me words to speak, give me strength to speak, and guide me along the way. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!
Have a great weekend and God bless,