One of the last times I shared the gospel it did not go well. Actually, it was a disaster.
Two young ladies approached me in a Barnes and Noble bookstore while I was shopping for a journaling bible. Maybe because I was in that specific section, they felt it would be easier to approach me.
They asked me if I had heard of “God the Mother” and began to share the tenets of their faith. I impatiently interrupted to refute their claims and share the gospel the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. When I did, things became contentious. It ended in a shouting match between us in the middle of a bookstore.
I was mortified. I felt ashamed. I condemned myself.
Why did I get so defensive and frustrated with them? Why did I not share the love of Christ with them? Why was I not quicker to listen and slower to speak? Why did I not share my testimony? Did I even remember to ask if they desired true salvation through Jesus?
I have to be honest. That experience made me pretty shy about boldly sharing the gospel. Even though those young ladies approached me, all I could imagine was someone reacting toward me in the same manner I reacted toward them.
God calls us as believers to tell people about Jesus Christ. It is a believer’s life purpose and mission to go out and share, but God never sends us out alone. The Holy Spirit goes before us to pave the way and lives within us to empower us to speak boldly, effectively, and humbly (Acts 4:29,31; Acts 14:1, Matthew 10:20).
God, in His sovereignty, places us in the right place at the right time to share with those who need Him (Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 139:5). All we have to do is be prepared in and out of season to share the reason for the hope that lives within us (1 Peter 3:15).
When we share, we can follow the example of Paul in Acts 26. Paul was bold but maintained his humility when he shared the gospel. Paul shared the gospel of Jesus Christ, but he also shared his own personal testimony. When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide all of our conversations, He will open up opportunities for us to share our faith (Revelation 3:8).
In Acts 26, God had divinely placed Paul in a position to share his faith and testimony before King Agrippa. Rather than give in to fear Paul said he was happy not only for the opportunity to defend himself, but also for the opportunity to share the gospel with the highest royal officials at that time.
Oftentimes we fail to see that God has divinely planted us where we are so we will provide fruit for those around us (John 15:4-5, 16).
You and I are nourishment for our family members, neighbors, coworkers, and even our social media followers. We have to ask ourselves, “What are we feeding them?”
In verses 1-23, Paul shared the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation and reconciliation with God. Notice that Paul also shared his personal testimony of how he specifically came to salvation.
Our personal testimony is important because it is our unique story of how God transformed our lives. Our testimony is simply this: What my life was like before Christ and how has it changed since salvation. Although people may argue about specific points in the Bible, no one can refute our personal story of God’s miraculous work in our lives.
Notice in verses 24-29, Paul was mocked and ridiculed. It is not our job to persuade, bully, or guilt anyone to accept Jesus as their Savior. All we do is boldly and humbly share, then we allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
I often pray God would grant me another opportunity to encounter those young women. I would apologize for my arrogance and frustration. Then I would humbly and lovingly share.
God loved me so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die in order to pay the price for my sins. I was a teenage runaway, a slave to sexual sin, solicitation, and pornography, ensnared by alcohol and pills, who lived a reckless life of hopelessness, anger, and despair. When I was at my worst, facing death, I came to myself and recognized everything I was doing was wrong. I begged God to help me, to fix me, to save me. I believed in my heart He could. I didn’t understand it at the time, but Jesus was alive at the right hand of God, praying on my behalf. Because of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, God reached His mighty hand into my life and rescued me. He made me new. My circumstances did not change immediately, but the one thing that did change immediately was I had hope. I felt loved in a way I never had before. I surrendered as God methodically cleansed me, mended my broken heart, healed old wounds, removed people from my life, and showed me how to live for Him and love like Him.
It can be scary to share the gospel. We may be ridiculed, mocked, dismissed, and abandoned. But we take that risk because we love God. To love God means we must love people, even the unlovable, unpleasant, and disrespectful ones (Matthew 22:37-39). God promises to provide us the power, the words, and the grace to do it unto Him with excellence (Matthew 7:7-8).
How can we pray for you as you go out into the world to share the gospel and your testimony?
Peace and grace to you,