Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: Compass: SHARE what God has given! (LISTEN HERE)
Here’s my assumption this morning: Every Christian desires to and knows it’s important to share his faith with someone else.
Here’s my second assumption: Every Christian has certain fears about having that conversation about faith with someone else.
So let’s explore that this week and, God-willing, be not only encouraged, but also equipped to better and more confidently engage in spiritual conversations.
Often the discussion about sharing our faith starts with Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples of all nations…”
I don’t want to start here this morning. This passage is powerful, but can be overwhelming. It seems that the way to share our faith entails going to foreign nations and investing a lot of time to develop a person in their following of Jesus. We need baptisms and time to teach. All of this is important, but it seems, perhaps so daunting and so big, that we don’t do anything.
So let’s start in a different place. Acts 1.
Acts 1 records the last interaction Jesus has with his disciples. He knew they were filled with doubts. Perhaps there was anxiety about the future and what that would entail. While the promise Jesus gives is for those that first heard it, the Spirit of God recorded it for us to hear too. I don’t think I or you are that much different than the disciples.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Remember the power.
God never asks us to do something that he does not equip us to do. The disciples received a special outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, but if we are asked to do the things of the Spirit, the Spirit of God will work in us to accomplish them. We are not engaging in spiritual discussions on our own…or we don’t need to. So, tap into the power. Any electronic instrument has not power unless it is plugged in or has a charged battery. So, before engaging in a spiritual conversation, remember to ask for the Spirit’s power and wisdom as you do so…you may be surprised what comes out!
Remember the point.
I LOVE this passage because it reminds me what is at the point of sharing my faith…simply being a witness. Jesus doesn’t say, “You will be my doctors of theology.” He doesn’t say, “You will have every answer to every question any person may ever ask.” He doesn’t say, “You must be a full-time minister or pastor to share your faith.” No, he simply says, “Be my witnesses.”
A witness in a court of law does not speculate or surmise, they simply share their interaction with the event…what THEY saw…what THEY heard. It is a testimony to your experience with Jesus.
But perhaps this is a bit daunting…because we’ve never considered “What IS my experience with Jesus? What difference does it really make to be a follower of Jesus? How does Jesus make a difference in my life?”
If you were called to the witness stand to testify to your faith and connection to Jesus, what would you say? Take some time this week to think this through…because this is what Jesus is asking you to be ready to share!
Remember the people.
Jesus does indicate that witnesses for him would eventually go to the ends of the earth, but he reminds them to start locally: Jerusalem. Then go from there to Judea and Samaria.
What does this mean for us? You don’t have to go across the globe or get a passport to another country (although if God puts that on your heart…follow his lead!), it means start with the people in your proximity…the people you work with, go to school with, sit in the stands with, live next door to, etc. This is your “Jerusalem.”
Sharing our faith can be daunting, but let’s let God’s Spirit work in and on our hearts…and with his help it will be more natural and fun. Remember the power of the Spirit is at work in you to share what God has given to you with the people that God has put around you!
Apply: Take time today to think through your story. What is your experience with Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for equipping us to do what you are calling us to do…share you. Forgive us when we stay silent, feel inadequate or put up some other excuse. Embolden and give us confidence to share you with the people with whom we interact. AMEN.