I start this post with a question: In the end analysis, what is your life supposed to be all about? What is the first purpose of the church?
I will take a shot at answering that: It’s about people. From cover to cover, the Bible teaches the ultimate treasure in this whole universe, God’s ultimate priority in this world, is to invite as many people as we possibly can into God’s family through Christ, His son. That is life……Nothing more exciting then people coming to KNOW GOD through JESUS. Nothing more exciting than to see them transformed and realize their identity as the sons and daughters of God. It is a book from cover to cover, expressing the Love that God has for us. It is our assignment to share our faith with others and in our message the truth of how deeply all people are loved by God.
Whenever Jesus was asked why he had come to Earth, he could distill it down to one truth, even though he said it in different ways.
And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.” (NLT)
Remember in his final commission, the Great Commission, just before he ascended to the Father, he said,
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (NIV) Share your Faith!
“Now you go for broke. Get out of your holy huddles and take the message of the cross and get it out there. Go” –where? — “into the whole world. Your world first and all of your world, your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Then do all you can to see that the message is shared everywhere. This is our personal and corporate support of global missions. Try to lead people to faith. And when you do, teach them to observe everything I’ve commanded you.
We share our faith through our prayers, our acts of love and service and kindness and be speaking to others of what God has done for us. It is leading a contagious Christian lifestyle.
What if I go for broke with sharing my faith, and what if we all did as a church?
Well, the Bible says if we go for broke in the power of the Holy Spirit, there’s a high likelihood that our friends and family members, our neighbors and colleagues are going to be redeemed. There is a high opportunity for us in this region to go and catch some fish for God. Souls.
Can you imagine if all of us just led ONE PERSON TO JESUS this NEXT YEAR….and suppose that ½ of them live in this area. Take the attendance of our church or any church for that matter. Seeing 50, 100, 200, or 700 new baby Christians showing up over the course of 12 months. This would revolutionize any church.
The heavenly rejoicing would be intense.
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (NIV)
The upside potential for the people we reach and for us as a church would be nothing short of amazing.
What about the downside risk? It is playing it safe.
The worst thing that could happen to me is someone would decline my gentle suggestion that they take a deeper look at their spiritual dimension. If I spoke to others about their spiritual dimension and they did not want to listen or go further….A polite “thanks, but no thanks.”
Don’t become so paralyzed by the possibility of a little social or emotional rejection that you fall into a pattern of never even trying, never risking, certainly not going for broke.
Jesus shed his blood for me and I cannot hang back and do nothing about it… I must in a loving and caring and kind way share my faith.
Remember a parable that Jesus told one time. It was a parable that has become famous now. It’s the parable of the sower and the seed. It is an encouraging parable, not a discouraging one. Jesus said, “There was once a sower. He had that bag of seed, and he knew what his job was. His job was to scatter seed and to scatter it and scatter it and scatter it.”
The Bible says he scattered it, and some of it fell on hard-packed soil. He would come back a week or a month later and realize all that effort, all that walking, all that scattering, it was a bust because the seed doesn’t grow on hard-packed soil. But he kept scattering anyways.
Then he would come back, and he would see that some of it fell on rocky soil, and it looked like the seed was going to come up, but then there wasn’t enough soil for the rootedness so the plant would die. It would be kind of discouraging to the sower, but he would keep sowing.
Then the Bible says that some fell on thorny soil and the seed would germinate and start to come up, but then the weeds would strangle it — another bust. A bust on the hard-packed soil, a bust on the rocky soil, a bust on the thorny soil. But what does Jesus say about the sower? He just kept on sowing. He did what sowers should do. He did not allow the lack of results to keep him from doing what he was called to do – sow.
He had character. He had perseverance. So he kept scattering seed, and then Jesus said, “Guess what? Some of it fell on fertile soil. And when it fell on fertile soil, it took root, and the roots went down deep, and the plant grew up. It became a big bush and birds nested in it. It was a beautiful thing.”
You know why Jesus told that story? Because you are the only Sowers Jesus has. There is no plan ‘B’ for Lompoc and Santa Barbara County and Vandenberg Air Force Base. It is us – Jesus entrusted the gospel to people like you and me. If you stop sowing there is no other plan.
Jesus knew: we were going to sow seed that falls on hard-packed soil and people aren’t going to respond. But Don’t quit! Sometimes rocky soil or the thorny soil and you’re going to get your hopes up and then your hopes are going to be dashed, but don’t quit!
Keep scattering seed, if only 25 percent will really take hold, the pessimist can say. Why do it? The optimist can say: Let’s just through more. I like that. Let’s just throw more seed. If 25% actually takes hold, then instead of through 100 seeds so 25 take root, how about we throw 200 seeds so 50 take root, or 300, or 400 or….well you get the point.
Because the return on investment is smaller (25%), just throw more seed. Tell more people, share more faith.
Faithful people share their faith.
A story in Matthew 9 tells about the friends of a man who was sick and paralyzed. They wanted him to be healed, so they brought him to Jesus by lowering him on his mat through an opening in the roof. The compassion, the willingness to work, be creative and get their friend to Jesus.
“When Jesus saw their faith ….” It was not the paralyzed man’s faith that led to the healing; it was that of his friends. When Jesus saw these four friends cared enough to bring their paralyzed friend, he said, “Those guys have great faith. They expect me to heal their friend,” and he did.
You have friends who are paralyzed and can’t get to Jesus. They are paralyzed by fear, guilt, doubt, pain, or maybe even resentment over being hurt in some church in the past. They are paralyzed, and they can’t get to Jesus on their own.
God is watching to see if you are going to be faithful enough to bring them. And if you are, God will honor your faith. He’ll not only heal your friend; He will find ways to bless you too.
As long as Christians — as long as the church — keeps reaching out to more unbelievers, God will keep blessing it. The moment a church family says that their church doesn’t need to grow anymore, they’re saying they don’t care about the lostness of humanity.
But as long as we keep saying we’re going to continue bringing paralyzed people to Jesus, God will bless not only our churches, but also our families, our businesses, and our lives.
Here is a promise: Someday you’re going to be sowing that seed out of heart and perseverance, and some of that seed is going to fall on fertile soil.
“When it does and someone gets saved, and you see life change and the beauty of the kingdom of God advancing one life at a time and you had something to do with it, oh man, you’re going to be so glad you didn’t quit!”
- There is joy in being a faithful sower of seed and partnering with God in the Harvest.
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.” (NIV)
Colossians 4:2-6Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (NIV).
The five habits of highly missional people are:
BLESS is a great acronym for sharing your faith.
B is for Bless: I will bless three people this week, at least one of whom is not a member of our church.
E is for Eat: I will eat with three people this week, at least one of whom is not a member of our church.
L is for Listen: I will spend at least one period of the week listening for the Spirit’s voice and asking Him who needs my life, my sharing of faith and hope.
L is for Learn: I will I will spend at least one period of the week learning more about Jesus Christ and how he related to and served people.
S is for Sent: Where is God wanting to send me and how can I help and support those who have already been sent, locally, globally, even within the context of our church ministry.
“I am not ashamed about the gospel of Christ…” (NIV)
I’m not going to shut up about it. I’m not going to let something like discouragement or lack of results silence my witness.
Studies estimate that an unbeliever has to hear the gospel about seven times before, on average, before they respond to it. So, keep going and sharing. Practice the B.E.L.L.S. points.
How many of you were lead to Christ by someone else?
Did you give your life over to Jesus the first time you heard? See, you are living proof that we must keep sharing the Gospel and never give up.
Share your faith, your life, your story, your love. Be generous with all you have been given and all that God has done for you.
Sharing with you and sharing with others,