Most of us recall the intensely pleasant feeling of telling our friends about that dream car we just bought! Or outlining, with many details, the Kirk Gibson home run in 1988. Or calling our parents to describe the new girlfriend, and confessing with joy: “I think this is it.” Witnessing, or sharing our faith, is the same thing – we enthusiastically tell others about the change that Jesus has made in our life. Quarterback Kurt Warner likens it to simply calling out the front door to football teammates: “Hey! This is a great party going on in here! And the host is amazing!”
In Luke 8, Jesus heals a man who is homeless and psychotic because of a legion of invading demonic spirits. When the Savior miraculously sets him free, this man is so thankful that he immediately wants to be a disciple. But Jesus kindly says to him: Return home and tell how much God has done for you.
Right after Jesus is resurrected, he says to his disciples, both in the closing moments of Luke and then again in Acts: You are my witnesses. Take this story to the entire world. So in a missionary sense, and also in our own daily routines of life, we are to look for opportunities to bring the good news of grace and salvation to everyone we can.
Pastor Bill Hybels has coined this expression: “First you’ve got to barbecue.” Only after we establish friendships and attend (or host) a few neighborhood social events can we speak credibly with others about our faith. Obviously we can never share an experience we haven’t yet had ourselves, just as we can’t come back from a place we’ve never been! It’s also true that our testimony about Jesus’ saving power is only going to be persuasive if his power has made an attractive change in our own lives and if we’ve been faithful to our commitment for the long haul.
Many times a new friend will have a Bible question that God will help you answer. More often, people in our lives simply need to be reminded that God is real, that he loves them, that we are praying for them, and that the Christian community is a welcoming place ready to receive them with open arms as soon as they are ready. It is a rare person who will spurn your offer to do them a favor or to pray for their sick child.
It’s good for all of us to be ready with a simple expression of the spiritual reality of our lost world:
- God loves each of us and has a great purpose for our life. John 3:16.
- Sin has come in and created a barrier between us and God. Isaiah 59:2.
- In the gift of his own son Jesus on the cross, God invites us to return to him. Eph. 2:13.
- We have the privilege of accepting this free gift of salvation and knowing that we have the guaranteed promise of eternal life. John 5:24, I John 5:13, John 14:1-3.