Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tips for Sharing Your Faith

{Sharing Your Faith Starts in the Most Unexpected Place}

Sharing your faith can be terrifying, for many reasons: you don’t know how, you don’t know why, you feel inadequate, you feel incompetent, you feel guilty because you know you’re “supposed” to, etc.

I think when we understand why sharing our faith is so important, it makes it easier for us to know how to share our faith.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Apart from Christ, people have no chance at spending eternity in heaven with the Father. They will remain far off, in broken relationship, without hope. If we don’t share, they can’t hear. If they don’t hear, they can’t believe. If they don’t believe, there’s NO hope (Romans 10).

Sharing brings hope.

So how do we offer hope??
I don’t think sharing your faith starts with knowing “5 points of Evangelism” or an index card with good questions or any other list of “how to’s”. Those are helpful along the way, but not a starting place. So where do we start? What do we do?

#1) Be Compassionate
I think the place to start when sharing your faith is a place of brokenness, a place of compassion. Sharing your faith starts with a broken heart.

“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

Jesus looked on people with compassion. He was out teaching and proclaiming the gospel . . . with compassion. He hurt as He healed. That is where sharing starts. We are to feel mercy for the lost and love them so much that we look past our fears, to offer them hope.

#2) Pray Intentionally
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak." (Colossians 4:2-4)

We are to actively seek out opportunities through prayer to share Christ. The gospel is a message that must be spoken, it’s good news that must be announced! We must pray for open doors and for boldness and clarity when we speak.

#3) Live Authentically
"Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5-6)

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-14)

We are to live in a way that is authentic and honest. Our lives should bring credibility to the gospel and glorify the LORD. Our lives should be what attract's people to the gospel the most.

#4) Know Your Bible
"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15)

We are to be people who know our bibles. The reliability of the bible, the story of redemption in the bible, places to take people to see the beautiful work of Christ and Christ crucified. We need to be fluent in our bibles to be able to explain to people what we believe.

#5) Preach it!
"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:3-7)

Share your story of how you were once foolish, disobedient, and far off. Then share the message of the gospel, the good news, that Jesus died so that we may live! Share about His forgiveness of sin and His power to redeem.

Sharing your faith is NOT always easy, but hopefully these tips will help you to reach out to others the same way Christ reached down for us.

See compassionately.
Pray intentionally.
Live authentically.
Speak knowledgeably.
Preach boldly.

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