Acts 4:20 - For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.
A colleague and I met with the manager of a hall we were going to rent. It was a pleasant meeting, and the negotiations soon were concluded.
As we were about to leave, the manager asked if we could spare a few minutes. We agreed that we could and with that, the manager produced some colored photos of an albino koala. It seems the manager is also a professional photographer, and his favorite subjects are animals.
Well, in a few minutes, my colleague and I heard far more about the koala than we ever cared to know. But the manager was just getting warmed up. As he went on, we made several attempts to end the conversation and be on our way. Nothing doing. He kept talking to us, and we heard much about the koala: its habitat, its diet, the way it ate, and the state of koala populations worldwide. It was quite a lesson.
The point is here was a man so filled with enthusiasm about his affection for the koala that he just couldn't keep it to himself. He had to share what he knew with whomever would listen.
I tried it to remember the last time I had felt similarly enthused about sharing something. I couldn't. I then tried to remember the last time I had encountered anyone with a similar on-fire enthusiasm. An instance there escaped me, too. And then I felt an indictment which, it seems to me, many Christians must likely share.
I know and believe that Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life—and in my death. I know and have experienced what He has done for me in my life, and yet I seldom share this knowledge or faith with anyone. The enthusiasm of this man was up front and center, and he was delighted with the chance to share what clearly was a deep and abiding interest in his life.
I know talking about Jesus can be difficult. But I still have to ask myself, why I don't do it more than I do? Why don't I and my Christian friends have more stories to tell about our Gospel-sharing experiences? Is it because we feel these conversations have to look a certain way? Is it because we feel we have to impart some essential spiritual truth, or that we need a certain type of response from someone?
If so, this can certainly derail a chance to share our faith before it even begins. If we're looking for a certain formula for telling others about Jesus, or if we're convinced we're not the man or woman for the job, in all likelihood, these conversations will never occur.
As Christians we have the Holy Spirit. It is He and He alone who convicts of sin, who moves people to repentance and faith, and who wins hearts for God. And that's good to know; it takes the burden off of us. As for you and me, we are God's mouthpieces. We are to declare the mercies of the Father who has redeemed us through the blood of His Son and who wants all people to be saved.
God is for us. Let us go forth and boldly share His Good News.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, give us tongues to speak and voices to lift up Your Son to others. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, April 1978 issue, "What Do You Share Enthusiastically?" by Jon Suel
1. Can you remember the last time you were so excited about something you just had to share it?
2. Why do you think it is that sharing our faith is such a challenge? Shouldn't we be busting at the seams to share God's love and what He has done for us?
3. Do you welcome or resist spiritual conversations? If you resist, what do you do to work through that resistance?
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