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The ABC’s of Sharing Your Faith

In yesterday’s message, Gospel Declared, I alluded to the ABC’s of sharing your faith. I’d like to expand a bit on that in this Blog.

GospelSlide

The first word is available. If we are going to declare the gospel, we have to be available. I know that might seem just so like, Well, of course you do! But we’ve really got to understand this point and not simply brush it off because we have to be available for God to use our life. Matthew 9:37-38 says, “Then He said to His disciples, ‘the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”

Jesus is clearly making a serious point—there isn’t a harvest shortage; there is a laborer shortage. There is a shortage of people who are making themselves available to preach the gospel to every creature and fulfill the mandate from Mark 16:15 where Jesus told us to, “go into all the world and preach the gospel.”

Author and pastor Henry Blackaby wrote, “Many churches lack people who are willing to get involved in carrying out God’s redemptive work. The mission fields are crying out for Christians to go and share the gospel with those who have never heard it.”[1]

If we are going to declare the gospel, we have to make ourselves available.

Next, the B stands for bold. We not only need to be available but we also have to be bold. When we read Acts 4, we find a unique kind of bold attitude that is a watchword by which the early disciples lived. They were bold! They weren’t timid or sheepish. In fact, they were so bold that the religious leaders were amazed at Peter and John’s boldness, particularly because they were untrained and uneducated men (Acts 4:13). Despite threats and continued opposition they continued to share the gospel and ask for and receive boldness and power from God. (Acts 4:33).

Commenting on this passage pastor Skip Heitzig wrote, “Before there is conversion, there must be proclamation. Somebody must have enough guts and love for Christ to boldly proclaim the gospel. That is the New Testament pattern, which never changes.”[2]

Where did their boldness come from? It came from being filled with the Holy Spirit—not education. And, it came from serious prayer.

The early disciples went after it and so must we. If we are going to declare the gospel we need to be available, and we need boldness.

The C stands for compassion. Matthew 9:36 says, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

The people were weary and scattered—it means they were harassed and oppressed. They were as sheep having no shepherd. Friends, Jesus and the early disciples had compassion for the multitudes. Why? They looked at them with spiritual eyes instead of natural eyes. They weren’t so offended by their physical behavior that they despised them spiritually. They looked beyond their natural behavior to their spiritual needs. They saw that they were weary, oppressed, scattered, and lost. Then, they were moved with compassion.

Rebecca Pippert, in her classic book, Out of the Saltshaker & Into the World, wrote, “Our compassion and sensitivity towards others comes directly from our personal encounter with God’s grace through the gospel. We share the cross because it was the means whereby we have been set free, and we know it has the power to set others free too.”[3]

Availability, boldness and compassion are the ABC’s of sharing the gospel. Our availability and boldness combined with our compassion for others to know what God has done for us and will do for them should compel us to regularly, openly and fearlessly declare the Gospel.

[1] Henry and Richard Blackaby, Experiencing God Day by Day Devotional, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 1998, 2006), 15

[2] Skip Heitzig, Church: Who Needs It? (Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos, 2011), e-Book edition

[3] Rebecca Manley Pippert, Out of the Saltshaker & Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979, 1999), 165

3 responses to “The ABC’s of Sharing Your Faith”

  1. Eileen Koff says:

    Pastor,
    I wanted to share with you a paragraph in my book” Organize His Way” I pray it blesses you as much as you message meant to me here on Long Island.

    THE SOCK DRAWER STORY
    During one of my classes in “Organize His Way”, I gave what I call the “sock drawer” example. One of my students in the class stated that she had a drawer bulging from all of her socks. No matter how many times she tried to organize her array of socks (white crew and sport, black, brown, tan, red, green, blue, purple and yellow, dress, polka-dotted, toe-in, multicolored, striped and fuzzy) they all ended up in a mess just a few days later. As the organizing expert, I began my classic, “Have you tired this scenario?” A dear sister in the back of the room stood up. “Why don’t you just keep the essentials, the black, brown, and tan and a few favorites from the others. Let all the others go. As she was speaking you could see the sock student’s face contort with an expression of “I’d rather die than to let go of my socks!” When I saw her face, I was reminded of the rich young ruler and Jesus’s encounter. Even though the lad had kept the “law” upon hearing Jesus instruction to sell and give, he was greatly saddened. He knew what he must do, this was a once–in-a-lifetime opportunity, but he couldn’t let go of his treasures. His stuff had become his idol. God clearly states that we shall have no other idols above Him. God never demands we change. In this story, he doesn’t stop the ruler, he lets him go away, knowing how very sad he was. God will never force, or change His way to accommodate us. The sock drawer can stay as full as you want it to be. You can stay frustrated with the socks of life, or you can begin to let go and experience the freedom that is in Christ.

  2. Angela says:

    This morning I was reading Psalms 71. This chapter is one I wish to sing in this stage of my life. I want my witness to be of an imperfect being continuously crying out for his righteousness to deliver me. I want to used, I want the strength to be available, bold, & compassionate UNTIL I have passed this knowledge & power to this generation and those younger generations.