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March 2, 2013

4

The importance of being joyful when sharing God’s Word with others

by Dave Malnes

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Col. 4:6)

“People may not read the Bible, but they read Christians. ..The most effective way for Christians to advertise the gospel is to conduct themselves in a way that will make it evident that Christ’s love has filled their hearts and lives.”  (Harlyn J. Kuschel)

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I vividly recall sitting in a classroom at Martin Luther College ready to start a new class entitled, “Lutheran Liturgy.” Expecting this class to be both dry and boring, I was taken aback when the professor bounded into the classroom with excitement and energy proclaiming, “I love teaching this class!” Like the dry bones of Ezekiel, the professor brought the subject to life with his enthusiasm and love for the material. It turned out to be one of the best classes I ever took.

Love for the subject influences our teaching. And love for people influences our witnessing. When walking the streets of Provo last summer, I was very conscious of being joyful when approaching the door of a Mormon. It makes a difference. It sends a message. We have good news to tell, good news of a Savior whose death on the cross has assured us of forgiveness and everlasting life. A message like that cannot help but affect the way we approach people. We have a message of joy that comes from a heart of joy.

Someone in history said that he cared not who wrote the nation’s laws if only he could write its songs. Culture is influenced by the songs people sing. The songs Christians sing pour forth from the faith we have in Christ and the trust we have in all of God’s promises. The psalmist sings out, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:3)

When speaking the truth in love we will want to display the song the Lord has placed in our hearts and minds. Out of the overflow of a thankful heart our mouth speaks the words God wants pre-Christians to hear. Our joy not only reflects our faith, but also registers with those who hear us.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mary Dial
    Mar 4 2013

    Wow!!!!joy is what comes, instantly when we think about the goodness of our God…..His Holy presence is forever with us, therefore , our joy is full all the time…..

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    • Dave Malnes
      Mar 6 2013

      Thanks Mary for the comment. That joy does comes from the Holy Spirit — the type of joy that is sincere, trustworthy and believable by others.

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      Reply
  2. Mar 13 2013

    Yes. Beautiful. And yet, so often, we talk of what we disapprove of, and evangelists talk of sin and hell in order to make the promises of God have meaning. Do not manipulate me by threatening me with Hell, but show me Heaven.

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    • Dave Malnes
      Mar 13 2013

      Joy presents the gift of salvation in a beautifully wrapped presented that beckons the hearer to open in a non-threatening, even curious way. Combined with words, it becomes a powerful tool used by God. Thanks for the reply. May the Lord bless your day abundantly.

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      Reply

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