Chuckling in your face.
Wincing in disapproval.
Polite smiles with a faraway look in their eyes.
God’s Word has that effect on people.
Negative reactions received when placing ourselves on a limb can cause us to think twice when future opportunities present themselves.
Gifted evangelists never seem to get rattled.
Fearless. Bold. They readily talk about their faith with anyone in their midst.
But many Christians are reluctant and twinge in embarrassment at the prospect of sharing the message of salvation in Christ. When golden moments to share our faith float away in full sail, reluctant witnesses remain on the shores of guilt and watch those moments fade off into the distance.
What causes a person to dive off the high board of their own inadequacy and into the pool of being God’s ambassador?
What drives a soul to jump off the ledge of their own fears of rejection and share the good news of forgiveness, redemption, and peace?
Are we like Gideon, demanding a sign before we step out in faith?
Are we like Jonah, who think our new next door neighbors reside in Nineveh and stay away?
I wonder how the Apostle Paul would answer these questions?
He understood weakness. In fact, his weakness was a source of great strength.
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
He understood what it meant to be timid. He confesses that he is timid when meeting people face-to-face. Perhaps Paul was not gregarious, outgoing, or an extrovert — all characteristics we consider as witnessing giants.
Paul appears humble, yet bold. Resolute, yet gentle. Persistent, yet discerning.
The reactions to Paul were not limited to sharp criticism or rebuke. He was chased, imprisoned, beaten, and stoned. He said, “Three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a day and night in the open sea.” All for the cause of sharing God’s Word.
Sharing God’s Word is not a personality trait, but a calm conviction that what God says is true.
People come to the knowledge of truth through the power of God’s Word — and he uses us to point to it.
Only by the grace of God a soul is saved from the consequences of sin — and he uses us to transmit its message.
God uses jars of clay to further his purposes. He tells us to go, teach, and baptize all nations. And our peace comes from taking God at His Word when he says, “And I will be with you always.”
Here are four key discoveries in overcoming fear in evangelism:
1. Only after we jump off the high dive of our own inadequacy, we discover that Christ has always been there to catch us. Like a little child jumping off the side of the pool we fall into our father’s arms.
2. Only after jumping off the ledge of our own fears of rejection, we discover that we were simply meeting a divine appointment — one pre-arranged by God.
3. Negative reactions by people are not to be taken at face value. It’s not personal. Their soil was simply not ready for them to respond well.
4. Fear is a normal response. Sharing God’s Word is not a natural. It does take courage. It does require a measure of boldness. Yet, in that sharing, we discover that the sharing no longer becomes about us, but Christ in us.
That is the strength that comes from weakness! And to regularly experience that power and presence most often comes from sharing God’s Word with others.
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