Friday, March 14, 2014

Just Share Jesus

                Last night in our women’s group we talked about sharing Jesus. One of the things that each of us is experiencing out of our study is the desire to share Jesus more boldly than we have before. Each one of us is noticing that we are seeing more and more opportunities to share, and we have a deeper desire to show people who Jesus is. We are more willing to take those open doors of opportunity than ever before. We have been praying for each other to have boldness for Jesus, to not shy away from these opportunities but to speak boldly about who Jesus is and how much He loves us. This is something that we are seeing in the book of Acts, a boldness in the disciples to share Jesus at every opportunity.

                How many of us on a daily basis have doors opened to share the gospel but don’t walk through those doors? How many of us have an opportunity to show forth the love of Christ to a hurting co-worker, or unsaved family member, but we don’t do it? The disciples in the book of Acts shared Jesus at all costs. Their very lives proclaimed His goodness and His grace. And they were not ashamed to share it, speak it and walk it out before a world that wanted to snuff them out.
                “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 8:4
                We all know the story of Stephen and Saul. Stephen preached a sermon to the Sanhedrin that caused them to be so convicted that it angered them, and they stoned him for it. (Acts 7) They were so furious with him that they picked up stones and killed him right there. Watching and cheering these men on was Saul, who became determined to exterminate anyone who even claimed the name of Jesus. The church in Jerusalem began to suffer great persecution, and many of the disciples fled into the other parts of the country- seeking refuge from the fire breathing Pharisee known as Saul.
                But that did not stop them from sharing Jesus. Acts 8:4 tells us that they went everywhere preaching the word. I did some digging on this verse and discovered that “preaching” is actually from the same root word as sharing. These disciples who were scattered everywhere were not going into the local synagogues and preaching sermons, they were just sharing who Jesus was in their everyday lives. They were ordinary people with jobs, homes, soccer practices, and swim meets who talked about Jesus.

                We get so caught up sometimes in saying the right things, in trying to operate in the gift of evangelism that we forget to just simply share our faith. Sometimes, just saying “Jesus loves you” is all someone needs to hear. God wants us to share our faith, to talk about Jesus to others in our daily lives. Tell people what He has done for you, what He is doing for you, share your struggles with them, and then share with them how He is working in you and through you. Share with them, be real with them. We make it so much harder than it needs to be. All God wants us to do is talk about Jesus.
                It is not by chance that we are where we are in this world. Our jobs, businesses, schools, swim meets and soccer teams, are not by chance or by our decisions. God has placed us in these areas with a strategic plan to use us. The job you have is for the Lord to use for His glory, and for you to share Jesus with those around you. God has placed you there to share Jesus with someone, or even many someone’s. Someone will see Jesus in you or hear you share who Jesus is and God will use that seed to bring them to salvation.            
                We make it so much harder than it needs to be. One of the things that I have noticed in my own walk is that so many times I have had opportunities to say “Thank you” when I could have said, “Jesus loves you”, instead.  What stops us from sharing our faith openly with others? Fear, mainly. Fear that they might reject us, fear that we might lose our jobs, and fear that we may be persecuted for being a Christian. So again, what stops us? We do. We stop the Holy Spirit from being able to freely flow through us because we are more concerned about what others might think than what God will think.
                The disciples in the book of Acts moved to other cities because Saul was out to kill them. But that did not stop them from sharing Jesus with the people around them. These moms stood on the practice fields and prayed with their children, shared Jesus with the other moms as their children ran up and down passing the soccer balls. These dads shared Jesus in their daily careers. They listened to Christian music when it was their turn for car pool. They talked about Jesus to their co-workers, they prayed before they ate their lunches, openly, I might add. They shared who Jesus was to them with everyone- not only in words, but in deeds as well. They were not afraid of persecution as much as they were of missed opportunities.
                God will make divine appointments right where we are at. The question is are we willing and ready to walk through those doors of opportunity when the Lord opens them? Or are we afraid of what others might think, or of what others might say. What if instead of saying, “Thank you” to the lady at the grocery store check out, we instead said, “Jesus loves you- be blessed in Him today.” Or what if we spent some time on our lunch hour reading our bibles instead of sitting at the table listening to the latest office gossip? What if we started to share Jesus Monday through Saturday, instead of saving Him for Sunday only?
   We are not in these jobs, these car pools, and these soccer leagues by chance. God has placed each one of us strategically to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. The disciples in the book of Acts were bold, and I pray today that we too would become bold witnesses for Christ. But their boldness was not an in your face boldness, screaming and shouting from the roof-tops that all who refused to believe were going to hell. No, their boldness was in their willingness to share Jesus in their everyday lives. We make this so much harder than it needs to be. Just tell them about Jesus, and show them Who He is, everyday- sow those seeds of His love, and let God bring the increase.
                There are some who will reject you, and you may even be disciplined about it at your job. But, wouldn't you rather be persecuted for the name of Jesus than be a safe Christian, and never let the light you have been given shine? The choice is yours- we can share Jesus in our everyday lives, or not.  If we want to be disciples, true disciples, then we have to come out of our safe zones and share Jesus in our everyday lives. Think of the impact you alone can have on the world by just telling someone how much Jesus loves them.

                I pray today that we would all come to a place where we desire to be bold, where we desire to share Jesus in our everyday lives. Father God, You give us opportunity after opportunity to share Your grace with the world. May we have eyes that are opened to see these doors and may we have the boldness to walk through them. In Jesus Name, amen and amen.