A show of hands for those who share the gospel of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) with someone everyday!
Yeah, me too.
But don’t hold your head in shame. Come with me, let’s do better!
It is the job of the enemy to keep us so preoccupied with other things that we do not have the time or the energy or in some cases, the courage to share the gospel of the grace of God. But quickly, let’s remind ourselves of Romans 1:16.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Last week I had an encounter with a family who left a lasting (I pray) effect on me. Was it a blessing in disguise? You better believe it. I want to share this with you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
They were a family of three, sitting outside of a store I was leaving. As I stepped onto the sidewalk, I heard a man’s voice call “Excuse me, ma’am?”
It’s hot out and my skin is burning from sun exposure. My spaghetti strap dress is sticking to me. So I’m ready to find the car and some air conditioning. I turn around and see a tall, thin man wearing a wrinkled t-shirt and faded denim shorts. His hair was messy and damp. He was standing between the front of a pick-up truck and a soda machine.
“Ma’am, can I bother you for some spare change to get my boy something to drink,” he asked.
I’ve been approached by homeless people before and I almost always give them something, even the ones who are not as homeless as they say. I looked at the man and then inside the truck. A woman sat in the passenger’s side looking uncomfortable. And there was his son, an adorable little boy who could not have been any older than five years old. He was damp with sweat too. But he wore the most heart breaking grin on his innocent little face.
“Sure,” I said and began to pull change from my purse. I rarely carry a lot of cash but I gave him all that I had on me. It was only a few dollars but they were grateful.
The man and his wife thanked me. Then the little boy yelled to me, “Thank you lady!”
“You’re welcome, sweetheart,” I replied, close to tears. I was so touched.
I hurried away from them. I did not want them to see me cry. As I made it to the car, I wondered why I was so emotional. Was it hormones?
No. It was guilt.
I was guilty of at least a couple of things in this situation. Here I was mad because I couldn’t find sandals to match my sundress. Then I run into this child who was happy to get a seventy five cent can soda. This father was in such bad shape that he could not afford to buy his son a can soda! What an evil world we live in! The more I thought about it, the harder I cried and the guiltier I felt.
I don’t have much. But my family and I are blessed to have all that we need and some of what we want. My sandal search was suddenly so trite that I stopped looking. I wanted to give that family more, but I could not. But the most important thing I could have given them, I did not. I fell short. Acts 3:6 played over and over in my head. “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:”
And that brings me to my second failure. I did not share the gospel with them. It was a golden opportunity. But I allowed my “self” to get in the way. If only I had a pamphlet or a tract to give to them. If only I had the courage to hide my tears long enough to share some good news with them.
So I failed.
How many of us are guilty are the same thing? How many times do we have random conversations with people in the grocery store or the movie ticket line? What are we talking about? Does our speech reflect who we are and who we represent?
1 Timothy 4
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
11 These things command and teach.
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Are we on the job? Or, are we on a break? Are we taking our ministry work as seriously as we take our earthly, man given jobs?
Most of us have a full time 40 hour work week. We have families, appointments and other activities that keep us busy and so exhausted. These things are unfortunately necessary to live here on planet earth (Satan’s temporary dominion). I know that the flesh is weak but is not the Spirit willing? I (we) have to remember to never to get tired when there is an opportunity to save some one’s eternal life! Amen?
I can only speak for myself. I am willing to share with you that I can and will do a better job. We are all given gifts from the Holy Spirit to better equip us to deliver the great gospel of the grace of God (Ephesian 2:8-9). Some of us are teachers, musicians, writers. It does not matter how we do it. If we are lead by the Holy Spirit,all that matters is IF we share the gospel with others. We do so by using those gifts. As a member of the body of Christ, we all have something to contribute in some way. After all, that’s what are talents are for. Amen?
1 Corinthians 12
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
Let us continue to build the body of Christ. With our hands, our feet, our mouths, we have to share in love the precious gift that we have been given. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6.