When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.1 Corinthians 9:22-23
Acts 7:57-8:3; 9:1-25; 13:9; 16:22-24; 27:39-41; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23
The last words spoken from Jesus to His followers was the great commission to go and make disciples of all the nations, but the earliest Christians were reluctant to leave Jerusalem. Only because of widespread persecution were the believers forced to spread out into the nearby areas of Judea and Samaria, where Jesus had specifically instructed them to go! Paul was ready and enthusiastic to take the gospel wherever he could. The Good news had changed his life forever and he was intent on sharing God’s goodness to all people as he went through his missionary journeys. Jesus had spoken to Paul and told him that he was God’s chosen instrument to bring the gospel to the Gentiles, to kings and to the people of Israel.
Instead of looking back on his past with regret and constant shame, Paul knew that God had called him to a purpose that demanded keeping his eyes facing forward. In order to live as a redeemed Christian, he had to let Christ redeem his past as well. We see this in the way Paul was able to take his training and knowledge of Jewish law to stand toe to toe with the Pharisees, with doubters, and even with other believers who were spreading false doctrine. When the Holy Spirit was not directing Paul’s footsteps, he knew to keep going. Sometimes when we do not feel like we are hearing from God we freeze, but Paul shows us how to keep marching forward doing what you know to do. When God needed to give Him guidance, guidance was given.
The message of Jesus is a message for everyone, everywhere. This is important to remember when we are faced with trying to decide about whether or not we should share our faith with someone. Although it is always beneficial to learn what we can about God and to become secure in our understanding, at a certain point we must be active stewards of the knowledge and faith we have been given by sharing it with others. The mission of God is the reconciliation of all humanity back to Himself. By sharing our faith through our relationships and love of others, we partner with Him in this great ministry of reconciliation. Just like He did with Paul, God has rescued each of us from the grip of sin and death and His will is always for us to partner with Him in rescuing others as well!
Questions to think about:
- Oftentimes the first step in sharing your faith with someone is earning their trust. Who is in your life right now that needs Jesus, but that you first need to build some trust with?
- You can introduce people to Jesus before ever speaking a word about Him by how you live. What are some new ways you can reflect Jesus in who you are and how you act towards the people in your life?
- Knowing God wants us to give us opportunities to share and bless others, what can you ask God for help with in preparing for situations that may come? An example could be “Help give me courage and to know when you want me to speak.”