Evangelism (sharing the story of Jesus) can be a scary word, and with all things that we find scary, it can be easier to avoid than to do. There are lots of reasons why we don’t do it; we’re not confident, we’re worried we wont do it properly, we worried about being made to look silly, or being rejected, and ruining friendships.
These are understandable reasons, and I know I’ve being to scared or embarrassed to share about Jesus heaps of times. This year, we really want to encourage and to help us all to feel more confident about sharing what it is we believe about Jesus. We want others to know him. There isn’t only one way to do it. We all have a story to tell and there are ways we can feel easier about sharing our faith.
On Sunday looking at the first part of Acts 1, we saw three things that the writer focussed on in his introduction.
- He reminded his reader that Jesus had risen from the dead. That he had conquered death, and that he demonstrated it by appearing to a number of people. For us everything hangs on the resurrection. As Paul says with out it our faith is pointless. We believe only because Jesus has risen. The evidence for it is an empty tomb, Jesus followers saw him and told others about him, and the church grew. None of this can be explained without a resurrection.
- Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit – wait, Jesus says, until the Spirit comes, then go and be my witnesses. In other words, ‘I’m not leaving you alone, I’m giving you the power you need to do what I’m asking you to do.
- Hope – Jesus has said he is coming back, and that those who believe in him will have eternal life. We have meaning and purpose for living. Life isn’t just about now, but about a certain and perfect future.
These three things can give us confidence about out story. We believe in a risen Jesus, not just an interesting historical figure, but God himself who is the God of the living not the dead. We do have the Holy Spirit to help us, and our story of hope is one that is for everyone.
The BIG deal is, our job is simply to tell God’s story and our story as best we can in our time, place and culture. We’re not responsible for people believing in Jesus and being saved, that’s Jesus’ job.
BUT we do have a story and we have been told to tell it. We can do it way more effectively when we commit our efforts to God and seek him, his guidance and direction and power. We want to see Jesus moving in the lives of people, we want to see our church grow. So as a part of that, acknowledging our dependence on God, we will have a time of 21 days of prayer and fasting, and we’ll introduce that this coming Sunday.
Be excited!! God can do way more than we can imagine. Let’s really seek him!!