Here's a New Year's challenge that will be good for you.
...and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
- Philemon 6 ...it is true that there is an obligation to fish well and diligently...we are obliged to spread our nets so that we can catch a great shoal and multitude for God.
- Patrick, Confession
, Irish, 5th century
Evangelism is good for you.
Sharing your faith with others deepens your understanding of and love for the Gospel. It stokes the embers of compassion in the heart, fortifies the priorities of the conscience, and bathes the entire soul in the warmth of assurance, conviction, and love for God and neighbor.
The Lord Jesus has commanded us to make disciples “as we are going,” or, as Patrick has it, “to fish well and diligently.” Each of us has been assigned a Personal Mission Field and provided with “nets” of grace and truth from the Lord sufficient to “fish” that entire sphere. Everyone needs to hear the Gospel – saved and lost folks alike, and the person most likely to reach those in your Personal Mission Field is, well, you.
Bearing witness to the people we encounter each day – whether they are believers in need of instruction and encouragement or lost souls in need of salvation – begins in prayer, is grounded in a life of grace and truth, and comes out at every opportunity in bits and pieces of testimony, sharing, and Gospel explanation. Evangelism is a process
and not an event.
But only the power of the Spirit can enable us to be witnesses for Christ (Acts 1.8). No program, tool, or rigorous resolve will move us regularly to spread our nets over the whole field to which we have been sent for the sake of bearing witness to Jesus. If we seek the Spirit daily, pleading with Him to fill us and use as witnesses for Christ, we will find He is most willing to do both.
And as He does, we will know the joy of talking about the One Who is making all things new in our lives; we will be renewed and confirmed in our faith and confidence; and we will experience more of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
Friends, let’s push out into the deep water and put out our nets today, that we may fish well and diligently. Psalm 145.1-6
(Brother James’ Air: “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”
I will extol You, God, my King, and ever praise Your Name!
I bless You, lord, for everything each day, and e’er the same!
Great are You, Lord, my praise I bring; unsearchable Your fame!
To ev’ry generation we Your wondrous works shall tell
The splendor of Your majesty we contemplate full well.
We speak of all Your mighty deeds and all Your greatness tell. Lord, You have called me to follow You, that I might become a fisher of men. Help me to take up this calling anew, beginning today.
Here's your New Year's challenge: Order a copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom
, a pocket-sized, 67 page booklet that helps you understand and prepare to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Work through it all the way to the end, then begin sharing the Gospel consistently with believers and non-believers alike. Better still - order a bunch of copies - we're waving the shipping fee - and get a group of friends together to study this concise summary of the Gospel. Then get busy; fish well and diligently throughout the New Year! And don't forget to email me with your questions and to share your experiences telling others about the Lord.