John 3:16 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
I woke up this morning from a dream. In my dream, I was rushing around trying to find the perfect gift for a friend’s birthday. I was dreaming that it was her birthday that very same day, and I still did not have a gift to give. I was searching high and low, yet I still had not found the gift when the beeping of my alarm brought me back to reality. I had not forgotten her birthday. It is not today. It is not even this month, but still the search for the perfect gift was on my mind. What is the perfect gift? I’m quite sure what is perfect for one person may not be so perfect for another, but I do know of one very perfect and also priceless gift. It is a gift that literally keeps on giving, and this gift lasts forever. What gift is this? The gift of salvation.
We all know someone, a friend, a relative, a colleague, or just an acquaintance who doesn’t know Jesus as their Savior. We may live in the house with these people, we may work right beside them, we definitely see them at the grocery store, and we may even go to church with them. It could even possibly be you, my friend, reading this today who hasn’t yet made that decision to follow Christ for whatever reason. I’m here to tell you that there is no better day than today to share this wonderfully perfect gift with someone and to accept this gift if you have not yet accepted the glorious gift of salvation.
I know what you are thinking. “It’s too hard to share the gospel.” “I’m not very good at it.” Or perhaps, “It will feel awkward, and I don’t do awkward.” But friends, those are simply excuses we make to ourselves when we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone. I know because I have been there. If you are a born again Christian, think back for a moment to all of the people that poured into you before you made that step of faith and accepted Christ. Each person that pours into us plants a little seed. Others come along and water those seeds, and eventually the Holy Spirit moves within us. Peeps, we must be busy about planting and watering. We must continue to daily pour into others just as our friends, family, and loved ones poured into us.
But how? How do I step out of my comfort zone and share the gospel? There are many ways, and none of our plans will ever be perfect. We merely need to remember that God is perfect, and He will provide the words if we ask, and the Holy Spirit will provide the moving. We only need to be willing vessels. Probably the best way to NOT start the conversation would be telling someone, “You are going to hell if you don’t accept Christ as your Savior.” That statement is truer than true, but it isn’t likely to begin building a relationship that will allow the Spirit to move in that person. Scare tactics do not equal heart and mind conversions. We must build relationships. Get to know the person. Share yourself with them. Show them your sincerity. Also, it is important to just be yourself. Don’t try to speak with big eloquent biblical terms or words. Someone who has never been to church may not have a clue what you are talking about and this may turn them away. Share your heart. Share your testimony. Share how Christ has worked in your life, and share what a a wonderful change He has made in you. Don’t be judgmental, and don’t take their response personally. Everyone you witness to will not immediately accept Christ. Just remember that it is not your job to make a person a believer. You and I are the messengers. It is the Holy Spirit that takes that message and gives understanding. Answer any questions that come up, and if you don’t know the answer, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know that answer, but I will get back to you,” and get back to them with the answer. Finally, pray. Pray with that person and for that person continually.
I know I’ve shared this before, but it is worth sharing again. Our pastor, Dr. Patrick Shane Moore, shared this evangelism tool with us a couple of years ago. He has taught us so much about evangelism, and this tool has proven to be valuable on more than one occasion. I still have this written in several of my Bibles, and it has come in handy. If you aren’t opposed to marking in your Bible, try it out. On the inside front cover of your Bible, write, “What does God require for a person to go to heaven? See John 3:16.” (Write the corresponding page behind the scripture verse each time and highlight the noted scripture on the page in the Bible). Turn to John 3:16 and highlight the scripture. On that page write, “God’s Promise: He loves you! See Romans 3:23.” Turn to Romans 3:23 and write, “The Reality: we all struggle with sin. See Mark 1:15.” Turn to Mark 1:15 and write, “The answer to sin: Jesus. See I Peter 3:18.” Turn to I Peter 3:18 and write, “Jesus died for you! See Romans 10:9.” Turn to Romans 10:9 and write, “Your God requires you to confess and believe. Turn to the back page of the Bible.” Inside the back cover of the Bible, write, “Prayer of Salvation: Dear Jesus, Thank you for loving me and for dying for me. I ask you to forgive me of my sins. I am willing to turn my life over to you. I’m willing to live for you. I ask you to be my Savior and Lord. Amen.” This is a great tool to have in your arsenal. If someone asks how to receive Christ, and words seem to fail you momentarily, all you have to do is pray and grab your Bible and walk them through these verses. I have purchased a bunch of New Testaments and marked them with this information to distribute to others.
Sometimes sharing the gospel comes easy, and other times we feel like our words get all tangled up as we struggle to say the right things. No matter what, we must continue to share the gospel. Two things to take to heart. First, when we share the gospel, we are sharing the most perfect, wonderful, priceless gift in the world. We want everyone to receive that gift, and therefore, we must keep sharing it as often as possible. Second, we must remember that we can’t make someone accept this wonderful gift. Our job is only to share it. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Won’t you share this perfect gift with someone today, and if you haven’t yet accepted this gift, I pray you accept this perfect gift today! God loves you, and I love you!