When he ascended to heaven, Jesus gave His people the ministry of reaching others and changing our world by sharing what Christ has done at the cross. Have you ever decided that you will share the gospel with a friend or family member and then became nervous as you anticipated their reaction and possible rejection? Even though we know that we bring good news, we assume that people will not want to hear it. This tactic is the way the enemy, Satan, tries to silence and intimidate us. It will help us overcome our fear when we realize that four things interact in turning to Christ. It does not depend on us alone! Let's look at two today, and tomorrow we'll look at the other two.
1) The Holy Spirit. When we are open to the Spirit's leading, He will guide us in our sharing. Often the Holy Spirit will give you a window of insight into the life of the person with whom you are speaking. You may sense the pain of things crowding into the person's life as the Spirit gives you compassion for them. Remember that our Father wants to draw men to Himself. Understand that He will not "leave you hanging" as you endeavor to reach out to another person with the Good News. Jesus said in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit would remind us of all things. Trust that He will give you the right words when you need them. At the Last Supper, when Jesus was telling the disciples that He was leaving, He reassured them by saying that He would send the "Helper," the Holy Spirit. In the NIV translation, the Holy Spirit is called the Advocate:
7But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned (John 16:7-11).
As we share our faith in Christ with another, be aware that the Holy Spirit will use your words and convict them of the truth of God’s Word or your testimony of Christ’s power in your life. If you do your part in sharing Christ, God will do His part in convicting the person of their sin and need for a Savior, which leads us to the second thing.
2) The Person’s Conscience. On the Day of Pentecost, when Peter shared the gospel with 3000 Jews, they were "cut to the heart" by the message that Peter preached. Sometimes I have seen the person I have been sharing the gospel with deeply convicted by the Spirit as He shows them something in their life that they need to change. The Word of God is called the Sword of the Spirit for a reason (Ephesians 6:17). The Sword of the Spirit cuts straight to the heart of the one listening, bringing truth and confirming that truth to their heart. God backs up His Word with His Spirit.
When King David came under conviction by the Spirit after his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah the Hittite, he could find no peace within his soul:
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin (Psalm 32:3-5).
Often, God has gone ahead of time to prepare the person to whom you have purposed to witness. They won't always admit it, but remember that God is outside of time and can be giving dreams and visions ahead of your witnessing. This Christmas, why don't you take every opportunity to share what God is doing in your life—it very often can be the turning point in many a life. Keith Thomas
Taken from the series in Discipleship, Study 7. The Main Thing