Friday, November 03, 2006
While I am away in Israel, several guest blog writers are filling in for me. Today’s entry is written by John Kegarise, who is one of our Elders here at Grace Church:
A long time ago, at least it seems that way, I became a follower of Jesus. It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. Recently, while taking spiritual inventory, something was brought to my attention. Most of my journey spiritually seems to have balance and there has been mature growth. But it never seems as though my arrival to complete maturity has taken place.
The one disappointment in my spiritual journey is the sharing of my faith with others and leading them to a relationship with Jesus. It basically comes from not having confidence and the unwillingness to trust in the ability of the Holy Spirit to lead the way. Bluntly, it could be simple disobedience. No matter how it is viewed, the least amount of effort is given to this particular aspect of my journey. Like me, many of you on the same spiritual journey to maturity in Christ tend to put the discipline of sharing your faith on the back recesses of your mind. We just wish this was not necessary. The evidence shows there would be more lives changed by Jesus if we were more attentive in sharing our faith.
“This is not my spiritual gift” was my best rationalization to justify my behavior. But that is no excuse at all because most of sharing our faith simply involves talking. Most of you can talk but we fail to talk about the one person who has made all the difference in our lives. What seems more relevant is that there are lives that will not respond to the good news of Jesus unless it is shared by you or me. There are those special relationships that we have with others and they are only going to let us “do the talking” about spiritual things. We are to share our faith. Romans 12:15 says, “How welcome are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things”! Can you imagine the changed lives that are possible if collectively we would be faithful to what we have been taught?
This time, while reflecting on my spiritual journey, I did not cower at the thought of sharing my faith. There was a prayer of asking forgiveness for my unwillingness to share with others and for the confidence to obey the next opportunity given to me. That is where (will call him Martin) came into my life. We met for the very first time with a cup of coffee in each of our hands. We talked about family, employment, our activities and then our spiritual standing. The short version of the story is Martin read from the Bible for the first time ever in his life about how heaven could be a certain reality after death. Martin asked Jesus into his life and is on his way to a glorious future in Christ.
It sounds simple. Imagine if all of you who are hesitant to share your faith would just ask God to give you the confidence to remain faithful to what we were taught. Simply trust that God would go before you in preparing the heart of the one to whom you share. We need to do this! In the process of just doing it, something remarkable may happen not just to others but to you. It did for me! Growing confidence to just doing it!