A Second Chance

Are you in a spiritual crisis? At some time or another, most people come to a place of crisis in their faith. Maybe you used to be on fire; you were excited about Jesus Christ; you were joyful; you loved talking about the Lord.

Then, like a slow leak in a tire, you began to lose momentum. The joy disappeared; and the fire fizzled out. Now youre settling for a mediocre existence, and the last thing you think about is evangelism!

Does any of that describe what youre going through? If so, dont despair – there is hope for change! The answer is found in Romans 12:1&2. In this passage, Paul urges believers to “offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy, pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

What does this look like? It means you come to the Lord. You confess to Christ where youre at. You fall on your face and present yourself as a living sacrifice to God. Its a re-commitment, in a sense, of your life to Christ.

And then, as Romans goes on to tell us, Jesus begins transforming your mind and heart so that you desire what He desires. His passions become your passions. His priorities become your priorities – including Christs heart for the lost.

We’re all Called

William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, is one of my heroes! He had a famous quote hed say to Christians who said they werent called to share the Good News.

“Not called?” Hed ask. “No, Not heard the call, I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin!”

Wow – those are pretty strong words, arent they? But thats why I like men like William Booth. They confidently spoke what they knew of God and Jesus Christ, and exhorted others to do the same. No excuses. No apologies. There was no reason not to pour their hearts and souls into evangelism!

Jesus prayed for His followers in John 17:18. “As you sent me into the world,” He said, “I have sent them into the world.” Jesus has sent you into your world, too. Whether thats to a foreign land, your cubicle at work, or in your neighborhood book club.

Wherever God has placed you, Hes done it for the purpose of influencing those around you with the Good News. So lets take William Booths challenge to heart. Lets you and I listen to Gods call, and pull sinners out of the fire of sin.

Christ’s Example

The best example of witnessing is, of course, Jesus Christ Himself. In the Gospel of John, chapter 4, Jesus approaches a Samaritan woman at the well.

Now, remember, it was well known at that time that Jews and Samaritans did not speak to each other. But Jesus defied the cultural norms for the sake of the Good News. Obviously, the Samaritan woman was far from perfect – she had had 5 husbands! But instead of condemning her, Christ used his knowledge of her sin as a bridge to show how much He loved her.

Because of Jesus Christs initiative to engage this woman, she in turn spread the Good News throughout her town. She told them: “Come and see the man who told me everything I ever did!” And what a tremendous effect her testimony had on the town!

John 4:39 tells us that “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the womans testimony.”

What about you? Are you willing to leave your comfort zone for the Good News Gospel, as Jesus did with the Samaritan? Its a good question to ask ourselves. Witnessing is rarely easy and comfortable. But Jesus commands us to do it. And if were faithful, you and I will see exciting results!

God’s Grace

The apostle Paul risked everything for the sake of spreading the Good News. In the book of Acts he says, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of Gods grace.”

Later, in II Corinthians, Paul says that “Christs love compels us.” Thats why he was risking life and limb, reputation and sickness, hunger and discomfort, to spread the message of Jesus Christ all over the world.

Well, thats fine for Paul, you might think. But Im certainly not called like that. It may be true that not all of us are called to travel to the furthest corners of the earth to share the Good News. But each person is called to testify about the grace of God thats changed our lives. Jesus commands it!

Paul was always aware that he was nothing without Christs love and forgiveness. Its what compelled and motivated him to speak of the Savior until his dying breath. Are you and I that overwhelmed with Gods grace?

If not, maybe its time to ask God to remind you how Hes changed your life. That revelation can be a great motivation to speak His truth to your world!

Not Ashamed

I love watching new believers in Christ. They get so excited about what God has done in their lives — they cant help but talk about Jesus, and how much they love Him. In fact, their excitement is contagious!

But often, its different with us long-time Christians. If youve known Jesus for many years, its possible, over time, to even become ashamed of Jesus.

Why is that? Maybe we get frustrated when our efforts dont seem to have immediate results. Or we get too caught up with other things in the church. Or our to-do list just seems too long to include the Great Commission.

We become calloused – or forgetful – when it comes to evangelism. And then slowly and subtly, we stop talking about our faith all together.

Jesus admonishes us in Luke 9:26 with these sobering words: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of Him when he comes in his glory.”

If youve been struggling with speaking up about your faith, theres an answer. Start by confession. Ask the Lord to forgive you. Then pray that Hell open up an opportunity, and give you the courage, to stand up for Jesus Christ. God loves to answer that prayer!