“But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.” (Acts 8:4 NLT)
Helping those in our spheres of influence to know Jesus takes time and persistence, but with the Lord’s help and guidance, it can become a lifestyle. By God’s grace, over the years God has used me to lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus, but I’m not the proverbial “expert.” Jesus is the expert and anything we do to honor Him is by Him and for Him. What does that mean? It simply means, as Jesus said in John 5:5: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (NLT)
What does that mean? It essentially translates – fruitfulness (effectiveness in anything we do for the Lord) depends upon connectedness (closeness to the Lord). With that in mind, let me offer some suggestions as to how to help others come to know Jesus in a personal and powerful way.
First, before we can share “Good News” we have to BE good news! What does that mean? To me it speaks to our motivation. WHY do we want our loved ones, friends, or anyone with whom we have contact, to come to Christ? And even as I ask that odd question, it seems counterintuitive, but for the sake of those we’re seeking to reach, it must be asked. What’s my investment? Behind my desire to share my faith, is there any hint that it’s for my own personal edification? In order that I might feel better about myself? (i.e. so others can recognize how “spiritual” I am?). Or is it so the person with whom I’m sharing can stay out of hell or go to heaven? In my understanding of Scripture, if our only motivation for winning people to Jesus is selfish or to keep them out of hell, we’ve missed the point of the Cross.
Jesus said in John 10:10: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (NLT) “Rich and satisfying” essentially means full or complete, in short, a life that’s continually seeking to become more and more like Jesus (see Romans 8:29). Nothing this world offers can compare to closeness to Jesus. What’s my point? To be effective (fruitful) in influencing others to commit their lives to Jesus, our lives must be fully surrendered to Him, thus enabling US to become a channel through which the good news can flow.
Years ago I was developing a relationship with a young man who came to my house regularly for pest control. We were standing in my driveway talking and for the first time he was beginning to open up to me about why he had no interest in Christ or attending church. As we were talking, another young man I’d recently met, joined the conversation. Without my prior knowledge, but in an obvious effort to impress me with his “sharing,” the second man began to ask my friend questions like: “Do you know you’re lost without Jesus? You need to repent and give your life to Christ right now before it’s eternally too late.” On and on he went until my friend whom I’d nurtured for months to lay the groundwork for a meaningful relationship, suddenly turned away and left. I never saw him again and he wouldn’t return my calls.
Was the man who was “sharing” with my friend, “wrong?” In that context, yes, he was. While his words were “right” his sensitivity to the Lord was absent and rather than drawing my friend TO Christ, he pushed him further away. Seeking to share the Good News, because it was given without apparent regard to my friend’s needs, and from selfish motives, became for my friend, bad news.
We’ll pick up this theme tomorrow.
One thought on “Sharing the Good News of Jesus (Part 1)”
The example you used about your pest control person and the man who walked up and “threw the anchor” at him in an effort to bring him to Jesus. Whatever his motive, he drove this person away. We want, so badly, to get others to accept Jesus that we can push them away.