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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




He Will ... You Can

Sharing your faith in 2010

By Randy Hurst
Dec. 27, 2009

Whether we came to Christ because of a sermon or one-on-one witnessing, most of us can remember that even before we heard the message God brought about circumstances in our lives to prepare our hearts to receive the truth.

God is preparing us for good works. He is also preparing the good works for us. God has divine appointments for us in 2010, both with strangers and in the lives of friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers with whom we relate regularly. And those encounters will happen in the upcoming year — whether we’re ready or not.

For many years I was ineffective and even intimidated in personal witnessing. I didn’t have the confidence that I could persuade anyone to receive Christ. Then I learned from God’s Word that, as believers, our responsibility is not to persuade people to become Christians but to share the message of Jesus.

We must understand our part in the evangelism process and also recognize what only God can do. Understanding His work is essential to having the faith to do our work. He assigned our part to us. And He doesn’t command anything that we can’t do with His help.

Although God has chosen to involve us in the evangelism process, our part is only possible because the Holy Spirit is working in people even before we share the message.

God will do what we can’t — if we will do what we can. And we can do what He asks of us.

 

Pray for Open Doors

Prayer is essential in evangelism; unless God works in people’s hearts and lives, our work will not produce lasting results.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6, NASB).

God’s work in the spiritual harvest is clearly distinguished from that of His human servants. The time factors that Paul describes in this process are very different. When Paul and Apollos planted and watered the seed (the message), the tense in the Greek verbs used indicates specific time frames. For a period of time, Paul planted the seed. For another period of time, Apollos watered it. But when Paul describes God’s activity in this process, the verb clearly reveals that God did not merely work after the seed was planted and watered, but all along “God was causing the growth.”

We have the privilege and responsibility of sharing the message. But only God can open a heart. We are dependent on God to open the doors of opportunity, to bring understanding to the hearers’ minds and move their hearts to decision.

 

Seize Opportunities

Opportunities are framed in time. The common saying “Opportunity doesn’t knock twice,” is true. An opportunity may never arise a second time. Each opportunity is unique, because people and circumstances are different. 

We need to be spiritually alert to seize opportunities. In Colossians 4, Paul tells believers to devote themselves to prayer, “keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). If we are not alert in prayerful dependence on God to work through our lives, we can miss these divine appointments. We need to be continually aware that God will work in our circumstances every day in 2010.

Many followers of Christ feel inadequate to witness because they think they can’t retain all the information they believe is necessary. They can’t remember all the Scriptures they think they should. Even if they have memorized key verses, they aren’t confident they can recall them when needed. But every believer has a personal testimony. Sharing with others our personal experience and relationship with Jesus Christ with sincerity and conviction can be the most compelling argument of all.

If we truly believe God answers prayer, we should practice our belief by praying with and for people, believing God to answer. Hearing a believer pray can have a significant effect on unbelievers. When believers pray for a need, people can tell they are sincere and have a relationship with God. And when God answers prayer, it can be the means of opening hearts to the message of Christ.

 

Working With God

Evangelism is not merely a work of human persuasion; it is a work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would convince the world concerning “sin, and righteousness, and judgment” (John 16:8). We are responsible to clearly share the message. The Holy Spirit persuades the heart of the listener.

Sharing your faith with more people in 2010 is possible because God takes the initiative in salvation. When we understand His work in evangelism, it enables us to be bold — depending on His persuasive work. We can also be patient — trusting His timing rather than trying to push people to a premature decision. It will free us from anxiety and allow us to be neither hesitant nor hasty as we deal with people.

God is already working in people’s lives. He will prepare hearts, open doors of opportunity and schedule divine appointments for us. You can share your personal testimony, invite people to church and give a simple and clear witness of Jesus Christ.

God has given each of us the awesome privilege and responsibility of having a part in His mission to reach the lost. We have no excuses. God will do what we can’t — if we will do what we can.


RANDY HURST is commissioner of evangelism for the Assemblies of God.

To watch a five-minute video about how to share Christ simply and clearly with a nonbeliever, visit the Evangelism Commission’s Web site, reaching.ag.org, and select “Movie: What Everyone Needs to Know.”

E-mail your comments to pe@ag.org.

 

Email your comments to pe@ag.org.