It’s summer time! Blazing heat. High humidity. Walking outside feels like there’s a punk kid pointing a giant magnifying glass on you. We are all just trying to keep it all together while we’re sweating in places we didn’t know had sweat glads. Oh, summer!
It’s around this time that I have a sudden urge to go fishing. It’s probably the internal clock that was set in me by my grandpa. My grandpa was called home to heaven two years ago but I can still hear his scratchy, heavy voice in broken English say, “Let’s go fishing!” As I type this I can hear the sounds of crashing waves, seagulls chirping, sounds of kids playing in the distance, and words of wisdom from my grandpa.
He taught me how to fish. But more importantly, he taught me how to be a fisher of men. How to connect with people far from God and help them make their next steps towards their creator. He related fishing to people and how each individual has a “bait” something that you both can relate to or something that is close to their heart that you can encourage them with.
Jesus tells Peter that He wanted to make him a fisher of men. Ref Matthew 4:19
If Jesus wants to make us anything, it is to be a person that connects people to God.
I want to pass along some wisdom my Grandpa taught me and what I’ve learn from great leaders and pastors.
After an amazing message by our Pastor, Pastor Brandon last Sunday, there has been a new fire in me that wants to reach as many people as I can that are far from God. But this is going to take skill, patience, and wisdom. The Bible in Proverbs describes a person with this desire as wise.
Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV): The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
Now more than ever there is a need to reach out and connect with people who are different than us, think differently, look differently, and live differently. In the wake of increasing violence towards the innocent and unarmed, to the growing numbers of suicide and depression, we can hear the voice of our Heavenly Father saying, “ I hear the cry of my people.”
Reference: Exodus 3:7 And last Sunday I had to ask myself this question, “Do I hear their cry too?”
Why should this be our burden? Because we are God’s voice here on earth.
2 Corinthians 5:20–21 (NKJV): Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
God’s hopes for us is that when we hear and respond to the good new that Jesus died for our sins and his death, burial, and resurrection has paid for our penalty of sins and believing in Him makes us right with God, that this message now become our mission. To tell others about this good news!
And the best feeling that you will experience as a follow us Jesus is playing a small role in someone’s salvation.
I have had the privilege and honor to do many great things at Elevate People, but the one that always takes the cake is seeing a friend, with tears rolling down their cheeks, raise their hand in response to receive salvation through Jesus! There is no other feeling! And I want that for you!
So how do we do share our faith? How do we connect and play a role in a person’s salvation?
Here are four keys to sharing your faith:
Accept the personal responsibility (You are God’s plan to reach lost people.)
Build a relationship (People don’t care what you know until they know you care.)
Tell your story (We all have a story that can be used for His glory)
Invite them to church (People can’t know God until they’ve experienced God.)
Here we see four simple keys to sharing your faith. And I would like to share three areas that we can learn to be wise when sharing our faith.
1 – We have to be wise in our moments. God is at work with the intersections of people in our lives. Not every interaction or relationship is an opportunity to share your faith, but I believe being more aware of those around you that you can build a relationship with is a good place to start. Pray that God opens your eyes to see some relationships that you can be more intentional with so you can do something within your reach that let’s them know that they are loved and known by God.
Pastor Brandon challenged us to have a top ten list. This is a list that we have of people in our lives that we are praying for that will find God. Being wise and intentional with our interaction with them is key to having the opportunity to share our faith.
2 – Find the 10% and give it 100% Working in the medical field I get a lot of pleasant people and a lot difficult people. I have a trick for dealing with difficult people. I find the 10% of something that we can agree on or something they love talking about. And I give that 100% effort of my attention and care. This works with people that you are trying to connect with. This may also open up a conversation of areas that they may need praying in or something heavy on their heart they would like to share.
3 – Find a need a fill, see a hurt and heal it. Serving people is a great way to let them know that God loves them and knows them. By developing a relationship with people you may discover that they have a need. It my be something big or small. It may be relational or financial. Pray that God places it in your heart and to provide a way to meet that need.
This all may sound very intimidating for you and honestly it can be. But our job is not to save people. Our job is to show people. Show people what? Show people the difference God has made in our lives.
Saint Francis of Assisi, a theologian and preacher is quoted by saying, “ Teach the Gospel. And when necessary use words.”
At Elevate we have values. These values are, we love God, we love people, we strive for excellence and we choose Joy. When we live with these values, it draws people to us and many times people will ask, “What’s different about you?” And that’s when you can say, “Can I tell you the difference that Jesus has made in my life?”