We can only stand our ground in life after being swept off our feet by God. And something like that should happen in worship.
I’m not talking the “Wizard of Oz.” God didn’t summon Isaiah to His throne to scare the…Stamina out of him. Rather, God calls us to worship, and there wants to display His might because He knows we’ll face things in which we need to act mightily.
Ephesians 4:16b, “The whole body is held and joined together by every supporting ligament…as each part does its work.”
We have a deep obligation to one another. Everyone in the Church must do their part. Each has a calling and gifts to use for the body to work.
This runs against the grain of our culture’s individualism and the Church’s over-emphasis on a “personal” relationship with Christ. A relationship with Christ is important but the Bible doesn’t teach that faith is just about Jesus and me. We are a part of the body of Christ! We are His presence now on earth as His Spirit lives within us and among us (Ephesians 2:22).
6. Pray for the person. The starting point for talking to any person about Christ is not talking to a person about God but talking to God about that person. First, Pray specifically that God would give you natural opportunities to talk about your relationship with God. This might happn in the form of a current news event or something happening in their family. Second, pray that God would prepare and open their heart for that conversation. Third, pray that God would help you open your mouth and actually have that conversation. We need spiritual courage. When you pray for God’s boldness, you are praying, in part, that God will help you think more about others than yourself.
7. Write a thank you letter to them. Tell that person specific things you appreciate about them.
8. Prepare your “testimony” to fit where they are in life. When you share your story, try to emphasize the areas that you have in common, particularly tough circumstances that God has helped you deal with. If your friend is going through a tough illness, and you just talk about how God helped you with your divorce, that’s “OK” but not the greatest. Try to connect them with a Christian that is going through or has gone through similar circumstances. Look for areas that you can share that meet them where they are.
9. Lend the person a Christian book or CD. Why lend it instead of giving it? Because you want that person to give it back so you can ask what they thought about what they read or heard.
10. Invite the person to an appropriate Christian event. It might be a music concert, small group, or worship service. Whatever you think they can handle. Some people have been burned by the church so maybe they’re not ready for a worship service but could come hang out at a Super Bowl Party sponsored by the church. Pray about it, and ask.
3. Be there for their good times. Acknowledge and celebrate the good times like weddings, birthdays, accomplishments.
4. Show real interest in them. Showing real interest in someone begins by listening. Ask interesting questions. As they come to trust you enough to share some of their life journey, you may find a natural opportunity to share some of yours, including the difference Jesus has made in that part of your life.
5. Pray with them. We say to people going through tough times, “I’ll pray for you.” Do more than say it. Do it. Ask permission first. And if there are other people around you may want to wait for privacy. But no one has ever said no to me when I’m sensitive to the situation and surroundings.
Rescue always requires involvement in the person’s life. That’s why “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Tragically, those who are already saved tend to spend most of their relationship time with others who are already in the lifeboat. We will be in heaven with those folks forever. But we have only a few years here on earth to help some people outside the lifeboat get to heaven (54).
One of the things that gets my heart racing is when God gives me a unique opportunity to share my faith. The churchy word is evangelism. I’m not an “in your face” kind of person with my faith. I expect God to show me the best opportunities and then I have to be faithful to take the steps that I am able to take to communicate why I think God loves all of us and why Jesus saved us from our sins. I get frustrated when I hear that other Christians never share their faith or look for opportunities.
In Ron Hutchcraft’s book “A Life That Matters,” he says:
It takes 2 compelling forces to get us to turn our lifeboat [Hutchcraft uses that metaphor as we seek to be faithful in helping people see how God can save them from their sin] around and begin to bring in as many as we can: the “want to” and the “how-to.”
If you care about spiritually dying people, it is because God has given you “a new heart and put a new spirit in you”; He has removed from you a “heart of stone” and given you a “heart of flesh” (Exekiel 36:26). (46)
He goes on to share 10 practical ways anyone can communicate Christ:
1. Love them in their language. They may resist your words but it will be hard to resist our serving them. Random acts of love and kindness are usually a bridge into even the hardest of hearts. Serving them is their language. Ask yourself, “What need does this person face in his/her life right now that I could help with?”
2. Be there for them during hard times. People remember who was at the funeral, who comes to the hospital, who pitches in during an emergency.
…our plans don’t go as planned and we are forced to make a decision:
complain, grumble, ask why?
pray and find an alternative plan.
That’s when God steps in, when we DEPEND on Him. When we depend in our own plans why should He step in?