...But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...1 Peter 3:15 NIV
Part of my preparedness to share the reason for the hope that I have in Christ includes always having my Bible, chart paper, permanent markers and masking tape and/or pieces of chalk in the bag that I carry around. I call them my tools. When I bring out my purse at teens church the kids know it's not money that I am taking out but a piece of chalk to write with. The reason for this is that I find it easier to share the good news of the gospel and explain the importance of discipleship in the life of a believer. (Find videos explaining how to illustrate the gospel using John 3:16 here and here.)I do this knowing full well that my listeners will probably end up at some point in a congregation where a mixed message will be presented without a clear understanding of the distinction between the distinct messages on salvation and discipleship coursing throughout the whole Bible.
Recently I found myself in unfamiliar territory. My mom had invited about ten friends from her heydays before she became a believer for a reunion. In my mind, I kept having this back and forth conversation with myself that I would only share the gospel if I was asked to.
I have been to several of my friends' homes and I am always given a chance to share the gospel and I normally whip out ‘my tools’ and get straight to work.
This time around the Holy Spirit quickened it to my heart that I would, have to ask for the opportunity to share this hope as it wasn't going to just fall on my lap so to speak. Upon asking my mom, she promised to ask the leader of the group if they would allow me to share and permission was granted. Being my mom's house, you would be forgiven for thinking that I would not need to ask, after all, I belong there more than the guests do. However, Peter encouraged us that as we share the hope that we have in Christ, we need to do it with gentleness and respect. It was beautiful getting to share a clear gospel message and explain the essence of discipleship to these dear ladies who were above 60 years of age.
The best thing about putting up a visual is that wherever I go, I get asked by the host to leave it on the wall. It continues to speak volumes long after I have left. I once had a 70-year-old lady ask me to leave it on her wall so that she could use it to explain to her guests about salvation and discipleship. One of those guests, I later learned from her daughter-in-law was her pastor.
At my mother's place, it has been no exception and though my handwriting is far from beautiful, the message of the cross is enduringly beautiful.
There are countless reasons to propel us to share the best news ever (John 3:16). I hope my reasons will be an encouragement to you. What is your reason? Please share in the comments section to encourage other believers.