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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God."—1 Corinthians 2:1 (NIV)
Have you ever been afraid to share your testimony or the gospel of Jesus Christ with others? I know I have. I think we’ve all been there at some point. Maybe you were afraid to offend someone or that you’d get in trouble at work or school. Maybe you were afraid it would put a strain on a relationship.
I actually find the most common reason people don’t share the gospel is they don’t feel equipped. In fact, according to a Barna Research Group study conducted in the early 2000s, “Only one of every eight adult believers feels adequately prepared to effectively share their faith.”
So often, Christ-followers are afraid they don’t know the right things to say and that someone’s eternal destiny rests on the eloquence and compelling nature of their evangelistic efforts. My friend, if this is something you’ve struggled with as it pertains to sharing the gospel, please let me put you at ease . . . It doesn’t rest on you!
Consider what Paul told the Corinthians in today’s verse. He continues in verses 4–5 (NLT), “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Understand that a person’s eternity doesn’t rest on your shoulders or on the power of your elevator pitch. It rests on the power of the Holy Spirit to work in that person’s heart. It wasn’t someone’s preaching or testimony that changed you. It wasn’t the eloquence, wisdom, or persuasiveness of a pastor’s words, but God’s Spirit that touched the depths of your soul—likely through a person—and called you to respond to Christ. God wants to use you to reach people, but it's His Spirit that will change them and save them. So don't put the weight of anyone's soul on your back; it's God who will be doing the heavy lifting as His Spirit moves and leads you.
Remember, it’s He who begins the work in us and He who carries it to completion. We just need to focus on the simple message that Christ died for us so we could be made right with God, and that a relationship with Jesus changes everything.
We don’t need to have a five-point sermon at the ready, nor a Bible degree. We just need to pray that, like Peter in Acts 4, we would be filled with the Holy Spirit and have the boldness and humility to move out of the way and let Him work through us. We need to resolve “to know nothing . . . except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2 NIV).
DIG: Read 1 Corinthians 2 and Acts 4.
DISCOVER: Where does the fear to share the gospel or tell someone about what God’s done in your life come from? How can you overcome this fear and find the boldness to tell others about Christ?
DISPLAY: Spend some time today thinking about the simplicity of the message of the gospel. What is the main thing you need to ensure you convey? How did the Spirit call to you? How did He draw you into the truth of Christ? What is it you must focus on if you are to tell someone about Jesus? And the next time you are presented with the opportunity, when you feel the Spirit leading you to share with someone, remember to pray, to ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit, to help you and give you the words. Ask that He speak through you. And then open yourself to His leading. Don’t worry about what will come out, about whether your words are persuasive or powerful enough. The Spirit is!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.