“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30
I don’t know about you but discipleship-sharing my faith-is not a strong point of mine. Not face to face any way. I want to. Desperately. But I’ve never been very good at confrontations and I tend to fear that if I go to share my faith that’s what I’m going to be faced with. There’s part of me too that doesn’t want to look like an idiot. I am in the Word regularly and know a handful of scripture but I fear that I won’t be able to share it when the time comes.
Fear. Fear isn’t an aspect God tends to use with us. That’s Satan’s deal. Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not accomplishing your goals. Fear of not making someone happy. Fear of the future. Fear that God isn’t who He says He is and can’t do what He says He can do…and the list is endless. While we are focusing on fear our focus is not on God. THAT is exactly what Satan wants. Keeping our eyes on ourselves and our shortcomings. Perceived or not.
That’s not the life God wants for us. And it’s not the life God wants for those around us either. With our faith in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4)… It’s one of the aspects of our faith in Jesus we need to share (disciple) with others. As is Proverbs 8:34 which states “Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!” The Hebrew word used for Joyful is ‘esher- meaning blessed and how happy! That’s a jumping for joy happy! Not a ‘oh yay’ with a frown-on-your face happy.
That’s the jumping for joy faith I want to share with those I love and others around me. The faith that turned me from someone who thought too much of the ‘shortcomings’ of my life. It’s the faith that changed me from making judgements before having the whole story. The faith that took me out of the pit of shame and guilt. And the faith that gave me a more loving heart and mind rather than the one that held onto hurt and anger.
It can be all too easy to hold onto things from the past. Do you ever wish you could go back and change certain things in your life? Me too. Although those are very few. Things that hurt those I love. For the rest?-I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t change the hurts and disappointments that I experienced. I wouldn’t change the many, many falls. Why? Because without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be as strong as I am. I likely wouldn’t have met my hubby-who is the love of my life. And most of all I wouldn’t have the strong faith I have now-this awesome, beautiful, intimate relationship with God. No. I wouldn’t change them. They are all things that I can use to help show others what God has done in my life. They help me understand, love and disciple to someone who may be experiencing something I may have gone through at one time in my life.
Here’s an awesome fact…There are over eight thousand promises in the Bible to believers. EIGHT THOUSAND! Why wouldn’t we be jumping for joy and sharing it with others?! Here’s just a few of them; Eternal life, a new heart, forgiveness, His righteousness, help of the Holy Spirit, He will fight for us, He will give us strength, no weapon formed against us will prevail, He will give us wisdom and discernment, He is faithful, prosperity, a good future, hope, free from being a slave to sin, He is with us wherever we go, He will never leave us or forsake us, He will meet all our needs, He will make our paths straight….
Our God is an AWESOME God.
That’s why I want to share (disciple) my faith with others. I was, and still am, a sinner. I, along with everyone else, will struggle with sin until the day I meet my Maker. But between now and then can be a life filled with HOPE. Expectant HOPE of the future. A HOPE we both have the privilege and duty to share with those around us. That’s the reason I recently read/listened to two books about discipleship and Christianity. “Tactics” by Greg Koukl and “Cold-Case Christianity” by J. Warner Wallace. Although both books are excellent, they will do me no good if I don’t act out my faith-that Hope that God gives me. Faith, as I’ve been reminded in Pricilla Schrier’s book ‘The Armor of God’, needs to be an action. Not just sit on my booty and watch faith. I need to remember how BIG my God is and I need to remember exactly Who it is I have my faith in. Jesus didn’t die on the cross, be separated from God, and rise again-for me to be on the sidelines.
I’m not a writer (and I’m sure that is obvious to some) but I am a very thankful person who loves God, Jesus and the many, many, many acts of His grace and mercy in my life. My Hope is that everyone will open their hearts, minds and spirits to how awesome God is. So, here’s to my stepping out in faith to start sharing my love of God and Jesus, face to face, with others. As the disciple Paul shows below, God uses the faulty, not the perfect.
1 Timothy 1:16, “And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”
In Jesus’ blessed name.