Acts 8:1&4 “…And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.”
Great persecution scattered Christians out of Jerusalem, and wherever they settled, they began to witness of the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Verse one tells us that these were not the apostles, but were “you and me” type Christians – those who heard the Gospel, gave their hearts and lives to the Lord, and told others about Him. Wherever they ran into someone, they talked about their Savior and Lord.
Albert Barnes stated that “It should be the great object of all Christians to make the Savior known. By our lives, conversation, and entreaties, we should speak to dying sinners that they be reconciled to God.”
How many of us carry photos of our spouse, children, grandchildren, and pets with us? How difficult is it to draw a conversation around to our spouse, kids, grandkids, or pets? Not hard at all! It’s easy! Love makes it easy. Right?
And because we love the Lord, and have a God-given responsibility to spread the Gospel, it shouldn’t be hard to go about sharing Jesus. We just have to open the door. Just sow a seed….
So how do we go about it? Let’s look at some examples in Scripture.
- Jesus, at the well, said to the Samaritan woman, “Give me a drink.” Then He proceeded to tell her that He was Messiah.
- Philip said to the Ethiopian, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” And starting right there in Isaiah, the Old Testament, he proclaimed Jesus as Savior.
- Paul, in Athens, said, “That ‘Unknown God’ you have an altar for, I know Him and can tell you about Him!”
Each witness started where his audience was and went from there to the heart of the Gospel. You and I can do that, too. Where do we go during our day that we have opportunity to speak to someone of Jesus?
Walmart is a great place to strike up conversations.
- Buying dog food? Ask the person in the aisle with you what kind of pet they have. Great door opener. Don’t leave before asking if they know Jesus.
- Picking up a prescription? Strike up a conversation with the person in line behind you. Illness often opens people to your expressions of sympathy and kindness. Promise to pray for the person. Tell them that Jesus heals. Ask if they have a relationship with Him.
- Express gratitude to the soldier in uniform for service to our country. Ask if he loves the Lord.
- Does the woman in line ahead of you have a child in the cart seat? Start your conversation there. Let her know your church has a great children’s program and you’d be happy to see them there. Jesus loves children; the Bible tells us so! Find out if she knows that personally.
- Is the clerk wearing an engagement ring? Extend your good wishes and hope that they will be as happy as you and your spouse are. And let her know that Jesus is at the Center of your marriage and He wants to be the Center of hers, too.
When you’re in the doctor’s office, offer Jesus as the One on Whom we cast our cares for He cares for us. He’s the Friend you can tell your troubles to. Tell how prayer really works.
When you’re waiting for your car to be serviced at Grease Monkey, and someone comments about the nice day, agree, and give God the glory. It opens the door to ask about their walk with Him.
When you see a fish emblem on a car, ask about their relationship with the Lord. If they’re not attending church right now, invite them to yours!
At the park with your kids? Talk to them about their little ones, and find out if they need Jesus.
You can’t beat a hospital waiting room for reaching out with the comfort of Jesus to those who are concerned about a loved one or in trouble themselves.
All these approaches can work; I’ll vouch for that. And love makes the conversations easy. I can vouch for that, too. We love Jesus, and we love people. Hey! This works! Find out what works for you. Be gentle and be wise. And share the Love of your life with someone who needs to hear the good news of your Savior.
Don’t be afraid of fielding a question you don’t know how to answer. A fail-safe fall-back in this situation is to hand the person the church’s card. “Call my pastor. He’ll know how to answer your question. And he cares.” Make sure the service schedules are on the card. And point them out. With an invitation to attend.
As you prepare to run errands or keep an appointment, pray the Lord will open an opportunity for you to speak to someone about Him. And then wade in at every opening. If it goes no further than general conversation in which you speak of the Lord, you’ve done well. We never know how God will use our friendly smile, kind words, our mention of Him, or our church invitation and card for the good of a soul.
Albert Barnes put it like this: “Straightforward, humble Christian conversation is far more acceptable to strangers than we commonly suppose. Alone, approached kindly, most are willing to talk to you.”
Max Lucado said, “Never underestimate the power of a seed.”
It’s a joy to speak of Jesus with someone who knows Him. It is unspeakable joy to speak of Jesus to someone who doesn’t know Him and could come to a saving knowledge in Him because God used you as a vessel to work through. Eternity does not “await”: Eternity starts with the first breath God breathes into our lungs. What a privilege we have to change someone’s eternity! And more than a privilege – we are under orders: “Go, therefore,” and affect eternity for those within our reach. Head out with purpose.
Matthew Henry wrote, “Of those of whom we know nothing else, we know this – that they have souls.” Never-dying souls bound for eternity somewhere. May God use you and me to bring them to Him as we go about telling the good news right where we find people who need to hear.