Overcoming Fear in Witnessing
Sermon shared by Jerry Shirley
Summary: 5 Practical helps that will get your people talking! "A Witness is no braver than anyone else, just brave for about 10 seconds longer!"
Audience: General adults
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Overcoming Fear in Witnessing
Our life should be a living witness…but we haven’t FULLY COMPLETED our witness until we open our mouth and speak. That is hard, but necessary—-"sharing the actual WORDS of the gospel."
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Ill--A survey was given to those attending training sessions for a Billy Graham crusade in Detroit. One question asked, "What is your greatest hindrance to witnessing?" Nine percent said they were too busy to remember to do it. Twenty-eight percent felt the lack of real information to share. None said they didn’t really care. Twelve percent said their own lives were not speaking as they should. But by far the largest group were the 51 percent whose biggest problem was the fear of how the other person would react!
This is a hard step because of fear—it is a realistic fear, it is difficult.
Fear of rejection/embarrassment/labeled as fanatic/thought of differently/not liked anymore.
You aren’t the first to be afraid, you’re not a spiritual sissy, it’s common to man since the 1st c. in our text!
"A Witness is no braver than anyone else, just brave for about 10 seconds longer!" Just open your mouth and blurt it out there.
Now, that will help, but it may not be quite enough to help you open your mouth when it comes to a relative, a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor…so here’s some very practical yet Biblical suggestions to help further.
1. Ask God for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Ill.—Peter, afraid at crucifixion, ran for his life, cowered down…followed the procession as far as the house of the high priest, but then warmed himself at the fire/a young lady recognized him and tried to point him out, and he denied 3 times, w/ curse words for emphasis!
But in Acts 4:13 the Bible says Peter spoke boldly—what made the difference by Acts 4? What happened?
Acts 2 happened! “Filled w/ Spirit!”
“How can I be filled?” Not complicated.
Different than being indwelled…filled means controlled. [be not drunk, but controlled by this!]
Ill.—sharp cutting edge on axe—imagine beating a tree w/ only the handle, or w/ the back of the maul! Get nowhere!
You need a cutting edge, it will get their attention, they’ll sense you know what you’re talking about, they’ll WANT to listen. And the Holy Spirit brings conviction, something you have not been successful at doing, right?
4 steps to being filled:
• Self-examination—takes time, daily, in prayer and in the Word.
• Confession=cleansing— 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Be specific, ask God to bring it to mind, name them one by one. Our problem is we want to sin retail and confess wholesale!
• Repentance—turning from our sins, a change of mind—more than just I’m sorry, but it’s proof! God won’t use a dirty vessel…He doesn’t put His powerful hand into a dirty glove to do His work! Ill.—sharing drinks as a family/grimy hands on glass, floaters!/kimberly’s lipstick!
• Ask God to fill you-- Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much
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