Summary: If we don’t clearly understand the gospel message ourselves, how will we be able to share it with others? Here’s a lesson that will help prepare us to share the message clearly.
A. In the Scripture reading that was just read for us, the Apostle Paul was concluding his letter to the Colossians and he asked them to pray for two things.
1. First, He asked them to pray that God would open doors for the message.
2. Second, He asked them to pray that he might proclaim the message clearly.
3. Those are very good things to be praying for, wouldn’t you agree?
B. Today I’m praying that every one of us Christians feel like we have some good news to share with others, and that we desperately desire to share it.
1. I like the story told of the little boy who greatly concerned his parents.
a. The boys parents could not get him to utter a single word.
b. So they took him to a specialist, and after a thorough evaluation it was determined that the boy had nothing wrong with him physiologically that was keeping him from talking.
c. So the doctor grasped him firmly by the shoulders and gave him a sound shaking, saying, “Why don’t you say something?”
d. The little boy defiantly replied, “Cause I ain’t got nothing to say!”
2. Hopefully that’s not the way we feel about our faith.
3. In truth, I believe that everyone of us has some great news to share and that we want to tell others about it.
4. Like the story of the preacher who loved to golf.
a. Unfortunately, it had rained every weekend for a month and the preacher was dying to play a round of golf.
b. The first sunny day in weeks ended up being a Sunday.
c. So he called some of the leaders of his congregation and told them that he had been called away to an emergency and that they would have to cancel services that Sunday.
d. Realizing that he could not play on a local golf course, he drove two counties away and teed up on a course that sunny Sunday morning.
e. Meanwhile, God was watching all this from heaven above. He called an angel and said, “I’ve got a preacher down there who canceled church to play golf. I need you to go and administer an appropriate punishment.”
f. So the angel went down and as the preacher teed off on a par 3, the angel caused the preacher to hit the best shot of his life and the ball went right in for a hole-in-one.
g. See this, God said to the angel, “You gave him a hole-in-one? What kind of punishment is that?”
h. The angel replied, “Yes, I gave him a hole-in-one. But think about it, who can he tell?”
C. Yes, we have some great news to tell and there is no reason for us to keep it to ourselves; we have nothing to hide.
1. We need open doors and opportunity for sharing.
2. And we need the ability to clearly communicate the good news.
D. This is probably where most of us feel the most inadequate, myself included.
1. What should we say? How should we say it? Where do we begin?
2. Bill Hybels tells a great story in his book on evangelism.
a. Bill likes to sail, and one day after day of sailing, he and his wife were invited to board a neighboring sailboat.
b. So he anchored his boat and he and his wife motored over to the neighboring yacht in the dinghy.
c. After a nice evening of visiting, Bill and his wife were in the process of leaving and that’s when the moment came.
d. Lynne, his wife, had already climbed down the ladder into the dinghy and Bill was halfway down himself when the question came.
e. Roy calls this “the doorknob question.” Often as you are about to leave after a visit, a person will finally bring up the subject they wanted to talk about, but hadn’t mustered the courage to bring up.
f. One of the people who had invited them aboard said, “Say, Bill, before you leave can you answer a question? I’ve always wanted to ask a Christian what it means to become one. Could you tell all of us?”
g. There was Hybels, one foot in the dinghy and one hand on their boat’s railing, looking up at a group of people waiting to hear what he would say.
h. He knew he had their undivided attention for the next 45 seconds – 45 seconds to summarize what it means to become a real Christian.
3. If we had been in his situation, how would we have responded?
4. Would we have been ready to give a clear and succinct response to such an important question?
5. For most of us, this kind of situation really puts us to the test.