Summary: Helping and inspiring people to evangelism
Making a Difference
Becoming a Hospital pt. 2
September 28/29, 2002
We’ve been spending the last few weeks talking about the importance of sharing our faith in Christ, and making a difference in our world for eternity. Today I want to talk a little more about that, and giving us each some tools to use in being a witness for Christ.
Let me ask a question: how many of you, right now, feel like you know how to share your faith in Christ with someone else? (show of hands). How many of you have a couple of ideas, but aren’t really sure how you would share? How many of us don’t even know where to begin?
1. Walk the talk
The first thing I notice is that this paralyzed man had 4 friends who carried him to Jesus. They didn’t call each other up on the phone and talk about how this might be a good idea, they didn’t call ahead to get tickets and book the handicapped parking space in front of the place Jesus was teaching, they didn’t go to seminars on how to help the handicapped – they just got together, grabbed their buddy’s mat, and went to Jesus.
For most of us, sharing our faith is simply a matter of doing it. We have relationships with people who don’t know Christ, with people who trust us and who know that we “go to church.” For most of us, it could be as simple as saying, “You know, I’d really like sometime to tell you more about what I believe about God. Could we do that sometime?” Pick any lull in any conversation and make that simple statement. And see where it goes…
If people know that we are Christians, and they see by the way we live that we actually live out what we believe, then we have earned the credibility we need to share what God has done for us. So the first step is to live with integrity and just bring God into your conversations. Let’s get a bit more specific.
2. Listen to the Holy Spirit
Back to the story of the 4 friends for point #2. What made them think about the roof? Picture the scene – these guys arrive carrying a stretcher, and the place is packed right out. Can’t even get near the door… Where did the idea come from to climb up the outside of the house, bust through the roof, and lower the sick guy down to Jesus? I don’t know what your answer is to that question, but I believe the idea came from the Holy Spirit. I believe that one of those four friends, determined to get his buddy to Jesus, looked around and suddenly had an idea jump into his head, planted their by the Holy Spirit. “The Roof!” Can you picture the other 4 – “ya, umm, what about the roof??” “Let’s take him up there, bust a hole in the middle, grab some ropes, and lower him down right in the middle of the crowds in front of Jesus!!”
What would your reaction be if you were one of those friends? Or even the paralyzed guy! “that’ll never work…” “it’s too much effort…” “that sounds dangerous…” “I don’t think the guy who owns the house would appreciate us busting a hole in his roof…”
How about, “Whatever it is going to take to get this friend to Jesus.” That is the right answer. That is the answer they came up with.
Here is my point – we need to be listening for the voice of God. Maybe the idea is a hole-in-the-roof kind of crazy, costly, dangerous idea. But will it bring people to Jesus? Will it give them the opportunity to come face-to-face with the Risen Lord? If it is God’s idea, then go for it!
I know some of you are thinking, “great, but how do I know if the idea is my stupid brain, the Taco Bell I had for lunch, or if it is actually God?” Great question! Here is the answer: you’ll know after you do it by the results. Whoa! Wait a minute, what kind of assurance is that?? I’ve got to know everything up front, gotta plan it all out, gotta stay in control… Sorry, you won’t know whether the idea was yours or God’s until after you act on it. That means a risk, I confess it. That means stepping out of our comfort zone, out of the safe (and boring) place of predictable faith in a God whom we try to keep small so that we can stay comfortable and in control.