Summary: To encourage Christians to share the gift of salvation.
I was going through a file the other day when I came across these words titled “Ten Little Christians”. And it goes like this.
10 little Christians standing in line, 1 disliked the preacher, then there were 9.
9 little Christians stayed up very late, 1 over slept Sunday, now there were 8.
8 little Christians on their way to Heaven, 1 took the low road and then there were 7.
7 little Christians chirping like chicks, 1 disliked the music, then there were 6.
6 little Christians seemed very much alive, but one lost his interest then there was 5.
5 little Christians pulling for Heaven’s shore, but one stopped to rest, then there were 4.
4 little Christians each busy as a bee, 1 got his feelings hurt, then there were 3.
3 little Christians knew not what to do, 1 joined the sporty crowd, now they’re down to 2.
2 little Christians, our rhyme is nearly done, differed with each other, then there was 1.
1 little Christian can’t do much ‘tis true, brought his friend to bible study then there was 2.
2 earnest Christians, each won one more. That doubled the number then there were 4.
4 sincere Christians worked early and late. Each won another then there were 8.
8 splendid Christians if they doubled as before, in just so many Sundays, we’d have 1,024!
In this little jingle, there is a lesson true, you either belong to the building, or the wrecking crew. - Author is anonymous.
What does this have to do with today’s scripture reading? Listen and you’ll find out.
[S] “So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1.6-8, NIV). [S]
The word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.
Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses.” That means Jesus wants his disciples to be part of the “building crews” and not the “wrecking crews.” Note that Jesus didn’t say, “You could be my witnesses” or “You might become my witnesses”. Jesus didn’t ask them, “Would you be my witness?” Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses”. A witness is a Disciple who shares the gift of what Jesus has done for him or her with others. So when Jesus says, “you will be my witness” he is saying, “share the gift.”
I know that as soon as I mentioned the words witness or implied sharing the gospel invisible force fields went up all over this room. Force fields typically go up like this because we don’t feel good about the topic. And that’s good, because it means that we know we could or should be doing better. And that means it’s important to you. A few sermons ago I mentioned that I believe the majority of believers have a secret desire to become a tither. I also believe that the majority of disciples want to be able to share the gift of Jesus with another human being.
Unfortunately, there are some obstacles that get in the way. Obstacles like false assumptions, fear and anxiety, not knowing when the right time share the gift is, who to share the gift with, or not knowing what to say when it comes to sharing the gift. Am I right?
Therefore, I’m going to preach a series called “Share the Gift” for the next three weeks. A series designed to encourage and equip each of us to be ready to share the gift with others.
The first step I’ve taken is to secure the services of the Evangelism Linebacker. Watch this, and then watch out. [VIDEO – The Evangelism Linebacker]
[S] Now, that’s one way to motivate disciples to share their gift. But I’m not sure that’s the best way to do it. What I hope to do over the next few weeks is help you and I alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with sharing the gift so that we can increase our chances for being obedient to Jesus as well as to make life better for others this holiday season.
The first obstacle to address is the assumption that the majority of people aren’t interested in hearing the good news about Jesus. And that’s just not true. They are!
In John 4 Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well. He doesn’t impose himself upon her, he doesn’t debate her, he doesn’t embarrass her. He simply starts a conversation with her about water. And before you know it, they’re talking about the spiritual life. And she’s engaged by it. She’s contributing to it. She’s feeding the conversation. She liked what she was hearing. She was amazed at the news. So much so that the one little Samaritan left and brought a score of others back to hear more. God wants you to know that there are people who want you to share your gift with them.