I want to revisit what I talked about last month — people’s responses to the Gospel. I’d like to concentrate on our role in this process.
We know that we are not the perfect examples as representatives of Christ. That goes without saying. But there are many things we can do to demonstrate attributes of our Savior as we talk to others about their eternal destiny. What are some of these principles?
1) Love them. This is the first principle, and it underscores all of the others. People will know if we are trying to win an argument or make a convert rather than loving them for who they are. We do recognize that God is the One Who regenerates men – drawing them to Himself.
Many years ago we had a guy that went through our investigative study three or four different times. I was one of the ones that went through the study with him. I got a call Sunday night from the YBL man that was meeting with him. He said to me, “Phil if he doesn’t receive Christ tomorrow I’m done with him.” I told him, look at what you’re saying, “I’ll be your friend; I will love you if you perform for me” — even though his motive was pure to see him trust Christ. But I said, “We have to love him, continue to answer his questions, no matter what his response.”
The next day I got a response from my YBL friend. He said, “You know that conversation we had last night? We didn’t need to have it, because he came to know Christ probably as we were talking.” LOVE PEOPLE!
2) Ask the person you’re meeting with intelligent questions. Show interest in them, ask what they are struggling with or be excited about what excites them. I had a chance to share with a missionary from the Mormon faith on a three and a half hour plane flight to Los Angeles. The reason I was able to do so was because I spent the first two hours asking him good questions. He knew I was interested in him and what he believed.
3) Disarm them if you can. Humor is a great way to endear yourself to people. Share a story to which they may relate. Find common ground.
4) Listen beyond the words. Ask God to give you discernment and wisdom as you ask questions and show interest in that person.
In all these things, show them Jesus. We serve an incredible, immortal, faithful, holy, grace-filled, loving, sovereign God. If they can just get a glimpse of Whom we serve, if we reflect His glory in the smallest way, God will multiply that effort infinitely. That makes the Christian life an exciting adventure.
Every time I sit down to write I am reminded of your faithfulness, your support, your prayers, and your love. It encourages me to finish well. I hope that I do the same for you.
Galatians 6:10 says, “so then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The best thing we can do for anyone is to introduce them to Jesus.
Serving Him gratefully with you,