Acts 1:8 (NCV) But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”
After Stephen’s death (Acts 7:58) the church in Jerusalem fell under great persecution. During this time, Christians were scattered from their homes in Jerusalem into the unfamiliar areas of Judea and Samaria. As they stepped out of their comfort zones, they took the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Jesus’ command to “be His witnesses in all of Judea and Samaria” was unfolding and the fulfillment of scripture was happening right before their very eyes.
The early Christians were passionate about spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone even though they were experiencing great persecution. It didn’t matter what being a Christ follower cost them. They didn’t run and hide when times got tough because they were fueled by the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit and open to His leading and guidance. They knew they were not alone because Jesus had promised the Counselor who would be with them and equip them to His hands and feet.
As Christians in the modern world, we are still commanded by Jesus to be his witnesses. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone and we should always be ready to talk to anyone who may be seeking. But I often have to ask myself do I have the same passion that the disciples did to reach their known world for Christ? Or, have I allowed the world to “steal” my boldness?
I know for a fact God has placed me several situations to talk to others about how Jesus has changed my life, but to be honest, sometimes I let the opportunity just pass me by. Then, of course, I have to beat myself up with interrogating questions until I get myself back in gear…
“Why are you such a chicken! You have the same power that rose Christ from the dead living inside of you and are choosing to be a chicken?!?”
Am I the only one who talks to themselves like this?
God wants to use our life experiences, yes the good the bad and the ugly, to draw people to Him. I like to think of it as building a bridge to Jesus. I want to share an example of how God used me to build a bridge between a co-worker and Jesus a few years back. Because of the nature of our working relationship, we became friends and I had the opportunity to support and encourage her through what she deemed as a “very humiliating and embarrassing” season of her life.
Because we shared similar experiences, one day she asked me a very pointed question about how I finally turned my life around. At this moment the Holy Spirit gave me the words I needed to tell my co-worker about the love, hope, and healing I found in Jesus Christ. She listened to what I had to say and because I had built a relationship with her, she trusted me to tell her the truth. She saw the way I lived my life and she had heard stories about my past. Although I didn’t pray with her to accept Christ that day I planted a seed. Who knows, maybe one day I will have the opportunity to pray with her to accept Christ as her Savior. That’s not up to me. For now I just continue to seek God’s face and ask Him to give me opportunities to share His good news.
So are you willing to use your life to build a bridge to Jesus? Perhaps there is someone in your God is leading you to build a relationship with because they are in desperate need of Jesus? He will direct your path. Just like my example, it was over a year before I finally told my co-worker how my life was forever changed by Christ. All we have to do is build the relationship to tell people about Jesus, He can walk over the bridge in His own timing.
Today, ask God to give you the willingness and courage to step out and talk to someone who really needs to be changed by the love of Christ. He will direct you from there.