I wouldn’t be writing this were it not for people who told me about Jesus: My grandparents, who taught me to give thanks before meals and helped me recite the Lord’s Prayer. My friends who sent me Scripture and told me about their church life and faith walk. My co-workers who live out their faith. A church family that welcomed me and plugged me into their midst. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my walk with Christ without each of them. I thank God for using these imperfect people to speak His perfect Word to me. If you haven’t been asked this in a while, consider these questions: Who have you spoken God’s Word to recently? Where could you speak God’s Word to someone today?
Evangelism, outreach, and simply speaking about Jesus to others can be intimidating or anxiety inducing. What if we say the wrong thing or sound judgmental? Where do we even begin? We need to remember that when we speak God’s Word, we aren’t doing so on our own. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we share the Good News. Sometimes, simply starting is all that is needed. Here are four places we can share God’s Word with others.
Recently, I was looking back through some of my old journal entries. I found a few from the summer after my freshman year of college. That summer was particularly hard for me. It started well, with what looked like the fulfillment of an opportunity I’d been praying about for months and months. But then God sent me back to my hometown instead. In my journal, I openly asked God to show me why He’d sent me home. He did show me, and in a surprising way: at my old summer job that I thought I wouldn’t come back to.
It was a cold and rainy day, despite being mid-July, and so my workplace was slow. Not many people want to sightsee when the weather is poor. All we could do was talk to one another. The co-worker I was working with that night used to laugh with me that we were like the setup to a joke: a Muslim and a Christian work together in a gift shop … That night, though, she asked me, “So … what do you believe about Jesus?” I knew the Holy Spirit was with me as I shared God’s Word with her. It was the only time she and I deeply discussed our different faiths, but I know that God’s Word is living and active.
In Rev. Dr. Edward Grimenstein’s new book, Speaking Boldly: Sharing God’s Word Every Day, the author discusses this concept of knowing that we are not alone when we speak His Word to others:
God’s Word is living and active in this world because God has sent it, and God has sent it to you to speak. We don’t have to let fear of speaking get in the way; God sent His Word to do the work He wants it to do. We don’t have to worry about what effect our speaking may or may not have. Rest assured, God is the one who sent His Word, and it will accomplish what He desires it to accomplish. We are simply called to speak, and speaking (not just smiling) is so important.
I think the most nerve-racking thing when it comes to speaking God’s Word to other people is wondering how they will take it. Will they be offended? Will they still want to be my friend? Will I come off as judgmental and rude? What if the topic we need to speak about is hard?
Grimenstein has a reminder for us when we share the tough parts of God’s Word:
When we are speaking a hard word to someone, we should always remember that we are sinners just like them; we are no different. Just because we are all sinners, though, doesn’t mean we keep our mouths shut. ... God will speak His Word, and He will use you to do it!
Our neighbors, whether someone at the grocery store or a close friend, need to hear God’s Word for their lives. Even in hard situations and when discussing hard topics, His Word is life-giving.
My mother-in-law raised seven children to be faithful, mature Christians. One of her passions has always been family faith development. She has often spoken to me about the difficulty of balancing Law and Gospel in her parenting conversations. It’s no surprise that this may be the most difficult discussion for parents trying to guide their children’s faith and behavior. When someone (a parent or a child) messes up, we want that person’s behavior to change, but we also want the person to be assured that he or she is still loved and forgiven. The person isn’t off the hook, but God’s promises are the same. Parents want their children to follow God’s Law, but none of us do so all the time.
In Speaking Boldly, the author recognizes that we all do not keep God’s Law perfectly:
But that doesn’t stop us from loving God’s Law, because it tells us what God is truly like. We also don’t stop trying to keep the Law just because we can’t do so perfectly. We do so out of love for God. Most important, even when the Law acts as a rule, we do not look inward to ourselves for fulfillment. Even when the Law acts as a rule for those who want to keep God’s Word, the Law should always point us back to Jesus and God’s mercy.
Grimenstein poses a hypothetical situation for the reader in Speaking Boldly: “None of us are mind readers, and we can’t expect to be, but what if you were given the chance to know that the devil did steal God’s Word from someone’s heart? What if you took a chance and intervened in that moment? What would you do?”
Sometimes, we get complacent in telling the people we worship with about Jesus. We tend to think that because they are in church and maybe even super involved that they are “safe.” As Christians, we need to be intentional about walking with people in their faith. The church is the perfect place to ask questions about God, the best place to explore faith with others. These conversations start from the same place, of recognizing that we are all sinners and bearing one another’s burdens. If you run into a question or problem you cannot answer, your pastor, the elders, and other church members are there to help. Even though it may seem strange or difficult, having conversations and pointing back to Scripture with your fellow church members may have a significant impact.
So I ask you this question: where can you share God’s Word today?
Learn how to share God's Word with boldness and love.