Sharing Your Faith in a Faithless World
In Jesus’ last conversation with His followers before His ascension, He gave them, and us, our marching orders. 8 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 1:8. Jesus made clear that, as His followers, we are commanded, empowered and directed to share our faith, to be His witnesses, in a faithless world.
1) Jesus commanded us to share our faith.
What does it mean to be a “witness” for Jesus? In the original language of the New Testament (Greek), “witness” means “one who dies for his faith”. In the first century, witnessing could cost you your life. But even today, sharing your faith may cost you.
It could cost you your job. That’s what happened to former Bremerton, Washington High School football coach Joseph Kennedy who was fired in 2015 for praying at midfield after football games. His case is being heard in the Supreme Court this week.
Sharing your faith could cost you a relationship. There are relational risks to witnessing to others. Some may not want to hear the truth or be open to the truth; yet Jesus commands us to share it. The Apostle Peter gives us excellent insight about how to share our faith effectively in 1 Peter 3:15. It’s possible to share hard truths without being harsh or hurtful. As Believers, we never want to compromise truth, but we always want to share that truth with the love of Christ. Our desire is never to point fingers at people, but to point them to Christ and His will for their lives.
Sharing your faith could cost you your influence. You could be canceled today; or someone might attempt to cancel you because they don’t agree with your Biblical views. Some people have been “canceled” because they stood on the side of truth in a world that doesn’t really want to hear the truth or accept the truth. There are costs to sharing your faith.
The word witness always brings to mind the courtroom for me. If you were sitting in a witness chair, you would be expected, in fact sworn, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God! As Christ followers, we are commanded to witness to others. Are you taking this command seriously in your life?
The best part about being a witness is that we get to witness changed lives! And there is nothing more inspiring than a changed life! While the costs of sharing your faith are real, so are the rewards!
2) Jesus empowered us to share our faith.
Pastor Charles Stanley writes: “Every time the power of the Holy Spirit is mentioned in Scripture, it is always related to sharing the gospel of truth so that God will be glorified and that people’s lives will be changed.” We are never expected to witness on our own power; in fact, we need the Spirit’s power to propel us! And He will enable us to do far more than we think possible. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20.
Years ago, when we were living in a little house on Lake Norman, my son Logan had been out for a ride on our pontoon boat. He ran out of gas a couple hundred feet from our dock and we didn’t have a paddle in the boat. Lori and I were standing in the backyard with our one year old lab, Buddy, who loved to fetch sticks out of the water. So, I jokingly said, “Go get Him Buddy!” Amazingly, Buddy jumped in the water and swam out to Logan and the boat. Logan tossed him a rope and that dog put that rope in his mouth and actually pulled him back to the dock! We couldn’t believe he did that. It was amazing too see!
When you share your faith, you will be amazed at what God will do in and through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. He can do far more than you ask or imagine! Would you trust Him to empower you?
3) Jesus directed us to share our faith.
Jesus gave His disciples explicit directions about where they were to be His witnesses… in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth! The picture Jesus paints here for us is witnessing in concentric circles, starting with those closest to us. What does that look like for you and me?
The obvious place to start sharing our faith is in our own homes and families. We have a responsibility to witness to those closest to us. Then to witness in our communities, with our friends, co-workers, classmates and neighbors. When is the last time you shared your faith, a testimony, an invite to church with those folks? And then ultimately, our witness is to extend beyond our homes and our communities to the far reaches of the world!
Will you commit to share your faith where you live, where you work, where you play? Christ commands us, empowers us and directs us to share our faith, to witness, in a faithless world! For much more, click here to listen to: Multiply - Part 1 - Sharing Your Faith in a Faithless World.