Thursday, February 23, 2006

sharing Jesus with people

As I've systematically read/reflected/prayed/preached through Acts over the course of the past year (the Acts of God series), I've been continually struck by how the earliest Christians shared the good news of Jesus Christ. I mean, here I am pondering again a passage some might consider rather pedestrian - Paul before Festus and Agrippa (Acts 25-26) - and yet, what is it that stands out? It's . . .
"... about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive." (Acts 25:19 TNIV)

"Why ... consider it incredible that God raises the dead?" (Acts 26:8 TNIV)

"... God has helped me to this very day, so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. ... I am saying ... that the Messiah would suffer and ... rise from the dead ..." (Acts 26:22-23 TNIV)

"Do you believe? ... I pray God that ... all who are listening to me today may become what I am ..." (Acts 26:29 TNIV)
Sharing faith. Evangelism. Getting the word out. Call it what you will. The early Christians talked openly and plainly with people who were yet to believe about the One in whom they had come to believe had died for them and now lived in them, Jesus.

Now the question is how does that happen? In what context does sharing faith have the best chance to actually work? Those two questions reminded me of one of the best things I've ever read about such. Wade Hodges, preaching minister with the Garnett Church of Christ in Tulsa, OK wrote it well over a year ago. I commend that article, "Forced Evangelism," to you for your consideration, not only as we see how God worked with the Christians as recorded in the book of Acts, but as we seek today to let God work through us today to the end that faith my be recorded in the hearts of people who do not yet know Him. Enjoy.