Monday, May 25, 2020

Jesus Hoarders: Is Your Heart Full, But the Church is Empty? Part 2

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Lamica A. Burnett
Lamica A. Burnett
An aspiring author and new blogger, Lamica Burnett is a mother of 4 and has been married to the love of her life for 21 years. She’s been journaling since age 6 and accepted Christ at age 18. An accountant by profession, Lamica is obsessed with beautiful stationery and all things paper.

Are You Sharing Jesus or Hoarding Jesus?

Do you have empty seats in your church or local assembly?  Who is responsible for sharing the gospel of Christ with people in your local community?

Is it the pastor? Could it be the missionaries? Is it your church Ministerial staff?  Could it be anyone else – just not you?

As believers, it is our responsibility to take action to fill up vacancies in the body of Christ.

We can no longer sit back in silence, enjoying the benefits of a relationship with Christ without accepting the responsibility of doing what Jesus commanded every one of His followers to do in Matthew 28:19-20.  If you were not clear on what your ministry is as a believer, these verses provide the exact detail of your assignment.

Stepping up to share our faith has risks, but that should not stop us from obeying what God has appointed us to do. So, why are we still hesitant or fearful?

Are You Self(ie) Centered?

Often our own fears cause us to be silent in the sharing of our faith in Christ.  We think we need to have all of the answers. If we don’t know the Bible word-for-word, from Genesis to Revelation, we feel intimidated and unqualified to share.

We are looking at pictures of ourselves through a false lens and a distorted filter. We focus on our imperfections and shortcomings, allowing our feelings of inadequacy to keep us silent. This is our greatest mistake!  We are so busy looking at ourselves that we never focus on Christ and the power that he has given us!

We have back up!   Though we may feel like we are alone in sharing our faith, we have some powerful reinforcements that we may not recognize.

Our Reinforcements

  • God is with you! Rest assured knowing that you are not alone (Joshua 1:9).
  • The Holy Spirit gives you the power to be a witness! God supplies the power to accomplish his plan! (Acts 1:8)
  • When you don’t know what to say, the Holy spirit will give you the words (Luke 12:12, Matthew 10:20).
  • We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings according to Ephesians 1:3; this reassures us that we lack nothing!
  • Other believers help us in our efforts to reach others – one plants the seed, another one waters, God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:8-9).

The pressure to perform is not on you. God has merely given us the command to preach (share) the gospel.  We are commanded to simply make an invitation. It is not your responsibility to argue doctrine or debate opinions. God is the one who brings people to salvation, not you.  Once a person accepts an invitation, it is a potential win for the Kingdom.  The word of the Lord will do the work in their lives as they yield themselves to Him.

The Hidden Rewards of Sharing Christ

Though the risks of sharing your faith are real, so are the rewards:

  • As we share our faith with others, we build a bond of trust. Sharing your experience with others lets them know that they are not alone in their situations. Your experience can break down the walls of isolation and brings hope.  Your personal transformation can show someone else that they too can experience Christ.
  • Sharing what God has done causes us to overcome the enemy. Revelation 12:11 says we defeat the devil by the word of our testimony.  We must not be afraid of being transparent and honest about the things we have overcome through Christ.
  • If you turn people towards righteousness, Daniel 12:3 shares that you will shine like the stars forever. This is a heavenly reward that can not be compared to any earthly honor or accolade!

So, What’s the play call?

Now is the time for us as believers and followers of Christ to take personal responsibility for the empty seats in our churches and fellowships.  If we call ourselves “Team Jesus”, it is our duty to train, get in the game, and obey God. John 14:15 says if we love Him, we keep His commandments.  Our job is to stay open to opportunities to share.  Be obedient and wise to speak when the door opens.

Be sensitive to people and where they are.

Take time to actively listen. Tune in to what they may not be saying. Imagine what they may be feeling. Empathize with them, their situation, who they are and what they have experienced.  They will share their pain points in conversation.  Allow the Holy Spirit to give you the compassion you need to be sensitive to their needs.

Simply ask if you can pray with someone.  Ask what they are worried about.  This simple question may open the door for a deeper conversation.

Look for practical, tangible ways to serve.  The reality of the love of Christ is displayed in our acts of serving.  It is in this service that new relationships form.  As the relationship forms, the opportunity for conversation increases.  Use it to the Kingdom’s advantage!

As you begin to consistently share Christ in these small ways, be encouraged!

Let’s look forward to seeing some new faces in our churches – move over and make some room!  By faith, we will see less empty seats and joyfully welcome our new brothers and sisters in Christ!

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