One of the greatest things about beginning
a relationship with Christ is that He immediately puts us to work. In order to
grow we must spend time in God's Word, in prayer and learning from and
fellowshipping with other believers. But once He calls us to a relationship
with Him, Christ immediately calls us to a mission alongside
That mission, of course, is to tell His story. To take the gospel to the
places and people to whom He calls us. For most of us, it's the people right
where He has placed us. At work, in the neighborhood, at home, at school-Christ
has given all of us a mission field.
We tell His story in three primary ways. First, by the way we
serve. Are others seeing Christ in our actions, our attitudes and in who
we are becoming? And are we serving the people around us by helping meet their
physical, spiritual and emotional needs. Are we truly ministering to and
through the Body of Christ around us? These are all indicators reflecting what
Christ is doing in our lives.
Another important part of telling His story is how we pray. Have we
moved from prayers for ourselves to praying earnestly for others, especially
those without a relationship with Christ? Are we praying for the Holy Spirit to
remove obstacles in the lives of those who need Him? Are we praying that the
person would have an opportunity to hear a very clear presentation of the
gospel? Finally, are we praying that their hearts would be yielded toward God
and that they would see their ultimate need turn from themselves toward
Finally, we tell His story by what we say. We have to put the gospel into
words and communicate it to those who need to hear. You might be reading this
and thinking "that's obvious," but unfortunately there are a large percentage
of Christians today who are attending church, reading their Bibles and
fellowshipping with other believers, but they aren't articulating the gospel to
the nonbelievers in their lives.
It's the epidemic of silent Christianity-Christians who say their life
speaks louder than words. The hope that people will be able to observe Christ
within them and thereby see their own need for Christ.
Without a doubt, we need to be exhibiting Christlikeness and demonstrating
the fruits of the spirit as we become more conformed to His image. The work of
Christ in our lives should constantly be transforming us into better people.
But if we leave it there and never verbalize the reason for the difference in
our lives, many people will never come to understand the basis for the
transformation within us.
The Rev. Sam Shoemaker was a rector in the Episcopal Church and credited
with being a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. He understood the importance
of verbalizing our faith when he wrote:
I cannot witness by my life alone,
I must include my lip.
For if I witness by my life alone,
I proclaim too much of me,
and too little of Him.
Yes, we need to live our lives in a way that will lift up Christ and point
others to Him, but ultimately, to proclaim Christ, we must put the gospel into
words. In so doing we are first being obedient to Christ, but second, we are
allowing ourselves to participate in one of the most joyous parts of God's
Paul understood this when he wrote in Philemon 1:6 (NIV): "I pray that
you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full
understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."
We simply will not experience the fullness of our relationship with Christ
if we are not actively sharing our faith.
The story of God's work in human history is an action adventure story. Noah
didn't experience the miracles of God until he picked up his hammer and started
building the ark. Think of the remarkable life Moses would have missed had he
said no to the call God gave him at the burning bush. And what if the Apostle
Paul, after his conversion on the Road to Damascus, had decided to stay quiet,
but live the best life possible so people could see the difference in him?
Yes, we do encounter risks when we choose to vocalize our faith, but with
those risks come great adventure and great opportunity to grow in Christ. So
don't practice a silent Christianity that never makes itself known in words.
Live it and speak it. You'll begin to discover the fullness of your walk with
Christ and the excitement of reaching the people He intersects with your
Dr. Bob Reccord is president of the North American Mission Board,
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC