I’ve started handing out copies of my new book, A Man Who Told Us the Truth. I’ve given copies to my unbelieving neighbors and a few copies to some Jewish friends who work out at the same gym as I do. It’s been exhilarating so far.
Not only is it the fulfillment of a decade-long dream to have this resource available for spiritually inquisitive people, but it also feels good to be doing something tangible for them. These are all people that I care about and pray for.
I’d like to encourage you. I know you have people in your life that you pray for as well. I know you have friends, neighbors, classmates, roommates, colleagues and family members that desperately need to know Jesus. I also know that if you’re like me, bringing Jesus into a conversation can be a downright terrifying experience.
I know the fears:
What if I say the wrong thing?
What if I push them further from God?
What if my timing is all off?
What if? What if?
So in the name of alleviating those fears and moving you to action, here are four reasons why talking to others about Jesus is well worth the risk.
First, it adds passion to your prayers.
There’s no better way to fire up your prayers than talking to people about Jesus. It’s not so much that you might say something wrong and forever chase them away from God. God is bigger than that. God has been using humans just like us–frail and sinful though we may be–to win people to his Son throughout history. You are not the exception to that. He will use you.
It’s more about the stakes being so high. When you’re talking to someone about Jesus, that is the most important conversation he or she will ever have. Eternity really is in the balance. You know that you need God to anoint the conversation, and that makes you pray.
And any time you pray, good things happen. Or better said, God things happen.
Second, God honors obedience.
Jesus commanded us to disciple others in his name. He told us to be about the business of spreading his Good News wherever we went. It simply isn’t optional for us. Thus, when we talk to people about Jesus, we’re being obedient. And I pray you know by now that God HONORS obedience. He will honor your obedience, not just in your life but also in the lives of the people who you share Jesus with.
Third, you will mature and become more confident.
I had the opportunity to participate in a discussion with some atheist leaders a few years ago. Three Austin pastors sat down with three world-renown atheists for a discussion of our respective world views. The event made international headlines. (Read my blog about it here.)
I was absolutely terrified going into the event. My prayer was basically, Oh God, please don’t let us wreck 2000 years of Kingdom work in one two-hour conversation.
But what I found in the discussion were three human beings with whom I had much more in common than I would have ever thought. They each had hopes, dreams, fears, struggles and baggage just like I did. I walked away knowing that I had talked to three brilliant atheist spokespeople and lived to tell about it. The Kingdom had not collapsed.
My confidence, not in my own communicative skills, but in God’s faithfulness and in the power of the Gospel, soared. It energized me. That’s what happens when you talk to people about Jesus–you’ll become more confident every time you do it.
Finally, you might just change their eternity.
Basically, there are no risks in talking to people about Jesus. We don’t save people; God does. That’s why there’s no risk. The Bible is filled with promises about the efficacy of God’s Word. It can’t fail.
Rather than chasing someone away from God, which is what Satan will tell you is going to happen, you may just help them find God. Can you imagine that moment in Heaven when you stand face-to-face with the people you helped get there?
Friends, the only risk in talking to people about Jesus is in not talking to them.
Get out there and mix it up. You’ll be amazed at what God will do and at just how receptive people really are.