Thanks to my friend Nancy Beach for prompting this post and for her great reminders this weekend!
I love Jesus, but I’m not the “share-the-Gospel-with-the-person-sitting-next-to-you-on-the-plane-and-pray-THE PRAYER-with-them-on-the-one-hour-flight-to-Chicago” kind of person.
Don’t get me wrong. I think any way we can authentically communicate the overwhelming love and grace of Jesus is cool. I’m super
intimidated inspired by those who have the spiritual gift of evangelism. That’s just not me.
My “evangelistic” efforts look more like “Hi, tell me about…” and “Want to come over for…” and “Can I help?” Hesitant baby steps of relationship building. I’m often tempted to think this doesn’t “count” in the world of REAL EVANGELISM.
Confession: I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had the privilege of praying with someone as they said the actual words, “Jesus thank you for your forgiveness. I want you to be Lord of my life.”
But the other day I heard from one of them – a high school girl I prayed with at a Young Life Camp 35 years ago. And when I read her note I cried, because I think God wanted to remind me that He is so much bigger than my bumbling efforts and everything, yes EVERYTHING counts.
First, let me say LOUD AND STRONG I was so inadequate as I tried to tell those teens how they were separated from God through sin, but that He loved them SOOOO much and they could have this amazing eternal relationship with them because Jesus had died to take the punishment for their sins.
I’m sure “ummmed” and “What I mean to say-ed” and probably scrambled to find verses in my Bible. I stumbled and didn’t say it “right” and I was nervous, wanting to be a good “front man” for Jesus. But here’s the note I got the other day:
As I am coming upon the celebration of the time when I came to Christ, December 19th, 1978, I want to express to you how grateful I am that you said “yes” to the Holy Spirit’s beckoning to talk with me that night in Colorado.
Not only did you lovingly obey the HS leading, but you were faithful in following me up as a new believer. You faithfully met with me to disciple me into the beginnings of understanding the “norm” as believers is to be disciple-makers for God’s glory. I am sending you the following just so you know more details of what the Father is doing among the nations.
Here’s the thing…This note makes me sound so together, and I was so NOT!! I loved Jesus and I was just trying to help her know Him too.
Here’s the other thing – the truly amazing thing… This young teenager went on to get married and go into ministry, living and serving among one of the most unreached people groups in the world – the Sumbanese in Eastern Indonesia for the past 30 years
I don’t have the gift of evangelism, but Rhonda and her husband do. And when she writes me story after story of persecution, but also victory as they are brave in sharing, and others are brave in responding, and the Holy Spirit continues to work, I marvel. And I think, “Little ol’ bumbling me without the gift of evangelism…I get to be a small part of that big evangelistic movement. Part of the hundreds who have come to Christ over the years in a tiny remote area of the world”
Because once, a long time ago, I just showed up, totally “not enough” but made “enough” by Jesus, and I did what I could to share His love it made a difference. It counted.
Whatever you do today to share the love of Jesus that you think is not enough, it is. Because He is. And every tiny act of love counts. It’s part of a ripple that moves outward and you many never know where it ends up.