Day 22 – How Do I Start Evangelizing? (Part 2)
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16
On this side of the cross we can stand firm in the freedom and hope freely given to us through the gospel yet we still witness those who present the gospel angrily as if we should expect the unsaved to act righteously without Jesus in their lives. . Unfortunately, their hatred for those who have yet to receive Jesus, seems devastatingly unlike Christ. We’ve watched as people were guilted into saying a prayer, rather than inviting them into a relationship with Jesus.
One of the saddest and most shocking moments we’ve experienced took place at a large gathering where people were told to raise their hands if they wanted to pray the prayer of salvation and claim a free gift card after the prayer was over, as if eternity’s greatest gift could be purchased with fifteen dollars to Starbucks. Unfortunately, due to our lack of abiding in Christ, many today don’t have a correct view of Jesus, and sadly, much of the evangelism efforts that actually are taking place are driven by the individual Christian’s wrong view of Christ. A right view of Jesus is the only way of “re-presenting” Him to the world. Evangelism isn’t only something we do on a weekend, it is something we live out as a display of the One who has taken up residency in our hearts. This comes from a place of deep relationship with the person of Jesus; in turn, the overflow of our hearts will be Christ Himself.“…for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” – Matthew 12:34b
In order for this to become a reality for us, we need a true love relationship with Christ. If we were to give up all other pursuits and simply lock eyes with Jesus, making it our life’s goal to know Him more, we wouldn’t have to try and squeeze the correct fruit out of our spirits; It would be a product of abiding (John 15). The fruit of our actions would be laden with love, in fact only being fully motivated by Christ’s love. If this isn’t the epitome of our evangelism, it’s worth nothing (1 Cor. 13:2). We’re just
noisy, empty, and worthless in our efforts if our actions are simply motivated by our need to “do”.
If you are to be ready to “give the reason for the hope that you have”, you must have this hope bubbling up, overflowing out. This comes from a place of abiding in Him, knowing Him and in turn, making Him known. We lead with Hope, because He is Christ in us, the Hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
Here’s an example of a conversation that leads with Hope:
“We all have a devastating problem. We are separated from Christ by our sin, but we all have hope, because “while we were yet sinners, Christ died.” Personally, I was an enemy of God, broken, and devoid of Hope, but Jesus came into my life. I repented of my sin, and by His death and resurrection, He paid the debt I couldn’t pay. God is perfect – I couldn’t earn a relationship with Him and I couldn’t fix myself enough to spend eternity with Him, but He did it all, nailing all my sin to His cross (Col. 2:14). Because of this, I now walk with Him. I’m a child of God. I now carry Hope to all I encounter. Would you like to experience this same Hope in your own life?”
Scriptures: Matthew 12:34, John 15:4, 1 Corinthians 13:2, Colossians 1:27, Colossians 2:14, 1 Peter 3:15-16.
Source: Immerse Ministries, Making Him Known – 30 Day Evangelism Devotional. 2023.
Preorder for Making Him Known is available now – Release Date: November 1st, 2023