Be Active in Sharing Your Faith…
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. – Philemon 1:6 NIV84
In college, I came across this verse and thought it was a great motivation for sharing my faith. It wasn’t out of guilt or pride but a desire to be aware of every good thing God has for me.
Last week we looked at one motivation for sharing our faith, and I naturally thought of this verse. As I was preparing to write this post, I was discouraged that the NIV no longer translates it this way. I am not a translation scholar, so I can’t debate whether which one is right. So, I will explain why I think the principle is still right.
Why Should We Share Our Faith?
God has simplified our following Him down to two commands: love Him and love others.
He then gives us the Holy Spirit to help us do those things He asks us to do. The Holy Spirit will empower us, give us wisdom, and lead us as we set our lives to loving Him and others.
Now, we also know that He loves everybody. There isn’t a person on this planet He doesn’t love. He wants each and every one of them to know the joy of being able to come to Him, which is one reason we are called to love one another. It is because He loves them so much, and if we are going to love Him we have to love what He loves.
So, if we do love others and tell them about who God is and how much He loves them, then we should expect the Holy Spirit to come alongside us and help us.
How Does It Help Us Know Every Good Thing?
Now, how does sharing our faith give us a full understanding of every good thing in Christ?
When we enter into people’s lives, we will see problems that we personally don’t experience. It’s not that we are better; we all have different problems. However, the benefits of being in Christ address them all. Therefore, if someone has a different problem than us, then they will draw differently on benefits Christ has to offer. And yet, that goodness they draw on is also available for us.
God Wants to Speak To Us
There was this one woman that my wife and I were helping. It is best to describe her as having been traumatized by demons. Because of her reality, she thought it normal to have voices speaking to her. These voices would tell her how bad she was and would encourage her to throw herself in front of traffic.
When she invited Jesus into her life, she gained a new voice speaking to her. The Holy Spirit’s voice was so much different. Because she was so used to having outside voices; she was more receptive hear the new voice from God.
Before then I had never heard God speak much, but she had started to hear Him all the time. Her experience was an invitation for me to experience more of His voice as well.
God Wants To Give Me More Than I Often Allow
Another time, I was sharing my faith with someone who told me that God could never forgive him. I randomly responded, “you’re right, He can’t… because you won’t let Him.”
I trust those words were from the Holy Spirit, but I have to agree they could have been for me, too. There are also many things God can’t do in my life because I won’t allow Him too. It’s not that God can’t take care of my needs, but at times I won’t cast them on Him, because I don’t trust He really cares for me.
Sharing Your Faith Benefits You
Sharing our faith reminds us of God’s truth applied to real people. The Holy Spirit offers us wisdom to offer them hope and life. And, those words reveal to us more of those good things God wants us to have as well.