I grew up with some speech impediments, some letter sounds came out a little different and I hated talking when I realized things came out wrong. The weird thing is the same feelings about mispronouncing words and the insecurities about sharing the Gospel had a similar feeling. Instead of being confident in the Holy Spirit working, or standing on Scripture alone, I worried more about what people thought about me or how if I said something wrong I would be judged. I really admire Jesus, in the face of judgment and comments from the Pharisees and teachers of the law (v. 2) he still did what God called him to do. He went to the lost no matter the cost.

Why is it hard for me and why might it be hard for you? Instead of trying to find the answer, I would like you to practice something simple. I believe practicing some simple things could change how we view sharing our lives with others. Grab your phone or a pen and paper and get ready to write some things down. Ready? Write down all the places you go the most. Grocery stores, gas stations, coffee shops, etc…; places where there are people you see all the time. This is your first prayer list. Can you spend a little time (even if you feel silly) praying to God about preparing the people for you to get to know them and share Jesus with them? Next, think of the people you see, you might not know their names, you might not know anything about them and that’s okay. Write down who they are (maybe a person at Starbucks, or at work). Ask God to give you a chance to talk to them and ask them about their day or how they are doing.

Here is why praying for these things and people is important. It allows us to step outside of ourselves to extend love to someone else and trust God to work. It also means that we have to put ourselves out there in a way that is similar to Jesus. I don’t think he went to dinners with tax collectors and just shared about how he could save them. He probably asked them about life, how they felt, and their hopes, then through the conversation their hearts opened and things changed. I think God will still open hearts as we open up our lives to others.

Jeremy Johnson
Family Ministry Pastor

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