Lifestyle evangelism: A living faith (conclusion)

August 19, 2014

download“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only…” – James 1:22 (ESV)

This entire month we have been discussing evangelism and how evangelism should be the responsibility of every believer to not only verbally share the Good News but also to practice evangelism as a lifestyle. Catholic Bishop John Noonan wrote in an article titled: “Evangelization: Living Out Your Faith In the World” (July 5, 2012): “We are called to transform the world in word and deed. The world in which we live is a very complex one. There are many challenges, many difficulties, and many dangers. Yet, this is your mission to follow the command of Jesus Christ to go out into the world; not to just live, but to also transform the world with the message of Jesus Christ.” Jesus reminded us “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). In our conclusion of this evangelism series, I will pose several questions for you to consider and answer at your leisure. 1. Take a few moments and make your own personal list of barriers that have hindered you from sharing the Gospel of Jesus the Christ. Now that you have been honest with yourself, make this list a part of your daily prayer list of challenges in your spiritual walk that you desire to overcome. Pray over these daily until you have the victory. 2. The message of evangelism is communicating the Good News of Jesus the Christ in and through love (Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-36). As disciples of the Christ there is no greater expression of love than benevolence and prayer. 3. Make a list of at least five (5) persons who can benefit from your love. 4. Make a list of at least five (5) persons you know who have not accepted Christ or persons who can benefit from your prayer life. As disciples we are supposed to be encouragers and be ready to give every person the reason of hope that is within us with meekness and respect. (1 Peter 1:15-16). What Peter is encouraging us to do is be ready to share our testimony of deliverance and victory. 5. If someone asked you of the hope that is within, what would you say? What is your testimony (i.e., what was your life like before you received Jesus; how did you receive Jesus; and how has Jesus made your life meaningful and more complete)? Beloved, the bottom line is evangelism is a biblical mandate and is the task of every believer. The United Methodist Book of Discipline declares, “Evangelism is an attitude, a spirit, and a living faith that finds expression in continuous cooperative effort on behalf of the Holy Spirit, humankind to bring persons into vital relationship with God and their fellow humans through faith in Jesus the Christ.” And indeed it is an attitude, a spirit, and a living faith manifesting in the world. Mahatma Gandhi once remarked: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I pray this series of articles has challenged you to undertake a detailed mental examination of your thoughts, motives and actions and determine if your life resembles the life of love, forgiveness and servitude as that of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. Next Month: Breaking the Chains The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008