Perfect Love Casts Out Fear of Evangelism

man in white dress shirt and maroon necktie holding hands with girl in white dress

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’m terrified of evangelism. And I’m bad at it… Not to mention I’m really, really introverted.

However, (as you’ve likely heard many times before) God calls us as Christians to evangelize.

My guess is you’ve heard this verse before, when Jesus commands the disciples to spread the gospel and make disciples of all people:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

In a post I made a few weeks ago, I urged you all to fight against the fear of evangelism and reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ, because so many are condemned to death without hope of a Savior.

Now I want to take a step back and say, yes, evangelism is scary. In fact, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done…

But I have done it.

Not because of anything about me—no way! I don’t want you to leave this post thinking I have some special gift, because I truly do not. Everything within me repels the idea of going up to a stranger and sharing about the love of God. My flesh squirms in utter discomfort. Won’t it be awkward? I think. What if they already know about it? What if they reject me?

Everything about me prevents me from sharing the truth that sets captives free and heals the hearts of the wounded. My own self is a barrier between me and another soul.

But as Christians, we aren’t called to live for Christ. We are called to let Christ live in us.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 5:20

I can’t emphasize enough how much this post is not about me. How much my evangelism is not about me. How much reaching the hearts of this broken world is not about me.

And I can’t thank God enough for what He has done through me! Allowing Christ to live in me is the most breathtaking adventure I’ve ever been on. Letting Him take control continually blows my mind. His beauty and power are enormously greater than anything I could ever accomplish.

I’m continually amazed at what He does when I simply submit myself to Him and say, “Okay, Your will be done, not mine. Let Your love shine through me, and not my fear. Let them see the fragrance of Christ within me, and not the trembling fear within me.”

And the beautiful thing about God is, that He has no fear in Him. He is not fear. He is love. He is precious, atoning, unfailing, merciful, sacrificial love. When we trust in Him fully, His perfect love for us casts out fear of evangelism.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

Still, that doesn’t mean we have to wait to be the perfect person to evangelize. We don’t have to try to make our motivations right before spreading the word about the God who saves. Sometimes we just have to take that step of faith into the unknown in order to experience peace and strength.

Believe me, evangelism brings so much joy. While it is the scariest thing I have ever done, it is also the most joyous thing I have ever done. I’m not kidding about this—I rejoice in the hope I have for so many people to experience a lasting relationship with Jesus! I rejoice in the God who is giving these people a chance or more chances because of His power working through me.

After most of my encounters with people in handing out gospel tracts, I’m flooded with overwhelming confidence in the God who truly cares for His people. Even if I receive a rude response, I am only more assured that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that their resistance is not against me but against Him. Each time I allow God to reach out to a soul through my act of faith, the Lord becomes so sweet to me, and I fall more in love with Him than ever.

Evangelism is what has strengthened me most in my faith out of anything I’ve ever done—and this is no exaggeration! The power of evangelism in our lives and the lives we touch radiates the name of Jesus Christ and bears eternal significance.

I sing for joy—joy, it’s something I don’t think I fully understood until I started evangelizing! Instead of looking at the thousands of people I pass by without hope, I have a stronger reason to pray for them and a deeper love for them and a greater hope that God would reach their hearts.

It’s that amazing.

I’ve learned so much about God through each step of faith. He is truly greater than anything this earth can supply. Forsaking all to shine His light instead of my own is beyond worth it, because God is far worthier and far more satisfying than even the good things I cherish around me.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” – Acts 20:21

God is so good to us, and He knows how scary it can be to take that first step of faith. I have some verses in my phone that have encouraged me when I’m feeling afraid about evangelizing.

“He must increase, but I must decrease” – John 3:30

“Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent, for I am with you” – Acts 18:9-10

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21

So please, please, don’t let fear stop you from sharing the wonderful news that God’s Son came down into our mess to completely purify us from all our sinful deeds.

Together, we can be terrified of evangelism, we can be bad at it, and we can even be really, really introverted (though if you’re extraverted that’s a bonus! 😉). That’s okay, as long as you surrender it at the feet of Jesus and choose to trust in Him no matter what. Because together, we can and will fight against this fear, because that’s the kind of mighty God we serve.

Savor the magnitude of what God has done in your life, for He has saved you out of the pit of death by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Let your joy and hope overflow to those around you. Let your life be grounded in prayer, full of the Spirit, and abiding in His word.

With all your heart, let your life be a living sacrifice to God as you give of yourself to others without any care of awkwardness or discomfort, and with full care for the souls of those you may see in heaven one day.

Here is a song that tells about God’s perfect love casting out our fears and failures. People are often surprised when I tell them what God has been doing in my life, but as Christians, anything is possible, for any of us. It’s not about who we are, it’s about who He is. Be encouraged today, and let Christ’s love shine brightly through you to this broken world!

What do you think about evangelism? Is it scary to you, or does it come more naturally to you? What kind of settings have you considered or are you evangelizing in (to strangers, friends, family, etc.)?

Advertisements

CW4: The Magpie and the Squirrel

chris-lawton-217895.jpg

(Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash)

Another assignment in my Creative Writing class– to write a fable similar to Aesop’s fables!

Once there was a Magpie who collected shiny objects for his nest in an oak tree.

Whenever a traveler spent the night in a nearby clearing, the Magpie would swoop down and collect the treasures found in his sack. The Owl who lived in the same oak tree as the Magpie would watch the Magpie do this each time.

One day, the Owl said to the Magpie, “Every time a traveler comes this way, you steal the treasures found in his sack. Why do you do this evil thing, Magpie?”

The Magpie grew very angry and declared, “What right do you have to spy on me, Owl? My business is my own; it is no concern of yours!”

With that, the Magpie proceeded to move his nest along with his shiny treasures to another oak tree nearby.

It turned out, that in this new oak tree, a Squirrel resided in a hollow. The Squirrel was known to be very kind and honest to all.

On a moonlit night that a traveler rested in the clearing, the Magpie thought to himself, “If I can get Squirrel to help me steal from this traveler, I can get more treasure than ever before!”

So he thought up a plan to deceive the innocent Squirrel into helping him rob the traveler.

The Magpie asked the Squirrel, “Do you want to help me collect shiny objects? There is a stream in the clearing that has gold and silver flowing through it, but no one but me knows about it, because you can only see it by the light of the moon!”

Unaware that the Magpie meant to steal these shiny objects from a traveler, the Squirrel agreed. And so, the two proceeded to the clearing.

The Magpie passed the shiny objects to the squirrel, who scurried to deliver them to their oak tree and then ran back to receive more treasures from the Magpie. The Squirrel had poor eyesight, so he never saw the sleeping traveler or the sack that the Magpie was stealing from.

Meanwhile, the Owl watched from afar, and when the Squirrel returned with treasure for the third time, the Owl met him at the Magpie’s oak tree. “What are you doing, Squirrel? Why are you helping Magpie, when he is a fool, stealing from an innocent traveler?”

The Squirrel shrank back at the Owl’s words. “Stealing? I didn’t know we were stealing. The Magpie told me we were collecting them from a stream that had gold and silver flowing through it!”

“There is no such thing, Squirrel!” the Owl declared. “You may not have seen it with your poor eyesight, but I advise you to stop doing this evil deed at once, friend!”

The Squirrel agreed. “Thank you, Owl. I wouldn’t have seen what I was doing if you hadn’t told me so. I’ll forever be indebted to you for showing me the evil I was taking part in.”

“Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.” – Proverbs 9:8

(Truly) For Our Greater Good

I’m sure we’ve all probably heard or asked this question before:

“Why would a loving God let bad things happen to us?”

To dig through the surface of such a mystery, we need to look more closely at God Himself. All over the Bible, God reveals Himself behind the foundations of the earth. Not only is God loving, but He is a Mighty God who is bigger than the loudest storm, the greatest earthquake, and our doubts that trickle through the cracks inside us. What we call a problem, He calls a slight worm that can be smashed in His hand. What we call a tragedy, He calls a raindrop that can be overcome by His ocean of grace.

No matter our situation, God loves us, so He waits upon us till we wait upon Him.

He waits for us to accept His power–the glorious news that His Son Jesus came to carry our burdens, to endure God’s wrath for us, to set our turbulent hearts secure in an unfathomable peace. The Lord Jesus came down to earth to offer us peace in the midst of chaos, to understand the depth of God’s love, holiness, and eternal joy in the midst of fear and confusion and despair.

We can experience Him even if our own circumstances don’t reflect His goodness. Continue reading