12 Simple Ways to Share Your Faith

Reprinted From TEACHING HELP THE WRITINGS OF KIM HIGGINBOTHAM

Sharing a Bible

I’m an introvert. I have trouble talking to people. I wouldn’t know what to say. People don’t seem that interested. I’m don’t know how. I’m scared. I don’t have time. I don’t know enough. Evangelism isn’t my talent.

Excuses! We all have them, but we need to realize that evangelism is not a talent. It’s a command. Because I may not have a talent for singing, does not mean I can let someone else sing for me in worship. Singing is a command that I am required to do and so is evangelism!

Our view of evangelism is too limited if we only think of open Bible studies, door knocking, and mission trips. Those are great, but not everyone can do them. However, everyone is capable of evangelism, else God wouldn’t have commanded it.

Here are a few thoughts about sharing our faith:

1. Live it.

This isn’t necessarily evangelism, but it is important. No one will listen to a word you say if you are a hypocrite. Not only should your speech, dress, attitudes, and behaviors reflect Christ when people see you, but also when they “see” you on social media. Haven’t we all seen people proclaiming their Christianity on Facebook, but a quick scroll through their “Likes” or photos gives a completely different picture of who they are? Maybe you’ve changed from the person you used to be. Go through your social media posts, likes, and pictures to be sure you are reflecting Christ.

2. Publicly identify yourself as Christian on social media. 

Share Christian blog posts, scriptures, sermon links, and upcoming church events. However, do not be that person who fills your friends’ Facebook feed with too much sharing. I’ve had Facebook friends who post one thing after another in a single day. That’s a sure way to have people “unfriend” or “unfollow” you.

3. Keep something at your work space that identifies you as a Christian.

When I was teaching in public school, I kept a picture frame on my desk with a meaningful Bible verse in it. I had a principal who kept a devotional book on his desk. You may keep a Bible or other religious book that lets people know to whom you belong.

4. Invite a non-Christian to church services. 

How is it that we can invite a non-Christian friend to go shopping or lunch, but get shy and awkward about inviting them to church? You never know what their response will be and they may just come! Throw in an invitation to go to lunch afterward and take the opportunity to talk about the worship service.

5. Tell people that you went (or are going) to church. 

When someone asks what you did (or are going to do) on the weekend, tell them about church. Mention the sermon. Tell them about the great ministry program that is going on. Find positive, interesting tidbits to share.

6. Teach Bible class. 

Whether it is teaching children who are just learning about God or adults, teaching is a way we can share our faith.

7. Invite non-Christians to church events outside of services.

This could be VBS, seminar, fall festival, youth event, ladies’ day or anything where the non-Christian is introduced and welcomed by your church family. This can open doors to future invitations.

8. Go to lunch with a Christian friend and invite a non-Christian friend to join you.

Turn the conversation to spiritual things. Mention that you’d like to do more Bible study and ask if they would, too. Begin a group study.

9. Read the Bible on your lunch break.

Others may notice and ask you what you are reading or you may start the conversation.

10. Reach out to those who are in difficult circumstances.

Often people having hard times will be the most receptive to the gospel. That may include those who face illness, disability, grief, homelessness, prison,unplanned pregnancy, or special-needs. Talk with them, listen to their stories, offer hope and prayers for them.

11. Serve someone.

Look for non-Christian co-workers, neighbors, or friends to serve. Reach out with a homemade treats delivered with an invitation to worship. Email a note of appreciation and gratitude to someone with an appropriate scripture. Go out of your way to extend a kindness and be sure to connect your service with your Christianity.

12. Send & grade Bible correspondence courses.

 At our congregation, there have been Bible courses sent to thousands of individuals. People are needed to grade and send out lessons.

We are required to plant and water the seed of God’s word. It is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-8). Stop making evangelism harder than it has to be. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it does have to be intentional!

Note: Kim Higginbotham’s husband, Steve, preaches for Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN.

Remaining Strong in the Lord

It is hard to remain strong when one is discouraged. And discouragement is one of the nastiest tools the devil has at his disposal. If he can discourage a Christian, he can keep him from doing the will of God. Discouragement creates a type of spiritual paralysis within the heart that keeps a Christian inactive before the Lord. It then becomes a question of how do we keep ourselves strong in the Lord when the devil is working so hard against us? Let’s look at some suggestions.

Listen to the word of God

The word of God tells us He will always be there for us (Hebrews 13:5-6) So, the best way to overcome any adversity in life is to go to God’s word. Contained within is all the instructions we will ever need to fight the good fight of faith and rise victoriously. In the eighteenth chapter of the book of Luke we read, “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1).

Jesus then tells the parable about the “Persistent Widow”. The judge in the parable did not fear God nor regard man. But, because of the widow’s persistence, he finally gave in and gave her the justice that she craved. What we must understand is that the judge is by no means a comparison to our heavenly Father, but rather he serves as a direct contrast to Him.

When we read in the word of God about our heavenly Father, we find that He is very much in tune with our needs. Matthew 6:8 tells us that God knows our needs even before we ask. Matthew 7:7-11 reminds us that human fathers know how to give good gifts to their children. The question is then raised, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11).

Cast your anxiety (cares, worries) on God

Peter wrote, “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). When we are faced with adversity, it is easy to forget the strength and comfort we find in the Lord. Too often we wait until the world is in shambles before we remember the great love God has for us. Too often, we forget to approach Him in prayer.

Some may contend that worry is simply part of life. They may even call the burdens that weigh heavily upon their minds “legitimate concerns”. But whatever a person may call them, they are not healthy for productive Christian living. Therefore, we must always remember to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. If we do so, all these other concerns will be taken care of (Matthew 6:25-34).

Remain Thankful

It may sound strange, but thankfulness before God goes a long way in keeping us strong in the faith. All can remember struggles of the past that they thought they would never make it through. Yet, it happened. The struggles were overcome because one’s faith was grounded in the Lord. The key was looking to Him in prayer and remaining steadfast.

Therefore, we look to the current obstacles in our path and face them with newfound confidence knowing that our God is still with us. This was exactly what David did before facing Goliath. He remembered God’s deliverance from the lion and the bear. Then he looked at the Philistine and boldly stated that he would be defeated like one of them. The next time you are faced with adversity and discouragement, remember the great power of prayer. When we bow our heads in prayer, the line of communication between our hearts and our heavenly Father is open. He hears us and will answer speedily (Luke 18:8).

When Life Makes No Sense

Confusing life

When we study God’s Word, we are warned that “evil” days will come (Ecclesiastes 12:1; Matthew 6:34; Ephesians 5:16). Job observed, “Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil” (Job 14:1; cf. Psalm 73:14, 21). At times, there will be events, situations, diagnoses, tragedies, and conditions in our lives that will make no sense. That is why the Psalmist wondered aloud, “Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble” (Psalm 10:1)?

There are mysteries in the New Testament that are not explained:

  • James, the brother of John was martyred for Christ, but Peter was delivered from prison and spared from the same ruler (Acts 12:1ff). Why? Surely the Jerusalem Christians puzzled over this matter.
  • Four companions in the gospel—Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke—arrived in the city of Philippi to do spread the Word of God. Two of them—Paul and Silas—are whipped and thrown into prison. But, the other two apparently were untouched. Why?
  • Epaphroditus, Paul’s helper in Rome, became desperately ill but recovered (Philippians 2:25‐27). Paul, however, was afflicted with a grievous “thorn in the flesh” that was chronic (2 Corinthians 12:7‐9). Why?

It is times such as these, when life makes no sense, that our faith will be tested. And, in such storms, there are foundation stones that cannot be moved.

We can trust God in the dark.

Corrie Ten Boom, popular author and Holocaust survivor, wrote, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” So it is in life. We can trust God farther than we can “see.” Solomon wrote, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

When we hurt, we really have only two choices: (1) We can hurt with God, or (2) we can hurt without Him. We need God more in suffering than ever before because losing faith will not remove our pain. Instead it adds a second problem, and of the two, Wayne Jackson notes, “infidelity is of far greater consequence.” Job trusted despite his extreme suffering. When all his children died, his possessions were lost, and his means of livelihood removed, he said simply, “…The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). When he soon also lost his health and suffered months of agony, he remained unfazed: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15).

When a time of suffering come, is the time to turn to God’s Word, knowing the evidences in it build faith in God’s integrity (Psalm 19; Romans 10:17). It is of utmost importance that we establish confidence in the Word of God and not be moved from it. Unless we are convinced that the Bible is true, and we can trust its message, there is nowhere to go for any meaningful resolution; we will fall into the devil’s trap of doubt.

Faith Must Be Tested to Be Genuine.

Do you remember those public service announcements than began, “This is a test”? When going through trials, we can say to ourselves, “This is a test.” Times of crisis prove our friendship with God and declare the authenticity of our faith. Do we love God because He provides gifts? Do we love those gifts more than we love the Giver? This was the accusation Satan made against Job (Job 1:8-12; cf. 1 Peter 1:6-9). All the things we cling to in this world will eventually disappear. The One who gives them is all that will ultimately remain.

Simple answers sometimes are enough.

R. C. Sproul insightfully offers in his book, Not a Chance, that when a child asks a complicated question, or one that he is not yet ready to understand, a parent’s simple reply is, “Because.” “Because” implies there is an answer but does not give all of it. As God’s children, sometimes it must suffice to accept “because” when we ask “why?” In Job’s trial, as well as in ours, part of the test is the idea of not knowing the reason for the suffering. Jesus neither gave long explanations of evil nor ignored it (Luke 4:18-19).

Vance Havner remarked, “God marks across some of our days, ‘Will explain later.’” He continued, “One day of green pastures and still waters is followed by dark valleys and miry swamps, and a thousand ‘whys’ lie unanswered, tabled for future reference.” Warren Wiersbe wrote, “God’s people live by promises, not by explanations.” What promises do we have when life does not make sense?

We have the assurance of God’s presence.

While God never promised life would be problem-free, He did promise to be with His people (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 46:5-7). Notice these examples:

  • God was with David in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23).
  • He was with the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3)
  • He was with Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6).
  • God sent an angel to the garden to strengthen Jesus (Luke 22:43).

Therefore, we can conclude, God is not a disinterested spectator in our lives. He is neither distant nor disengaged. Even when we feel life makes no sense, He cares (1 Peter 5:7). Even when we are afraid, through faith we can sing, “What a fellowship, what a joy divine, safe and secure from all alarms.”

We have the assurance of God’s peace

(John 14:27; 16:33; 20:19-21; Ephesians 2:12-14; 1 Peter 5:14).

We have the assurance of God’s providence (Romans 8:28).

Rather than asking “Where is God?” or “Why me?” let us ask, “What can I learn from this?” and “Who can I help because of this?” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Life’s problems are not easy, but they qualify us to serve in ways we never could otherwise.

Adapted

May a Creed Be Considered Expedient?

In the struggle for independence, our forefathers pledged “life, fortune and sacred honor.” They did so as an expedient way to bring about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This lead to a country founded on freedom never before known. We treasure these freedoms that brave men and women died to obtain. But long before this nation came into existence, Jesus said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free…if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:32, 36). There can never be real political freedom without spiritual freedom, and Jesus knew it. The really strange thing, to this writer, is that some people, having been set free, unaware of what they are doing, go back into slavery.

“…therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1). Some of the Christians in Galatia were trying to go back to the law of Moses, from which the death of Jesus had set them free (Gal. 3:19-29). By going back to the old law, they were cutting themselves off from Christ and His blessings: “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal 5:4). I would feel very confident in stating that leaving Christ was not their intent, but that, in effect, was the result. Christ promised them freedom, but they, by going back to the old law, refused it.

Religious Division Looks For Expedient Way Out

Rom 6:18 tells us, Jesus came that we might be “freed from sin.” He did this by His death onCreeds are supposed to be expedient the cross (Rom. 5:6-10). Jesus not only makes us free from the guilt of past sins; He also makes us free from the practice of sin as we follow His will. That is why Paul wrote, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom 8:1-2). But there is another freedom that was important to Jesus, and it should be important to us also. That is the freedom from man’s creeds.

At the time Jesus lived, Jewish religion was divided into “sects” (what we would call denominations today). There was the sect of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Herodians, the Essenes and probably others. Each of these had their own particular beliefs, which were different from the others. For example, the Sadducees did not believe in spirits, neither angels nor the resurrection from the dead (Acts 23:8). In order to record all their conclusions and have them available to help others follow what they believed, Jewish scribes put their beliefs into what they called “The Talmud.” It contained much of the Old Testament scripture along with commentary of the learned lawyers (doctors of the law) (Lk. 5:17). It all seemed very innocent. They believed certain things, so they wrote them down. On the surface, that seems simple and harmless enough. But it became a disaster.

An Expedient Way?

The Jews were always looking for a reason to discredit Jesus because of what He taught. On one occasion they observed His disciples eating with “unwashed (impure, NASV) hands” (Mark 7:2). They criticized Jesus by saying, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” (Mark 7:5). The law didn’t require a Jew to wash his hands before eating. But their “creed” did. Regardless of their reasoning, they were legislating where God had not.

Jesus response came from the prophet Isaiah. “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men” (Mark 7:6-8). Was there anything wrong with washing their hands before eating? Of course not! But there was a great deal wrong with taking what seemed a good idea, and making a law or rule of it, and requiring others to follow it. That is precisely what the Jews were trying to do.

Looking for Unity

I don’t believe there is any question that the Jews, when they made their creed, were sincere in trying to help people understand God’s will, at least in the beginning. But there was an inherent flaw in their reasoning, and in the reasoning of all whom would make a creed today. They seek to place the thoughts and ideas of man on the same level with God’s word. Even if their intentions were good, their explanation of what God meant could not take the place of what God said. In that same sense, every creed of man falls into the same category as that of the Jews. They “make void” the word of God.

In the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, there began a movement in this country among people in many different denominations to find a basis for unity. The conclusion; the principle thing separating believers in Christ were the creeds written by men. Each denomination had its own, different from the creeds of the others. Barton W. Stone, Alexander Campbell, John Smith, Walter Scott and dozens of other men like them, felt it was necessary to “go back to the Bible.” Some of these, in their zeal to explain their new beliefs, put them into creeds! Fortunately, they quickly saw the error of that and determined the Bible alone would govern them. The decision was made that no man-made set of rules, or creed, would be allowed.

We fail to learn from the past, and thus we see the same thing happening in churches across the land. What we see is peopleThe End Justifies The Means Is Not Expedient expressing their views as to how worship services should be run or what they believe and expecting those meeting with them to abide by these “creeds.” However, the concept that the end justifies the means is a concept most people operate under. As with the past creeds, it is done with the assumption that doing it this way is an expedient. While, as with past creeds, the things these creeds contain may not, in and of themselves be wrong. But, it is a problem of making law where God has not.

Let us look at what determines a thing to be expedient

In order for a thing to be expedient it must be lawful.

The apostle Paul wrote, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Cor 6:12). Later on in the same letter he says, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify” (1 Cor 10:23). In these passages Paul teaches expediency must come within the realm of that which is lawful. If something is not within the scope of that which is authorized; if there is no precept, approved example, or logical conclusion in the scripture to authorize the practice, it has no Divine authority.

For a thing to be expedient it cannot be specified.

When God specifies there is no choice but to obey or disobey. In matters specified, faith demands obedience. Expediency in human wisdom involves the right of choice within the realm of those things included in what God has authorized. To go beyond that which is specified or offer a substitute is to add to what God has said instead of aiding obedience to His word.

For a thing to be expedient, it must edify.

Paul understood this (1 Cor 10:23-33; 14:26 ). If something is a matter of choice or expediency (human wisdom or judgment) and its practice would tear down and destroy what God would have built up by creating disunity, dissension and division in the body of Christ, it is sinful and wrong. If God commands it, we must  do it no matter what the consequences. But if it is non-essential (God having left the choice to human wisdom) and we demand or enforce that which destroys the peace and unity of God’s children, we sin. All of the seeming good we might accomplish by such a course would not overcome the wrong done by it.

A thing must not offend the conscience of a brother if it is to be expedient.

Paul wrote, “Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God” (1 Cor 10:32). We are taught to forgo a matter of personal liberty instead of leading a brother to sin. He sins by violating his conscience in partaking in that which he believes to be wrong (1 Cor. 8:7-13). If a method of doing something in the Lord’s church is a matter of expediency, we cannot force upon the consciences of others those things which our judgment may approve but which are contrary to their understanding and which, appear to them to be wrong or sinful without sinning ourselves.

An addition to God’s word or a substitution for God’s way is not an expedient.

Remember, an expedient must first be lawful. Every addition or substitution is relying upon human wisdom, and as such is unlawful. Such is not a matter of expediency, but is transgression of God’s will. Expediency involves the right of choice within the realm of that which is authorized in the New Testament. It is not a course of authority within itself.

If we apply this test to creeds, regardless of their purpose, we will find they do not pass the test. Therefore let us abandon every creed and simply rely on the Bible for our direction in our service to God.

Editors Note: Some of the information as to establishing expediencies is taken from “Walking By Faith,” by Roy Cogdill.

See Also:

What is Truth

Whose Responsibility is it?