August 17 I Monday
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist...”
—2 Timothy 4:5
Soon after I became a Christian I realized Christians spoke to other people about Jesus and I was supposed to do that too. I was very young and thought if I talked to my friends, they would laugh at me. I decided to choose someone I did not know, but was concerned I would get tongue-tied and embarrassed talking face to face.
Instead, I jumped on my bike, went to the public telephone and made my first leap in witnessing for Christ. I was at a loss as to who to call, so I called the operator. I remember the conversation well. She said, “Number please.” I said, “I don’t have a number.” She replied, “What do you want?” I said, “Do you mind if I asked you a question?” She answered, “Alright, make it quick,” I asked, “Are you ready to meet God?” She said, “Yes, anytime!” And then the other line went dead. Feeling discouraged, I rode home slowly, but at least the ice was cracked a bit...a tiny little bit.
Many Christians start off in the same boat. We are not all cut out to be evangelists, but we are all witnesses for Christ. In contrast to evangelism by multiplication, there is “evangelism by addition,” which goes like this: Imagine the late Billy Graham was the only Christian in the world and he preached to a packed stadium of 100,000 people and all of them came to Christ. The next day, another packed stadium coming to Christ would make 200,000 Christians. After 10 days, one million new Christians. The figures start off impressively but if we consider our current world population, it would take about 213 years and 8 months to reach the world with evangelism by addition. This means we could never do it alone, because if our life span is about 70 years, three and a half generations would have come and gone within that time.
The better outcome is to reach the world by personal evangelism; that is one person telling another person. The process is simple. “Each one reach one,” and by word of mouth the gospel spreads. Most of us are hesitant at first, but we have the direction and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. When we submit our lives to Christ, His agenda becomes our agenda and His agenda is “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Only Christ can do the saving, but as Christians, we are to remain faithful in our task of sharing the gospel. This makes it essential that we take that first step in witnessing Christ and leave the outcome to Him. May we commit to reaching one?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant me the courage to be a bold witness for You. Fill me with Your Spirit and direct me wisely in what to say and whom to speak to. Thank You, Lord.