Friday, 24 September 2010
Why do we let fear inhibit us from sharing the Bible with people? Do we take any credit for what happens to a person after they hear scripture? If we let fear overcome us sharing scripture, what do we fear except our pride?
God is the one who grants repentance, not us, as it says in 2 Timothy 2:25-26 - Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
It is not by our own doing that the scripture has effect in someone's life, but it is by grace, as written in Ephesians 2:8-10 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Furthermore God predestined those who are to be called sons, as it says in Ephesians 1:4-6 - For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
God's word does not come back void as it is written in Isaiah 55:11 - so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
This is the same God who says in Romans 9:18 - Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Remember that it is foolish to those who are perishing, as written in 1 Corinthians 1:18-19 - For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
We cannot decide whom God hardens and who he softens to his word, we must only share it, because it is not us who makes it grow but God, Paul confirms this in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 - When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
God is the one who made it grow, even Paul considered himself nothing as written in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 - What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
We cannot empty the cross of it's power and think that it is by our own doing that someone is saved. Fear is no excuse not to share the word, because even the Apostle Paul came with fear and trembling, but God worked through him miraculously. So when you share you faith, let your faith do the work.
Do you have a hard time sharing the Gospel? Why do you think it's hard for you? Does knowing that the act of salvation is totally out of your hands give you some comfort?