Sharing Our Faith II

The following is my sermon “draft”.  It is not a full scripted version of the message, but intended to be mostly full for me to seek a logical flow and content for the message.  This is long. Bold text is for PowerPoint slides, I hope it is not too “loud”.

Rooted & Growing Up
Sharing our Faith II

What are you excited about?
How excited are you about your relationship with God?

Have you ever thought about how being excited about your relationship with God would affect you and others? How about being so excited that you share your faith in Jesus with others.

Examples from the Bible of people excited about their faith enough to share it with others!

Peter and John were arrested and taken before the Jewish leaders because they were excited about their faith in Jesus. This was a bad situation, but to them the consequences didn’t matter, Peter and John were going to keep sharing the Gospel. Acts 4:19-20 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

They were sent home! Do you believe this encouraged the believers in Jerusalem? It excited them enough to pray for more boldness – Acts 4:23-31

Do you believe this inspired even some of the Jewish leaders to believe? Acts 6:7 large group of priests became obedient to the faith.”

Paul and Silas sitting in a terrible jail at midnight? Do we find them in Acts 16 feeling sorry for themselves? They must have felt the situation was hopeless, right? Acts 16:25 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”

Paul and Silas didn’t trust their feelings, the situation, or rely on others people for encouragement and hope. They had the Holy Spirit in them! How do you believe Paul and Silas’ response to the situation affected the other prisoners?

Are you excited about what God is doing in your life? Does this excitement just naturally spill into your conversations with others and into your actions every day?

Here is the core of the message today. I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others. (Matthew 6:33,

If we are Rooted & Built Up, Ephesians 3:17, then nothing should really keep us from being excited about what God has done for us. When we are rooted on the Rock and growing spiritually, our foundation is secure, Matthew 7:24-27.

It sounds like to me that true believer will be more like Peter, John, Paul, and Silas who could not and would not stop sharing their faith!

Lets think about this for a minute. As a believer we really rarely have a truly terrible day. Evan a bad day with the Lord is a good day when we look to Him.

Even if we are going through a very difficult situation, God is there loving us. Even when we don’t feel His presence, He is there loving us. I realize this is sometimes easier to say and harder to believe in the middle of the situation, but it is still true.

Did God leave any of these men in their time of trouble? We are promised;  I will never leave you or forsake you! Hebrews 13:5, quote of Deut. 31:6  Who can separate us from the Love of Christ? Romans 8:35

These are examples of what happens believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

Preparing this message again forced me to search my heart.  Am I like the Disciples as they lived and shared their faith in Jesus? I continue to be convicted about how often I share my faith.

I ask myself again and I now ask you – when was that last time you told someone about your faith in Jesus? I believe if I am sharing my faith with other, like the Disciples, it is evidence of God’s working in my life. If I am not sharing my faith, it shows something is blocking my spiritual life.

I am not saying it is easy to share faith in Jesus with others, or that it is comfortable, or that it isn’t even a scary. What I do believe is that if you aren’t regularly sharing your faith with other people then something needs to change in our spiritual life.

If you are sharing your faith regularly, wonderful, but if you are not then why not? Spend a few seconds searching your heart. Why aren’t or don’t you share your faith in Jesus?

Here are a few typical reasons people say they don’t share their faith.
It isn’t my spiritual gift
I am shy
I don’t know what to say
I tried and failed, so I don’t try anymore
I am afraid _____________ ; of what they will say, that they will reject me, it will affect my job, people won’t like me, etc

Are any of these really valid reasons not to share our faith? When we remember what Jesus did for us? This alone is reason for us to be excited about sharing out faith. We deserve death and eternity in hell separated from God, but instead Jesus died for our sins.

I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

But to be honest here are some of the reasons I believe we truly don’t share our faith more often in word and action.           Not really a believer – don’t care people are dying without a personal relationship with Jesus.  Don’t believe there are consequences – for us or others.  Not seeking a close relationship with the Lord

Practical Issues
Relationships are required
Relationships with unbelievers
Do we ever go to meet them on their “turf”?

I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

Lets look at Romans 10:1-17. This passage is way to full to explore in-depth, but I believe there are some important truths we can learn in the little time left.

How to share our faith? Practical ideas.
#1       Prayer            v 1      What is my hearts desire? What am I excited about? Paul was excited about praying for the salvation of his fellow Jews. Paul not only prayed for them, but also went and shared his faith with them at great cost to himself.
There is only one other prayer for lost people in the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:1 “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,”. For a long time it didn’t make sense why we are not taught more in the Bible about praying or the lost. I believe this is true because praying for the lost is a natural desire when our hearts are full of the Holy Spirit.

#2       Literal Transformation     v 2-3 (Matthew 7:21-23, Galatians 2:20, Romans 12:2)
Testify – personal experience.
Zeal – boiling for God
They had no testimony.
I believe Paul is making it clear our words and our own actions are not enough to make us righteous and right with God.  We require a personal experience with Jesus, to know Him by experience.  Everyone must have a personal knowledge of faith, a relationship with Jesus.  It must be based on God’s righteousness and the only way that happens is by our total submission to God’s righteousness.

#3       All about faith in Jesus       v 4-7               Deut 30:11-13
Jesus said He fulfilled the law, Matthew 5:17. We are no longer required to obey the Law legalistically, by our works, but can now live it through believing in Jesus our Savior.
v5 = Leviticus 18:5
v 6-7   Faith is about believing in the one who did what we needed to bring Righteousness. Lack of faith is questioning in our heart who will go for us. Apparently Jesus is not far away up, or down from us.

#4       Filled with the Holy Spirit            v 8                   Deut 30:14
What does “righteousness that comes from faith (v6)” say? Faith is not theoretical. Faith is having a personal experience, testimony, or first-hand knowledge – v2. It is surrendering to God’s righteousness by faith v3. It is placing your faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ, v4.
When faith is our living experience the following are true as evidence.
1. The message is faith in Jesus, and He is right here.
2. The message come freely from our mouth (Matthew 12:34)
3. Because the message is in our heart
When we have living faith we have personally experienced a transformation through salvation.   Evidence of transformation and a growing relationship with God through Jesus is when v8 is true for me.

Here is how it works!
#5       The message                        v 9-11 Faith that Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead!

#6       The result                 v 12-13
Salvation for any and all who call on Him. An important detail is that the word call can also be translated petition or make a request and it is not just a one-time action. We continually require a time of surrendering to God’s will (v3) as we make our petition or request through Jesus.

#7       The messenger        v 14-15
We don’t have time to explore this at all. Do you remember Isaiah’s response to a similar situation? Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me.” Is this your response as well?

#8       Literal Transformation II v 16-17
Paul then inserts a harsh truth. “But all did not obey the gospel.” Clearly to me it that it is not enough to just hear about Jesus, say we believe in Jesus, and do what we believe is God’s will (v2-3). In the end we must not only hear the message, say we believe the message, but also obey God’s will, the gospel, the good new of Jesus as Lord who was raised from the dead”. This is only true when we have a personal relationship with God through experiencing personal salvation.

So what exactly does it mean to share my faith? Romans 10:8
    Step 1 Rooted, surrender to God’s Righteousness
Step 2 Pray, study God’s Word, keep seeking
Step 3 Be prepared always; full of the Spirit, full of a fresh experience in God’s word, formal training in Evangelism,
Step 4 Intentionally build relationships; serve others, earn the respect to share, make sure actions and words match.
Step 5 Be persistent and never give up = return to Step 1

I believe it is different in every situation, conversation and for every person. It is when God through the Holy Spirit is directing us. Matthew 10:19-20

I have never met someone who asked me directly – how can I be saved? But many days I realize I am sharing my faith when I help someone in some way, when I pray for someone silently, when I tell them I am praying for them, when I ask them how I can pray for them, when I praise the Lord in their presence for some little thing He has done, and sometimes I get to sit down with someone who wants to hear lots about my Jesus.

Serving others
Praying for others
Building relationships with others
Telling them what excites you – fresh testimony

Too often I believe we think God expects us to present some kind of perfect gospel presentation with verses and amazing illustrations. Too often we believe we are expected to convince and convert people with our words of testimony. Too often we wait for the perfect situation to share our faith.

I believe only satan wants to convince us of these partial-truths.

I believe if we continue to seek a closer relationship with God through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, we will be so excited about what God is doing in us we will naturally share our faith with others.

The problem is not seeking constantly a closer relationship with the Lord.   When seeking the Lord we are full of the Holy Spirit. I want to be full of the Holy Spirit and my own selfish desires. Only when a believer is full of the Holy Spirit can the rest of the desires in life remain under God’s control.

But I believe there is a simple, but hard solution.

Last week Luke challenged us to understand “our treasure” out of Matthew 6. He reminded us that our heart is where our treasure is – in heaven or on earth. I believe what we are excited about reveals much about our treasure. Don’t we like to talk about our treasure, what excites us?

I believe God continues to show me how I still like to build up treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy. My heart’s greatest desire is not based on God’s will. My heart has to many desires that are in conflict. Some of mine are; to much food, more bicycles, and a general lack of self-control.   I could go on, but will stop with these.

When I make sure to put God first in my life everyday, He makes me ready to be used in other people’s lives. A secondary benefit is my life is better in every way when I put God first.

I believe I put God first by choosing my first clear thought each morning to be putting God first. When I do this my next thought is nearly always a desire to spend time in prayer and time in God’s Word before the other things that day. This doesn’t always work because some days I want to choose to put God first, but I don’t and choose to put Him down the list. Worse are the days I don’t even want to put Him first.

When I do put God first, I look back at the end of the day and say how wonderful is our God. On these days, they are more often now than in the distant past, I look back and see in what ways God used me to share my faith in Jesus.

Sharing our faith is to be more about sharing our testimony than sharing information. Acts 4:33.  It is the natural result of our relationship with God.

Why am I excited about what God has done for me? What has He done? Have I forgotten?  Remember as a new believer when you were excited about your faith?  What happened? Not a new believer every day!

What is the goal of the message?     Encourage how to daily be filling by the Holy Spirit so that being the gospel is Jesus-natural, authentic, based on relationship, lived in action and in word.
What is God’s will for the message? Love = obey Him including sharing our testimony of what He has done.
What is the application in the message? Every believer inviting people into their life – and intro to Jesus intentionally and Jesus-naturally along the way.

Sharing our faith.

(Extremely abbreviated version of the message)

Generally what we are excited about is more likely to get other people’s interest. The opposite is also true.

Have you ever thought about how being excited about your relationship with God would affect you and others? How about being so excited that you share your faith in Jesus with others.

Peter and John, Acts 4:19-20 Do you believe their experience encouraged the believers? Prayed for more boldness, Acts 4:23-31

Core of the message today. If we continue to be full of the Holy Spirit then we will be so excited about our growing relationship with God, we will naturally share our faith with others.

Paul & Silas, Acts 16:25, didn’t trust their feelings, the situation, or rely on others people for hope. They had the Holy Spirit in them!

Evan a bad day with the Lord is a good day when we look to Jesus. Whatever is God’s plan it is for my good and His glory, James 1:2-4.

When we are rooted on the Rock and growing spiritually, our foundation is secure, Matthew 7:24-27.

When things get hard lets keep in mind Peter, John, Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25). How about Stephen, Acts 7:54-60, and the greatest example of all – Jesus and all that He suffered to be God’s Grace for us. Hebrews 12:2

When was that last time you told someone about your faith in Jesus? I believe if I am sharing my faith with other, like the Disciples, it is evidence of God’s working in my life.

Reasons I have not more automatically shared my faith.

  1. I am not remaining close to the Lord (John 15:1-8)
  2. I don’t believe there are consequences; for me or others
  3. I expect others to do the job
  4. I really don’t care enough
  5. When it isn’t easy I think it isn’t; the right time, etc.

Are any of these really valid reasons not to share our faith? When we remember what Jesus did for us? We deserve death and eternity in hell, but instead Jesus died for our sins.

Lets look at Romans 10:1-17. Brief outline

#1 Prayer, v 1

#2 True Transformation, v 2-3 (Matt 7:21-23, Gal 2:20, Rom 12:2)

#3 All about faith in Jesus, v 4-7

#4 Filled with the Holy Spirit, v 8   The message is inside us – Jesus!

#5 The message, v 9-11      Jesus is Lord and resurrected!

#6 The result, v 12-13         Salvation for all who petition Him.

#7 The messenger, v 14-15               Isaiah 6:8; is this your response?

#8 Literal Transformation II, v 16-17   Obedience required

I believe I put God first by choosing my first clear thought each morning to be putting God first. When I do this my next thought is nearly always a desire to spend time in prayer and time in God’s Word before the other things that day. This doesn’t always work because some days I want to choose to put God first, but I don’t and choose to put Him down the list.

Too often I believe we think God expects us to present a perfect gospel presentation with verses, amazing illustrations. Too often we wait for the perfect situation to share our faith.

Deut. 6:4-6     Love God with everything and share Him with others.

Steps to naturally sharing our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Step 1 Be Rooted (Matthew 7:24-27)
Step 2 Pray    (Romans 10:1, Matthew 9:38)
Step 3 Be prepared always; full of the Spirit, full of a fresh experience in God’s word, formal training in Evangelism
Step 4 Intentionally build relationships; serve others, earn the respect and right to share, make sure actions and words match.
Step 5 Be persistent and never give up