By JESS WHITE
Let me share a little nugget that I’ve been realizing more and more in the past few weeks: talking about Jesus is really — and I mean really — exciting! Is it daunting to talk about Him to those you don’t know? Yes, I can’t deny that it can make one’s knees knock together, especially at first. Oh, but what joy can be found in aligning yourself boldly with the Cross!
Recently I had the treat of going home to visit my family. One afternoon, my mom, younger brother, and I decided to take a bike ride to the park. As we were riding along the trail in our peaceful little city, suddenly the sound of harsh yelling and some unpleasant language accosted our ears from the direction of a few teenagers lounging around a bench a ways off the trail. I think that I instantly knew I should pull over and go talk to those kids, but as I rode further up the trail I started to make excuses: “Well, can’t I just pray for them? … There are a lot of guys over there Lord, should I, as a single girl, go put myself in that situation? … I have no clue what to say to start the conversation, I’d probably just fumble around!”
Despite all my excuses, there were two things I realized as I continued along the path:
1. I have Christ; they clearly don’t. In light of that, can I turn a blind eye?
2. God didn’t say that, as His follower, I am always supposed to look polished and refined.
In fact, He says that the preaching of the Cross is foolishness, and will be seen as such by the world around us (1 Cor. 1:18). Yet, the command is still to preach! As I travelled further and further away, the warning in Proverbs 24:10-12 blazed through my mind: “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?”
In a moment of resolve, I made a decision. Despite my foolishness, and the foolishness of preaching, and despite all the excuses that were running through my head, I was going to heed the Holy Spirit’s leading — I was going to go talk to those teens! I told my mom and younger brother, turned around, and began the trek back to the bench. With each passing pedal push, I was filled with anticipation. When I came in sight of the bench, I observed that, unfortunately, some of them had already left. However, there were still three guys hanging out. After a sentence or two of brief introductions, I began to share, asking them if they knew Christ. Two of the young men were clearly uninterested, but one engaged in the conversation and I was able to talk with him for a few minutes. I wouldn’t say the conversation was long, or extremely profound, but praise the Lord I was able to share the Gospel! Specifically, I was able to tell how Jesus is the only way to salvation. My hope is that the other two teens listened in as well, though they were making an obvious show of disinterest.
When I left that conversation, there were two new things that I was able to better understand:
1. The Lord gives a genuine, heartfelt, compassion towards those who He calls us to interact with. I truly want to see those kids brought into His kingdom!
2. Talking about Jesus is an amazing and joy-filled privilege! I now see that when we align ourselves with the “foolishness of the Cross,” our love for Christ will increase. My hope is that as the Lord trains us in what it means to be a “Gospelteer” — one who shares the Gospel with all those around us — we become not just willing to share the Gospel, but eager.
My fellow sisters, let us strive to follow the words that Paul gave to Timothy: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…” (1 Timothy 4:2 KJV, emphasis added).