“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself… 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Architects and artists, gourmet chefs and avid gardeners share a common denominator – tools. Each professional carries out his or her particular trade by having a cadre of specific tools at their disposal. Nothing significant occurs without specialized instruments designed to transform beams into skyscrapers or blank canvases into artistic masterpieces.
As followers of Christ we neglect this principle. We are called by Christ to become a “caller” to others. He reconciled us and gave us the mandate to own “the ministry of reconciliation”. At some point in our lives we accepted the good news of the Gospel, and he transformed us from the inside out. Now we are to be agents of transformation in the lives of others.
Yet too often we are content to conceal the Gospel. We act like selfish children who have been chosen to hand out presents at the party but who huddle in a corner playing with the gifts by ourselves. Indifference might be one reason for our foolish behavior; a fearful lack of confidence might be another. Both need to stop.
Paul issues a challenge: “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised…Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 20). The message is undeniable. Those of us who are controlled by Christ are to live selflessly, focused on sharing Christ and his message of reconciliation with as many people as possible.
Where do we begin as his “ambassador” and how will God “make his appeal through us”? For starters, acquire some proper tools! Stop pretending you are not commissioned by him to reach those who do not know him. Pray for boldness to share his truth and your own story of transformation. Ask him to connect you with those whose hearts are open, those he’s been calling to himself, those who are already searching for him.
Challenge those who are indifferent with something like this: “I know you are not interested in anything to do with God. But as your friend, will you do me a favor? Will you simply ask God if he’s real and wants a relationship with you to reveal himself? And then will you let me know if anything happens?”
Memorize Romans 3:23 and 6:23 and 5:8. Press those verses inside the pocket of your mind and retrieve them when the opportunity comes. Look up ways to share the Gospel online and use those videos to equip you for this task. Ask those who share their faith regularly to teach you their best practices. Grab a sheet of paper, write out the difference Christ makes in your everyday life, and use your story to transform the next conversation into a meaningful dialogue.
On a card write three names of those who need salvation, and place it somewhere conspicuous to prompt you to pray. The Holy Spirit is called the “Helper” in John 14. Appeal to him for help in sharing the Gospel. He will.
Dozens of ways exist to communicate the Gospel. Zero in on one, practice it, do it again, and don’t allow anything to get in your way. Recall Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Go ahead and take the next step, tools in hand, the Helper by your side, and watch what God will accomplish in his perfect time.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell