We provide a short weekly devotion every Thursday to encourage us in God's Word. The authors of these devotions are members of St. John's. Check back here every week for the next devotion! May they be a blessing to you.
Today, I’d like to share a personal witness. I have to say that St John’s embracing the book Joining Jesus has been a major inspiration to me. The word evangelism always represented a challenge that I didn’t feel that I was “up to”. I’m not trained. I don’t have what you’d call an outgoing personality. Yet, God commands me to share the Good News.
In Pastor Jake’s letter in the Volume 1, Issue 1 of the new Let It Shine newsletter, he states:
“Our goal, then, is to seek, recognize, and respond to what Jesus is already up to in the lives of the people around us. When we see our mission through that lens, it becomes a little less scary, doesn’t it? It also helps us to see that our mission isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.”
Well, I’ve tried to embrace this in my daily living. I have “antennas out” that I never knew I even had before. I’m more aware of how God is working in my life and in the lives of others who I have regular contact with. Just today, I had a WONDERFUL experience that surely would not have occurred but for the “fresh thinking” that this Joining Jesus mission has instilled in me.
I had a telephone conversation with the wife of a close friend who passed away recently. I have tried to be there for her in these difficult times. In prior discussions, we’ve “touched” on religion, as I always try to make it clear to my friends and neighbors that my faith in Jesus is very important to me. But I’ve rarely gone beyond that type of statement to a deeper discussion of my beliefs. Well, today, enabled by the Joining Jesus mission, I was sensitive to the opportunity to “go deeper” and the opportunity arose. She asked me if I was Presbyterian or Lutheran. I told her (a Roman Catholic) I was Lutheran, but that – more relevant – I was a Christian and that Lutherans focus their belief solely on the bible as the inerrant Word of God and that our reading and studying of the bible is a daily practice. As we continued on this topic, she stated how important God was to her and to live a good life where she is helping others. OPPORTUNITY KNOCKED! I told her how the bible makes clear that if you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and that He died for our sins and rose from the dead, that you will join Him in heaven whether you are Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist or Presbyterian. Our good works don’t earn us a place in heaven, that is a gift to believers. Good works are just a natural outgrowth of who we are as Christians. That was a lot less scary than I would have thought. I now pray that the Good News message that I had the opportunity to share will make a difference in this one Child of God.
- Hank Funsch
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