(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How-To: Sharing God’s Love
By Jasmin Patterson
Have you ever been excited to do something but held back in intimidation because you were afraid to mess it up? Maybe it’s the nerves of asking your crush out on a date or telling your parents what dreams you want to pursue when you head off to college.
Christians can kind of feel that way when it comes to telling others about Jesus. He’s the person we love the most and it’s the best news we could ever share, but we get hung up on how to do it well while not being weird with also worrying about how people will react. Relatable? I’m guessing your answer, like mine, is yes.
1 Peter 3:15-16 exhorts Christians this way: “…you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way…” Here are some practical tips on how to share the love of Jesus with the people in your life:
Live a life that’s filled with love and follows the example of Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2). We learn from passages like Matthew 5:14-16, Colossians 4:3-6, and Titus 2:10 that we can either make the message of Jesus attractive or unattractive to people based on how we treat them and how we live out our faith.
Living out your faith sincerely in front of others will often compel them to ask you questions and you can begin conversations from there. Even if someone isn’t open to hear from you right now, they may be more open to hear about Him from someone else in the future because of how you treated them with love, respect, and kindness, and how your life demonstrated genuine obedience to the ways of Jesus.
Prayer is the most powerful thing we can do. Pray that Jesus would open their hearts to Him and His message. Pray that He would give you an open door in conversation to talk to them and help you know how to move forward in that moment.
Make sure you’re faithfully speaking the truth of the gospel but doing it in a loving, gentle and respectful way, like 1 Peter 3 calls to do. God cares about our tone as we share His Word with others.
Share your story with Jesus. You could ask someone if you can share with them why you’re a Christian (or they might ask you). If they say yes, you can share your testimony of salvation and how Jesus has transformed you since giving your life to Him.
You could also share how you see Him working in your life right now and what He’s teaching you. As you share your story, you give people a glimpse of what real relationship with Jesus looks like and He can use that to draw their hearts to Him.
Learn a Bible passage that explains the gospel. Get familiar with the main points so you’re comfortable enough to articulate them clearly to someone in a conversational way. I like to use Acts 3:12-19 and Ephesians 2:1-10.
There are apps that can help you with this. Some of them even have interactive tools you can use with people as you have gospel conversations. Lastly, you want to be able to lead them in a prayer that helps them verbalize their new belief in Jesus and confession of faith.
If you read the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1:5-9, you’ll learn that it’s a process for a person to come to faith in Jesus. You’ll also learn that we each have different roles to play at different times in a person’s journey to faith in Jesus. The seed of God’s Word has to be planted in someone’s heart, watered, then brought to harvest.
Success in sharing your faith is simply playing your role. It’s okay if you’re not the harvester who gets to pray with them to receive Christ in that moment. Just let God lead you in what to do with the person and the conversation in front of you, and trust Him with the rest.