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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Influencing Others for Jesus

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.

Always be prepared

to give an answer to everyone who asks you

to give the reason for the hope that you have.

But do this with gentleness and respect, ”
I Peter 3:15 NIV

It is important to me that others know that for me personally there is not a shadow of a doubt that there is a God.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1 NIV

I want them to know that I tenaciously believe in heaven and in hell.

"Rejoice and be glad, because great is you reward in heaven," Matthew 5:12a NIV

"How will you escape being condemned to hell?" Matthew 23:33b NIV

I want others to know that I believe that Jesus is God’s son who came to this earth, put on skin, lived, suffered, and died for my personal sin so I could be saved from eternal punishment. I want others to know that this is true for everyone.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not persih but have eternal life." John 3:16 NIV

I want others to know that I believe that Jesus was resurrected so that he could return to heaven and prepare an eternal home for all those who place their trust in him.

"He is not here; he has risen, just as he said." Matthew 28:6 NIV

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you." John 14:1-2 NIV

It is also important to me that others know that I believe that all of God’s Word, and that the Bible is totally completely true and infallible.

"All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal." Psalm 119:160 NIV

I want others to know that I believe that there is not one thing written in the Bible that is negotiable.

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anyting to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away forom this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." Revelation 22:18-19 NIV

I want others to know that there is only one way to God and that it is through accepting Jesus Christ.

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 NIV

I want others to know that my "eternal hope" is placed in Jesus Christ and his righteousness alone.

"...while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing." Titus 2:13 NIV

I want others to know that the God of the universe desires to have a personal relationship with everyone.

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16 NIV

If I want others to know what I believe then how do I share those beliefs? How do I tell others how precious those beliefs are to me? The Bible tells me I must be prepared. I must prepare for any opportunity that may come my way. I do this by spending time with God daily as I read his Word and by spending time in prayer.

Be prepared. Prepared for what? I Peter 3:15 says, “…to give an answer.” To me that must mean that in order to give an answer there must first be a question. Sometimes Jesus asked a question and other times he answered the questions of others by asking another question. We must know what another person believes before we can address their belief. Peter also notes that our conversations should be carried out in gentleness and respect.

God wants me, when asked, to very simply share my personal story of faith. Basically that means, telling the details of my own personal story relating how Jesus Christ became real to me. I can also do this by sharing the details of how and why I accepted Jesus and how he has been faithful to me. Lastly, it is important for me to speak with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eyes when I speak of the hope that I have for eternity. Being a Christian is a joyful experience and I want others to experience that joy as well.

But most importantly, I believe that if our life silently reflects Jesus Christ it will be our greatest influence as we try to help others find and follow Jesus. This is best modeled in our actions and attitudes, and how we respond to life and to others.


When was the last time someone asked you about your faith?

Were you comfortable or uncomfortable in responding?

Have you ever written down your own personal story of faith? If not, you may want to try to do so. Start with your earliest remembrance of God.

When did Jesus Christ become real to you? Include that in your story.

How has being a Christian changed your life?

Besides saving you, what was the most amazing thing that God has ever done for you personally? That experience is also a part of your personal story.


Dear Jesus,

I want to influence others to find you and to follow you. Help me to spend more time alone with you so that I will become better equipped to share my beliefs and my personal story. I pray that your Holy Spirit within me will make me sensitive to the questions of others. Lord, help me to be sensitive to the difference in influencing others vs. convincing others. Lord, I pray that my words will be spoken respectfully in gentleness and with respect. Help me to be a person of influence that will bring glory to you.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.