Focal Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
Many of you know the feeling – the sweaty palms, your heart beats just a little faster, you’re not sure exactly how or where to begin, you’re nervous because you expect rejection. No, I’m not thinking of the first time you asked a girl on a date. I’m thinking about those moments just before sharing the gospel. Even as a pastor, I often experience nervousness right before sharing the gospel. But nerves don’t negate the mission.
Paul shared his experience in 1 Corinthians 9 about personalizing the mission by contextualizing the gospel to his audience. Being on mission is an everyday challenge to anticipate opportunities for sharing the gospel.
A number of years ago I remember a family that was leaving church. A young girl stopped me and said she wanted to be saved. I shared the gospel with her and spoke with about her why she wanted to trust Jesus. Then I asked her, “If you could trust Jesus today or wait a week, what would you do?” She thought about it and said, “I’d like to wait.” (I ask that question with children to sense their urgency, a clue the Holy Spirit is working.)
But when she and her mom got to their car, she turned around and told her mom that she didn’t want to wait. They came back to find me, and she placed her faith in Jesus. Living on mission sometimes requires more than just readiness.
Another example is a friend I met for lunch. He was curious about faith, but hung up about evolution. We met for lunch. He had good questions, and I tried to give him good answers. But he didn’t trust Jesus that day. My arguments could not overcome his doubts. However, just a year ago, he came to faith in Jesus. Why?
His neighbors built a relationship with him and showed him love. Living on mission means we must always be ready, must consistently show love and must faithfully share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
When we do, God is faithful to fulfill His mission through us.