Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Don’t Hold Back

 Wednesday, May 25, 2022

I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:20-21


Don’t Hold Back

As we have been talking about this week, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesian elders when he knew he was headed to prison, and most likely death. He wanted to make sure that they carried on the work of the Lord. He had been a teacher, a mentor, and had given them a living example to follow. One of the examples he had given them was that he had not held anything back from them. He had taught them everything he could about God and the gospel. He was an example of teaching in public and witnessing from house to house, sharing the gospel with all people. This example was not only for the church in Ephesus, but for us today as well. 

In the last couple of years our country has experienced so much upheaval of our lives. It has felt like the world was spinning out of control, and in some ways it still does. We are still dealing with some fear and anxiety about our present circumstances, as well as the future. As Christians we have the hope of our salvation, and the promise of eternal life in heaven no matter what happens here on earth. Our hope and security cannot be found here on earth - we should have learned that lesson well. But there is a whole lot of people out there that do not know our Savior. They do not have the hope of salvation that we have, nor the promise of eternal life. Though none of us knows the day or the hour that the Lord will return, we do know that every day we get one day closer. Time is of the essence for us to share the gospel while we still can. There are people who need Jesus. They need to be saved. They need to hear the gospel, and like Paul, we do not need to keep this to ourselves. 

Paul said that he had shown them how to teach, how to share from house to house, and how to testify to all people about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to feel the urgency to do this now - today. We have this gift that we need to share. We have this hope that others need, and they are seeking but do not know where to find it. We have the answer they need. 

Do you have family, friends, or neighbors that you suspect, or know, that they do not know the Lord? Maybe you have been putting it off because it is a hard conversation. Souls are at stake.  We need to quit shrinking from declaring the profitable words of the gospel they need to hear. 

As children of God, we know that our salvation was bought with the shed blood of Jesus Christ, because God loved us so much. If we want to truly show others the love of God, we will do more than just feed them when they are hungry. Feeding them when they are hungry is showing them the love of God, but it cannot stop there. We must share the gospel with them so they can have the hope we have in our salvation and the promise of everlasting life that we can stand on when the ground shakes beneath us. 

Paul loved and cared about the people he witnessed to. He had evangelism down because he knew how to connect with the people he was speaking to. He engaged them by empathizing with them because he knew and understood why they thought the way they thought. He was able to say to them “I was blind, but they helped me to see.” By that he meant that he once was blind like they are, but now he could see the truth of Jesus Christ. He was not condemning and judging them but identifying with them – both Jews and Romans. 

More than anything Paul wanted them to know the good news of Jesus Christ, and he was willing to take risks for people to know that truth. He suffered because of these risks he took to tell others about Jesus. Right now, we have the freedom to tell others about Jesus and not suffer the way Paul did, so we need to get busy doing the will of our Father. 

Like Paul, more than anything, we need to want others to know the good news of Jesus Christ, and we need to do something about it while we still can.  Are you holding back? Are you keeping the good news of the gospel to yourself? Don’t hold back. Pray about it and then with the boldness of the Holy Spirit reach out to those that God has already laid on your heart. You know who they are.

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