Activate - September 23


TOO GOOD NOT TO SHARE
 
Passage: John 1:40-42
 
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus…
 
Insight:
 
On the day I proposed to Laurie (I’m so blessed that she said yes), we were ecstatic. We wanted to celebrate so we drove to a romantic restaurant on the waterfront. In the parking lot before we got out of the car, we began to call people, and call, and call! After many giddy announcements of our engagement, we finally walked over to the restaurant. Much to our surprise, because we spent so long in the car talking with people, it was now closed. Without realizing it, sharing with the people we loved was far more important than the appetizing food. The locked front door just gave me another opportunity to tell someone else our story. The same waitress who told us the restaurant was closed, after hearing about our engagement, now let us in for a special exception: two desserts. Doors that were closed began to open as she wanted to give us something for our engagement. Grace is often contagious; it is more caught than taught!
 
When was the last time you were so excited about something that you had to tell people about it? Andrew urgently found his brother Simon because he wanted to tell him about Jesus. Underneath it all was simply a deep love for Simon and an awareness of the greatness of Jesus. Andrew had a sense that their future was about to change in a remarkable way. When you experience Jesus, His grace ignites your passion. You become connected to a purpose that spans all generations, and He invites you into a new future. As you share your journey and the pure joy of discovering who Jesus is, God will open up incredible opportunities for you. Remember that it was Andrew who told his brother Simon about Jesus. This is the same Simon who Jesus would later rename Peter, calling him a rock and a pillar in the early church. Andrew cared too much about his brother to not tell him about the Messiah! The direction of their lives was about to be transformed by the grace of Jesus.
 
Application:
 
We often talk ourselves out of sharing what is most important to us in life. Can you relate to any of these excuses?
 
1) I don’t know exactly how to say it.
2) I might lose the friendship if I tell them.
3) I’m not an extrovert.
4) I don’t have all of the answers.
5) I have a story that isn’t very interesting.
 
Notice that every excuse begins with the same letter “I” (not a coincidence). When we focus on our own abilities and inadequacies, we become paralyzed and silent. Andrew wasn’t thinking about himself; he cared for Simon and had his thoughts on Jesus. Read Exodus chapter three and observe how God helped Moses see through his own excuses and shift his focus onto the great I AM. Mike Helton was the first person who ever told me about Jesus and I’m so grateful for him. He was scared when he talked to me and stumbled over some words, but God really showed me his love through what Mike said to me.
 
International Opportunities:
 
There is an African proverb that states, “The greatest crime in a desert is to find water and keep silent about it.”15 It has become increasingly easier to bless someone who is from a different country by sharing your faith, family, and finances. Consider these practical ways that you can make a difference when it comes to sharing your faith and spreading God’s love and grace in your home and throughout the world.16
 
1) Pray for people around the world.
2) Go serve in another nation.
3) Welcome an international student into your home.
4) Give financially to support a missionary.
5) Sponsor a child (www.compassion.org)
6) Use the internet to help people grow in their faith. (www.globalmediaoutreach.com)
7) Encourage more people to be involved in what God is doing globally.
 
Questions:
 
1) Who are the people that have shared the love of Jesus with you?
2) Why is it so significant to share your faith?
3) When has God helped you to overcome some of your own excuses?
4) How can you really make an eternal difference in someone’s life?
 
Deeper Study:
 
2 Kings 7:1-20. The men who had leprosy became generous and lived.
Romans 1:16-17. There is no reason to be ashamed of Jesus.
1 Peter 3:15-16. Share the facts behind your faith with gentleness.
Colossians 4:2-6. Let your conversations be always full of grace.
Acts 1:8. Jesus will use you to reach out to people all over the world.
 
Prayer:
 
Gracious God, thank You for reaching out to me. I want to be someone who extends Your love. Grant me the vision and courage to see the needs in this world. I want to look beyond my own country. You have given me the resources to make a difference and serve. I also know that it’s your desire that everyone has an opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus. Guide my words so that I might know what to say. I rely on the Holy Spirit to help me. I pray this all in your name, Jesus. Amen

For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org

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