You are welcome for the earworm in the title of this post. The song from Jackie DeShannon was released in 1965, and the sentiment is as true now as it was then. The world needs the love of Jesus… a love that is unconditional and eternal.. a love that makes life full and abundant.. a love that draws others to himself.
The Love of Jesus is the Greatest Gift
As Christians, through the love of Christ, we have been given the greatest gift of all, the gift of forgiveness and redemption. If we know we have been given the greatest gift, and that gift is available to all humans, why do we find it so difficult to share that love with others? Why are so many believers afraid of talking to others about Jesus? Many times, Christians respond in panic when they hear the word “evangelism”. “That’s not a gift I have.” “I’m an introvert, so that is not something I can do.” “Oh, I couldn’t. I don’t have enough Bible knowledge.” I know you could add other comments you have heard. And many simply choose to say nothing.
Called to Share
The truth is, we are all called to share our faith with those God places in our paths. As we share our faith with others, we open the door to healing and wholeness for those who are without hope. Evangelism leads to discipleship (if we are willing to take on that challenge), and evangelism and discipleship are two sides of the same coin that cannot be separated. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says we are to make disciples of all nations, and we are to teach those we disciple to obey the commands of Christ. Disciples have to first be told about Jesus. We are called to share the forgiveness of Christ, the redemption of Christ, and the mercy of Christ. We are called to see others as made in the image of God, therefore, we must see them as eternal beings with great value. I mean, people are so valuable to God that He allowed His Son to die as an atonement for us and our sinful, broken selves.
There’s power when you combine the perfect atoning blood of Christ with the word of the testimony of the saints. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” (ESV) As we share our own stories with those in our sphere of influence, we find that evangelism leads to the most amazing discipling relationships. We see the potential in other people. We get the privilege of watching another image-bearer find Christ’s Way. We get a front-row seat to the transformation that the Holy Spirit works in the lives of fellow disciples.
The Power of Community
We understand that we all have a built-in need to be in close community. The body of Christ can, and should, be the most encouraging and loving group of people we ever encounter. “Evangelism is a process, not an event. God has gifted each of us to play a critical role in drawing people to himself. Our job is to discover where the Holy Spirit is working in a person’s life and join him there.”1 Discipleship really begins at “hello!” As we live out our faith, the people around us should see Jesus working in and through us. So as we share our faith, our relationships deepen and we grow to be more like Christ, even as we point others toward Him.
When we enter into Christ’s blood covenant for salvation, we have a responsibility. Our responsibility is toward a life of holiness. Discipleship takes time. Discipleship takes energy. Discipleship takes commitment. And the reality is that you cannot take people where you have not been. So we must keep our own souls in check and always learning.
The world needs us to share the love of Christ. How do we help others get over the fear of sharing Christ?
- Identify the source of your fear. Fear does not come from God. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- Prepare your testimony, and know the Gospel you believe. What has God saved you from? What Has God done in your life? How have you changed since you met Christ? (1 Peter 3:15)
- Pray for boldness and courage. We must keep in focus the urgency to share the love of Christ. Remember, people who don’t have a relationship with Christ will spend eternity separated from Him. (Ephesians 6:19)
- Ask God to show you what, and with whom, you need to share. Look around. Who needs the love of Jesus right now, today? (2 Corinthians 5:20)
- Remember whose you are! (Romans 10:14-15)
- When all else fails, do it scared… in the love of Christ.
Helping Others Flourish
Theologian Miroslav Volf says of our role in culture, “That, I think, is today’s most fundamental challenge for theologians, priests, and ministers, and Christian laypeople: to really mean that the presence and activity of the God of love, who can make us love our neighbors as ourselves, is our hope and the hope of the world – that this God is the secret of our flourishing as persons, cultures and interdependent inhabitants of single globe.”2
What the world needs now is love, sweet love. How would our culture change if all believers were to get serious about introducing others to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Are you willing to share the love of Christ?
Cindy Perkins is a writer, international speaker, and leadership-coaching consultant. She serves on the National Leadership Team, as Chief Operating Officer, for The Bonhoeffer Project. Cindy serves as a faculty professor at Trinity College of Florida. Cindy holds a B. S. in Christian Ministries from Trinity College of Florida, and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. Originally from southern West Virginia, Cindy is married to her high school sweetheart, Larry. They currently reside in Riverview, FL. She has a passion for helping others grow more like Christ through intentional discipleship.