Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

by Reverend Dan on March 30, 2022
Last week we talked about words that tear down and destroy lives, relationships, and churches. They’re the words we would be embarrassed to speak out loud because we don’t really feel the courage of our convictions. This week I want to look at the very opposite. Words that edify and build up. In Paul’s first letter – the one to the church at Thessalonica - he says, “Encourage one another and build one another up.”

Nowhere is that more important than in sharing our faith. We are all called to share the Gospel, and the first step is to “be ready in season and out of season.” You can’t share what you believe when you’ve never really considered what you believe: when your faith is the product of sound bites and memes from the internet and not the result of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith needs to come from your heart, a heart repentant of sin and a life offered in sacrifice to Christ.

Second, I’ve always found it ironic that we hesitate to talk to those closest to us – our family and friends - about faith or invite them to church, or offer to pray with them. We justify it by saying we don’t want to “lose” them as friends because we’re afraid they’ll see us as “Bible-thumping Jesus freaks.” What does that say about how we really feel about them? Is our earthly friendship more important than their eternal salvation? Would you rather spend a few years with them here on earth than eternity in heaven? And what does it say about our response to Jesus’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations?” Are we really committed to our faith – do we have the courage of our convictions there? Or are we just worried about our image and what someone may think about us?

Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” It’s time to pony up, folks. Have the courage of your convictions when it comes to your faith. Don’t speak words that tear down the church from your hiding place in a bunker where you can’t be seen (or at all), and conversely, don’t be ashamed to share the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Realize that in those moments when you’re sharing, nothing less than another person’s eternity is at stake.