1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV) 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
I was just thinking yesterday about a few of the friends I have that are on the fence about the Lord. I have been working on them for quite some time. It is easy in cases like these to lose hope, to stop trying. But, with something as important as salvation on the line, this is no time to give up on those around us. We are called to be a disciple that creates more disciples, that should be our focus and goal, not matter how long it may take. We Must Be A Disciple To Make More Disciples You would not expect apples to grow from flower seeds, likewise, it would be impossible for disciples to grow from non-disciples. The first step in spreading the Gospel must be that we sanctify the Lord in our own hearts. We come to an understanding of who God is, then we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. For the disciple, that is only the beginning. As our faith grows, so too should our dedication to Him. We should be striving each day to learn more about Christ. We must dig deep into His Word, His commandments, and His guidance. If we are going to be effective in spreading the Gospel, we must first sanctify the Lord in our hearts. I remember when I first came to the Lord I was on fire, I wanted everyone to know the Jesus I now knew. The problem was that I did not have that deep relationship with the Lord yet. I knew Him, but I did not know Him completely. I am not saying a new believer cannot be used, I am just saying the more you know about the Lord, the easier the conversations will go. If you want others to know the Lord the way you have come to know Him, you must dig deep into the study of the Word. Be Ready To Give A Defense There it is, be ready to give a defense. Would you know how to defend the Gospel if you had to? Do you have deep enough understanding to answer your friend’s questions? Right now, would you honestly do more harm than good if tough questions were asked of you? I do not bring this question up to discourage you but to encourage you. If spreading the Gospel is on your heart, and it should be on all of our hearts, you must understand it well enough to give a good defense. If you are not in a place to defend your faith yet, dig deeper! Dig Deep When you first come to the Lord you may set time away to read the Word. That is awesome, you are beginning to be fed from the Word of God. We have a tendency to just read over the top of concepts we do not understand. This is where we are at when we first start reading the Word. I remember in my first couple of years of following Christ, I would just read without really thinking too much about it. At some point, I started to wonder what the Scripture really meant. I hope you are at that point, the point where you are ready to wonder. Wonder what this verse means, wonder how this verse affects this other verse, wonder how all 66 books form a single story that works seamlessly together. But how? It is very important to be in regular church attendance first and foremost. If you are a bi-weekly member, a monthly member, or an Easter and Christmas member, seriously consider upgrading your membership. Take steps to that next level and over time, you will feel the desire to be in regular church attendance. The next step is to dive into study. I suggest a study Bible, maybe software like eSword or Logos, and finally, more church services. Go to midweek services, listen to other churches online, amerce yourself in God’s Word! Then Go! Matthew 28:19–20 (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen… Amen indeed! The world needs active disciple-makers. There are a lot of things going on in the world, the landscape of our society is changing by the day. Thankfully, we are promised in Hebrews 13:8… (8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever… The world may change but our God will never change. Closing Thoughts: The world needs Jesus more today than it did yesterday, and will need Him more tomorrow than it did today. Are you ready to be a disciple that makes more disciples? Look at where you are at, are you truly ready to give a defense of your faith? Is that defense strong enough to bring non-believers into belief? The Lord will be faithful to give us the words when we willingly seek His will. His will is that everyone come to the saving knowledge of Christ. How absolutely amazing that He uses us to do it? Be ready my friends, the world needs you to step outside your comfort zone and change the world forever, even those who take years to disciple! 1 Timothy 2:1–4 (NIV) 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.