Bible Reading: Mark 5:1-20
Go home to your friends, and tell them what wonderful things the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been. Mark 5:19
EVER HEARD stories like this?
“I was sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane when a guy sat down beside me. We started talking, and soon I asked him, ‘Are you sure that you will go to heaven when you die?’ He said he wasn’t sure, so I explained how he could become a Christian. Within ten minutes he bowed his head and trusted Christ as Savior and Lord.
“And on the plane, a young woman sat beside me. When I told her I was a Christian, she said she had no idea what a Christian was. So I shared the gospel with her and she too trusted Christ before we landed.
“Then there was the taxi driver who took me to the hotel who …”
Do stories like that make your skin crawl with guilt because you haven’t introduced hordes of people to Jesus? Do those reports make you feel like a flop as a Christian? Well, the spectacular deliverance of a demon-possessed man in Mark 5 has a message for you if you feel overwhelmed with incompetence as a one-on-one evangelist.
As Jesus and his disciples prepared to sail away, the guy Jesus had set free volunteered to join the disciples. But instead, Jesus gave him an assignment that makes a smart first step in telling people about Jesus: “Go home to your people” (verse 19, NASB). That seems like the scriptural pattern for all witnessing. The place to start is where you live-with your family, your friends, your neighbors. Acts 1:8 suggests the same thing-that witnessing starts at home and spreads from there.
The second part of Jesus’ instructions was to “tell … what wonderful things the Lord has done for you” (verse 19). Jesus didn’t instruct this guy to cook up a batch of evangelistic sermons, memorize a bunch of spiritual principles, or even highlight all the salvation verses in his Bible. Instead, Jesus told him to tell about his own experience with God. That’s your basic plan for one-an-one witnessing-what Jesus has done for you! Six-point sermons, underlined verses, and witnessing plans can all work, but the message you know best is the awesomeness of what Jesus has meant in your life. When you fumble everything else, you still know what God has done for you, and you can talk about that with authority.
Thank God for people who can win others to Christ on planes or buses, in grocery stores, and at parks. But God hasn’t given most Christians that gift. Your first candidates for one-an-one sharing are people you see every day. And your first words should be about your own experience of Christ’s love and power.
REFLECT: Where do you think God can use you to tell others about him?
PRAY: Ask Jesus to help you share him with the people right around you.