Psalm 57:9 - I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
You might not consider yourself an evangelist; but did you know that every time God is spoken of in a positive tone where his faithfulness is affirmed and his presence is validated, He is being praised and evangelized “among the peoples” and “the nations”?
For many years I found evangelism frustrating. I couldn’t understand why others would share the gospel with a complete stranger and in a moment that person would respond to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. I always thought: “I am a terrible evangelist!” That perceived failure prompted in me insecurity and fear. If I could be a little transparent, I became very shy in sharing my faith because I thought I wasn’t good at it. Does lack of ‘fruit bearing’ mean that I’m not a good evangelist? Does my hesitancy in sharing because I’m discouraged mean that I don’t care about the lost?
Perhaps you’ve had thoughts like mine. Perhaps you have felt like you failed when you’ve shared a gospel presentation to someone and you thought it fell flat! I think two things might encourage us this week as we effort to be Living Proof of a Loving God to a Watching World this THANKSGIVING Week:
1. God’s truth and his words do not return empty! Every time we express the word of God we are planting seeds that will bear fruit of righteousness in ways we may never see. “it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. “ (Isaiah 55:10-11)
2. A Gospel Presentation is Evangelistic, but Thanksgiving is Evangelistic as well.
The journey toward a moment of conversion is aided and formed by thousands of small encounters with God through His Creation, His Spirit, His Word, and the testimony of followers of Jesus like YOU & ME!
One of the greatest evangelists in the history of the church was the Apostle Paul. He said: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)
Our great comfort today in sharing our faith is this: EVERY GOOD WORD THAT GLORIFIES GOD IS A SEED PLANTED IN THE SOIL OF EVERY HEART.
This is why our consistent and verbal offerings of thanks before family, friends, and co-workers are so important in the spiritual journey of those around us. Every affirming word about Jesus is a gospel seed planted. Every story shared about how God has been faithful to us is water poured out on a parched soul. We may not be the person that harvests the fruit of the labor of a community, but nonetheless scripture says we are all one when we effort to win others to Christ: “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.” (v.8)
So this week BE THANKFUL… in your heart yes, but also with your lips. Make it a point to speak kindly and consistently of God’s faithfulness. Tell a redemption story about how Jesus has changed your life. May we let the ‘peoples’ know that we are thankful for our God as we walk into every encounter this week with thanks in our hearts and gospel praise on your lips.