Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford and ladies ministry director conclude their series on sharing your faith, as informed by the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

Sharing Your Faith, Part 7

How can they hear with someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14, NIV)

As golfers, we have all witnessed (and maybe been subject to!) the spontaneous lesson on the practice tee. It’s one thing when we ask a friend to take a look at this move or that and give us some feedback on what they see. This is particularly helpful if your friend is a strong player or if she knows your swing well enough to recognize a detrimental difference. Unfortunately, when we experience “the spontaneous lesson,” it is also the frequently “the uninvited lesson.” With every good intention, one golfer walks up to another and just starts in: “Move your elbow over here. Turn your hips this way. Bring the club more from the inside. Keep your eyes over the ball.” It’s a mishmash of instruction that winds up being anything but simple.

It is through Jesus that the newness we need is made available.As we conclude our series on sharing your faith, we can be reminded by this golfing scenario that simple is almost always better than complicated. This is ever true when it comes to presenting the gospel of Christ to men and women who need to hear it.

When it comes down to it, the gospel can be reduced to a single line: disqualifying sin overcome by redemptive salvation. By itself, that line doesn’t offer enough of the story, but it puts boundaries on our tendencies to get both overly chatty and overly theological. Stick to the line and you won’t lose your audience. Now let’s flesh it out.

First, be certain your hearer is aware of their sin and the gravity of its consequences. You don’t have to be preachy; you do best to humbly speak from first-person knowledge of sin’s grip on you. But be clear: We don’t need a little cleaning up around the edges; we need wholesale newness.

Second, establish the wonder of Jesus’ work on the cross, where his perfect life ended in a sacrificial death, so that “once and for all” a lasting atonement makes a way to God for us. It is through Jesus that the newness we need is made available.

Third, encourage a response. In the first evangelistic message, Peter instructed the people to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus (publicly identifying with him). By this act, newness comes and a person begins their spiritual life in Christ.

Your faith is yours, but it is also meant to be shared. Take up this work today!

Jeff Hopper
July 8, 2016
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