When it comes to serving in your community, or sharing the Good News with others, I believe that most people succumb to lines of thought such as “I don’t know enough” or “but I’m not a pastor”. Personally, I have experienced this and I have been reluctant to engage in a conversation with someone about Christ simply because I feel like I do not know how.
The deceitful part of this kind of thinking is that it is self-reliant. There is good news, however, and it should also serve as a relief for those of us who think this way. It is by the ministry of the Holy Spirit that people receive the Good News, and who come to know the love God has for them, and repent.
The following scripture has been extremely encouraging for me as I have spent time reflecting on this topic:
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].1 Corinthians 15:58 AMP
Here, Paul is revealing to us nothing we do in the Lord is wasted effort. When sharing the Good News with your neighbors, or serving others in any capacity, it may sometimes feel like we are not getting through to the people we are engaging with. The previous scripture serves as a good reminder that none of what we do will go to waste – the Lord will use it to His glory and for His good purposes.
It’s also worth reminding ourselves that Paul was not a talented preacher (2 Corinthians 11:6), yet the Lord chose him and through him the Holy Spirit called many to Christ. Paul was willing to obey, regardless of the cost to himself. Paul was very specific in what he shared with others, however. In Romans 10:17, Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Good News.
In 1 Peter 3:15, we are instructed to always be prepared to share the reason for your hope and joy. Always be ready to share the good news! Yes, sometimes we will be rejected, and maybe we will be ostracized or even persecuted. Jesus warned us about this, but also gave us encouragement: “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)
I feel that one last point needs to be addressed. Maybe you believe that the sins you’ve committed disqualify you from being able to share the good news. Remember again that Paul, previously known as Saul, hunted down early Christians to have them beaten and killed. “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:9)
God has a history of using people who have committed some pretty egregious sins (read through Genesis for just a few examples). When you are renewed by Jesus Christ, all of your sins are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7-9). You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1) Your sins have been washed white as snow, by the blood of Jesus (Isaiah 1:18).
The inconceivable love and grace of God gives us a completely new beginning, despite our sinful pasts. The Holy Spirit works in us and through us to call the world around us towards Him. None of our works are useless to the Lord. I hope that this encourages you to take a step forward in faith, and just start doing.