For lack of confidence,
they lacked victory.”
-- Julius Caesar
How do we get comfortable and proficient at anything? From cooking, to riding dirt bikes, painting, or playing an instrument, don't we improve in the areas we practice and work at? Then it shouldn't come as a surprise that those who invest time in the Word are usually more comfortable sharing them.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)
By regular use and study, we'll become more skilled in the Word. Our understanding will increase and our confidence will rise. We'll be able to show others book, chapter and verse why we believe what we believe rather than having second hand faith. We'll have our own! I wasn't kidding about using Bible studies to win souls. There is a direct link between the two...
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)
Few things will lift your spirits and strengthen your heart more than getting into the Word with a friend. Here are some suggestions to make it more relaxing and fun:
Don't Invite People To Church.
Shocked I'd write that? Don't be. Most people aren't looking to go to church. They're looking for truth, hope, and something real. Rather than inviting them to a building on Sundays, invite them into your life, your house, and into your circle of fellowship first.
Make Friends & Build Relationships.
Sometimes the people we want to see saved aren't open yet. But others are. Think about all the current relationships in your life. Is there someone who might be open to you asking, “Hey Nick, how would you like to get into the Bible with me sometime? No pressure. We could meet for coffee and feed our souls at the same time.” If they say “No,” no problem. Let it roll right off your shoulders. But you might be surprised who says yes.
Explore - Don't Debate.
Don't look for arguments to win. Look to mine the scriptures for all the gold that's buried deep inside! I might ask someone with a differing view why they feel the way they do. Sometimes they don't know why. Sometimes I'm the one who learns something new.
Meet Where Everyone Is Comfortable.
I'll meet just about anywhere, anytime for a Bible study. If someone feels more comfortable in their homes or someplace neutral, great. How about breakfast and a Bible study before work some morning? How about at the park while the kids play? How about at the 24-hour restaurant with the guy or gal who has to work grave yard or swing shift and doesn't have regular fellowship? Be wise, but be flexible.
An Hour Once A Week
Unless someone really wants more, I've found once or twice a week over an extended period of time is a great way to get into the word and build friendships. It's amazing how the ups and downs of life come into the conversation and make way for you to share how God has worked in your life. Then you can pray together and rejoice as God shows himself and works miracles!
We'll Never Know All The Answers.
I used to get flustered if I didn't have an answer right away. At other times, the answer came a few verses later in the study. There's no shame in saying, “Great question. Let me do some studying and get back with you next week.” Later you can search for answers or ask an elder. Get comfortable using the concordance in the back of your Bible to look up verses. You're welcome to send your question here as well.
Relax and enjoy the Word of God! The more you're in it, the more it will get into you! Take each of those Bible studies and go through them even by yourself. Make copies and share them. Let the Word change you because it will!
The more prepared we are, the more useable we'll be in the hands of the Lord. Instead of sweating, we'll open our Bibles and show people the truth. But, if we don't know the Word ourselves, we'll lack that important confidence that we should all have.
Every believer – not just a select few - should have a working knowledge of the scriptures and be able to share their faith like the early church did...
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
(Acts 8:4 )
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