October 21, 2005

Looking for Opportunities to Share

Acts 16:25-34

"What must I do to be saved?"

—  Acts 16:30

One of the most important keys to being an effective witness for Christ is to be constantly on the lookout for open doors and open hearts. We need to ask God for opportunities to share our faith, and we need to keep watch as God opens doors for us.

For the apostle Paul, every place he went was a potential mission field. Even behind the closed doors of a prison Paul and Silas found open doors for sharing their faith. First they sang hymns to God at midnight, and later they shared the story of Jesus with the jailer.

Jails have a way of hardening a person's heart. The seamy side of life can leave one calloused and impenetrable. But the earthquake brought the jailer to his knees both physically and spiritually. He was open, receptive, softened by the circumstances. Paul saw the opportunity for a spiritual harvest.

Part of being an effective witness is being able to discern when people are open to hearing the good news. Be assured that God is at work tilling the hard-packed soil of people's hearts. The Holy Spirit is right now doing his spadework in the lives of many people around us.

That's why we must always be ready to share the message of Jesus' love. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

Lord, as you do your spadework, make me attentive to hearts that are ready to receive your good news. Help me be ready to speak for you when the opportunity comes. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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