One thing I’ve noticed is that as Christ followers we are generally great at demonstrating the gospel and really bad at proclaiming it. In other words, we have no problem loving on people and being kind to them in the name of Christ. However, when it comes to actually sharing the good news of Jesus we tense up worse than Mike Tyson in a spelling bee.
We want to tell people about Jesus and most know that we should tell people about Jesus, but for an array of reasons we don’t. The reasons range from fear to feelings of inadequacy. It seems that the top evangelism strategy is to invite the lost to a church service or event. And while I do think you should invite your friends to the public gathering, I believe that God has equipped and called you to proclaim the Gospel also in your everyday life.
At Ascent, we are currently in a series on the book of Leviticus. Why? Because, all the church growth experts said it would be a great idea. No, that's actually not true at all. We are in Leviticus because everyone hates Leviticus. It is seriously the punching bag of the Bible. There are endless jokes about how bad and boring Leviticus is to read. However, as I study the book of Leviticus I don’t see a book that is boring at all, rather I see a complex book full of relevant wisdom for our world today.
With that said, I’ll be honest and tell you that I didn’t have a favorite verse from the book. Let’s be real; there aren’t exactly a plethora of coffee mug worthy verses in Leviticus. However, that all changed for me this week as I prepared to preach on Leviticus 8.
I remember the fear I felt about joining my first small group of men fighting pornography and lustful thoughts. I was battling shame at a deep level and my natural instinct was to hide and run from the shame. I was willing to do anything to find freedom, so long as I didn’t have to share my struggle with others. However, I had reached a point where I had tried everything else and I knew that I needed help outside of myself so I signed up for an online recovery group; under the name “Bob Hope”, because there was no way I could use my real name. What if people I knew found out? What would they think of me? What would they say about me? All of the familiar feelings of shame and guilt around this sin began to surface yet again.