Praying, Caring, Sharing is a way of thinking about evangelism. While many of us want to share our faith, Praying, Caring, Sharing gives us a systematic way to actually carry it out. This is a personal calling to each of us, which is to introduce others to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In John 4, we find an interesting story of Jesus and a woman at a well. The disciples had gone into a nearby town for food and for whatever reason Jesus waited out by this well by Himself. As the story continues a Samaritan woman comes out to the well to get some water.
Jesus began a conversation with her, which was, in itself, remarkable as men were not supposed to talk to women and Jews were not supposed to talk with Samaritans. In culture’s opinion, there is no reason Jesus should have to speak to her . . . but He did.
As the woman talked with Jesus, she comes to believe that Jesus is truly the Christ, the promised Messiah. She rushed back to the city, telling everyone that she had found the One they had all been waiting for.
By this time, the disciples have returned. While Jesus was talking with them He said, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Jesus was not talking about an agricultural harvest, but a spiritual harvest of salvation among the people. For the disciples it was likely surprising because at that time they were in the land of the hated Samaritans. These were the last people they would expect to come to faith in Jesus, and probably the last people that the disciples wanted to share it with.
The next several verses in John 4 make Jesus’ point very clear. “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them. And he stayed two days. And because of his words, many more became believers.“
“They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
In a hardened land, Jesus had seen that there were still people who were ready and willing to receive the salvation of God. He saw this in the woman and treated her accordingly. This in turn started a miraculous movement of God amongst the people in that city.
In the world that you experience day in and day out how ripe is the harvest? Many times we are so focused on the majority who are not interested in the things of God that we overlook those who are desperately seeking what God has to offer. Of course the majority will reject the claims of Christ. Scripture tells us that “broad is the road that leads to destruction and narrow is the road that leads to eternal life.” Make peace with that fact. Get used to it. Don’t let it surprise you. We will always be a minority on earth, but at the same time do not allow it to hardened your heart to the point that you no longer plant seeds. The fields are ripe for harvest.
Many times we have been guilty of answering “no” for non-believers. This means that we doubt that they will ever be interested so we don’t even share the truths of Christ with them. In essence we have said “no” for them without them ever having a chance.
Yes our culture, our workplace, our family may be difficult to reach for Christ, but Jesus says the fields are ripe for harvest. If you are willing to pray for and believe in a miracle of salvation for people in your world then here are some helpful ideas that will help you be the witness that God has called you to be.
“Praying, Caring, Sharing”
Prayer – Asking the Holy Spirit to go before us as He prepares our hearts to share the Gospel and the heart of the unbeliever to receive it. Prayer always comes first. It is in prayer that God gives us the burden for the salvation of others. It is in prayer that we gain discernment about who to reach out to and express our dependence on God as He draws people to Himself. It is through prayer that we are given the wisdom concerning how to relate to those who need Christ. It is in prayer that doors are open to present the gospel to them. From beginning to the end, prayer is essential if our life is going to be used to point others towards Christ.
Care – Building relationships that show that we really love God and sincerely care for others. Through this we trust that they will see Jesus in our actions and have a greater desire to know more about Him. Care is the relational part of witness that truly allows the non-believers to see the love of Christ. It is as we, God’s children, begin to resemble our Father that they begin to want to know more about the things of God. As we begin to love our neighbors it builds credibility for the message of Christ. If care is not present then any sharing of the Gospel message is nothing more than empty religion. As the old saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Prayer is the power and inspiration for sharing our faith, but a caring life that resembles Christ is the vehicle that carries the gospel message.
Share – Speaking the good news of Christ to a person who is ready to hear because the Holy Spirit has opened their heart and they trust our love for them.
Share is the final step as we lead others to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Its importance is perfectly summed up in Romans 10:13-15. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
To except Jesus Christ one must have heard about Him. It is when a searching, willing heart comes in contact with the gospel of Jesus Christ that salvation takes place. It is impossible for a person to believe in something that they know nothing about. Continue to pray. Authentically care for others. But make sure to share the truth of the gospel when they are ready.
We can till, water, and fertilize the soil but if we never plant a seed nothing else matters. In the end the truth of Jesus must be presented in some way, shape, or form. When prayer, care, and share combine with the stirring of God in a person’s heart salvation is near.
Always pray first. Care for them authentically. Do not start sharing if your life is not characterized by caring. Love them enough to risk rejection. Trust God and make sure you share.
Today will you pray that God will give you a burden for the non-believers around you? Pray that God will guide you to the ones He wants you to invest in. Begin to Pray and care for them like never before. And when the time is right clearly share the truth of Jesus Christ into their lives.
(Immanuel Baptist Church, 2016)