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How do we start a conversation about Jesus?

We have just commemorated Good Friday by remembering Jesus’ toning death at Calvary, and celebrated Easter Sunday by exalting His resurrection power over death and hell. These are powerful themes of our salvation in Christ.

However, salvation is not all about us. We are saved for a purpose, and that is to share the good news of salvation with the lost. The love that was shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit compels us to love others who are outside the kingdom of God and to bring the gospel to them. We think of our loved ones, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours, and even strangers who are still unsaved, and we should reach out to them with the good news of salvation.

However, if we are honest with ourselves, we find that the hardest part of sharing Christ with others is starting the conversation about Jesus. We feel helpless and remain tongue-tied because of our fears and the awkwardness of the conversation. So, we tell ourselves that someone else will share the gospel or that the awkwardness and rejection are not worth it.

We need God’s help to lift our eyes and see that there are real spiritual needs around us. People who are unsaved are spiritually lost and desperate. We need to bring the saving gospel to them. When we focus on the spiritual realities – the fact that God exists, His wrath against sin is coming, His gospel is the only way to eternal joy, that souls are precious in His sight but are perishing, and those who are elected by God will hear His voice – then sharing Christ becomes meaningful and exciting.We do not know where God will lead us to meet with someone with whom we can share the good news. Each day, we encounter different people in our path. It could be our colleagues, our friends or even strangers. Each encounter is different. There are no two conversations that are the same, and yet each encounter is filled with potential to start a conversation about Jesus.

In Acts 8, we read of Philip sent by God to a desert place where he met the Ethiopian eunuch. He was reading the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Philip struck up a conversation with him by simply asking, “Do you understand what you are reading?” One thing led to another, and Philip took the opportunity to share Christ with him. In the end, the Ethiopian eunuch accepted Jesus into his life and was baptised. A lesson we can draw from the story is that God may have already been working in the lives of the people around us in ways we have not noticed, and all we need to do then is start a conversation about Jesus.

Paul exhorts us in Romans 10:14 to proclaim Christ: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” Indeed, we have the assurance from the scriptures that we are beautiful in the eyes of God when we share the good news with others.

In initiating a conversation about Jesus, we must be as bold as Philip was when he approached the Ethiopian eunuch — bold in the sense that we embrace the so-called awkwardness. In multi-religious Singapore, we may find it awkward to raise the issue of spiritual matters in conversation. We may be accused of proselytising and may face rejection. But, take heart: in whatever culture we live in, God has already raised the issue. If he has raised your soul from the dead, the “conversation” has already begun. Your neighbour or your co-worker will take notice of you because of your radical lifestyle. You live differently. You pray. You read the Bible. You have a good heart. You help others in their troubles. You exhibit an inexplicable joy in spite of your difficulties.

There will be many occasions on which the door will be opened to you to share Christ with others because there is something in you that piques their curiosity. God is willing and able to give you what you need for you to share Christ with others.In fact, there are many everyday opportunities to talk with others about Jesus. It can start with, “How was your weekend?” The door may then be opened to you to share about the sermon that you heard at church. Or, before you start a meal with your friend, explain that you are about to pray for your meal and ask him or her, “How can I pray for you?”

Perhaps the most effective way to start a conversation about Jesus with anyone from anywhere is simply a “Hello”. In whatever language you speak, your “Hello” could initiate the first conversation among many that God uses to draw someone to himself. Simply trust God to give you everything you need to be a blessing to whomever God places in your path. May God bless your exciting conversation about Jesus with others. _ Deacon Lee Pak Choon

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