By Lorraine Walker
I believe that Jesus is the only way to eternal, abundant life. I believe that with every fiber of my being. And yet, sometimes it seems so hard to get those words to come out of my mouth. Why is that? There are lots of books, programs, theories and classes around to help Christians with personal evangelism. Yet sometimes it just seems difficult to talk about the One Who is at the very centre of your reason for living.
Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve felt the burning, urging, prompting of the Holy Spirit as He has set up the perfect time and place for you to share your faith. And sometimes it comes so easy, and the other person is so receptive, and you wonder why it canâ€™t always be like that. The reasons can be anything from the soil of their heart to the soil of your own, and at that point you shouldnâ€™t stop to reason it out, you need to just obey and say the words that bring life.
I was thinking about this aspect when my Pastor spoke on the Parable of the Sower, and I came to the realization that not only does the listener have to be in a certain place for the seed to take root, the person sowing the seed needs to be in the right place in their relationship with God as well. Yes, a donkey can be used to do the will of God, and yes, regardless of the motives of the sower, the Word of God will not return void. However, I am beginning to see that if the person sharing their faith is also showing the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, their words for the Lord often find more receptive ground.
There is a reason why the list of the fruit of the Spirit begins with love. That fruit needs to be the most evident in our lives for those around us to be receptive to what we have to share. If I throw my words at someone because I feel spiritually superior, there is not a whole lot of love evident in that. The seeds are likely to find stones instead of soil, perhaps because Iâ€™ve thrown them there with my attitude.
I look at the list of the spiritual fruit and I have to smile when I see what isnâ€™t there. Things like traditions, viewpoints and self-acknowledgement are missing. However, when I see what is there and fail to find it in my own life, I know I have a long way to go. This doesnâ€™t mean that I should not talk about my faith until I am sure that all my spiritual fruit are ripe. It does mean that while I am taking in the Word, which causes the fruit to grow, just the presence of those very gifts will cause me to share more about my Lord. If I really loved someone, why would I not talk to them about the One who means the most to me?
The certain kind of life that leads others to a saving faith is one that exhibits the fruit and is ready â€˜in season and out of seasonâ€™. We are all expected to â€˜go, tellâ€™, whether that means sharing your faith with someone who has never heard what Jesus did for us, talking about eternal life with someone who has seen a loved one die, or even just getting into one of those conversations that begins, â€œWhat do you think aboutâ€¦â€. Someone in your sphere of influence needs to hear about Jesus. Maybe itâ€™s time we all shared a little more fruit.
My friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame some how
On earth I walked with you by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story,
My knowledge then was very dim,
You could have led me straight to Him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of the second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention Him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you friend and trusted you
But I learn now that it’s too late
And you could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And yet you showed me not the light
You let me live and love and die
You knew I’d never live on high
So yes, I called you my friend in life
And trusted you through fun and strife
And yet on coming to this dreadful end
I cannot now call you my friend
revised by Ed Crawford; author unknown
Born and raised in southern Ontario, Canada, Lorraine Walker has been interested and involved in Southern Gospel Music since the mid-80â€™s. As part of a ladiesâ€™ trio, she became more familiar with this style of music and the people that made it popular, and began writing occasional articles for a Canadian publication on Southern Gospel.
Known online to her internet friends as â€œCanChikâ€, Lorraine began writing a monthly inspirational article entitled â€œCanChikâ€™s Cornerâ€ for www.johnlanier.com in 2002. Â This column began on www.sgmradio.com in January of 2005, a popular southern gospel music radio and information website which also publishes other features and interviews with her byline.
â€Reality Checkâ€ is a monthly column relating the realities of living every day as child of God. Lorraine welcomes your comments and suggestions, and you can write her at firstname.lastname@example.org