"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." (Philemon 6-7)
Each New Year brings an opportunity to adopt one of many potential resolutions, which will bring us health, wealth and happiness in 12 months' time. As Christians, we seek to continually grow spiritually. The apostle Paul communicates to Philemon that when we share Christ with others God allows us to gain a deeper and greater understanding of every good thing in Christ.
Do you see the direct correlation between sharing your faith and your own spiritual growth? Paul says it's actually a prerequisite to spiritual growth. As you consider the many resolutions you could make, perhaps the most impactful for your own spiritual growth, which will produce eternal fruit, is being a faithful witness in 2016.
One simple way you can be faithful in sharing your faith with others is asking the people in your circle of influence if there is anything you can pray for them about. Prayer is the first step of evangelism. Regardless if you are at work, at the check-out counter of your local grocery store, or if you are talking with the waiter at a restaurant, you will be surprised how many people will give you a personal request for prayer. Frequently, this simple act of kindness will transition into a conversation about their spiritual life and journey.
As you stand at the threshold of a new year, will you make this your New Year resolution?
Below are 12 ideas to help fulfill your resolution of being a faithful witness in 2016:
- Take a homemade pie or cookies to your neighborhood fire police station. Place a note of appreciation for their service to the community. Let them know that Jesus loves them.
- Visit a nursing home to engage the residents in conversation. Take them flowers and/or a gift. Remind them of God's love for them.
- When eating out, leave an extra-tip, a gospel tract (they still work) and a note for your your waiter or waitress, which says, "Blessings, from a Christian friend."
- Make some homemade cookies, or purchase a pastry to take to a neighbor you might not know. Introduce yourself, and ask them how you might be able to pray for them.
- Pay for the person's food in the line behind you at the local fast food restaurant. Have the employee give them a note you prepared ahead of time, saying that their free meal is a gift from a Christian friend. State in your note that Jesus loves them.
- If someone tells you they are having a rough day, or a difficult time, ask them if you can pray for them right then. Encourage them by sharing how God has brought you through a difficult time.
- Take a food basket to a homebound person today and remind them of God's love.
- Tell someone who waits on you today (grocery store, restaurant, etc.) how much you appreciate them and what a blessing they are. Ask them, "Has anyone told you today that Jesus loves you?"
- Host a baby shower for a neighbor or coworker who is expecting. Make sure you include their family and friends. Show them the love of Christ.
- Invite your neighbors over to watch a ball game, or plan a Super Bowl party in your home. Take time to share the most important thing that has happened to you – Jesus!
- Take a walk around your neighborhood and pray for the families living in the homes you will pass during your walk. Want more help praying for your neighbors? Go to http://pray4everyhome.com/.
- Next time you see a homeless person standing asking for financial help, stop your car and ask them if you can buy them some food. If they accept, take them to a restaurant and pay for their meal. Or, tell the person you will go purchase their meal and return in a moment. Take time to ask them their name and tell them Jesus loves them.
What are some other ways you've shared your faith with others? Share in the comments below.