Sharing my faith
I share my faith with others to fulfill God’s purposes
George Methodist church
17th June 2018
8am and 10 am
One of the things that the Lord require of us is to go into all the world and make disciples. Matthew 28:19, 20. Paul says in Ephesians that we are to fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel. How we do this is not great and our methodology has not been well received as we all know. However we cannot make excuses as it is important for us to be extending the kingdom of God on earth and so I want to share with you some of the steps to doing this well.
I ran the George Mountain Ultra Trail run on Saturday which was 26 km of extreme trail running up and down in the Outeniqua Mountains and while I was running and reflecting on the message for today, I felt I needed to share a few things with you related to the run and the points I had prepared.
- Enter –when entering a race you have to register and sign up or you cannot start the race at all. It’s a daunting thing once you have signed on the dotted line but it means that there is a commitment. As Christians sharing our faith we need to ensure that people have a good understanding of what it means to enter the journey with Jesus. We need to draw them through love and our relationship with them to enter the “race”.
- Kit – When you enter the trail run they give you a list of things you have to have for the run to ensure that you survive – a space blanket, a whistle, food, the right shoes, water and warm clothing and you cannot go any further without someone checking thoroughly that you have the right kit. Once friends make a commitment to enter into a relationship with the Lord, we need to give them the right kit or tools for the journey – How to pray, what to read in the bible, how to share, how to cope when you are rejected, the importance of fellowship etc..
- Start – This is so critical for us sharing our faith. It’s all very well ticking the box that we have made a commitment to enter the race but unless you get to the start line you haven’t really got into the race. When we got to the start on Saturday it was cold and windy and we had to wait for over an hour. I started to think about what I had signed up for and also thought how crazy this was and that it would have been better to stay in bed !!!
I think it feels like that too for those who commitment to starting the journey with Christ. There are many unexpected things that will come our way and we may feel totally overwhelmed by them but the important thing is to start. So many people have signed up for Christianity but they never start the race. They might even have all the kit but it just lies around not being used. We need to encourage others by walking slowly with them so that they are able to get to the start line.
- Ups and downs – The challenge of the Mountain trailrun was the huge ups going over the top of the Outeniquas and also over the neck between Cradock and George Peaks and the huge climb. I always say to people when they are running that they need to take the handbrake off and keep their heads down or they won’t make it to the top of the climb. As we share our faith with others we need to be honest with them that it is not going to always go so smoothly and that there will be many times when the challenges will almost be unbearable, but the important thing is to keep going and to not give up.There is also the joy of the downhills and the flatter areas which give you time to catch your breath and to look around. On the other side of this mountain there is so much beauty with protea gardens and the most sensational smell of fynbos. It’s beautiful and glorious and on these downs God calls on s to look around and to see His creation. There is always something to keep us aware of who he is as Creator Redeeemer and Sustainer. In the journey of faith there are many good things that we will experience as well and the surprises that God brings to us each day.
- Finish well – Last but certainly not least we are called to finish well. At the end of my trail run, I was about 500 metres from the finish line and I tripped twice over roots in the forest. I was so annoyed and I felt like just lying in the dirt and giving up. I spotted another runner coming towards me the first time and my competitive spirit got me in my feet and moved me on only to trip again. I could have stayed there quite easily but I was compelled to finish the race and to finish it well. I did finish and Debbie was standing there to cheer me in along with a whole bunch of people. I was handed a delicious beer at the end which went down well after drinking so much sweet stuff for so long and it just felt so good to be done. I always lift my hands and give all praise and glory to the Lord. So many people start the race but don’t finish well and we are called by the Lord to encourage others to not give up when they trip over a “root” on their way to the finishing line but to get back up and to keep moving on. There are so many that have given up before they have finished and it has not gone well. My prayer is that we will devote our lives and our hearts to encourage others to finish well and to finish well ourselves. I want to end with this scripture:
Hebrews 12: 1,2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.