|EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) -- Jesus told His disciples, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). The implication is that if we are really following, we'll be fishing -- soul-winning. Jesus' last words were, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 28:19). The Christians in the New Testament went everywhere, preaching the Word (Acts 8:4).
How, then, can you and I be effective witnesses for Him?
1. Ask God to give you an evangelistic burden for others. Ask Him to help you see the world as He sees it, and to lay upon your heart a handful of people for whom you can earnestly pray. Then pray over those names every day. Keep a little prayer list, and pray for an opportunity of reaching these souls for Christ. An old song says, "Lord, lay some soul upon my heart and love that soul through me; / And may I humbly do my part to win that soul to Thee."
2. Live a consistent Christian life before these people. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). We must live obedient lives of integrity and authentic faith. We must love when others hate, and forgive when others harbor grudges. We must remain trusting when others panic, and be honest when all around us are cooking the books. Not that we're going to be perfect -- only Christ was sinless. But we must have a growing, maturing Christian life that others recognize and respect.
3. Build bridges to others. When the Lord shows you those needing Christ, seek to build a relationship with them. Remember how Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus where many sinners had gathered? While we must be careful not to place ourselves in an environment where we'll be pulled down, we must be equally careful to cultivate friendships with those needing Christ. Perhaps Christ has placed you in your particular school or workplace just to reach those whom no one else can reach.
4. Learn the Gospel. Memorize the following verses and practice saying them in a mirror or to another Christian: Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9, 10:10, 10:13; 1 John 5:1, 5:13.
5. Watch for openings to share a word for Christ. Peter said: "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). Continued...