August 6 – “5”

Read 1 Peter 3:15

I was 4 years old when an invitation to follow Christ was given to me. I was in pre-school and my teacher, Roxanne Fetterhoff, talked to the class about following Jesus. I don’t remember what all was said but what I do remember is going to the doors to get picked up and sitting down on the mat, all the while thinking about what I had just heard.

“Dear Jesus, please come into my life.”

That decision didn’t become real for me until much later but that was when I first made a conscious decision for Christ. From that moment on, my life would never be the same.

If you are a Christ-follower, you have responded to an invitation. A friend, family member, teacher, coach or any number of people may have shared with you the greatest news anyone can hear. The decision to follow Christ, as you know, is the most important one anyone could ever make.

Here at Grace Church, we have a saying that “Life change is an invitation away”. The keys to eternal life come through a personal relationship with Jesus. It involves people turning from their sinful ways and committing their life to Him.

Years ago, our church launched an emphasis simply called “5” where we were all challenged to pick 5 people in our realm of influence to influence for the gospel over the next 5 years, whether that’s sharing your faith, praying the prayer with them or talking about spiritual things. Over the last several years, we have heard stories of somebody’s “5” coming to a service, accepting Christ, serving or any number of incredible things.

Heaven is going to be more populated as a result of the “5” emphasis.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the best at evangelism. I like to use the excuse that I’m in a bubble where I don’t interact with non-believers or don’t have the time to put myself out there in that way. As I once heard from a basketball coach, “Excuses are like armpits. Everyone has one and they stink.”

Our reading today tells us that we need to always be prepared to share the reason for the hope that we have. This hope that we have experienced through Christ is one that we should be quick to share with others.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to be learning about personal evangelism and how we can best prepare ourselves to share the hope that we have from Jesus with others.

As we kick off this devotional series, I challenge you to identify your “5”. Who are a handful of people that you are going to commit to share with the reason for the hope that you have?

Don’t use excuses. People’s eternal destination could very well hinge on our willingness to share the gospel with them.

Identify your “5” and prepare yourselves to grow in your personal evangelism and in your heart for those who don’t know Jesus.

Jake Lawson

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