Grace for My Home | Christian Moms, Growing in Faith, Spirit-Led, Hearing from God, Sowing Truth

Overcoming the Fear of Sharing Your Faith

December 07, 2023 Audrey McCracken | Mom Encourager Season 2 Episode 69
Grace for My Home | Christian Moms, Growing in Faith, Spirit-Led, Hearing from God, Sowing Truth
Overcoming the Fear of Sharing Your Faith
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever battled the fear of sharing your faith with others?  Me too!  Fear often stops us from sharing the hope of Christ with those who desperately need it. In this episode I share a little about my journey of overcoming this fear. I hope it encourages you as you seek to obey Jesus' command to share the Gospel with others.



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Audrey McCracken:

Hello friends, welcome back to Grace for My Home. Thank you so much for joining me again here this week. It means so much to me to know that I have a whole group of friends all around the country, all around the world really, that tune in every week to listen to the things that I share and the stories that I share, and I just want to say thank you. That just blesses me. It kind of blows my mind when I sit back and think about it, but I haven't had a lot of time lately to sit back and think about it. But I do want to say thank you and you know, my heart's desire with this podcast is to encourage women, because I need encouragement, and whatever we sow, we reap. And I know that there have been times that I have just wanted to give up. There have been times that I've just felt so exhausted I just thought does any of this matter? Does anybody see? And one person would call me or text me or email me or I would turn on, you know, the radio or listen to a podcast and just something that that person shared would give me the strength I need. It really was like the Lord was speaking to me through that person and they didn't even know it, and I thought that is the power of encouragement. So that is why I do this, because I want to encourage women that God is on your side, that he has a good plan and that we can be right in the middle of his will for our lives. And so this week, just to give you a little recap on what's going on here in the McCracken household I'm still not finished decorating for Christmas, I still have boxes out, but that's okay. The house looks good, it looks beautiful, the places that are decorated, and I just hide the boxes in one room. And today we had a great church service. If you've been listening for a while, you know that we recently moved our church to a new city, actually moved it to a city. We were not in a city, we were in the middle of the country, basically in a field, and we felt like we were to move to this neighboring city and so we did that about. I guess it's been about seven weeks ago now that we had our first service in that city and we're actually meeting in a gym, a gymnasium, and today we had I think it was our eighth service there and it was great. We just had such a good service this morning. We have given the worship to our youth. We've just said they they're doing a great job and they have a heart for it. A lot of our youth went a couple of months ago, back in the summer they went to Israel and they went to Germany first and they went to Israel and on that trip they had an opportunity to be around some other youth, some friends of ours, their children who live in Germany, and traveled with them and they got to see people their age worshiping and leading worship in their church and it so inspired them that they came back here and brought that heart of worship with them. And so we've just turned them loose and said do it Now. There's been some bumps along the way. You know they're learning, they're young, but there is something about when the youth take initiative. You know, when they rise up and they say we're going to do this, that it just brings new life and it really has brought a breath of fresh air into our worship service and it reminds us. You know why we're there. We're not there for perfection, we're not there so that everything sounds just right. We're there to worship the Lord. And so our kids have done such a good job, and so today we had a wonderful worship service, and after the service we had an opportunity to go and look at a building that is for sale because we are looking for a place to settle down in that city. The gym has been just fine, but can you imagine worship in a gym? It's kind of chaotic. You know, if we didn't know the words, that if the words weren't projecting on the screen, we may not be sure what they are. But so we're looking for a place to settle down and call out our own. But, and we went and saw a place today which we don't really think that's the place, but it was a great location. It just what. It just isn't going to meet our needs right now. So that's exciting. You know, that's really exciting because it's kind of like you're stepping out of the boat and you're just trusting the Lord to show you the next step. But today, as I was thinking about what to share with you, I wanted to talk with you about something that is important for all of us, no matter where we are and I walk with the Lord and that is about sharing our faith with other people. That may excite you or that may intimidate you, I don't know. I do believe that the Lord was very clear that we, as believers, are to share our faith with other people. You know he told his disciples go into all the world and preach the gospel. And I believe that's not just the job of the pastor or the elders, or you know that's the job of every believer is to go and to preach. You know, whether that's down the street or whether that's in another country, and I believe that the Lord gives us that desire to do that, to share our faith. It's kind of like when you find something that's wonderful and you experience something that's life changing and you see others who could benefit from that and who need that, you want them to experience it, you want them to know the love of God, you want them to know the truth, you want them to know that God created them for a purpose. But over the years I have struggled with sharing my faith and I think that, if we're honest, many of us have, or many of us do, and I've taken classes, courses in my church on sharing faith, sharing my faith, and I've read books and and my heart's desire is to please the Lord and also to share what he has done in my life which I know is very real with other people. But there is an intimidation that many of us face when it comes to being verbal about our experience with the Lord, and there are so many reasons why not the least of them is that there is an enemy that does not want us to share our faith, that wants us to feel those things and to let those feelings of insecurity and inferiority and fear keep us from being vocal about our faith with other people who do not believe. You know, I can sit down with someone who is a believer that I just met and we have that instant connection and we can talk about the Lord and the things he's done and share very openly with each other about the goodness of God and we get each other. But when there's someone who we know is not a believer and we try to share Jesus with them, then we know we're not. We're not coming on the same footing, right? We're coming from two different worldviews and sometimes you know you even have people who are hostile and you don't know until you start, until you try. And so how? So if you're like me and I'm not a very confrontational person, you know, I just want everybody to get along and that's not always possible. But if you're like me and you're not a confrontational person, then it's hard for you to put yourself in a situation where that might happen. And also, you know, I think about me. Before I was a Christian and I had people who shared the gospel with me. And now look back now and I'm thankful, but at that time I was annoyed. Yeah, I mean because I grew up in church and I knew the gospel. I knew, you know, I thought I knew it all and had decided I wasn't, that wasn't for me. But the truth is I had never had a true experience with Jesus. I had a head knowledge of God, but I hadn't had that, that born again experience. And so when we approach people, we never know, you know. And something happened this week that made me think of this. We had a couple years ago who visited, who spent some time at our church and they moved on and that was fine. We tried to love on them while they were there. And recently, just this past week, the gentleman of that couple came into the coffee shop and he it was really good to see him and he had seen us on Facebook and you know, heard that we'd open a coffee shop and so he came in and and he wasn't sure what to order and and it was like I don't know how to explain this, but I think you might understand. I knew he wasn't there for coffee, you know, and it was a Saturday. When you know, when this happened, we had an extremely busy day Saturday, something to do, I'm sure, with Christmas season, but people are out shopping and everything. But when he came is actually a slow, it's actually a slow moment and you know we helped him. You know the guy who's taking orders, helping us out, helping find something he'd enjoy and you know he sat down and I had a few minutes because it was a little slower to go over and sit with him and as we were talking and we were catching up and sharing some things, he was asking about the shop. You know just small talk, and it came up in the conversation that his brother in law had just passed away and and I was really sorry to hear that because I know his wife and I didn't realize that her brother had been sick and you know they had come back from the funeral just a few days before and you know he was talking and as he was talking, you know there's a scripture. It talks about Moses. When Moses was out watching the sheep and he saw a burning bush. And it was unusual because the bush was burning but it wasn't being consumed. And so he said I'll turn aside and I'll my version, I'll check this out. So he knew this is something different. So he took the time to say I'm gonna check this out. And God spoke to him. You know the Lord was calling him, drawing him to turn aside from his normal business. And this was one of those moments where I felt like this is, he's not here for coffee and take a minute. You know, turn aside from your normal business and sit with him. And as we got to talking, I can tell he was talking about the state of the world right now. And you know he said he actually said I'm glad I don't have kids, because I see everything that's going on with the world right now and I just don't know how your parents can take it. You know, I just see it just feels like everything is just everything's just going wrong. And I knew he has no hope. He sees what's happening around him and he doesn't have that hope that we have in Christ and I was able, as much as I felt like I could, to share the love of God with him. You know, and I shared with him a little bit about yes, it is dark out there right now, but thankfully we have Christ and he has written the story. You know, he knows the end from the beginning and that's our hope Is that this is not a happenstance. You know, he knows all of the details and he has a plan, and that's our hope. Our hope is in Christ and I was able, as much as I felt like he would receive, to share that with him and, of course, invite him to come back and see us and and just make a friend or reconnect with the old friend. And, you know, when he left, I was very thankful for that opportunity. I got to thinking about it that night and I thought, well, that is what it means to share the gospel. Now we want to make it about us. You know, we want to be able to say I shared the gospel, I wasn't afraid, but it's, it's, it's. It seems like to me that when we wait on the Lord and we ask him to open up doors and opportunities For us, then he'll send us people at the right time who are ready to hear what we have to say. And you know I can connect with people that you can't, and you can connect with people that I can't. You know my father before he passed away. This man was actually a friend of my father's and he said as we were sitting there you know he's my father's age and he said I miss your daddy so much. My dad passed away a few years ago from Alzheimer's and he had shared my dad had shared his faith with this man, and I want you to understand that my dad was the shyest man you've ever met. He was so quiet and so humble, and so I mean he just was so bashful. If he went to a restaurant and ordered something and they brought him out something completely different, he'd never say a word. I mean, that was just his way. When God came into his life, I saw him share the gospel with men that he had walked with or he had known all his life. He'd gone to school with all his life and many of those men had a lot of the same problems he had when he became a Christian. They were alcoholics and they had no hope, and they were his buddies, and this was one of his buddies and I got to see that. You know, my dad had planted a lot of seeds in this man's heart and the Lord just allowed me to be a part. You know, I did not feel like it was the time appropriate for me to talk with him about, you know, salvation and making that step. He was seeking something. You know he was looking for hope and I shared with him where the hope is. You know it's in Christ and that it looks like the world's spinning out of control right now, but it's really not. You know, and we as Christians know that we have a hope in the storm. We have a hope and I want to read to you from the second book of Timothy, timothy two, starting in verse three. I really think this speaks to where we are right now in the world and it says but realize this that in the last days, difficult times will come, for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips without self control, brutal haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they deny its power. Avoid such men, as these from among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighted down with sins, led led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. We live in that kind of world right now. There is no fear of God, even among many people who claim to be Christians. People love themselves more than God and often people in the name of God deceive others. 13. It says. But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceit. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and became convinced of knowing from whom you have learned them and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training and righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work. So, yes, we live in a world that seems like it's going from bad to worse. Not trying to be a doomsayer, but just cut on the TV, open your eyes. But we have a hope that is in Christ Jesus, and I love the way Paul says here from childhood you've known the sacred writings he tells Timothy, which are able to give you wisdom and leads to salvation. I love that. And he goes on to talk about how all scripture is inspired from God. See we, when we come to the Word of God, by faith, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, we can know truth, we can have wisdom. It is a light in a dark world. It's a light to know what God is about, to know what he's up to. Earlier this school year my youngest son, caleb, and I read through a book about Revelation and it was written for his grade level but it was called the Non-Prophet's Guide to the Book of Revelation. And I just want to tell you it was so good and I love that it was written on a preteen level because I don't like complicated. But just reading through that book about the book of Revelation really made the book of Revelation come alive to me and going into it I thought is this going to be scary? Is this going to be too scary for my son? Is this going to be too much for him right now? Is it going to put that thoughts in his mind that you know that he's not ready for right now. Well, to be honest with you, it was a book of hope because when you're living in a place and a time when it feels like all of the foundations are being shaken and the things that we've always accepted in everyone Christian or non-Christian, have always accepted to be true, are now being questioned, it is comforting to know that God said from the beginning this is how it's going to be. Keep your eyes on me. And in the book of Revelation he talks about in those times. You know, even if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. And he gave us guidance, he gave us insight into what to do during those times. He said gather yourself together when you see that day approaching. He said love one another fervently, because the love of many will grow cold. And as we walk together in the Spirit and we learn to walk in the Spirit, we learn to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us and we grow in Scripture and we're always growing and we're maturing in our faith, then our hope grows with us and we can see him more clearly. You know, faith is a muscle. I used to tell my boys this. I still do when they listen to me. But faith is like a muscle, you know, it starts out weak but it's still workable. But the more you use it, the more you use your faith, the more you work your faith, the stronger your faith becomes. And so we have to work our faith, we have to use our faith. You know we have to. You know faith is faith without works is dead. And so when we work our faith, when we do things that require faith, when we trust God through situations where it just seems hopeless, when we believe when it would just be a lot simpler not to believe, then our faith grows and our tests grow right. Our tests get harder too. But God is building us into strong men, strong women, that we will not be ashamed on that day when he arrives, that we will be able to say Lord Jesus, I did to the best of my ability what you gave me to do, and he wants that for us. You know he does not want us to be afraid of his coming, he wants us to be excited. He wants us to be able to say come, lord Jesus, come. We're excited to see you return, because he is going to return. He promised that he would return and he keeps his promises. Amen. I hope that this has been encouraging for you today and I pray that the Lord would open up opportunities for you to share your faith in a very natural way and in a way that suits your personality right? You know, god doesn't want us to take on somebody else's personality when we go to share the gospel, and I think that's one of the reasons that, one of the ways that people get turned off, because it's kind of like we have this instruction manual If you're going to share the gospel, you got to say this and you got to say that, and you got to say it. Just right, or it'll be all wrong. And God wants to use you and your personality to reach others and he'll give you the grace. He'll put the words in your mouth. You know, you don't have to have it written on a card. He'll put them in your mouth at the right time. Let's pray, father. I pray for my friends today that you would give them the awesome privilege of being able to share your gospel with others. That, lord, it might be in the grocery store line, it might be with somebody sitting at the park by the kids play, but, father, I pray that you give them the opportunity and you'd put the words in their mouth and that it wouldn't feel forced or awkward, but just natural, and, lord, that that joy would spring up inside of them, that I was able to give hope to someone who needed hope today. And, lord, I just thank you for it. I thank you for an anointing to do that. Holy Spirit, I ask you to teach us the way. When you're doing something, lord, when you're doing something different, give us ears to hear and eyes to see, and help us to turn aside from our normal course of business and be obedient to what you're calling us to do at that moment. And, lord, let us help us be sensitive to you. In Jesus' name, we thank you. Amen.

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