Easter is quickly approaching this week, where we prepare our hearts for remembering Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, as well as His resurrection that assures our hope in Him. As we rejoice in that hope, we also rejoice that we get to be a part of the celebration, and remember that His Good News is for all that would receive Him. It has been said that Easter is the most attended Church day of the year. While this makes it an amazing opportunity for the family of God to welcome and love on those that have come to our home and are spending time with our family—if only for an hour or two—it reminds us that the rest of the year they need us to come to them and extend the invitation.
So, how do we share the Good News? How do we show our kids how to do that? It’s difficult enough if you do not have the personality type that is comfortable speaking to others you don’t know well. It can be even more difficult to share what you know to be Good News, but what others can find to be intrusive. We all know or have seen those that seem to have a natural gift for speaking to new people, and for sharing the Gospel no matter how it is received. Most likely, all of us have had that experience where we’ve stepped out and shared the Good News, and the proverbial door was slammed shut—whether a stranger or a family member. So, does that mean that only certain people can share? What about our kids—can they?
I personally cannot relate to having a child that is shy or reluctant to speak to new people, or even reluctant to share the Gospel with people he doesn’t know. I can’t claim rights to this, as he is much different that my husband and I, in this area. I’ve watched him repeatedly reach out to new kids he meets, compelled to talk to them, and I’ve even seen him witness to people at the store, as if prompted. I’ve squirmed inside as I’ve watched their response and his childlike persistence, as if unfazed by it. However, we love and admire this quality in him, and make it a point to acknowledge and praise his heart to share with the people he encounters. Really, he’s teaching us.
“You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8 NASB.
It’s not as difficult as it was for me years ago to share Jesus with a total stranger—and by sharing Jesus I also mean offering words of encouragement, love, prayer, help with a need… It’s not that the response is any more receptive—I’ve had days where I’ve felt like a heavenly magnet and days I’ve felt like a repellant. However, I’ve realized what compels anyone, whether they feel graced in this area or not, is knowing and trusting that you have the only answer in you, the Hope of Glory—Jesus, and He can do for them what He has done for you. Without Him, there is no hope for salvation. He is the invitation to the only journey and destination worth having. Our kids find it so exciting that we all get to be a part of God’s big family, that He loves them so much, and that He has taken care of everything. They also have the childlike faith that says, “They have a need for Jesus right now, why wait?”
So, how do we purpose to grow in God’s commission to us to share the Good News, and also help our children to, each day? How do we invite those that have lost their way or haven’t met the Way, to come and be a part of our family, the rest of the year? When we take some simple steps towards this in our daily lives, we’ll find that our faith will grow in this area. We can begin by settling in our hearts, and helping our children to understand, that there is no other Way. We are not offering an option when we share Jesus, we are offering to share the Truth, our only hope. Knowing this helps to calm all the questions in the mind about imposing on others beliefs. That’s not to say we force others to agree, it’s simply to know in our hearts that we are not offering an opinion, but rather, Jesus Himself!
Another way is by allowing your kids to see how you purpose to do this in your own life. Whether that means sharing Jesus as you go on your family grocery trip, or a planned outreach event, take your kids along and invite them to reach out. Finally, have them invite a friend or someone they meet to church. Someone may not be willing to step outside of their comfort zone to enter into a new community, but a welcome invitation might be all it takes to open the door. I was once invited to church with a friend when I was 10 years old, and that has changed the course of my life, my husband’s life, our son’s life, and my extended family’s life, forever. A simple reach in this direction might be all it takes to save a life, and a whole community.
Help your kids to be a walking welcome and invitation to the most life-changing experience anyone will ever know!
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