Sermon in a nutshell: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent” (Acts 18:1-11).
Do you know what the number one fear of the American citizens is? Yes, Public Speaking! Why? People are afraid of being ridiculed. We do not want others speaking ill of us. “If I do not speak up, they would not know who I am. Once I open my mouth, they would figure out how foolish I am.” That is the inner thought going on in our subconscious mind. So, silence is one way of self-care.
To speak out on anything, therefore, we have to overcome this fear. One of the ways to do this is to be involved in the subject that we are speaking about. If we are obsessed with the subject, we forget about ourselves. Just watch those boys or girls who fall in love with someone. They constantly talk about their girl-friends or boyfriends. Meet a person who just started learning golf. They will keep talking about golf.
To talk about Jesus with strangers, we need to be consumed by the joy of salvation. When we are obsessed with the love of God, we want to talk about it all the time. That was what happened to Paul. He could not keep his mouth shut. He talked about Jesus day and night.
To keep the zeal, the best way is to meet with those who have the same heart. Birds with same feather gather together. When we keep talking about Jesus, we will draw people who want to talk about Jesus. We have so many clubs in our country. Music lovers find their small groups. Sports fans get together whenever sports event is happening. Business people get together to exchange their interests and know-hows. Evangelists also get together to share their passion for Jesus and compassion for the lost souls.
So, here are the steps that lead us to the fruitful evangelism and witness:
- First we need to read the Bible (SPACE) and share it with others.
- When we are caught with the zeal to share it, we will attract the people with same hearts.
- Together, we can move around and share the Gospel with power and effectiveness.
- God will confirm our mission and ministry and bring fruits for the Kingdom of God.
That is what happened when Paul met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla. Roman Emperor Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. So they left Rome and came to Corinth. From the first day when they met, they became colleagues. They had same jobs, tentmaking. They had same faith: Faith in Jesus. Every Sabbath Paul would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks. Aquila and Priscilla were with him. Then when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus.
Together, they went through all the opposition and worked with joy and power. They also attracted others people who wanted to join them. A man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God offered his house as a worshipping place. His house was next door to the synagogue. Then, Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with his household. Then many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized.
Then Paul received confirmation from the Lord. One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” He stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. This was an exciting ministry!
So, here are the basic questions that we need to ask ourselves:
- Do I read the Bible every day? Do I reflect on the passages and SPACE questions?
- Do I meet other Christians regularly and share the passion?
- Do I share the Good News also with non-beievers?