Speak for Yourself - Marketplace Mission Trip Week 1 Day 5

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Speak

If we do this right, after a while, others will ask, “Why are you doing this?” We need to be able to answer in the first person. Practice today as you get ready for next week!

Why are you doing this?

When you go beyond your job description and serve others, they will be curious. In their mind, they will try to explain your actions using worldly motives. “He’s just trying to get ahead.” But when your service springs from love for Jesus, they won’t have an explanation to connect your actions to your motives. Eventually, some will ask, “Why are you doing this?”

Prepare your answer

Remember we talked about practicing a brief answer using your own words that points to Jesus. If we say, “I just felt like it,” or “God told me to,” people won’t understand. They’ll think you’re strange and drop the subject. Try instead to say something like, “I wanted to do something for you because Jesus changed me. I want my faith in Jesus to matter every day.” While this might feel or sound awkward, it is accurate and honest. Your friends mind will stretch to think about your answer.

But don’t let me put words in your mouth. Make this your answer. Give your reason in the first person. Ask God to give you a humble answer that glorifies him. Avoid giving instruction and speak for yourself. Make it brief and point to Jesus. And if they want more information, they’re free to ask for it. If they ask more, answer more, as naturally as possible.

Put yourself in their shoes

As an exercise, put yourself in their shoes. Pray and then ask yourself the question and speak your answer out loud. Ask another Christ-follower to give you feedback. Write your answer down. Does it sound reasonable to you? Ask yourself a second time. Practice. Repeat your practice until you’re comfortable. Try to get where you can explain your actions using first-person terms to someone who thinks Jesus is no more real than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. The more you practice answering the “Why?” question, the more natural and confident you’ll feel when you have these conversations. Call me at (918) 899-4239 if you can’t talk with anyone else.

Your answer with conviction

In 1 Peter 3:15, the first phrase is, “but sanctify Jesus as Lord in your hearts”. When we sanctify Christ as Lord, we set him apart as Lord. We know why we trust him as Lord. Once we convince ourselves, then we’re “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks”.

They will ask

Did you notice something else? Peter says they will ask. Unless you feel leading from God, you need not volunteer anything. Quietly and humbly serve. If no one ever asks, we know Jesus is in charge. We will receive a reward for doing what he told us to do. We don’t have to twist the conversation or try to manipulate the conversation. Let’s give our lives away because we know Jesus is Lord. When we do, people will ask.

Take some time and practice your answer. Use “I” and “me” statements. Be certain, Resist the temptation to tell someone else how to get to heaven. Explain the hope in you because you know Jesus. God will give you the words and you will bless others if you can wait until someone asks. And then, speak for yourself.

Action items

  1. Pray – to punch in each day, for the people you will meet, and for the people on the “trip.” Ask God to use you in the lives of your coworkers, customers, vendors, and anyone you meet or interact with. God is actively working in their lives. Ask him to let you join him!
  2. Practice – Think about why you believe and practice your 2-sentence answer.
  3. Think about ways you can serve others next week. We will talk about how to make time in your schedule and how to improve your relationships through appreciation and Spirit-led listening.
  4. Get some gift cards, thank you notes or something to show gratitude and appreciation to others. We will encourage you to show appreciation and serve others in new ways next week. Get ready now!
  5. Would you like our conference calls to be on your calendar for next week? Reply to this email and we’ll send a meeting invitation.
 

We’re praying for you. Please reply to this email or call (918) 899-4239 if you have any ideas, questions, concerns or comments. Thank you for your service.

P.S. Remember the conference calls begin next week! We’ll send you a note tomorrow and Monday with instructions on how and when to join the calls.

 

Photo credit: Aleksandr Davydov at www.123rf.com

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s email / text!

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