Devotional | Tammy Baskind | Sep 10, 2023
Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. Mark 16:15
Evangelism is defined as the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness. In Mark, we are commanded to spread the gospel to all of creation. That is daunting and overwhelming to me. I always thought I had to go to seminary and know the Bible inside and out, have the Bible memorized and be able to “debate” it.
After all we are told in I Peter 3:15, “... Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have ...”
I missed the first and last parts of that verse.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
We are to be prepared to give an answer to people who ask us why we have hope, but going to seminary and being a Bible scholar or a good debater is not required. The first part of the verse says “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord...” We need to “know” the Lord and have a personal relationship with him. Yes, that comes from studying his Word. Yes, we should memorize his Word, but it also comes through spending time with him, praying and listening to him. When we do that, he guides us, directs our steps, and gives us the words to answer where our hope comes from. The last part of the verse, “But do this with gentleness and respect,” is also important. We don’t win people to Christ by yelling, arguing, hating, or condemning people. By putting in time with the Lord, we learn how gentle, loving, forgiving, and kind he is to us, and we learn that we are to treat others that way.
When I think I’m not “enough” and don’t know the Bible well enough to lead someone to Christ, I have to remind myself that God met me where I was. He put people in my life who pointed me to him. He gave me experiences that taught me to lean on him and he is not going to let me down. He shows me his unconditional love every single day. All of this is part of my story which is also his story in my life. It doesn’t take a Bible scholar to show his love and how he gives us hope. It takes us sharing what God has done in our life and how he got us to the point we are today.
Evangelism is a “scary” word, but God breaks it down so clearly in I Peter 3:15. If we will lean into God, revere him, learn from him, be humble and kind, then he will give us the words to answer people in a gentle and respectful way when they ask us why we have hope in the Lord. It’s about a personal relationship with him and sharing what he is doing in our life that speaks volumes to people. It’s about our actions pointing people to Christ and not to ourselves. It isn’t scary at all. It’s freeing to know we don’t have to be perfect and have it all figured out. We need to be willing to give up control, be teachable, and listen for God’s wisdom daily.
Tammy BaskindPrison Volunteer Coordinator
Tammy loves introducing others to the gift of volunteering in prison. It has blessed and changed her life and relationship with God in more ways than she can say!
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