Ring out the old and ring in the NEW! We greet each other with Happy NEW Year. Everyone loves something new. A new start, new pair of shoes, a new job, you name it. In Christ, scripture teaches us that we are a new creation, a new creature. “The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5.17) Since 2022 is behind us, we now look forward to 2023. And with it, I want to challenge you and me at the very beginning of this year. Something NEW!
Network-Review the network of people that are in your family, friends, or work associates, even service people that you regularly encounter. Discern if they are in need of your concentrated attention, especially if they are not walking with the Lord. My challenge is that you identify 10 people, put them on a card or something that you can keep with you or in your Bible during your quiet time. You may even want to add some as you’re going through the year. If possible, jot down what you believe is their greatest need.
Engage–Now, make this a part of your regular prayer routine, even during the day as you meet them, meet with them or encounter them in some way. As you’re engaging them physically, simply ask the Spirit to guide the conversation or whatever might be necessary. As you’re engaging them in whatever way, make it all about them. Let them see your love, your concern, whatever is needed to effectively engage with them. There’s an expression; I don’t care what you know, until I know you care. Since this relationship is bathed in prayer, the Spirit is going to guide you in a manner that will be most fruitful.
Witness–Since we know that we are simply the instruments of righteousness of Christ, we should be prepared to share scriptural help, to witness to them. His ‘word’ never returns void, but accomplishes its purpose. It most times is a lack of understanding of the gospel, or the lack of trust in Biblical truth. Since you have prayerfully engaged them and have shown undeniable love and interest in them, you have earned the right to witness to them by sharing your testimony or God’s word, even the true gospel message. I have learned these questions that really don’t seem to offend anyone.
May I ask you a question?
- Has anyone ever taken the Bible and shown you how you could know that you can have eternal life? Listen to their answer.
- Have you reached the point in your spiritual life that you know for certain that if you were to die tonight you would go to heaven? Listen for the answer. Then…
- Suppose you were to die tonight, and you were to stand before God, and he asked you why should I let you into heaven; what would be your answer?
I believe God is going to do something NEW and powerful through you in 2023. Let’s all make this year fruitful for the glory of God! Are you with me? O, if you’re not confident in sharing the gospel, reply to me and we’ll meet and work this out together. The simple gospel in ten words is—Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead. I Cor. 15. 1-5