“And now I bring you this charge before God and Jesus the Anointed, the one destined to judge the living and the dead, at His glorious appearance and His kingdom: go out and preach the word! Go whether it’s an opportune time or not! Reprove, warn, and encourage; but do so with all the patience and instruction needed to fulfill your calling because a time will come when some will no longer tolerate sound teaching. Instead, they will live by their own desires; they’ll scratch their itching ears by surrounding themselves with teachers who approve of their lifestyles and tell them what they want to hear. They will turn away from the real truth you have to offerbecause they prefer the sound of fables and myths. But you must stay focused and be alert at all times. Tolerate suffering. Accomplish the good work of an evangelist, and complete the ministry to which you have been called” (2 Timothy 4:1-5, The Voice).
That’s the phrase that caught my attention: Be ready. Gospel conversations happen when you’re prepared and ready, and not before. I can pray all I want for gospel conversations, but if I’m not doing my part of preparation along with prayer then they won’t happen.
You don’t have to be a preacher to preach the gospel. All you need is a changed heart and a story to tell. As I’ve said before, people can argue with you about theology and doctrine and methodology, but no one can argue with a transformed life. No one can refute your own personal testimony backed up by a renewed mind and spirit.
I always felt like I needed to be a lawyer to share the gospel. I needed to be able to prove the existence of God and why the Bible is true and all that. But the Bible calls me to be a witness, not a lawyer. All I need is to tell what I saw, what happened to me, how Jesus changed my life. That’s all. God will do the rest.
My job now is to get ready so that I will be ready when the time comes, because as my pastor has said, when the opportunity comes, you won’t have time to get ready– you’ll have to be ready.