Sharing Jesus One Mile High
September 1, 2004 - The Lord has chosen all believers to bear fruit, according to John 15. But the call to be fruitful has caused me some frustration. The reason? Over the past few years, although I have continued to share my faith, I haven't been able to lead people to Christ as I had previously.
by Richard Larcombe
In July I attended the North American Institute for Emerging Evangelists, sponsored by the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove near Asheville, N.C. During that time, God broke my heart as He revealed to me some of the reasons why I have not seen any fruit for years. I wept as He showed me that I have been judgmental toward the very people that He wanted me to love into the Kingdom. He showed me once again that I am a proud sinner who desperately needs Jesus. It felt like open-heart surgery with the Holy Spirit.
During the Institute, several people prayed that the Lord would help me share my faith on the way home to California. I knew that God had changed something inside of me—I was so fired up about sharing my faith that I bought a new Bible to give away.
On my flight back to San Jose, I chatted with a college student from Tennessee. After a few minutes of friendly small talk, I asked him, "Do you go to church?"
"I sometimes go with a friend," he said.
Feeling a bit bolder, I asked, "Do you love Jesus?"
"I guess so," he responded.
"Have you ever asked Jesus into your heart?"
He explained that he was visiting a family in California that follows a different religion, and he asked me about the difference between that religion and Christianity. I told him the difference between trying to earn our way to God through good works and being saved by grace through the blood of Jesus. As I talked, my boldness increased until I finally looked him in the eye and asked, "Do you want to become a Christian?"
"Yes," he said.
"Do you want to do it right now?"
"Yes, I do," he said.
I was amazed at how easy it was. My awkward explanation of the Gospel seemed to have an impact on his heart, but I couldn't understand why. Obviously, the Holy Spirit was doing something wonderful in him, and I just needed to relax and let God do it!
"All you have to do is pray. I will pray a line, and then you can repeat it after me," I said.
"OK. Let's do it," he responded.
This was so amazing to me that I stopped to ask him if he really knew what he was doing: "Asking Jesus into your heart is a lifelong commitment to live for God. Are you ready to give your life fully to Him, from now on?"
"Yes," he said.
Right there on the plane he asked the Lord to forgive his sins and come into his heart.
I encouraged him and gave him the Bible I had bought that morning, recommending that he start with the Gospel of John. The whole way home, my heart sang for joy—God had used me to share the Gospel, and He had used me to bear fruit!
Now I am determined to ask God every day for opportunities and for boldness to share the Gospel.