Just this morning as I found myself feeling rushed and anxious about all the "other" things that I needed to get done I pulled out this book that I am using as a daily bible study. I think it is so essential to find yourself in the word daily even though I find myself consistently struggling with it. I try to be good about it and I have found ways of being able to incorporate studies into my daily routine. I have found that "The Christian Servant," an online devotion is a great tool because they send out daily devotions that are relevant to the work place. The devotion is in my inbox when I get to work in the morning, they're quick and easy to read and the best part is that their written by every day workers around the world, just like you and I. On days when I "guilt-ingly" don't get to my bible study I find that I have missed out.
So, this morning as I was feeling rushed and anxious about the outside worldly to-do's, I knew I needed to get in the word. So, I took out this book I have been reading by Beth Moore not expecting to find myself feeling motivated to create an entire post on just the small section I read.
I must start by saying that I just LOVE Moore and her studies. She's easy to understand and she just has a way of relating things back to where we are today. The book I have been reading is one of her older books "To live is Christ - Joining Paul's Journey of Faith" and it has been phenomenal. I was very interested in studying one specific person within the bible and my mom just happened to find this book and asked if I wanted to borrow it. It was as if the study literally fell into my hands.
This particular morning I jumped into the section that discusses Paul's journey into Jerusalem and while I won't go into specifics (this IS Moore's book and I am hesitant about taking anything away from her writing as well as give any surprises away. You will just have to go read it yourself - something I highly recommend), I will say that he immediately finds himself feeling stressed, and in more than unwanted circumstances. The one thing I gathered from this section that Moore so gracefully outlines is Pauls' way of communicating and expressing himself to the non believers.
Now, I am fully willing to admit that I find it difficult to communicate in general, no matter who the audience is. But, when it comes to discussing my faith I truly don't think being a conversation starter is a gift God blessed me with. If someone wants to discuss faith I am right there with open lips, ready to begin. But, I do find it challenging to be the first to bring it up in a conversation, and I find myself lacking confidence in my knowledge on many biblical situations.
I think that Beth Moore did a nice job of outlining ways of communicating through Paul's experiences and I felt led to write this posts depicting these simply tools. Paul's way of sharing his testimony is not as outlined and expected as the many testimonial sharing cards we receive at summer camps and church celebration evenings. But, I found that his approach was much simpler and extremely relevant to what we may encounter in our everyday lives.
(These are the tools Paul used in sharing his testimony - as written in Moore's book)
1. Communicate with simplicity and clarity - As Paul spoke to those he was seeking to reach he spoke in their language as to provide clarity in what he was teaching to them. When we are sharing the word it can be very important that our vocabulary and use of language is relatable to our audience. Have you heard of the saying "simple goes far?" It's the same concept.
2. Communicate honestly - but with caution - I am a teacher and one thing I have found with my students that I think is SO true with anyone is that honesty is always the best policy. People want transparency, not sugarcoated. However, one point that Beth Moore did bring up that I think was interesting is to speak honestly with Caution. Sometimes, too much honesty can enlighten unnecessary images of sin.
3. Communicate in a way that is relatable - Don't always expect that AHAH moment! - Moore did a wonderful job of reminding us during this point that everyone's conversion to christianity is not always dramatic and associated along some huge event. However, this doesn't minimize our experience of accepting Christ. Do not let the fact that you may not have a Hollywood version of coming to Christ stop you from sharing your experience. Every sharing can be special and unique because everyones story of Salvation is special and unique.
4. Share what we gain - not the "freedoms" we lose - The life after salvation is so much greater than we could ever imagine before. It's just that often times Christianity is associated with rules. We must remember to share that the life that we have gained from our salvation outweighs anything that we could have experienced before. While you tend to alter your life with salvation it is ultimately a change of heart that makes you stop wanting to continue to live that lifestyle. It's not a rule booklet that we check off as we go.
Once again, I want to point out that these points came from Beth Moore's book - "To Live is Christ." I highly recommend reading the entirety of the book. I have gained such a profound understanding and it has truly enriched my biblical knowledge.