God Changes Hearts: Leading Our Loved Ones to Jesus
As Christians, we are called to spread the Gospel. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus gave us the famous great commission calling us to share the Good News with all who would hear. Preachers, evangelists, and pastors all do their part to share the message of salvation with the world; but where does that leave the rest of us? We all have loved ones who are in desperate need of Jesus’ love, and His intention was for all of us to be a part of sharing the Gospel. But the truth is that leading our loved ones to Jesus isn’t always easy.
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There’s something to be said about the difficulty of leading those we personally know to the Lord. It’s one thing to talk about the Gospel with strangers, but in that scenario, we have nothing to lose. When it comes to our loved ones, we struggle with finding a balance between our desire to see them know Jesus and our desire to not strain the relationship we have with them. We often let the fear of severing a relationship get in the way of sharing the truth.
When it comes to reaching our loved ones, never forget that it is God who changes hearts and transforms lives; we are simply the means He uses to accomplish His purpose.
Now I’m not suggesting we run around ruining our relationships with those close to us by offending and preaching at them. God often reaches people through relationships, so it’s important to nurture them, not tear them down.
I think for me personally, I find it difficult knowing when to speak and when not to speak. Sometimes I feel like I should say something, but I don’t out of fear. Yet the truth is that God knows better than I do what someone needs to hear and when they need to hear it. I need to trust Him when He calls me to speak.
I am a teacher at heart. I LOVE to teach. But often I walk away thinking to myself, “Did I get my point across? Did I confuse them? Did I say too much or not enough?” Sometimes I will spend hours analyzing everything I said and pondering all the things I could have added or made clearer. But the truth is that my words will never be able to save anyone. It’s God who changes hearts. I can be the best teacher or debater on the planet, but I will never be able to convince anyone of the truth unless the Holy Spirit is involved.
If I’m being honest, this truth certainly takes some of the pressure off. I don’t have to be eloquent. I simply need to be obedient to God in sharing.
[clickToTweet tweet=”God will often use the least qualified to reach people for Him.” quote=”God will often use the least qualified to reach people for Him.” theme=”style6″]
In 1 Corinthians 1:17-24, Paul discusses three types of people we will encounter when sharing the Gospel… those who will be offended by the truth, those who will think it’s nonsense, and those who will readily receive it. If you are being obedient and sharing the Gospel, be prepared for all three responses.
Keep in mind that if Paul, the writer of much of the New Testament, couldn’t convince someone with his teaching ability, then we certainly shouldn’t beat ourselves up if our words aren’t readily heard and received!
But even so, we never know what God is doing in someone’s heart. What is said today could have an eternal impact at a later date. That’s why it is so important to never hold back in sharing the truth when God lays it on our hearts to do so.
When it comes to our loved ones, we simply need to keep praying that God will soften their hearts to receive the truth and we need to be obedient when God asks us to share. We also need to be obedient when He tells us to keep our mouth shut and simply love them. Never forget that our actions often have a greater impact on our loved ones than our words.
It’s not our job to change hearts; it’s our job to be willing to share the truth in love.
*Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
**Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash