This Thursday is Thanksgiving, a time where we reflect and give thanks to the Lord for all he has given us. No…this will not be one of those blogs where I tell the “real” story of the first thanksgiving. This week, however, is a time that spend with family, maybe with some that we don’t see often through out the year. As disciples of Jesus Christ this gives us a unique opportunity to share the Gospel with family members that do not know Christ. I know that this week will be busy with traveling back and forth between dinners, but I challenge you to find an opportunity to share the gospel. I am not saying that you pull your family member aside and walk them through a tract. But what I am saying is that we need to be obedient to the call of the Great Commission and make disciples, even family members. It is true that family members can be the toughest to share the gospel with, but it can be done. Here are few things you can do this week as you get ready for Thursday.
1. Pray…I know that may be stating the obvious, but every thing in the Christian life must start with prayer. Pray first for your family member. The truth is if the Lord has placed them on your heart this week He has already been working in their life. Pray for yourself that you will be obedient to share when the opportunity arises.
2. Prepare…1 Peter 3:15 challenges us, “…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” We are to always be ready to make a defense for the hope of Christ in us. The way we prepare is to study God’s Word. Make sure this week that you are not only prayed up, but studied up.
3. Be Sensitive…On Thursday, or whenever your family gathers, be sensitive to opportunities to the gospel. This can be the hard part, but if you have prayed and prepared then the Holy Spirit is ready to use you when the time comes. I suggest that you seek an opportunity to steer the conversation toward spiritual matters.
4. Engage…This part can be a little awkward, but it is necessary. Be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and know that He is speaking through you. It does not have to be a long conversation. Even a simple I love you and am praying for you can go a long way.
In the end we need to remember not to force anything.The Lord may not use you to bring a harvest this week. He has simply called us to be obedient. This week we need to be obedient to Him in the opportunities He gives us to share the gospel with family.