Thanks for joining us on this journey of building a consistent habit of reading our Bibles every day. The Bible reading plan we are using this year can be found here: One Year Bible or here on the Bible app. As always, if you miss a day, don’t feel compelled to go back and catch up. Just skip it and start back on today’s date. I am reading the NLT this year, but feel free to use whatever version you prefer. Now here are some thoughts from today’s readings:

 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”
– Mark 5:19

     When you’re passionate about Jesus, it’s easy to want to go spend your life going all over the world telling everyone about Him. It seems heroic, maybe even exotic! And it is! Missionaries are heroes of the faith and should be supported by all believers in prayer, financial support, through relationships (it can get lonely out there), and with short term mission trips. But the truth is, becoming an overseas missionary is not God’s plan for most people.

     Sometimes the harder thing to do is to stay home where you are and tell the people who’ve known you your whole life, the good and the bad, what awesome things God has done for you. The people who’ve known you often don’t respect what you say (this was even true for Jesus!). It forces you to live a life above reproach. Plus, I personally find it more awkward to talk to someone about Christ whom I’ve already had tons of conversations with unrelated to Christ or even anti-Christ, than talking to someone who I’ve never had a conversation with and who doesn’t know me.

     But that is what God has called most of us to do. And even though this kind of witnessing may seem harder and may take longer, it often, in the end, yields great and lasting fruit. We just have to summon up the courage to talk about Christ. Here are a few tips.

     First, ask the Lord for the right opportunities, the boldness to speak, and the right words. Second, continually remind yourself that this is what’s best for them. You are literally trying to save their lives. Third, remember not to be pushy. Just share how He has transformed your life and that He wants to do the same for them. Fourth, don’t be judgemental. This isn’t about their behavior, its about Jesus. We don’t expect people who don’t believe in the Bible to obey. Neither did Jesus. Our goal is to show them Jesus is real, that He loves them, and that He wants to change their lives. Nothing more, nothing less. Lastly, go all the way! Often we start by trying to hint at things instead of just having a full blown conversation about God. The people we are talking to will find this annoying, like a sales pitch or something. Plus, we tend to stop at the first sign of resistance. However, when you go all in, people often appreciate your sincerity, honesty, and willingness to get to the point, even if they don’t tell you.

     A final note: I have a lot of friends who are missionaries (in fact, if you’re looking for some great eternal investments, I can connect you with some great heroes of the faith you can support financially). I have seen it time and time again that the ones who make it as missionaries didn’t become missionaries when they left the country. They were missionaries right where they were first! They shared their faith with friends, family, coworkers… anyone around who would listen. Then the Lord would call them on to another assignment. Often, when someone thinks they’re called to missions, I will challenge them to start being a missionary right now, right where they are. Many are not up to the challenge. What about you?

So, who is right around you today that you can share your story with?