Fear & Joy

Why do I let fear grip me? Why do I let anxiety tear at me, peeling my skin until I am exposed and shaking, freezing in the bitter, piercing cold of [the false]* reality [I choose to let myself believe in]? How can I allow my soul to be afraid when there is truly nothing to be afraid of?

I worry what others believe about me, what they feel about me. In turn, I fear their thoughts, I fear their words. I worry that my life will not be comfortable, rewarding, successful, joyful. In turn, I fear that which I cannot control. In pursuit of joy, I let my soul-shaking fear be the map and compass in a self-ravaging journey.

In order to find the joy that my fear is keeping me from, the fear must be put aside. I believe that happiness + contentment = joy. When I search for the key to contentment and hunt for the solution to happiness, I come to naught, though, because I will never find them. I may very well get close on my own, but I’ll never truly find them both, together.

I have found contentment, I have held it gently in my hand and felt the promise that in any circumstance, its presence will remain, if I do not snuff the light out. That is all well and good, but happiness (which seems to me less valuable than contentment, at this season in life) evades my grasp. It is often hard to keep contentment in one’s hand while reaching for something else, but I suppose that is expected. At times, I have also found happiness—those giddy, mischievous times growing up, when nothing else seemed to exist. The two of them, though, rarely seem to be seen together.

The truth is, the entire time I have been running from fear, looking for happiness and contentment, Jesus has been Here, waiting, holding the key in his hand, being the very key in and of himself.

The Lord (YHWH) will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Fear loses its power and every anxiety shatters in the face of YHWH, because there is nothing in this universe that holds its power under his all-pervading reign.

The Holy Spirit will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Again, why do I let fear grip me? The all-powerful, all-knowing, all-pervading God is in my very soul, the innermost part of my being. How can I begin to worry what others may think or say about me? He is my comfort and reward, he is the source of my joy. Fear doesn’t stand a chance.

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself.

I am not a good person. I am not wise. Jesus doesn’t ask me for this, though.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Jesus doesn’t expect me to stand up to my fear; he knows I can’t do that on my own. I’m weak, I doubt him, I doubt his love for me. But he has the power to banish fear. Jesus doesn’t expect me to be a paragon of joy. He knows that, without him, I will revert to a twisted, contented depression, devoid of light. But with him, my heart can be happy, and my spirit contented in him. This is how he casts out fear, bringing the light of his joy.

**Scripture quotations are from the NIV, emphasis added. Shared here are the passages Exodus 14:14, John 14:26-27, Matthew 6:34, Matthew 11:29-30. For more on Matthew 11:28-30, see Anchors: an exploration of self-love, toxic people, and Jesus. [Pronouns reffering to diety are purposefully left uncapatalized, as this may sometimes be a meaningless ritual, and in place of this sign of respect for the Godhead, other linguistic changes are often mindfully used.]

*[Words in brackets were added 3/28/18 at 5:12pm.]

Advertisements

Quite Conversational: 7th Day Adventists

It was a quiet, calm, slow Summer Sunday evening. I hopped on my bike and rode for maybe ten minutes, going to a place I often went to think and pray and hope. It was a forest trail; a long, winding, rising and falling path that welcomed the thoughtful soul. Birds chattered in the earlier hours, but most of them were snuggled into their bedded nests by now, their young ones safe in their wings. It was about eight’o’clock and were it the shivering months of winter, the sun would have been gone long ago. But instead, it stayed in the sky, content to continue its conversation with the trees a little longer before it went on to visit its other friends.

I pulled onto the path and begin walking the narrow wheels of my bike along the grassy way. It opened into an area that surrounding a small, man-made pond. In Ohio, they would call it a lake. Next to the pond was a picnic table, and I often stopped her to be particularly contemplative before going the rest of the way. Today, however, was already getting too dark for a visit to the forest, so I decided I would go home after sitting on the bench a bit.

I heard singing. Sweet, good singing, the kind that can only happen when a family sings together; their ribbons of harmony and melody twirling together into a heavenly, united sound. Yet, I did not understand the words. I sort of recognized them, though, as being German. Finally, this singing family emerged from the path and looked at me pleasantly. Me being the talkative sort that I am, I smiled warmly and began conversing with them. I asked them what they were singing, and I realized as they explained it that it was a hymn book. I assumed they were Christians of course, and I don’t know quite how I realized they were Seventh Day Advents (not to say that Seventh Day Adventists can’t be Christians of course) but maybe they told me.

At this point, I knew very little about the Adventists. I considered them to be sort of like the Mormons or the Jehovah’s False Witnesses, but having met a few myself I now wouldn’t be so harsh in my judgment. A few quick things about the Adventists: (1) they worship on Saturday and take Sabbath very seriously, and it really seems to help many of their communities, as they often live to a hundred or more. (2) Their history is rampant with people saying “Christ will come back, let’s go to this hilltop on this date and wait for Him! Then… it doesn’t happen. The Adventists learned after a while that a worldview based on unkept promises is not very convincing, so they stopped making these declarations at some point. (3) Ellen White is their false-teacher in chief, being praised as a prophetess by many, and she claimed to have visions. She also plagiarized other writers and speakers. A lot. So… that doesn’t really make her look good. To read more about White, read this.

As our conversation progressed, the debate over works versus faith came up. Is faith  by works, or works a sign of faith? My stand is that works are a great evidence to faith, but they don’t give us our salvation by any means whatsoever. If they did, we’d no sooner be in Heaven than we would be bragging about how we accomplished our own cleansing and made it possible to come to Paradise by buying the ticket with our own good deeds. They of course, were not about to communicate what I have just explained, because that makes it sound wretched. Nevertheless, what they said certainly made it sound like this is what they believed.

I think that’s a commentary on every quietly-kept religious group. (I wouldn’t use the term ‘cult’ for the Adventists like I would the Mormons or other groups of the same nature, but there is a slight resemblance.) It’s hard to understand what they truly believe through all the layers of explanation they offer. Plus, as is the practice with the Mormons, many groups like these seem to keep a watch out for new valid objections to their doctrine,  and strike it down with new side-skirttings that are spread through the ranks and taught to all members. Then, anyone who cares for solid doctrine has to go find another contradiction to bring up against them in conversation.

At the end of all of it, through a couple conversations later and much research, I developed my understanding of the Seventh Day Adventists: I respect them for their keeping of the Sabbath, and, while I don’t think we are held to that, I think everyone would do better practicing it. I disagree with their fantastical revelations about future events, but accept that much of that is in the past, and most Adventists don’t teach things like that today. Personally, I think that many of them are likely very true Christians, which is not something I would say about Jehovah’s False Witnesses or the Mormons. (Or, as they put on their name tags, “Latter-Day Saints.”) As long as they give glory to God for their salvation and don’t hold everyone else to their Sabbath standards, I think they may very well be our brothers and sisters in Christ. And, as outlandish as it may sound, I think we may have a few things we could pick up from their way of life.

 

Throw off the Chains of Lawlessness, Teens

(The puppy here is saying “ah, lawless, of whom I am the worst.”)

Lawlessness. The whole thing fills me with rage at times. I certainly have experience with being lawless, and I ain’t perfect, but for someone who has struggled with doubting the validity of the claims of Christ, lawlessness in the Church and lawlessness in churches across the USA (however real or Bible-believing those churches are) certainly does not help. Yes, it’s the old “hypocrite” tagline of the rebellious rejecting Christ. But… sometimes it’s true.

The sad thing is, despite the new generation of millennials thinking they had it all down, they only find new ways to be lawless. While they criticize “the old people” for being legalistic and uncaring, they are busy watching terrible TV shows, making fun of the righteous, listening to music that flies in the face of what Christianity stands for, making up reasons to justify drinking, making up reasons to justify doing drugs, makng up reasons to justify their lack of a prayer life, and making up reasons to justify their spiritual ignorance. Go ahead. Every other generation did it before you.

What has been is what will be,

   and what has been done is what will be done,

   and there is nothing new under the sun.

Thank you, Solomon.

But. If you want to be different. If you want to prove yourself. If you want to be a real Christian that is a shining example of Christ… Change.

When you look at a TV show, (before getting into the plot) ask yourself “is this good for my spiritual walk?” You could even ask “is this something Jesus would watch and enjoy?” If you have good, Christian parents or grandparents, try to imagine if they would watch it. I know, like, that leaves two shows that are both cheesy and have terrible acting. (Yes, I am talking about When Calls the Heart. I hate that show.) But maybe the point of this life isn’t to watch TV shows and talk to your friends about them (just maybe). Maybe you can find a book, or get into a hobby that doesn’t depend on sinful creators.

When you see people who seem really spiritual, don’t immediately doubt them. Sure, lots of people are proud or plain-old hypocrites. (Take me, for example.) But you might still be able to learn from them. The minute you criticize is the minute you stop learning. Criticism is the enemy of learning. And also the enemy of worship. I feel like I heard that somewhere. Hmm…

When you listen to music, listen to the words. If they swear, you might just throw it out (whoa!). Obviously, popular songs are hard to avoid. But you can push them out of your own life. Here are a few music substitutes if you need something to listen to:

  • Celtic music. You can find this really easily on Spotify or Pandora. Yes, some of the songs have little bits of pagan traditions, and sometimes the words are just weird, but often you can’t hear the words well or they’re in another language. Also, French love songs are nice, because they’re really beautiful, but you don’t know what they’re saying.
  • Jewish music. I specifically listen to The Jewish Starlight Orchestra. Most of the songs are really upbeat and sound very fun and innocent. Most of them are in Yiddish. Don’t tell people you listen to this kind of Jewish music because they’ll look at you weird, but do try it out, you might enjoy it.
  • Native American Whistle. Yay, more pagan music! But seriously, it’s super calming and makes a good background.
  • Good-old classical. I love classical music, and currently it’s kind of hip (so is reading) so jump on the bandwagon and love it.
  • And, if you don’t have an eclectic ear like I do, just go with a good Owl City, or someone even more Christian. There is a ton of good music out there.

Before I get onto the next bit, I want to say that this problem, of the ones listed here, is probably the most frequent rearing of the head of lawlessness in my life. It’s so easy for me to listen to songs that just aren’t good, and I’m trying to work through it. These are my substitutes, and they work good if I can get myself to ignore other music I might want to listen to at the time.

If you have friends who justify alcohol, or if you want to justify it… just don’t. Sure, I can’t nail down what the Bible says about it, and maybe it’s okay if you just don’t get drunk. But alcohol ruins lives. You don’t need it. Drink grape juice. Drink ground-up weeds (if you’d like to substitute for beer). Drink pop. (Hey, we have great pop in America.) And, while we’re on the topic of drinking, don’t get addicted to caffeine. Christ is master, nothing else.

On drugs… You don’t need to go very far to realize that it’s not what Christ wants you doing. Just say no. Hey, Nancy is still relevant today. And probably still wearing Reagan Red in Heaven.

Reagan

Now on to things we should be doing.

Prayer is important. It works. Not really, God works, but you know what I mean. I neglect it  on a daily basis. I know I should pray, but I’d rather listen to a podcast. I know I should talk to God, but I really just want to read before I fall asleep. Here’s how I temporarily get back into prayer (it’s not really a long-term answer, but it works.) I confess my sin. If I’m not really willing to confess a certain thing, I’ll just ask him to teach me about it, to soften my heart, and to make himself real to me. Most of these confessions just end with a lot of crying, so it really softens me up to talk to God more. Then sometimes I remember to pray for other people. So, it isn’t perfect, and I’m not where I want to be, but I am growing and changing and staying being humbled about it.

If you are ignorant about spiritual things, don’t stay that way. Figure stuff out. Read the Word. Choose a short book of the Bible and read through the whole thing in a nice, romantic, sunny afternoon. You might choose Philippians or James or a minor Prophet. If you have more time (which you will, if you free yourself from terrible TV shows in your life), you can even read Ecclesiastes in one sitting or the Gospel of John. Why read books all at once? Well, first of all, it keeps you from having to stick to a daily, list-checking ritual that can get really boring, and it also helps you understand the whole of a passage better. After you start reading, try memorizing (it’s not that hard and there’s something really enjoyable about it).

You don’t have to look like every other worldly teen. You can be different. I can be different. We can change. It may not always be hip. It may not always win you points. But it will be pleasing to God, and if you call yourself a Christian, that should mean something to you.

And, on a personal note, I’m not trying to put myself on a pedestal and tell you how you can be like me. I am a terrible person, and that is why I need Christ. I have struggles just like you do, and that’s why I can relate. So, if I come across as proud… well, I guess I am a fairly proud person, probably even more than I realize. But, I’m sorry, and I’m not trying to be mean, just give you what I can.

This is my last real blog post as I will be leaving for the Summer months. Thank you for reading.

Why I’m Pro-Life

A couple weeks ago, I asked all of you readers why you are pro-life. I heard different perspectives and different reasons. Here is an explanation from a friend of mine:

I’m a Bible-believing Christian. I believe that when God tells us what to do -or not to do- that we should listen and be obedient to what He asks. God says not to murder and abortion is murder. And as [my brother] told me, babies have just as much genetic information at conception as a grown human does.  -Leanna

And here is a quote from another good friend:

I am pro-life because every life is valuable. Every single person is made in the image of God and has dignity and value because of Him. No life is worthless or a burden. Every life is a treasure. Every human being on the face of the earth was intricately designed by God. At the moment of each person’s conception, God put a seal around their cells to keep them safe and secure. Life is a miracle. That’s why I am pro-life. -Christina

This is from a great friend who “wished to remain anonymous.”

I am pro-life because the unborn live and have the right to live just as much as everyone else. We have to remember that once all of us were unborn. Think back to when you were inside your mother. What would you say? Kill me? Or let me live!!! Abortion is also sinful. God designs a baby very carefully in Heaven and then before it’s born some of us humans kill it. Abortion is awful and I am pro-life because murdering babies is wrong. -An Anonymous Blog Reader

This is from one of my Grandmas:

I am pro-life because the Bible takes a stand on the sanctity of life: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16, NKJV). I had five child birth experiences and I cannot imagine any of them not being a part of my life. I do not feel that we as humans have the right to decide if another human has the “right” to live. If God created that person, He has a reason and a purpose for them in His world. -Dawn

And another grandma…

“Just think, you are not here by chance, but by God’s choosing you. His hand formed you, He made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else — you’re on of a kind. You lack nothing His grace can’t give you. He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.” ― Roy Lessin
Psalm 139:13-14 KJV13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  -Jane

Here is a response from someone I don’t really know:

I am pro-life because life itself is a precious gift from God. Murder is wrong in any form. But to kill a defenseless, innocent baby because of circumstances beyond that child’s control cannot be justified. The law of the land may say that we have the legal right to do so, but the truth of God that is written on the heart of every human being states otherwise. -Cheryl

Here is a contact form where you can add your response or voice your support of murder:

 

4 Noble Truths Every Christian Should Know About Buddhism

In recent years (and even decades) Buddhism and other eastern philosophies have been encroaching upon the west. Surely, we have no need to fear it. It’s just more stupidity in the sea… adding a few gallons of water to the ocean won’t change things too much. But we need to be aware of it, especially now that people who used to embrace Christian philosophies come to accept Buddhist ideas (some without even realizing it). Here are a few quick facts every Christian should know about Buddhism.

#1: Buddhism has crept in to America’s culture.

Here are a few ideas you’ve probably heard before:

  • Follow your heart.
  • Don’t live in the past.
  • Save yourself.

First off, ‘follow your heart’ is a big Disney thing, but you might be surprised to hear that it’s a pretty Buddhist idea. And ‘don’t live in the past’? That’s huge in our culture. Obviously, we know we can’t save ourselves. Christ is the only way, the only truth, the only life. We can only rely on Him. Not ourselves.

But what does this mean to us? Well, I suppose it’s just a reminder to ‘test every spirit.’ You can feel something to be true without it being biblical, and you never really know if you got something from a source that was true. Seek truth in the Word, and don’t depend on the world for your spiritual food. Satan is ready to poison you if you open your mouth.

#2: Buddhism’s teaching, as with most religions, is not 100% false.

Religions arise when people have ideas that seem to make sense. Therefore, religions are not always completely false. Here are a few ideas from Buddhism that illustrate this:

  • Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.
  • Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
  • Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.

For the most part, I agree with these statements. But they’re all direct quotes from the Buddha. See what I mean? But here’s where…

#3: Buddhism falls short.

As with all religions, Buddhism just doesn’t cut it. Jesus said that when a man (or a woman) wants to follow him, he or she must give up their possessions and follow him. And, if he left it at that, Buddhism would fit fine. But he didn’t leave it at that. He goes on. He says that the kingdom of God and the things that he can give you are worth so much that you don’t need all those things that you held onto so dearly before. Buddhism says “be unattached,” Jesus says “be attached to me.” Or as He Himself said “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” Buddhism falls short. It is stupid and lacking when compared to the awesomeness of Jesus. But there’s one last thing you should know about Buddhism. (Note: I read about this on DesiringGod.com and found it to be really true, so I decided to steal it from them and put it here. Here’s the post.)

#4: Meditation is Buddhism’s crown jewel.

When I say meditation, I mean the common form of it that thousands of Americans practice, which is “focusing on your breath.” Not emptying your mind or using a mantra (which are common practices in Hindu and Buddhist traditions) but simply focusing on your breath. I am certainly not talking about biblical meditation, which I explain here.

This is one of the largest things Americans like about Buddhism: it carries with it the ancient tradition of meditation, something that’s very calming. And Americans need to calm down! And so, they turn to meditation. Here’s the interesting thing: prayer is very calming! Not only is it calming, but it’s also spiritualy helpful. Why don’t Americans know how awesome prayer is? Because they stopped praying. And that’s when Buddhism snuck in: when Americans stopped praying. Before, lots of Americans prayed. Now, very few have regular habits of prayer. So, if you’re tempted to try meditation, just pray! (Side note, the form of meditation that I have highlighted above doesn’t seem inherintly evil, and it does produce positive effects in the brain that are very observable. But… why take ideas from religion when we have the Bible? There is nothing new under the sun, and no power in religion that has not been given in Christ.) (Oh, and random bonus here: this article and this article both talk about scientific benefits of prayer.)

Please understand: I am not wise, I am not smart, I just know a few things that I want to share. So here they are. I’m a teenager, and you can use your own discretion when taking ideas from me. 🙂

If you feel like you have déjà vu: much of the thoughts in this post were published earlier, but I decided to take that post down and re-write it into something better. So here it is. I hope you found it informative.

the meditations of the christian

Do you meditate? The answer, no matter who you are, is yes. You meditate on something.

You might meditate on your worries. You might meditate on your sadness. You might meditate on sin. You might meditate on knowledge. You might meditate on people.

Christians should meditate on Truth: The Truth that God Is. The Truth that God loves us. The Truth that He is in control. And the Truth in His Word.

Here are only a few passages where the Bible speaks of meditation, both on His Word and on His Ways: Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, Psalm 77:12, and Psalm 119:15.

But we don’t talk about this much in church, and we don’t think about this in our life. We think “Christians pray. Christians read the Bible,” and maybe “Christians go to church.” But those aren’t the only things that Christians should do. We should also practice purposeful meditation. We should not succumb to natural thought; to the worries and fears and thoughts and anger that usually overtakes our mind, we should take control of our thoughts.

So practice purposeful meditation. Choose an attribute of God or a verse to meditate on. Or combine the two: meditate on a verse that talks about God.

If you want to begin a lifelong habit of purposeful meditation, (or you want to revive an old habit,) here’s an idea: work your way through the 23rd Psalm, meditating on each verse until you’re ready to move on to the next verse.

Psalm 23, English Standard Version (ESV)

A Psalm of David.

     The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

I looked for a good verse to meditate on, and finally came to this classic. I think meditating  on this will reveal things I’ve never thought about, and will show me new things.

With this plan, there really is no plan. I’m just gonna start with verse one and move through the passage as I decide to, memorizing and meditating on one verse at a time.

Do you want to do this, too? Fill out the below forum thingy to let me know. I will give updates at some point in the future, possibly by email.

I really feel strongly about chipmunks.

Pray for America

Hello, people. As you know, millions of Americans (hopefully including you) will vote today. And that vote will have a huge impact on where this county goes.

I’m not a sensationalist, and I think it’s unbiblical to worry. But this is important.

I also can’t vote, so… you know… Yeah. But I can pray, and you can too. So I’m asking you to do just that. Please, pray for America. Don’t even pray for your favorite cantidate to win. Just pray for the future of America.

(To clarify, I’m talking about the US of America, not like all of America. But that’s important too.)

Maybe God is judging us, but we still have it better than pretty much everyone, and we still need to do our best to seek the nation that would please Him.

Right here, right now. Pray.

 

5×5: 5 Bible Passages to Read When You Don’t Want to Read the Bible

For months, reading the Word was a drudgery. And often, it still is. I am in no way saying that there is a super secret power to always loving the Bible. But there were Scripture passages that helped me appreciate the Bible more. These Bible passages can help fix your motives for reading. Read More

Serving (The Spiritual Disciplines-Part 7)

Serving is how Christians show the world that we are different. That we care. And that we follow someone who cares. Looking for some practical ways you can serve? Here’s what I thought of.

#1: Have an Attitude of Kindness

If you’re out-and-about with an attitude of kindness, you’re like twenty times more likely to help people and serve. Realize that there are billions of people out there who are living lives completely separate from you. It’s not all about you! It’s all about Jesus! Get that into your head, and you’ll serve more.

#2: Serve your Family

When people see you serving and loving your family, that will impact them. (Plus, it will impact your family.) It may feel harder to serve your family than anyone else, but I think it makes the most difference.

#3: Serve your Neighborhood

If you live in the suburbs, you have a great opportunity to show love to your neighbors. Here are some simple ways you can help your neighbors:

  • Help rake leaves.
  • Help mow.
  • Help shovel.
  • Help weed gardens.

That may just seem like a lot of work, and you definitely don’t have time to do that for everyone. But if you take a bit of time to care for one or two people now and then, it makes a difference.

I’m sure you could have come up with these yourself, but as always, I hope I inspired you. Go out there and serve. Jesus has good works ready for you to do. (see Ephesians 2:10)
I’ll see you next week with a post about stewardship.

-LeviGrant

Evangelism (The Spiritual Disciplines-Part 6)

We have such a great salvation! Not only do we have eternal life with God and other believers, but we have a life with Him now, on earth! We have a relationship with almighty God! So let’s share this great salvation! How do we do that? Here are my suggestions.

#1: Overcome Your Fears

I think the first step in witnessing is simply getting over your fears. So here are a few truths that might calm those fears:

  1. That person’s eternal destiny does not depend on you. (see Acts 13:48, Acts 16:14, Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 2:8, and 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
  2. If you depend on Christ, He will give you words to speak. (see Matthew 10:19-20)
  3. It’s not your message, it’s Christ’s. You’re giving His message of good news, and if they don’t receive it, it’s not your fault.

Do those help?

#2: Be Calm About It

You don’t need to start the conversation with “God says you’ll go to Hell unless you receive His gift from His son, Jesus Christ” (although I do believe that.) Try things more like “So did you grow up in a religious family?” Use their lingo when talking about religion and stuff. Make it clear that you understand the tension around such subjects and just be calm about it. Press in a little further each time you talk to them and, after a while, you might get to their core beliefs. All you’re doing is sharing the awesome news with another human. Answer deep questions if you know the answers, and find the answers if you don’t know it. Don’t make them feel stupid. make it clear that we never know the answers to all our questions, no matter what religion or beliefs you hold.

#3: Give Them Space

Don’t make every conversation about the Gospel. Give them some space. Talk about their hobbies and interests. Do things with them. Show what Christ is really like, and they’ll love it, as much as they may hate it. (If you know what I mean.)

I understand that these suggestions are more vague than others that I’ve given on other subjects such as prayer and Bible memorization. But that’s the way it is with people. You can’t just use a special formula. And that’s why you need the Spirit inside you. You need to let Him work through you to do what’s right and good.

I wrote another post about witnessing that’s based more on witnessing to someone who’s already fairly open to the faith. You can find that here.

I hope these suggestions help you share this great salvation. The post for next week will talk about serving. I’ll see you then.

-LeviGrant