This January, nine people from the College Ministry went to Southeast Asia, to a city of 1.5 million people. As we prepared to go, we anticipated the conversations that would take place over our two weeks in the city. We received a variety of responses when we attempted to share the good news of Jesus Christ with people we met. People rejected us and shut us down, told us respectfully they weren’t interested, and told us we were wrong.
We prayed often for the Lord to lead us into deep conversations with the people we encountered. Psalm 51:12-13 was a prayer often on our lips, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.” We prayed for deep conversations, but even more for a joy in the Lord that would lead to those conversations.
We met up with two girls who were interested in talking about the differences in our religions. They came with many questions about our beliefs and the reasoning behind them. Now, let me take you back to four months prior to this conversation. In Birmingham, my small group was discussing many big questions about who God is in the Bible. Questions like, “Where are the Son of God and the Holy Spirit seen in the Old Testament?” and “Why did Jesus have to be the one to fulfill the sacrifice for our sin?” For a semester, we dug into questions that seemed so difficult to answer. I even wondered several times, “Why does this matter?” We continued to seek the Lord and answers to our questions in His Word throughout the fall.
Now, back to our conversation with the two girls in Southeast Asia. We started talking about sacrifice and why sacrifice is necessary for the covering of our sins. Then they asked, “Why did Jesus have to be the one to fulfill the sacrifice for our sin?” This is exactly what we had studied in the previous semester in our small group. We were able to explain what we had been studying. Then we began talking about the Trinity and they asked, “Where was the Son of God before He was Jesus walking on this earth?” Again, we were able to discuss this with them based on what we learned.
I felt so known by my Creator that He had prepared me for this conversation through all those months of asking the same questions in faith among my sisters in Christ. God knew what our conversation would consist of with those girls, even before I had decided to go on this trip. I was reminded that there is joy to be found in choosing to walk faithfully with the Lord.
Gathering together to know our Father deeper, being consistent in fellowship, and discussing the gospel with the lost are all acts of obedience and worship to God. Talking about the Lord with the lost sparks a deeper love in your heart. I have found that there is something special about the way God made us, that when we share the gospel our faith is grown and strengthened. I am reminded of my love for Him and what He has done for me.
The girls didn’t believe that day. They are still walking in darkness, but a seed was planted for the gospel, and my joy for the Lord and for the gospel grew. So, walk faithfully. Go on mission. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Maggie is a student leader in our College Ministry.
Would you like to feel more prepared as you engage in gospel conversations like these, even right here in our city? Join us for a Gospel Conversations Training Sunday, February 9, from 4:00-6:00pm in the Student Center. We’ll learn together how to initiate spiritual conversations, share a brief, compelling testimony, and explain the gospel clearly and relevantly using the 3 Circles method.
Then, this Saturday, February 15, we’re hosting a Gospel Conversations Outreach. We'll spend a couple hours out in the community together offering prayer and sharing the gospel with our neighbors or friends. Meet us in the College Modular at 1:00pm and we’ll wrap up around 5:00pm.