Imagine if you just heard that you won the Nobel Prize in Literature. You immediately share this good news with friends and family, but they respond: “Oh that isn’t true. That doesn’t really exist. You just want to convert me so someday I’ll get a Noble Prize too.” Imagine the heartbreak when no one believes you won the award. You have no one to share and celebrate the good news.
This is how I feel when I try to share my faith in Jesus with some people in my life. When you have good news you want to share it with others — celebrate it — but you can’t if they don’t want to hear it or reject it. My heart aches because they don’t want any part it.
My faith in Christ is such a large part of my life, yet I cannot share it with so many people I know. It’s not that they don’t know I am a Christian (or religious as some describe me), it’s more that I can’t share the joy, the reassurance I get with having Jesus in my life. They seem more intent on debating than accepting Jesus.
Some might describe my sharing Christ as trying to convert them to Christianity, but I would say that John captured my real intent. He wrote in 1 John 1:3: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (NIV).” I want them to share the fellowship with other believers in Jesus. I want them to know intimacy with God. I want them to know the peace that comes from knowing Christ.
So it is with the joy of the Lord Jesus. Until those in our life accept Christ and follow him, they cannot share the joy with us; cannot share our experience in walking with Jesus each day. There is something missing in our ability to connect with them. John described this in 1 John 1:4: “We write this to make our joy complete.” My joy is incomplete when I can’t share with them the good news in my life. It’s like having the Nobel Prize in Literature and no one to share the excitement and joy.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. – Luke 15:3-6
© 2019 CGThelen