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Encourage: The excuse of ‘not me’

Most of the people reading this sentence have never led another person to faith in Jesus Christ. More than half have never even tried. That truth hurts.

The New Testament calls Philip “the Evangelist.” He is always leading people to Jesus. We admire the consistency of his obedience. Everywhere he goes, with everyone he meets, Philip shares the Good News of Jesus Christ. He challenges our excuses—Not them, Not now. When we read the biblical account of Philip, we recognize that the Gospel crosses boundaries and that the Gospel prospers in tough times. Philip confronts all three of our excuses: Not them. Not now. Not me.

Sometimes we make ourselves the exception to Jesus’ rule by saying, “I know that Jesus commands His disciples to make disciples—to share the Good News. I agree that most Christians ought to share their faith. Evangelism is a priority, but not for me. I am not qualified enough, not trained enough, not bold enough; I have some other gifts to offer, but the work of evangelism is not for me.”

Sometimes our English translations of the Bible feed this excuse. For example, “Those who had been scattered went about preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). When we read the word “preaching” we think that excludes us. We imagine a man standing behind a pulpit in a room full of people. But the language there simply means “bringing the Good News.” They carried the Good News with them wherever they went.

The Book of Acts often uses the word “testify” to describe evangelism. I like that word. You might not be a preacher, but you can testify. If the Lord Jesus has changed your life, you have a story to tell. Remember the blind man who was healed by Jesus. When the religious authorities challenged the man and accused Jesus, his response was simple, powerful, and undeniable. He gave his testimony. “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).

If you have a testimony, you have no excuse for silence.

Oh Lord, forgive our silly excuses—Not them. Not now. Not me. More than silly, our excuses are sinful. Cleanse us of this unrighteousness and give us grace to be Your witnesses. Make us bold to share the Good News of Jesus; the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.

Hance Dilbeck

Author: Hance Dilbeck

View more articles by Hance Dilbeck.

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