No One in 24 Years

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This weekend, I had to take a 30-minute taxi ride, during which I asked my driver if he thought he was a good person.

When he replied yes, I went over the Ten Commandments with him. If you’re familiar with The Way of the Master approach to sharing the gospel, you know the drill. I got to the good news of Jesus and what He did for us on the cross, making a way for sinners to come to God and be washed of our sin.

The cab driver had plenty of objections to the message and was familiar with it already, having supposedly read the Bible in its entirety three times. From the way he could quote Scripture, I had no reason to doubt the claim.

But here’s what struck me.

“I have been in the United States for 24 years, and you are the first person to ever talk to me about Jesus,” he told me as he dropped me off.

For shame, America. There are far too many believers in our country for it to be excusable that this man could live here for nearly a quarter-century and not hear the name of Jesus from one of His followers.

And lest you think that I share this braggingly, when I spoke with this driver I had just stepped off a four-and-a-half hour flight on which I had a captive audience that I failed to take advantage of. I chicken out far more often than I speak up for Christ, so I am scolding myself as severely as anyone. How often does every one of us pass by people who desperately need God’s truth? I know that this taxi driver is just one of countless people, some perhaps even in our direct circles, who have never heard the gospel message.

If Jesus is really the best thing that’s happened to you, what is keeping you from telling people about it?

When the subject of baseball came up in a three-minute conversation with a fellow traveler this weekend, I had no trouble telling him about my brother’s district title. Why? Because it’s exciting to me, and because there’s nothing embarrassing about bragging on my brother. Yet somehow, although I am deeply appreciative of and excited about my relationship with Christ, I fear man and what he will think if I talk about my faith. Half of me desires to shout it from the rooftops, the other half shrinks back in shame, not wanting to be labeled awkward, arrogant, or wacky. Such a mild form of persecution (really, it’s little more than social discomfort) is nothing in light of how Jesus suffered to save me.

When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and talked to someone, stranger or friend, about what the Lord has done for you and can do for them? Could those who know you say you’ve shared Jesus with them? Do you make spreading the gospel a priority in your life? We’re all instructed to do so, but we sometimes go months, even years, without following this fundamental command. Ask the Lord to give you the courage to stand for Him and spread His love to the lost around you.

“So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Rom. 1:15-17)

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