There are several ways to start God-centered conversations at a grocery store, but this experience that Barry Meguiar had is one to remember! By sharing God’s love with the woman in line in front of him, Barry connected his act of kindness with God and moved this woman closer to Jesus!
Pure and simple, sharing your faith is about loving on people. Jesus said, “They’ll know you’re my disciples by your love” (John 13:35). You don’t need special training to love on people — it simply takes time. And God will always give you back the time. It’s amazing how that works.
Everyone’s hurting and no one seems to care. When you care, really care, it sets you apart and people will invite you into their lives. The world is desperate for the love and joy and peace that we enjoy with abundance. And when we let it shine, we light the world around us and draw people to us.
The most common form of faith sharing occurs when you’re only with someone for a moment, like a phone operator or a clerk in a store. Just pour out your love on them and then say “God bless you” with sincerity, and eye contact if you’re with them. When people view you as a nice person who knows God, even in brief encounters you move them closer to Jesus.
If every Christian would only do that and nothing more, we’d have Revival in America. The prevailing view of Christians among non-Christians is anything but loving. But we can so easily change that by simply loving on people in Jesus’ name. Non-Christians would start saying, “I’m meeting so many nice people who are Christians. Maybe I need to re-evaluate my view of Christians and Christianity.” Consciously or subconsciously, they may listen more openly to the next person who tries to share their faith with them.
Jesus said, “They’ll know you’re my disciples by your love.” It’s time for us to start loving on people, especially the unlovable, because they’re the ones who need God the most. We can’t escape the fact that God loves them as much as He loves us, and He forgives us as much as we forgive them.
You can start doing this right now, and start enjoying the blessings right now. Don’t be bashful about it. Never miss an opportunity to say things like “Thank you and God bless you,” or “God bless you and have a great day,” with passion and meaning and a big smile…never wrote. It’s like a sport looking for opportunities to bless people with the visitation of His Spirit.
There’s no reason to be hesitant about it. People aren’t offended by a blessing! Without exception, every person will feel better for having met you or spent time with you. And you’ll feel better about yourself for having allowed God to love them through you and move them closer to Him. Now you’re moving from an engine that coughs and sputters to one that purrs.
Once you become comfortable with saying “God bless you” to everyone with freedom and authenticity, you can graduate to the next step. Over time, people will come to respect the genuineness and sincerity of your loving concern for them. There’s spiritual equity in the lives of others and it will automatically open the door for deeper conversation when the time is right.
This is not a time to be nervous or aggressive. It’s a time to rely fully on the leading of His Holy Spirit as to what to say and when to say it, without being offensive. Asking if there’s something wrong or something they would like you to pray about for them, or a question they would like to ask are the kinds of things that might take you to the next step. But if they say no, don’t push! Just tell them it’s okay and quickly change the subject to relieve any discomfort. You’ve just let them know that you’re genuinely concerned for them and available to them at their own choosing.
However, when the response to your question is yes, the fun begins and your reliance on the Holy Spirit becomes far more intimate. Now you’re in spiritual-growth mode. Always being ready to give a clear presentation of the hope that’s within you (I Peter 3:15) is God’s calling on your life.
The most exciting days for doing this are your first days of doing it. Be quick to admit when you don’t have the answer, then ask for a couple of days to pray and study to get it. They’ll always say yes, and your Bible Study and Prayer Life will explode. God will always give you the answer and you’ll always stand amazed at how God just used you to move someone closer to Him. Now you’re in the game!
When God was asked, “Which of the commandments is the greatest?” He answered that loving God was the first and greatest commandment, but there’s a second one of equal importance which is to love your neighbor as yourself. When you fulfill these two commandments, you will have fulfilled them all. Everything you do leads people closer or further away from God, that’s why loving God and loving your neighbor is so important. When you value the salvation of everyone around you as much as you do your own, you’ll automatically fulfill the law. Not out of obligation of legalism, but out of your passion to move everyone, every day, closer to Jesus!
Except for the self-righteous, everyone was drawn to Jesus during His time on earth, even the children. He was, at all times, approachable, engaging and loving. In fact, in John 13:35 He told us they will know that you’re My disciples by your love. Love must be our driving principle because God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him will not perish but will have Eternal Life (John 3:16). In fact, anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (I John 4:8).
And He didn’t just love the loveable. Anyone can do that. Jesus went out of His way to be with publicans and sinners saying that those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are sick’ (Mark 2:17), and that He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Jesus came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).
Hate the sin and love the sinner is the very core of God’s Mandate. Without question, those who hate you and hurt you the most are the ones who need God the most. They’re not in your life by accident. The question is whether you’ll move them closer to Jesus or they’ll move you further away. If you allow them to rob you of your joy, they win!