Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
You are an evangelist. I know that may scare you, and many people in the church are quick to deny that they have the gifts or calling necessary to share the Gospel with people outside the church. Truth is, I am not gifted in personal evangelism, not the way some people are. I have friends in ministry who clearly do have that gift. They are constantly reaching out to unbelieving neighbors, as well as strangers they just met, sharing the good news of Jesus, and somehow in God’s grace, many of those people come to salvation. They truly have a wonderful and powerful gift from the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t use most of us in that way, but all of us still have roles to play in sharing Jesus’ love and message with people in need. The Gospel offers eternal life to all people, and Jesus has entrusted this message of salvation to us. You may not be a pastor or a missionary, but you have a role to play in sharing the good news of God’s grace with people around you. You are an evangelist, and so am I.
Of course, Paul was a missionary, maybe the most gifted and fruitful evangelist in the history of the church. As he wrote these words, he was “in chains” because of his public testimony about Christ. Everywhere he went, Paul told people about Jesus. That was his calling, and through his obedient service, God used him in mighty ways. Paul also knew that God wants everyone in the church to join in evangelistic ministry, so he encouraged the Colossian believers to “make the most of every opportunity.” How we act and speak outside the church can lay the foundation for people to hear and respond to the Gospel. Our conversations, even small talk with neighbors or co-workers, should be seasoned with the salt of truth, love and faith. In the same way, everything we do, even if it seems unrelated to faith, should show people around us that we belong to Jesus.
Who can you love in Jesus’ name today? Who needs to hear some encouraging words? Each little thing you do or say that reflects Jesus’ goodness can help someone take a step closer to faith, and that’s what evangelism is all about. You may never preach in front of hundreds of lost souls or carry the message of salvation around the world, but you have a role to play in sharing Jesus’ love and message. Make the most of every opportunity.
Father, You love everyone and want them to find new life through Jesus. Help me to do my part in sharing the Gospel, in word and deed, with those who don’t yet know You. I ask this in my Savior’s name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian