THIS ARTICLE IS A PART OF A SERIES CALLED "WHAT'S IN YOUR TRUNK?" AS A PART OF THE LOTTIE COOKIE PROJECT BASED ON WHEN LOTTIE MOON LEFT TO DO MISSION WORK IN CHINA. SHE PACKED HER BELONGINGS IN A LARGE TRUNK INCLUDING CLOTHES, SHOES, AND PAPER FOR WRITING LETTERS. SHE ALSO PACKED HER FAMOUS TEA CAKE RECIPE, WHICH HELPED HER BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH HER NEIGHBORS AND SHARE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WITH THEM. YOU CAN READ THE STORY OF LOTTIE'S TRUNK HERE. WE ASKED WRITERS WHAT THEY WOULD PUT IN THEIR METAPHORICAL TRUNK IN ORDER TO SHARE THE GOSPEL AND THIS WAS THEIR RESPONSE:
Everyone has a different method of packing. Some of us take the time to make a list, while others simply throw clothes into a suitcase. But when it comes to sharing the gospel, we have to be intentional about what we pack.
While there’s something to be said for individuality and wisdom for handling different situations, there are some staple “items” that you will never go wrong packing.
Just as we all vary in our methods of packing, we may all use different approaches and different words—you may prefer to share your testimony on the spot and trust the Lord to minister to someone through it, 2 Timothy 4:2: "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season,” or you may be the type that would rather live your faith out for people to see, Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”.
But regardless of your preference, there are certain tools that are absolutely essential.
This is two-fold. Without getting too deep, we need to love ourselves first. I know this sounds weird (and maybe even selfish) but bear with me. When we can see ourselves as God sees us, it enables us to see others as God sees them. When we realize that God created us intentionally, for a specific purpose, we must realize that the same is true for every individual on this earth. When we realize that He loves us and constantly forgives our repeated mistakes, we must realize that He does the same for everyone else. When we love ourselves as a child of God, we are no longer competing with anyone and loving others becomes easier and even natural.
This also has two sides. On the one hand we need to be patient with people. Some people are drawn to the gospel and want to ask you questions about your faith, while others would rather not listen to you talk about how much Jesus loves them—everyone is different. Without patience, it can be very difficult to reach out to anyone. Which leads me to the other side of the coin: we need patience to continue reaching out. It can be exhausting to constantly minister to people. Whether you’re verbally sharing the gospel, encouraging someone, or praying for someone’s salvation, it can quickly drain our energy emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes physically. Without patience, we can lose sight of God’s plan for ourselves as well as the person He’s put on our hearts and in our path.
I will leave you with these scriptures—
When love and kindness aren’t your first reactions:
- Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
- 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
And when patience and endurance aren’t coming easy:
- Isaiah 40:31: “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Written by Janis Ezell, Marketing Assistant for the WMU Foundation.