There are many things that we discover in life that change our behavior on a go forward basis. A good example for me is my diet. Given the extensive research that my wife has done, in addition to her willingness to shop for and cook organic, quality ingredients, we eat incredibly healthy food, which also tastes very good. My diet today isn’t what it was 20 years ago or 40 years ago. Our diet is different than it was just 5 years ago.
The same is true regarding my exercise. Always an exercise enthusiast, my routine today is different that 30 years ago. I’ve not only enhanced it over time, but adapted it to my age, with more of a concentration on cardio and light weights as opposed to heavy weights.
In both cases above, I’ve made changes in my life for the better, having learned lessons along the way. That said, I’ll occasionally miss a workout. I’ll also rarely stray from my good diet to indulge in an old favorite, i.e. Italian hoagie from my favorite sub shop.
You Won’t Want To Go Back
There’s one place I don’t stray, given the lessons learned and experiences had…that’s my faith. I have a deep faith in and incredibly strong love for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Since my conversion in March, 2006, I’ve not wavered on that for a second. In fact, there’s no one I know, who once they’ve had their conversion or made the decision, would go back to a life without Jesus Christ. No one.
The point of this blog isn’t to answer the question “why” for the above. For those who regularly read my weekly messages, have been to my website, or read my book, they know that me understanding and internalizing the love of Christ changed everything in my life. It absolutely rocked my world…for the (much) better.
You Can’t Help But Share
Part of having this particular, overwhelmingly positive experience is the desire, the need to share it. Although not exactly the same, we can draw analogies from life. If you see a great movie, read a really good book, or have a very nice experience at a restaurant, you’re very likely to share those things with others. We all do this. It’s human nature. We share the things we like in our lives.
The same is true of our faith. For those of us who have caught the bug (so to speak), who have had that conversion and/or really have internalized the love of Christ, we can’t help but want to share it. The question is how.
How to Share Your Faith
I have a good friend named Dave VanVickle, who is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, an author, national speaker (including the Steubenville Conferences), and the Director of Evangelization at my Parish. Dave just published an article in our weekly Parish bulletin on this subject, where he states that the goal of evangelization is to foster an encounter with Jesus Christ. Dave indicates that we are introducing two people and until the introduction actually occurs, we have not met our goal. He suggests three possible methods to use when engaging in personal evangelization:
- Very simply asking someone if you can pray with them is often that moment where Jesus breaks into their life in a meaningful way. It might be awkward, so both have step out in faith that God will work. A great opening for this is when a person presents a specific problem in their life. Instead of saying you will pray for them, why not ask them right then if you can pray with them. Lead them in prayer and ask God to come into the situation.
- Suggesting a prayer or scripture to take to their quiet times. When you sense someone is ready to let Jesus in, suggest to them to prayerfully read a specific chapter of the gospels. What’s your favorite?
- Possibly the most powerful way is to invite them to Eucharistic adoration. They don’t have to do anything at all. They can be angry, sad, bored and none of it matters because Jesus is there, and all they have to do is be honest with Him.
This is the moment you prepare and pray for. That moment when you feel the Holy Spirit saying, “Now…they are ready for an invitation.” Are you ready to step out in faith?
As always, feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or challenges at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!