Sharing Scripture

Prepare. We are not ready to share scripture until we have read scripture, meditated on scripture and prayed scripture. Then when we have been blessed by scripture, we want to share it. We are instructed to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). When the Word is at home in us, we believe it and we have seen it make a difference in our life; we are excited about sharing it with others. David said, “I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved” (Psalm 119:47). We must love God’s Word to effectively share it with others.I have talked to parents who admitted that their efforts at family devotions failed because they were not prepared. Just reading the Scripture to children is better than neglecting devotions all together; but when the parents have read and studied a passage in advance and are prepared to explain it, the benefit to the children is far greater.Consider. What are the best opportunities of sharing the Word? Parents, of course, have the obligation to share it with their children because they are instructed to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Sharing it with your extended family also follows a biblical example. “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (John 1:40-41). Sometimes there is a reluctance to share scripture with relatives, but really there is no better place to start. You know something about their place in life and what their needs may be. You know something about their ideas and their thinking which should be helpful in approaching them.Beyond family members we need to pray for opportunities to be opened to us. We recognize that the Bible is being marginalized in America today. Bible reading and prayer are forbidden in most public schools where once it was part of the daily schedule. President Ronald Reagan designated 1983 as the National Year of the Bible by proclamation at the National Prayer Breakfast. This proclamation was authorized by an act of Congress.The law passed by Congress stated that the Bible “has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation of people” and that, quoting President Jackson, the Bible is “the rock on which our Republic rests.” It also acknowledged a “national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.” “Can we resolve to read, learn and try to heed the greatest message ever written, God’s Word, the Holy Bible?” Reagan asked. “Inside its pages lie all the answers to all the problems that man has ever known.”However, in 2009, Representative Paul Broun, Jr., sponsored a House concurrent resolution 121 which would have encouraged the President to declare 2010 as The National Year of the Bible. The resolution died in a referral to committee. Just another sobering indication of how times have changed and that there is not the respect for the Bible which once prevailed in this country. So we can know in advance not everyone is going to be open to hearing biblical truth. Listen. As we think of sharing with others, we need to recognize the importance of establishing a rapport with them. This may require a lot of listening and asking questions before we give our witness. The more we know about their situation the more effective our effort will be. Philip asked the man of Ethiopia, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30). By asking questions you can address some of their concerns from the scriptures. Speak. We may at times we timid about sharing scripture. But when we consider this is the best information we can possibly convey and we are speaking in love and it is to God’s glory, we will have the courage necessary. Col. George Clarke, who established the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, was not a polished speaker. R. A. Torrey wrote, “I used to go hear Col. Clarke talk and he seemed to me to be one of dullest talkers I ever heard…yet five hundred men would lean over and listen spellbound…I could not understand it…but I found the secret. It was because they knew Col. Clarke loved them, and nothing conquers like love.”If we are to be effective in our witness we must love those to whom we are speaking. Some who need the message of Scripture carry a heavy burden, some have lives that are very entangled and may feel they are beyond hope. They need truth and they need it to be spoken in love.Paul asked the church to pray for him, “that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19). Prayer is essential, for we must recognize that the success of our effort depends on the work and blessing of the Holy Spirit.