Love asks important questions…and listens to answers…

by Craig on October 18, 2011

How do I share the gospel with a loved one, someone close?source

Today, a sharing of something I’ve never shared before…

because over on Deep into Scripture
I’m piecing together an elevator pitch…
a “God” elevator pitch…
because 3 minutes or less is often all we have…
to share the Gospel with someone.

And I asked for input…
and oh, the wisdom!
So much full of awesome I need to put it on the back burner to simmer a little…

and put this pot on the front.

It’s the single most important conversation I’ve ever had…
and only one person has ever heard it…
and she’s with the Father now…

and now you.

Twenty years ago I was in Seminary. My mom was approaching death. None of us knew this for certain because she chose to keep it a secret. Still, I sensed time was running out to make sure she knew the way to heaven.

And I know now how a Christian can confidently face death.
I saw Sara do so…
the certainty…the readiness to continue to live…in a different way.

My mom was brave – but not confident.
So near the kingdom…
but too far away.

I was in an apologetics class at the time…
apologetics…from the Greek…a defense of the faith.

The assignment was to find someone we knew…
who needed to know the Gospel…
and share…

The timing…
Seriously!?

How do you “teach” your mom…she teaches you!
mama’s takes care of her babies…

How do I share the gospel with a loved one, someone close?source

and you know…

The mama lion knows best.

But my mom was lost…and now, by the way, is found.

The “elevator” pitch is the bottom line, for a chance encounter…
but with someone you love it’s different…
we walk with them, love them, live the gospel before them…
but still we need the words…

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? (Rom 10:13-14)

A mama could say no to being evangelized by her son…
but what mama could say no to helping her baby with a critical school project?

There was no blurting out of the Gospel.
She had seen how much better I loved after knowing God…
because she knew well the pre-Gospel scoundrel I was…
her beloved scoundrel…
but still.

That’s the first thing with those we love isn’t it? They need to see the Gospel in our life? If they don’t, who can blame them for not listening to the words? But if they do – it opens up parts of them. No?

And so I share with you our discussions…

they happened as she was months from death…

and brave as could be, but uncertain of what lay beyond…

these words I haven’t thought of for 20 years…

but now it seems time…

and this continues today over at Deep into Scripture

please click here, to go there, as the most important conversation of my lifetime, and my mom’s continues…

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora October 18, 2011 at 10:33 am

I read today with a lump in my throat. My mom was taken suddenly when I was eight years old — no pre-warning, no illness, no lingering. A blood clot moves, and that’s it — the end.
Strange!!! Even as an eight-year-old, I knew the way. I knew about being a sinner, needing a Savior, the cross, and being saved. And in my heart, something made me doubt that my mother was in Heaven. And I still doubt. I wonder, if I had that “do over” that we all long for so often, what I would have said? Could I have shown her the way as an eight-year-old?
I still have my little “wordless book” and sing that little song that goes with it. Would she have listened?????

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Craig October 18, 2011 at 10:42 am

Oh Cora, I know that feeling in the pit of the stomach. I wasn’t really convinced my mom knew the way until after she had gone. Until then – well – I know how that feels. And like my mom said always, “shoulda woulda coulda”. you know – really – you know that eight years old is really small – and its precious that you thought of that – but there is no way – NO WAY, that it was your responsibility to take. So much so – really – REALLY – it shouldn’t even be a thought. God bless you my friend.

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Layla Payton October 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

I could not agree more with this post. Praise God your momma is with Jesus!!!

And the Williow Tree figurine in the first photo…well, I have several. All but one have a special memory attached. One in particular, but that is a whole story in itself.

Blessings, friend.

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:33 am

first, about those Willow Tree figurines – are they really carved out of willows? And I heart them! So simple – so pretty – so powerful. second – I doubted for a while – because my mom couldn’t verbally tell me that she had accepted grace before she died. But I still know – I think that will be my last post in the series – there were a couple of petite miracles. ( SMILE)

God bless you Layla.

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Layla Payton October 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm

You know, I am not sure what they are made of. They are light weight, and seem to be made of some sort of compressed paper? Now I need to do a Google search. 😉

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Dawn October 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Dear Craig and Cora,

My mother accepted Jesus as her Savior at an evangelistic meeting I had invited her to go to. I was never taken to church by my parents. I think I was unchurched. I got to go to church when my best friend in junior high school took me with her family. That certainly was a different world for me. I accepted Jesus as my Savior the summer I was 12 at camp.

Anyway, I took my mother to an evangelistic service the first year I was married. That would be 40 years ago. My mother is 84 years old so that means she accepted Jesus as her Savior at age 44. She still points to that day when I walked with her to the altar so someone would pray with her so she could accept Jesus as her Savior. Cora, had I been 8 years old I never would have been able to do that. I didn’t even know there was a sinner’s prayer. God is the judge and I know He is good. I leave it in His hands.

Thinking about this with both of you,
Dawn

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:37 am

first, I have difficulty with your story – because if you were married 40 years ago – that would make you about 16 months old at the time – I heart you – but I find that hard to believe ツ second – my mom was about 55 or 56 when she accepted grace – and now she’s – um – forever years old/young. And you know – I’m really glad to have you thinking about this with me ツ God Bless!

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Debbie October 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

Craig, thank you for opening up this part of your life to us. The most beautiful and hard things are coming out here. Thank you everyone.
“They need to see the Gospel in our lives – it opens up parts of them.”
Thank you for that! :) The answer is “yes”, yes?
God bless you and how He is using this most important conversation!

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:39 am

Debbie, clearly that’s the most important thing in sharing the gospel with those we love – that they see Jesus IN us. Then we have to find out where they are, and meet them where they are, just like God does with us. This takes time, this takes relationship – connecting. ツGod bless you Debbie

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Connie Mace October 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Craig,
Thank you so much for sharing your mom’s story. I read parts 1 & 2. So difficult to share with those we love sometimes, especially if they are really nice, “good” people.

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Craig October 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Connie, you are spot on – it IS – maybe most difficult to share with those we love. And you’re right again – especially when they’re”good” people. Gosh, I couldn’t agree with you more. Think of that – you made two points – and I couldn’t agree with either one more. Those must be really good points! Thank you, Connie, and God bless you.

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Melissa October 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Wow, Craig, this really hits home for me. Thanks for telling your story!

Sharing the gospel with our closest family members is so hard. My husband and I both grew up in culturally Christian homes, but we are the only ones who describe ourselves as born again. I have tried to talk with my parents about my faith, only to be met with ridicule. I’ve fallen back into the mode of letting the transformation in me help them to understand. I know that time is running out; I just don’t know when.

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Craig October 22, 2011 at 7:29 am

Melissa, first of all, thank you – from my heart. And sharing the gospel with family members is maybe the hardest sharing. We have. The family of our Lord – with the exception of Mary – but he was out of control. Only after he was resurrected did his brother James come around and write that letter we all like. So you and I – we’re not the first to experience this. But I think this questioning method – and when I’m done I’m going to list all of these questions again – this questioning method is really important. It causes a person to find out where they are – as much is it helps us find out where they are. And in finding out where they are – they may very well find out for themselves that they aren’t in the place they THINK they are. And the questions don’t have to be done all at one sitting. If they’re family – we see them all the time – maybe one question each time – and then, we keep track of the answers – and write them. Then the letter that they can refer back to – I’m really hearting this method a lot. Thank you again Melissa – thank you – and God bless you and yours.

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