"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, November 9, 2012


Matthew 4:19 (NIV 1984)  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

Oh my!   Excitement filled our home several weeks ago. 

The boys lured a squirrel inside with a trail of peanuts.  The thud of the slider door sent the furry little creature up the walls, onto the lampshade, on the furniture and underneath the dining room chairs.  

Our oldest son finally caught it by slamming down a laundry basket over it.  We literally scared the bodily functions right out of this trembling, beady-eyed varmint.  

Our six-year-old said, "Can we eat it for dinner?  Can we put it on the grill?"  Perhaps we have watched too much of the Wilderness Family.  

We took pictures while holding it, (of course with Dad's thick shop gloves - the beast was snarling for a piece of flesh), then we released her.  

Our oldest remarked, "Man, this is the best day of my life."  My closing remarks were, "That little booger gnarled my best laundry basket to death!"

You could say my boys have a sense of adventure in their blood.  They are always trying to catch animals.  Any animal.  The thrill of the catch keeps them hunting.  In addition to this squirrel, in the past month alone they have caught a bird, a snake, a lizard, a bullfrog, and a mouse.

Over the fourth of July we took the boys fishing.  The first fish hooked within seconds of dropping the line.  Then another and another.  It was a great day for fishing.  Much to our youngest child's delight, we did grill these fine specimens. 

That night my husband and I talked with our boys about the large number of fish we caught.  We turned the discussion toward the passage in Matthew 4 when Jesus told His disciples, "I will make you fishers of men."  Some of the men Jesus spoke to were fisherman by trade.  In a very tangible and powerful way Jesus told His disciples His purpose.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost; to lead people to the Captain of the boat; the Master Fisherman!

We reminded our boys of all the animals they love to catch, but the greatest catch of all is leading someone to Christ.  

All of these "catches" has had me thinking a lot about evangelism.  If evangelism was Jesus' top priority, shouldn't it be ours as well?  Before it will be lived out as a priority in our lives our hearts need to be broken for those who don't know Christ.  

Sharing the Gospel with non-believers means we need to be in their lives and build relationships with them.  They need to be our next invitation to dinner or our next outing at a park.  Building relationships is vital.  Look for opportunities whether at home, work, bank, park, gas station, grocery store, PTA, athletic teams, mall, or day spa.

There are times when I feel inadequate to share, mainly because of fear, intimidation, and not being able to answer all the right questions.  But God has challenged my thinking.  One of the easiest ways for me to share Christ is by sharing what He has done and is doing in my life.  

God also reminds me that I don't need to know all of the answers.  No PhD is required to share our faith and neither is it only the "Pastor's" job.  In fact, God insists it is my responsibility to share His Truth with non-believers.  If we are a Christian, then we are minister's of Christ.  It is our responsibility to spread the life saving Gospel message of Christ.  A natural overflow of our gratefulness for what God has done in our lives, is to share it with others.

While I certainly appreciate St. Francis of Assisi's quote, "Preach the Gospel at all times, use words when necessary," I think Christians have used this as an excuse to not open their mouths at all.  Yes, our lives should bear witness to what we profess.  However, there are really good moral people whose lives are admirable, who still don't know Christ.   

Matthew 28:18-20 is pretty clear in its teaching, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."  Making disciples and teaching others is going to require us to open our mouths.  St. Francis was instructing Dominican Monks whose lives didn't match what they professed.  His statement was a call to holiness and righteous living for those claiming to be Christians.

Let's commit together to have the eyes to see those in desperate need of our Savior, to ache for their unbelief, to establish a relationship with them and be compelled to share God's radical life changing love. 

Off to catch some fish . . . or squirrels. :)

Heart Work:
Write down your circle of influence: (work, kids' soccer team, kids' school, athletic club etc.).

Ask God to soften your heart to their unbelief and courage to initiate friendship.  

Also, if you've never shared your testimony, write it out in 300 words or less and practice sharing.

Heart Exam:

How can you be more intentional to reach out to non-believers?  What do you need to change in order to be more aware of opportunities to share God's love? 

Is your heart grieved that people don't know Jesus?  Are you compelled because of God's work in your life to share His love? 

How can you pray for those you are in regular contact with who don't know Christ?

Heart Transforming Word:

Matthew 9:12 (NIV) Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Luke 10:2  "He told them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.' "

Matthew 28:19-22  "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen.  Edited 2012.  All rights reserved.


  1. Squirrel hunters... Hmm... Akin to herding cats and chickens,isn't it? Great story...and I can't believe you were part of the hunting party! LOL Great story!
    Loved your questions. They become more and more challenging with each passing day as sharing our faith with others is seen as increasingly intolerant and unloving by others who have such disdain for Christians. Our best resource is prayers and being attentive to the leading of His Spirit.

    Thank you for the challenge today my friend!

    1. Jeanette,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the story. ;) I think you said a very important thing, "sharing our faith with others is seen as increasingly intolerant and unloving by others who have such disdain for Christians." This is so very true indeed. And, like you said to pray and be in tune to the Spirit's leading.

      God bless you Jeanette,
      Hester, ;)

  2. I LOVE this story, Hester! Nothing better than 3 boys with time on their hands... and peanuts in those hands... and a squirrel lurking in the yard ;)

    Jeannette's comment reminded me of 2 Cor 2:14 -- "We are a fragrance of Christ to God. To those being saved, we're the scent of life. To those perishing, the stench of death." Man, isn't that the truth! May we be sensitive to our opportunities and always have ready word!

    1. Thank you for your comment Susan and for the Scripture from 2 Cor. - that is a great application to Jeannette's comment. We do need to be sensitive to our opportunities and like you said, "have a ready word."

      God bless you, Hester ;)

  3. I agree - we readily dodge our responsibility with the Assisi quote. But, as you'll also attest, often we need to build the relationship with our actions and time before we open our mouths, too. I doubt he ever meant it to be used as an excuse, but rather that we'd live our lives in a way that exalted God whether or not we spoke a word! Thanks, Hester!

    1. Kirsten,

      Thank you for your comment today. I appreciate your feedback very much. And like you said, may we live our lives in a way that exalted God whether or not we speak a word. ;)

      God bless you, Hester ;)

  4. Love the story, Hester! It makes me wish our grown sons were little again. What fun. :)

    Our pastor mentioned last Sunday that many have used Assisi's quote to avoid having to verbally share the Gospel. He followed up by asking the congregation to think back to the last time we had non-believers to our home for dinner. Gulp. I need to push my boundaries a bit more.

    Thank you for sharing this story -- and especially your heart. Blessings to you and your precious family.

    1. Thank you for your comment Cathy,

      I cherish these times with our boys and this story is one of the best memories we have shared. ;) I respect your pastor without even knowing him - he knows how to tell it like it is and should be! :)

      Much love, Hester ;)

  5. Love this. And you!
    Love, Linda Sparley

    1. Linda,

      I appreciate your comment so much - thank you for taking the time to share with me.

      Love to you too sister, Hester :)

  6. Hester,
    Oh, I am so glad I stopped by here before I headed off to bed tonight. LOVE the squirrel story--and your boys are so blessed to have you as a mom! Your words and the words of those leaving comments are a great reminder and encouragement to start this week. Blessings my friend!

    1. Kim,

      Thank you for your comment tonight. I'm tickled you enjoyed the story too. ;)

      God bless your week Kim,
      Love, Hester ;)

  7. Hi Hester! I enjoyed the real life adventure of this post and the other side of your serious ponderings on how to live out and speak HIS saving grace. Love to you sister! You're an encouragement. I've also in the last few days been asking God to help me be available always as I step outside of my home or invite people in. It might sound funny but my grocery store is one of my favorite spots. I've made it a habit to go at the same time each week and have been able to see on a regular basis and develop little relationships with the workers there...God is alive and well. :) ~ Love, Amy

    1. Amy,

      Thank you for your comment today. I appreciate your heart. I do the same thing Amy at my grocery store! And, boy oh boy, consumer evangelism is a great way to reach out to others. ;) I love to hear other stories too.

      God bless those He brings in contact with you.
      Love to you sister, Hester ;)