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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Always Be Ready: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

by Marilynn Chadwick Years ago, a conversation with a good friend challenged me to realize how complacent I’d become in sharing the Good News about Jesus. My friend and I happened to be talking about our involvement in church and how meaningful it was for us both. I shared how my current life was so different from those years when I had walked away from the Lord. As a bit of background, I had made a conscious decision to leave God and church behind at age fifteen. “God, I don’t think you’re real,” I said, “but if I ever find out you exist, I will follow you.” At 21, I happened to read C. S. Lewis’s powerful apologetic, Mere Christianity, and accepted Jesus. Soon after, I met and married David and we’ve enjoyed 45 years of life and ministry together. I continued to reflect on how my daily life, once surrounded by unbelievers, was now filled with mostly believers. My doctor, my dentist, even my hairdresser were all Christians. Plus, I hardly ever came in contact with anyone who didn’t know Jesus. “How did that happen?” I wondered aloud. It was what my friend said next that jolted me out of my comfort zone. “Oh, that’s my life, too,” she said emphatically. “I’ve worked very hard to get it that way and I plan to keep things that way.” Suddenly I was reminded of Jesus’s parting words to his disciples after his resurrection. He told them to go out into the world and “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8). Just before his ascension to heaven, he challenged his followers: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). It seems I wasn’t alone in my neglect of the Great Commission. One researcher discovered the majority of Christians have never led anyone to Christ. Even more troubling, most believers do not have a specific person for whom they are praying for salvation. I began to make practical changes. I looked for opportunities to form friendships in our neighborhood. I started a small group Bible Study with “outsiders.” I began volunteering in communities beyond my own and eventually traveled with David to some very broken places in the world. But I made simple changes too, like striking up conversations. Anything to shake up my routine. I saw God answer prayers in amazing and specific ways. Begin now to pray specifically for God to open doors. Then be ready. Keep a few Christian books or easy to read Bible translations on hand. The pastor who put Mere Christianity into my hands will never know until Heaven the power of his single act of obedience. The book sat on my shelf for a couple years before the Lord prompted me, in His timing, to read it! My life has never been the same. Get comfortable with a few ways to explain salvation. Always be ready to share your own story. Start simple and begin to pray specifically for someone in your sphere. As David reminds us, we’re in sales, God is in management. But I encourage you today to step out of your place of comfort and get ready for adventure!

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