by Lawrence Rast Jr.
Receive God’s gifts! In the Divine Service God pours His grace and mercy out on us in abundance through His Word and Sacraments and strengthens us for a life of service to Him and our neighbor. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24–25).
Study the Word! People today wish they could hear the voice of God. He speaks powerfully through His Word to contemporary circumstances. So keep “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things [are] so” (Acts 17:11b).
Know your doctrine! Refamiliarize yourself with the Small Catechism. It is a rich resource for speaking the truths of the faith in a simple way and will help give you confi dence to speak about your faith. Dig into the Lutheran Confessions, too. “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (2 Tim. 1:13–14).
Tell your story! One of the great joys of being a historian is that people share with me the stories of God’s work in their lives. But these need not be spectacular stories in order to be profound. Simple testimony to God’s faithfulness to His promises as He has worked through parents, teachers, and friends in your life can be powerful means through which God’s Spirit works. “For with the heart one believes and is justifi ed, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom. 10:10).
Share your faith! Look for opportunities to share the faith, as well as your personal faith. Sharing stories of God’s work in your life can build deep and lasting relationships with people who need to hear of God’s love for them in Christ. “But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
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Source: LCMS Church Information Center