The Secret Of Growth Through Sharing

Larry was enjoying pleasant conversation, Japanese tea, and rice crackers at Mr. Komori’s house when the other guests began taking out their Bibles. They all looked at him expectantly. “Could you please give us our study now?” Mr. Komori asked politely.

Larry almost choked on his tea. He’d thought this get-together was just to have fun. And now he couldn’t think of a thing to say.

Larry had actually taught many Bible classes at the Christian English language school in Japan where he worked. But they were all well-planned. He could give out information on the Bible with ease. But to just talk about God spontaneously . . . that was different.

Larry had heard all the Bible stories since childhood. But they meant very little to him on a personal basis. He’d been doing things He knew were wrong in God’s eyes. So he kept his distance. How could he talk to others about a God he himself didn’t really know?

Now, sitting there on the sofa, surrounded by expectant people, his charade was about to collapse. In that moment of fear, a verse flashed into his mind, something about the Holy Spirit giving us words to say when we are brought before people to give witness (Luke 12:12). He uttered a desperate prayer for help and latched onto the most familiar story he could think of: the Prodigal Son.

As he described how much God loves even those who wander away from Him, Larry found himself speaking straight from the heart. His words were sinking in. For the first time in his life Larry realized how much God loved him.

That night Larry knelt by his bed and committed his life to a God who’d finally become real. Sharing God’s love had made it much more than just a familiar abstraction. It was now a fact that overwhelmed him.