Alan's monthly letter for December 2008
Do you ever feel like you don’t make any difference when you share your faith? Sometimes I do. I expect to change someone’s mind or move them closer to Jesus. But often I see no results and wonder what I did wrong.
We often measure our effectiveness by results. That’s understandable. We live in a results-oriented culture and that mindset can carry over to our spiritual lives. We want people to recognize their sin, get convicted, attend our church, and accept Jesus. But our job isn’t necessarily about achieving results.
That’s a lesson I’ve learned as an ambassador of Jesus. The results aren’t up to us. They’re up to God. It’s the Holy Spirit who changes minds, convicts people, and draws them to Him. Though He uses us, the results are up to God.
So what’s our job? It’s simply to be faithful. We’re to be faithful to communicate God’s message, use our best wisdom, and try to persuade. And we’re to do this while remaining gracious and winsome. As long as we represent Jesus and His message in a way that honors Him, we’ve done our job. We can rest easy knowing our task is complete and leave the results to Him.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s still a challenge to faithfully represent Him. But we don’t have to worry about the results or feel guilty when nothing happens. We can relax and enjoy the process. It might even make our walk with God…fun. Yes, that’s right. Fun.
Though our role is to be faithful, I’m excited to report the exciting results of our partnership. They stand out in my mind because they result from your faithfulness. Your part in this ministry is essential and has been a gift to me all year. It allowed me to train more Christians this year than ever before. I gave over 50 presentations and trained over 2,700 people, not to mention the people reached through radio.
With your support and the help of talented staff at Stand to Reason, I also developed a new CD product: Extreme Home Makeover: How Same-sex Marriage Affects our Families and Our Future. Within hours of this product’s release, STR sold nearly 100 copies. Its timely content will equip believers to defend traditional marriage in the upcoming years.
I’m also excited to share with you two writing projects I recently completed. The first is a chapter I wrote on homosexuality in a new book called Apologetics for a New Generation, which will be released in January 2009. In the chapter, I offer a new approach (one I believe is consistent with how Jesus would want us to behave) to reaching the homosexual community with the truth.
The second is my contribution to a new Bible: The Apologetics Study Bible for students, which will be released in February 2010. I’ve written three commentaries (one on Islam and two on homosexuality) that will supplement the biblical text. I’m thrilled our partnership this year culminates in these published works that will have a lasting impact on believers for years to come.
As we celebrate God’s gift in Jesus this Christmas season, I’m reminded of another gift – the Holy Spirit. It is He who empowers us with courage and wisdom to be faithful to share God’s message to those we know. It is also He who produces the results – the changed minds and lives of those we’ve spoken to. We are vessels for the Holy Spirit’s work in us and through us. It is a precious gift to have partnered with you this year. Thank you. I look forward to even greater things next year.
Grateful for our partnership,