Spiritual Gifts: Tim's Story

I lived as a lost sinner my whole life. Growing up in a tough neighbourhood, I learned early on to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Violence, abuse, and injustice were all around me, so my heart was hardened early on and it never knew what mercy actually was. But apart from getting a heart of stone, I also learned how to survive under pressure, to challenge myself, and test my own limits. Looking back with hindsight, I am so amazed how God knew all along that He would turn this all around and that, one day, it would be used for His glory. 

Growing up, I wanted to join special forces and fight in a battlefield. But little did I know that I would be recruited into the Army of God, and become a Soldier of Christ! It was the summer of 2020 when I gave my life to Christ, was born again, and decided to get baptized. God regenerated my spirit and gave me both a heart of flesh and a sword of the Spirit to join the battle in advancing His Kingdom.

At that point, I knew that God raised me up with a certain mind, character, and personality that can learn new things quickly, get along with people, persevere, and adapt to new environments. This combination worked perfectly to start discovering my spiritual gift of evangelism, as I was comfortable almost right away with challenging others’ beliefs and having my own beliefs challenged. 

After a few encounters, I realized I lacked some knowledge. So, I dove into Christian Apologetics and the Bible to become more equipped and prepared for evangelism. I started intensely studying the creation and design of the universe, history and archeology, the life of Jesus and the evidence for the resurrection, logic and philosophy, the basics of other world religions, and—most importantly—how to properly share all my Holy Spirit-guided findings about the gospel with others. After all, since coming to Jesus, I felt naturally drawn into sharing the absolute truth about Him with the lost world.

Within the first six months of being reborn in Jesus, I was called to evangelize most of my close circle, whether it be friends, relatives, or business associates. I couldn’t help but talk about the gospel. I started sharing it with Uber drivers, hairdressers, and other acquaintances. Ministries like Dinner of Love, Reach, and the Sandwich Ministry have been key and incredible blessings, supporting and training me to share the Good News with my community  as well as grow in this spiritual gift of evangelism. God has truly transformed me and gifted me with a heart for lost people. He trained me to address people’s objections or questions with the utmost love, patience, respect, and gentleness.

In the past month, the Lord has really “fanned into flame” this gift. He placed it on my heart to go out weekly with a camera, find strangers on streets, preach the gospel to them, and share those encounters on the internet. While I have shared the gospel quite a few times at this point, it was always within a certain social context or set-up, and I have never approached somebody just out of blue with no other reason than just to share the gospel. So my flesh resisted pretty hard and I kept delaying it. 

But the stirring and conviction kept growing in my heart until the Sunday sermon on October 10th, when Pastor Matt covered the gift of evangelism. He mentioned that the reason it especially grips your heart for the lost is because Jesus’ heart breaks for the lost. Pastor Matt spoke about how those with the gift of evangelism are not ashamed of the gospel, for we understand that it is the power of salvation for all who believe. At that very moment, I felt such strong and sudden sorrow and started to weep. It is almost as if I actually felt the heartache of our Lord Jesus for the lost. Something moved and changed in me. 

After the service, I had lunch with some friends, got back home, and just had this very firm decisiveness in me that I got to go and do it right now. I didn’t have much anxiety or worry, just this deep sorrow. I had my brother to pray for me and to “send” me out. A great word came out during the prayer which made me weep some more. I went out and, though I was physically alone, I felt an enormous presence of the Holy Spirit and a tremendous strength and peace in me. 

The Lord sent me two souls to witness to, and I had a 30-minute conversation with each of them and shared the full gospel in depth. While there was no on-the-spot conversion, as both were very strong atheists, they definitely have something to think about now, and I know that the Lord is doing something in their lives! 

I also feel really stirred to share with you some encouragement on evangelism that I have learned through studying and my own encounters. I believe that sharing the gospel requires both the “bad news” and the “good news”—the full gospel message. The bad news is the reality of sin and our need to expose it and repent of it. The good news is that Jesus died for us and now we can be reconciled with God the Father by repenting and putting our trust in Jesus. 

Both of these are important to communicate when evangelizing because Jesus himself speaks about sin as well as salvation, hell as well as heaven. I have observed that speaking about sin and hell can be a sobering part of the conversation and makes people stop and think. We need to ask God for wisdom on how to communicate well, with the right heart posture. While sharing your own testimonies or talking about the love of God can be a good thing, we must also talk about the holiness and righteousness of God.

That’s why the only and most loving thing to do is to preach the gospel to the world at any cost, and even at the cost of your own life. And friends, please don’t be deceived that preaching the gospel is not for you. While some might be more effective or gifted than others, we are all commanded the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) to bring the Kingdom throughout the whole earth and to set the captives free. 

To end, let me please share my favourite verse with you, 2 Timothy 4:7:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 

So brothers and sisters, let's fight a good fight together in our Lord Jesus! Take heart and I love you, family.

Categories: Encouragement,Sermon Series,Spiritual Gifts