ep. 42 | Sharing Life and the Gospel with Cierra Bragan
On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast I chatted with my real-life friend Cierra Bragan about sharing life and the Gospel both locally and cross-culturally. We talked about everything from feeling the nervous jitters before we share our faith, to fighting off feelings of inadequacy and resting in who we know Christ to be and what he is capable of. Throughout the entire interview Cierra beautifully articulates the Gospel and encourages us to rest IN the Gospel at all times. She said, “What he requires he supplies, and he’s done that in Jesus. That’s just beautiful. It’s not Jesus plus, or Jesus in addition to my good works, or Jesus in addition to my Sunday School attendance. It is Christ alone.”
Cierra is passionate about leading and developing women to use their unique gifts to glorify God (1 Peter 4:10). God has given her opportunities to share life and the gospel in various avenues of vocational ministry including: discipling college students, guiding tours to Israel, leading an international school, and serving overseas in Asia, Africa, Europe, The Middle East and Latin America. Her latest adventure is as wife to her high school sweetheart, John David, and Mama to their 1 year old baby girl, Selah. Cierra resides in Birmingham, AL where she enjoys all things Southern: sweet tea, a good porch swing and SEC football!
If you find our conversation helpful, please head over to iTunes and leave us a rating and review! It helps get Journeywomen into the hands of other women on their journeys to glorify God! To continue chatting with us throughout the week, find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Thanks so much for allowing us to journey alongside you! We can’t wait to see you here, next Monday.
Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, and your experience with sharing the Gospel both cross culturally and locally.
Where do we see the call to share life and the Gospel in the Bible?
How did followers of Jesus in the early church walk in obedience to this command?
What must we first know and do in order to walk in obedience to Christ’s command to go and make disciples of all nations, no matter where we are in the world?
You’ve spent some time living and working overseas. Does sharing life and the Gospel look different based on where you’re at and what culture you’re in? How does it look the same?
Why is it important that we welcome others into our lives with the hope of sharing Jesus with them regardless of where we are in the world?
How do you rectify your idea of "mission" and God's idea of “mission"? What do you do when sharing life and the Gospel looks different than you’d dreamed or than you desire?
Let’s get practical here. What might this look like for a single gal? How about a mother of small children? A single, businesswoman who works 40 hours a week? What about someone who doesn’t really have a rhythm yet because they’re in a season of transition?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend to those of us who desire to grow in this area?
What are 3 of your simple joys?
- Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?
“From the very beginning, God made man to have fellowship with him and to be fruitful and multiply. In their sinless state, he told them, be fruitful and multiply - make more people who will follow me and walk with me.”
"God is passionate about wanting to have fellowship with his creation.”
"God’s always been about sharing his good news."
"The ministry of Jesus was to come and seek and save the lost. Seeking takes work and effort.
"Jesus tells us to 'go therefore'... so while you are going to the grocery store, make disciples, teaching them to obey."
"At the end, every tongue will confess that he is Lord."
"The Gospel is the glorious good news that God has loved us enough to send his Son to reconcile man with God so that we can have a relationship with him. He’s done that through the cross."
“Good news is not good news unless there is bad news. We are born not wanting God, not desiring God, actually his enemy. Scripture says, ‘no one seeks God, no not one.’ But He has sought us. He has come after us. He has done that through Jesus, who lived the life we could never live, died the death that we deserve, in order to pay the price. Because God is holy, and if God is holy then he can’t associate with sin. Scripture says he cannot even look on it. And so we know and trust that God would bring a mediator. God being just and the Justifier, in his goodness and kindness, has provided a way.”
“How kind of the Lord that what he requires, he supplies, and he’s done that through Jesus. And that’s just beautiful. It’s not Jesus plus, or Jesus in addition to my good works, or Jesus in addition to my Sunday school attendance. It is Christ alone!”
“Faith in him alone is Good News.”
“The common themes of [following Jesus in the early church] is that people were with Jesus. That made them bold, and they chose to be faithful. They sought the Lord to help them be faithful.”
“Peter encountered Jesus. And the people that encountered Jesus couldn’t help but speak of what they had seen and heard. It changed them.”
“Pray that God would give you the guts to be faithful.”
“What do people say about my life? Do they recognize that I’ve been with Jesus? Or do they recognize that I’ve been with the culture or consumed with myself?”
“If we are with Jesus, and we fight for that time to spend with him, it’s going to make us bold. We won’t be able to help but speak of what we’ve seen and heard.”
“My boldness is not rooted in my knowledge. My boldness is rooted in the conviction of who I know Christ to be, what I know he is capable of.”
“The Gospel is for everyday, and God’s grace covers my lack of sharing my faith, and it covers my self-righteous attempt of sharing the Gospel perfectly.”
“We have to know that we are totally dispensable, but how kind that he has chosen to allow us to be part of [his mission].”
“God is faithful to his mission."
“God is always working. The power is in the message, not the messenger.”
“Getting on a plane doesn’t make you a soul-winner.”
“The message is the same [regardless of culture].”
“Spend time and foster relationships.”
“Pray and ask the Spirit to guide us to know what it looks like to [share the Gospel] in this context or this relationship. The message has to be the Gospel.”
“People aren’t as scary as we think in our head they’re going to be.”
Five threads of the Gospel from David Platt Threads Series:
Sinfulness of Man
Character of God
Sufficiency of Christ
Necessity of Faith
Urgency of Eternity
“What does it mean for Christ to be sufficient? Because he lived this perfect life that we couldn't, he bridged the gap, he paid the ransom.”
“It’s not about our good deeds outweighing our bad deeds. We are completely insufficient. Christ is sufficient. So faith in Him is necessary, and it is the only means by which we can have that relationship restored with God.
“It’s one thing to share the Gospel, but urging and imploring people to be reconciled to God.”
“God in his perfect time and through his Spirit is the one who does the work [of salvation]."
“You can’t make decisions based on how you feel, you have to stand on what you know to be true.”
“Discipleship is our call as Christians.”
“As we grow in our understanding of who God is, we can’t help but be excited about that and share that!”
“The Gospel is not just a message for people who don’t know Christ. It’s a message we need every day.”
“Faith is going to come by hearing. And God has given us this truth to share!”
“We create expectations about everything, even ministry. We want to be fruitful.”
“Laying down our expectations of what we think things should look like, and surrendering to the season.”
"God is generous and faithful to give us seasons. Surrender to what God is giving you, walking with Jesus where he is the treasure and our identity is in him."
“God has given me a sphere of influence that others can’t reach.”
“If you’re single: Pray. Give. Go.”
“When God brings someone to your mind, pray for them.”
“If you’re in a season of transition, remember that all of life is exile. We’re not yet home.”
“Seek the peace (shalom, wholeness, fullness) of where God has put you in exile.”
“God has equipped us for what he’s called us to.”
Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
Journals of Jim Elliot by Jim Elliot
Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot
To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson
John Hyde: Apostle of Prayer by Francis McGaw
Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper
The Valley of Vision (A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)
CIERRA'S SIMPLE JOYS
Warm days to be outside
Chick-fil-a vanilla iced coffee
Evangelism Explosion by D. James Kennedy
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
Connect with Cierra
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