Ask God for opportunities!

 Witness  Comments Off on Ask God for opportunities!
Jan 092018
 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

As a young minister-
Billy Graham arrived in an unfamiliar town to lead a revival at a local church.
He had a few hours before the first service started, so he decided to run a few errands.

With a letter in his hand-
Graham found a young boy on the street and asked directions to the local post office.

Then, ever the evangelist, he invited the boy to come to the church that night by saying, “You can hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven.”

The child eyed him skeptically and then said:
“I don’t think I’ll be there. You don’t even know the way to the post office!”

When we share the Good News of Jesus-
– we’re not always successful.

Our job is to confess!
His job is to convert!!

Successful witness is-
– sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
– and leaving the results to God!

But each time we tell someone about Christ, a seed is planted!

So don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t bloom right away.

The apostle Paul said:
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

There is amazing power in the Gospel.

So while the person you witness to may not be receptive at first-
– continue to reach out to them in word and deed.

You never know what impact you might have for eternity!

Ask God for opportunities and boldness to share His Good News with others.

And then for the patience to continue to reach out in His name.

(PA)

The Death of All Dreams

 Witness  Comments Off on The Death of All Dreams
Sep 242017
 

For the twelve men who left homes, families and livelihood to follow Jesus

– His words produced a growing sense of dread. Jesus finally used plain language to describe what imminently lay ahead:

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he said to them: “We are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be betrayed…They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to be mocked and flogged and crucified” (Matthew 20:17-19).

Some of the twelve had dreamed of a political revolution to overthrow the hated oppressors. Perhaps a few saw a return to true religion while still others hoped Jesus’ healing miracles predicted a society free of debilitating disease.

But then Jesus plainly described His plan of far greater scope, the perfect plan to cure man’s hatred to man, to replace false piety with true religion. His solution would provide the way of salvation, a way to cross the abyss of sin between men and women and God.

But

– This plan demanded a perfect sacrifice and Jesus loves His followers and all of us to such a degree that He is willing to become that sacrifice. The news sounds bad! In fact, it sounds like the death of all dreams! But it is, in reality, the best news ever! The Son of Man is come to seek and to save what was lost.

Thank the Lord Jesus for providing eternal life by His death on the cross. By trusting in Him we can experience that life, not just in the future, but right now!

Put yourself in the disciples’ shoes! How would you have responded to Jesus’ words? Talk with a friend about what Jesus’ suffering and death mean to you.

(PA)

Feb 072017
 
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20.

Recently Southern Baptist missionaries found themselves in grave danger-

-when the government of an African country was overthrown.
Anarchy prevailed as security evaporated.
Foreigners were targets of bandits and rampaging mobs.

The missionaries were rescued and evacuated-

– when the American ambassador negotiated a truce between the warring factions.

Because he represented the authority and resources of the United States-

– he was able to leverage the international reputation and influence of our country,
– not by personal power but by whom he represented.

God yearns for the whole world to be rescued from the bondage of sin and has provided for their salvation.

But when Jesus returned to heaven, having shed His blood in redemption for a lost world-
He appointed us as His ambassadors!
We are to be His representatives to bring people out of the chaos and hopelessness of sin into the kingdom of God.

Our personal power doesn’t intervene and reconcile people to God-

– but because we represent His authority and power to save, redemption is possible.

“Father, may I faithfully represent You in this lost world. Amen.”

(PA)
Feb 012017
 
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.1 John 5:20

There is a tale told of that great English actor Macready.

An eminent preacher once said to him: “I wish you would explain to me something.”

“Well, what is it? I don’t know that I can explain anything to a preacher.”

“What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds follow you wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all!”

Macready’s answer was this:

“This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.”

It is easy to know when something is aflame.

It ignites other material.
Can you imagine how quickly the truth of Jesus could spread-
– if we were only passionate about living it and sharing it?
We who know God need to be on fire-
– igniting the world around us!
Let’s give our inhibitions and fears to the Lord-
– and ask Him to light the fire in our hearts for the lost!
(PA)
Jan 182017
 
“First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck in your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42.
Most of us live by a double standard.
We judge ourselves one way, but we use a different set of rules for others.
When we sin, we’re quick to explain the reasons behind our disobedience:

“I was exhausted.”

“I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“I was under a lot of stress.”

When it comes to other people, however, that’s another case.

We put on our judge’s robes and pronounce them guilty, regardless of the evidence:

“He knew better.”

“This isn’t the first time she’s done this.”

“There’s just no excuse for that!”

It’s good to help your friends live the life God desires-

– but your first priority should be to make sure your own life is pleasing to God.
When you’re diligent to keep sin out of your own heart-
– you’ll then be able to see others in the correct perspective.

Whenever you’re involved in willful, deliberate sin, it distorts everything you see.

But when your heart is pure-
– you won’t be so quick to condemn others for their sins,
– nor will you jump to conclusions about them.
You’ll have the grace to help without judging.

What makes us so comfortable with our own sins-

– yet so irritated by the sins of others?
(PA)