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Posts Tagged ‘evangelism’

There’s much value in asking a mature believer to accompany you when it comes to talking with people about Jesus.

Barnabas was a wonderful, caring, godly man who wanted to see people get saved in a city called Antioch. And he was having some success for the gospel, according to Acts 11.

That was good. But it could be so much better, he and other church leaders realized, and that’s why Barnabas made the trip to another city to recruit the Apostle Paul to help him reach more souls for Christ in Antioch.

“When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.

“Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)” (Acts 11:22-26)

As you pray for wisdom in how best to build bridges of godly influence — and ultimately share the message of salvation — please remember the example of Barnabas. Consider asking a mature believer to join you in the faith-sharing effort with an unsaved person.

Perhaps that mature believer might have something in common with the unsaved person such as a hobby or birthplace or type of job.

It’s always good to connect believers with unbelievers on a friendship basis. It’s even better when that connection has the potential for connecting a soul with Christ.

If we’re not having the measure of evangelistic influence that is needed — and few of us are — only good can come from teaming up with another believer who also loves the Lord and wants to see people turn from darkness to light (Acts 26:17-18).

As always, I love you
Martin

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I want to be a shameless Christian.

I want to be a believer who is not ashamed of my faith.

I want all to know that I know, love and serve Jesus Christ.

The alternative to my embracing the above is unacceptable.

Here’s why:

“I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels.” (Luke 12:8-9)

Let others know who Jesus is to you. They just might want to know more about who He can be to them.

If nothing else, you’ll know that Jesus will know you when you stand before Him and His Father on judgment day.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Psalm 25:3 gives us the pathway to living an honorable life respected by others.

This is not about being rich or famous or dominating.

This is about having a life that displays good character and the absence of shame.

You and I might never be wealthy financially or popular socially, but we can be a person who is well thought of by our circle of influence.

And that is a key element when it comes to influencing people toward the Lord whom we serve.

“No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.”

Let’s trust in God, not in a carnal ability to trick or manipulate others.

Life is better for everybody that way.

Eternally.

As always, I love you

Martin

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The last book of the Old Testament is rich with relevant counsel for Christians.

A couple of verses in chapter 2 of Malachi are of particular interest since they describe what I know God has called me to do.

And not just because I’m a pastor.

These are words that describe the ministry to which God as called every Christian:

The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered Me and stood in awe of My name. They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from Me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with Me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.” (vv. 5-6)

Wow. What a wonderful legacy that the Levites had left as described by Malachi 2.

I want to live this kind of life.

I want to leave a legacy like this.

And so I need to live with reverence and worship with awe, passing onto others the truths of the Bible as I commit myself to righteous living.

It is then that I will be more effective in turning others’ lives from sin.

Please…. join with me in this call from God as we head into a new year.

So many need to experience His grace and peace and power as part of a new life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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The Lord convicted my heart this morning.

He did so through this passage from Isaiah:

Does a farmer always plow and never sow?
 Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?” (Isaiah 28:24)

Countless Christian congregations — and the believers who comprise them — have learned over the years to plow and plow and plow in the fields of unsaved people at work or school or in the neighborhood.

We’ve learned to cultivate the soil by removing stumbling blocks from our lives and pulling weeds and watering our lives with the Living Water of scripture.

We’ve learned well the art of “being” Christian. We’ve learned well how to have clean-cut congregations that are organized and have big, beautiful barns.

But have we “done” Christianity’s primary task? Have we made disciples?

Such won’t happen if we plow and cultivate, plow and cultivate but we never sow and never plant.

I recognize that I need to do more of this.

A farmer sitting on his porch in the evening and looking at his neatly plowed, weedless field would not be content with knowing that no seeds have been placed into the soil.

That would be crazy.

The seeds aren’t going to march on their own from the grain sack into the field and into the ground in the proper way.

Somebody has to plant the seed.

You and I are that somebody.

The reality is that you and I already know that we are that somebody and have known that for a long time.

Our challenge is to start planting more seeds rather than sitting on the porch and admiring our neatly plowed, weedless fields and beautiful barns.

That’s why we need to press into the Lord more than ever with prayer for wisdom.

Wisdom with how to approach hard soil, rocky soil, weed-corrupted soil and also the fertile soil.

God will give us wisdom for planting if we’ll seek it.

He’ll give us eyes to see opportunities that we didn’t see before — if we’ll pray that He does.

He’ll give us boldness to seize opportunities that we didn’t seize before — if we’ll pray that He does.

“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher,
 and He gives the farmer great wisdom.” (Isaiah 28:29)

I want to be a more faithful farmer. And so I need more of God’s great wisdom.

Please join me in praying today to become a better farmer so that Lord can have a bigger harvest.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Perhaps the greatest way to communicate faith to an unsaved person is to do all we can to comfort that person when things go sour in his or her life.

For it is at such times that the non-Christian can see the value of heart-comforting faith that has sustained us and that can do the same for them.

Even the non-believer understands that divorce hurts, that losing a family member to accidental death hurts, that losing a long-held job hurts.

When the non-believer sees that our hearts might be hurting yet we are also finding healing through the comfort of our faith — and we continue trying to provide blessings to others — it gets them thinking.

We’ve all faced some really tough times in life.

If we’ve held tightly to God’s hand during such times in ways that others noticed, we can testify authentically about the strength and direction we’ve found.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)

That testimony of a comforted heart can provide a huge boost to our evangelistic influence.

Let’s sincerely want to help others to stop hurting emotionally.

Let’s comfort them.

Let’s show them how faith in God helps us to stop hurting emotionally.

Let’s show them how God comforts us.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I really miss bring able to run whenever I want.

It’s not for the lack of wanting to exercise but instead because of damaged cartilage in my knees.

For a guy who ran competitively through high school and college, this is a disappointing status. But I have many other blessings so I’m more than grateful to God for the memories of what used to be running-wise.

I was reminded of my past and my present yearning during my Bible reading this morning.

II Chronicles 30 contains an interesting reference to the use of runners to spread the call for revival in the nation of Israel, even though Hezekiah officially reigned in Judah, the southern kingdom during the centuries of a divided Israel.

King Hezekiah had been inspired by the Lord to resume the passover celebration and he wanted to quickly get the word out to all the Hebrews, regardless of past hard feelings between the southern and northern kingdoms.

Check out the message Hezekiah sent through men not on fleet horses but men relying only on their pumping legs….

“At the king’s command, runners were sent throughout Israel and Judah. They carried letters that said:

‘O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he will return to the few of us who have survived the conquest of the Assyrian kings. Do not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and became an object of derision, as you yourselves can see. Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which He has set apart as holy forever. Worship the Lord your God so that His fierce anger will turn away from you.

‘For if you return to the Lord , your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to Him, He will not continue to turn His face from you.’” (vv. 6-9)

Wow. Men selected to run from town to town to town with messages from the King who had been inspired by the Lord.

This wasn’t a time for walking. Time was of the essence to lead the people into national repentance and worship and restoration.

Some people did respond, fortunately, but most didn’t.

“The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them.”

This reaction wasn’t the runners’ fault.

The runners did what they were called to do.

Listen, you and I aren’t called to carry the message of the gospel via running legs. But we are to view the call to connecting with God as a top priority.

Sure, many will make fun of our faith, but that reflects on them, not on us.

The big crowd of people who eventually gathered in Jerusalem for the passover wouldn’t have been there if the runners had quit at the first towns that laughed at them.

They kept running. They didn’t even lose some of their motivation and simply start walking from town to town.

The runners played a huge role in the national revival that followed.

Just like we read in Hebrews 12:1, let’s keep running the race of faith and testimony.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”

You probably won’t physically run to help a discouraged, disgruntled or discombobulated person today with words of scripture and actions of Christlike love. But I do encourage you to proceed with haste because we’re called to build bridges with people who need spiritual restoration.

Yes, some co-workers or relatives might laugh at our beliefs and self-sacrificing practices. But others might listen and join us. Just as with the restored passover celebration in Hezekiah’s day, it will be an awesome experience when some to whom we “ran” join us in worship and personal consecration.

As always, I love you
Martin

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