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Posts Tagged ‘evangelism’

Today we start with Sunday as the kickoff for our Fall 2020 seasonal campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back. It is so appropriate to do so.

Why?

Sunday represents the day when most faithful Christians make their way down the aisle and into the pews to hear a stirring medley of hymns and spiritual songs and a soul-stirring sermon. That was at least the case before COVID-19 hit us in the spring of this year. Ever since we have been under the attack of the coronavirus, we have managed to worship differently. The CDC and county health officials have become additional sources of guidance for how churches operate with the designation that terms them as non-essential businesses within their communities. Regulated to outdoor or online worship services, depending on the locale, the church has taken a hit due to coronavirus.

Add the tension and division over the recent election and a summer full of protests regarding Black lives Matter, police reform, anti-masking, and Trump rallies and parades to the disheartening and discouraging effects of coronavirus with evangelical Christians split on nearly each and every item listed and you have the makings for the church in need of a come to Jesus meeting of its own. It’s high time that the people of God turned their attention to the very things that God called them to proclaim and produce rather than proliferate and pontificate rhetorical rants about ballot counting, turning the red states blue, and election fraud conspiracies.

It’s time that we as the people of God get back to God’s business. I love what C. H. Spurgeon said with such simplicity: “The business of the church is salvation. . .Our main business is winning souls.” John Wesley similarly surmised, saying: “You have one business on earth- save souls.”

So let’s get to it without wasting any time. Let’s take our day of worship and kick things into gear for a week of works.

Download a copy of our latest training presentation.

Think about it from a different perspective. This is the prime opportunity for us as believers to gather in His name, and then take all that has inspired and edified us from that gathering to go out into the world and spread goodwill through good works. We could turn the world upside down while altering the perception of Christians as hate mongers who want to protect Second Amendment right to bear arms a little bit more than the pro-life sentiment of anti-abortion. Our faith is so much more than modern worldviews and social-political confrontations. It is on us to show the world the core of our faith in action as we serve, providing a living breathing example of good works before their very eyes.

Let today serve as a day where we enlighten the world and encourage the world as we let our light shine. Let today start new beginnings of new ministries designed to serve more of the “least of these” while providing an open opportunity for us to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Make today the day where you make a difference and make an impact.

Start today by giving thanks by giving back.

#GivingThanks #GivingBack

Learn More About the Campaign

NOTE: A big thank you to bloggers like Dan Zimmerman, The Simple Preacher’s Blog and other folks whose blogs I have linked here. Your posts say so much more on the subjects than I could convey on my own, so I appreciate your work and efforts to communicate with the world at large on the things at hand and on your heart and mind.

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I Found the Answer

I was weak and weary, I had gone astray, … I found the answer, I learned to pray

I can relate.

I was weak.

I was weary.

I had gone astray.

I was not in the place or position for God to bless me.

I used to say: “Something’s got to change.” That was not the answer.

I needed to change.

The Body: Being Light in Darkness

Changing My Attitude

Lord, I thank you for changing my attitude about my calling, my ministry and my responsibility.  Continue to feed my spirit and cause me to become more and more open and obedient to You.

Changing My Approach

The Lord had to deal with me on an entirely different level.  He had to help me see how I was waiting when I need to be working.  He had to help me to see that I was forcing it, on the verge of faking, and not facing it. (The “it” was my ministry.)

Changing My Answer

I thank God for giving me the answer along with confirmation from all over the map.  My answer led to my acceptance, and then my actions.

During November, Life Path Ministries & Services will push and promote Giving Thanks by Giving Back: A Week of Works.  This will serve as a launch of our Holiday Outreach Service Team (H.O.S.T.) and the Saved2Serve Volunteer Network, both of which have been on the back burner for a few years now.  Stay tuned for more to come regarding this venture.

After all, I found the answer.

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I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. – John 12:46 (KJV)

Jesus came as a light into the world.  He came as light to shed light and so that no one who believes in Him will live in darkness.  He was the Light that men failed to comprehend, according to John’s gospel.

We are followers of the Lord.  He have seen the light and we are to act as the light of the world.

But do we live so?

Are we living like the light of the world or are we hiding it under cover in the midst of darkness?

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Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:14-16

Jesus called it as He saw it.  He was straight forward and straight up about many things.

Yeah, He oftentimes used parables to teach the people.  What He was doing was using something that people were familiar with or understood well to share a life lesson in a subtle manner.

But He was usually straight out about things.

Ye are the light of the world. . .

The light of the world is a twofold metaphor.

The Light is Seen by Others

If we are the light of the world, then we should be shining as the light.  That’s the nature of light.  Light shines.  Jesus shared for us to live as the light and not hide our light under a bushel.

The Light Helps Others to See

. . . it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Others can see when you act as the light.  Others can see when you live as the light.  Others can see when you let your light so shine.

When you living as the light of the world, you can shine brightly and help others see the Truth and the Way.

 

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I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. – Psalm 69:30

I can publish praise of God openly with my voice.  However, I begin to wonder about the effectiveness of that praise in light of good works that reflect in the shadow of His wondrous works.  My works, no matter how much good that they actually do for God or others, are totally eclipsed and overshadowed by His great works.

This Thanksgiving say a prayer for those who seek to do good works.  Many will feed the homeless.  Some will offer them clothing and shelter.  Others will open their homes to them.  Some will go and spend volunteer time with wounded veterans while others will read to children in the cancer unit of the local hospital or wash feet at the neighborhood hospice.

Offer a prayer for those who offer their service.  Join the ranks of men and women who make Christ come alive for some people who will never set foot in a church’s sanctuary or crack open a Bible to find an inspirational passage.

Thank God as you give the world a glimpse of Him in action.  Remember, He could choose anyone.

It did not have to be you.  The least becomes greatest and the last becomes first in God’s economy and on His balance sheet.  We should be thankful to have been chosen and in a position to give back.

 


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Social networking is still the fastest-growing active social media behaviour online, increasing from 36% of global Internet users to 59% managing their profile on a monthly basis by the end of 2011…Facebook has 845 million active users –  http://thesocialskinny.com/100-more-social-media-statistics-for-2012/

Recently, the world’s largest social network made news when it released an initial public offering to become a publicly traded stock.  That’s not the big news.  The big news has more to do with the potential that lies within social networking as well as social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  That’s the big news for those who proclaim the Good News.

Use Facebook for your ministry.  Set up a profile.  Find friends online.  Share the profile link via email with your ministry members or congregants.  Add the link to your Facebook to your email signature or link the Facebook button to your website or blog.

Here are some simple strategies for Facebook usage for ministry:

  • Post upcoming events and invite ‘friends of friends’
  • Share inspirational verses and passages through status updates
  • Upload photos from events like mission trips or church outreach activities
  • Start Facebook groups for prayer, Bible study or salvation Q&A
  • Set up a fan page for members to get updated information on church or ministry activities

Facebook has a lot of potential.  Use it to your advantage to advance the gospel.  Spread the Good News throughout cyberspace by using Facebook as a steward of the Good News.

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16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. – Mark 1:16-18 (NKJV)

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Jesus made an offer to fishers.  In Matthew 4:18, the Bible says: “. . . for they were fishermen” in the New King James Version.  These men knew fishing.  It was their trade and vocation.  They made their living with boats and nets.  They knew about fishing and how to fish.

Jesus offered them something vastly different from the world that they lived in daily.  He offered to make them “become fishers of men” (v. 17).  He would train them to be fishers of men by training them, as the New International Version says, “to fish for people.”

They would be able to do it, but Jesus would teach and train them in how to do it.  He would equip and enable them to reach people for the eternal kingdom of God.  They would serve as witnesses among men of the mighty power of His earthly works as well as His eternal works on behalf of the sinful throughout the world.  They would be trained at the feet of the Master to evangelize with purpose and power.

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Look at what Jesus can do with what you already have going for you.  He can use what you know or what you have experienced to make you suitable servants for the kingdom of God.  He trains us through His Holy Spirit, coaching us all of the way.  As we study and serve, the Spirit affirms the training of the evangelist within each and every one of us.

Read about what Jesus can do with us.  Francis Chan offers some insights into truly understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Look at evangelism ministries of the the likes of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts.  Let the Lord lead you in your own evangelism efforts.

Read about what Jesus can make of us.  He made fishers of men out of fishermen.  He used ordinary folks to extraordinary things.  Twelve Ordinary Men is an exceptional read and study into how jesus can make something else out of us.

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Study His Word and discover how He can make more out of us than we have ever been before today.  He is able to do mighty works among us and through us to accomplish His purpose.  He wants people saved.  He wants you actively participating in drawing people to Him as fishers of men

Join the fishing division of the Lord’s army of believers.  Go forth and fish for people.

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“We have to take initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.” – Oswald Chambers

Imagine helping everyone else except for those whom you love.  You offer strangers and others more than your own children and loved ones, even your closest friends.  That would sound sort of strange, right? That would make you seem like some sort of hypocrite.

You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. – Matthew 26:11 (NLT)

We need to stop overlooking the needs that go unaddressed right around us daily instead of seeking to go off to some distant land and do the same good that we never ever attempted at home.  We should go abroad and carry the Good News of Jesus Christ.  That is certainly the truth.  However, we do not need to leave needs unmet right at our own doorstep.

What was it that James said about true religion?

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. – James 1:27 (KJV)

We need to start right where we are.  We need to start doing good works right where we live every single day.  We need to do our part to keep things in order right where we live.  Our works should start with what we have done on our home turf.  Then, as we build up those around us by equipping and empowering them, we can branch out from there.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” – Acts 1:4 (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8 (NIV)

Until the Lord directs you, don’t leave where you are today.  Get busy doing His work with His Word right there.  Stay on task.  Once He has developed you, He will direct you.  When He has readied you for branching out, He will tap you for further service.  He wants you working on His good works in His name.  Your best bet is to start where He has planted you.  He has put you here for a reason.

You may not be able to go to the ends of the world and do every good work, but you have somewhere to start.  You something to offer.  You can get started right here.  You can grow as you do good.  Let doing good works do you some good, too.  Let it be right where you are today.

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In 1967, our vision was to reach Los Angeles. This vision broadened to include California, then all of America, then the entire world.  – from The History of Victory Outreach International

As Christians, we are to be in a position of ambassadors of Christ to others.  We can be a bridge between people and the Savior.  We need to be messengers who share the message of the Good News about the victory that is complete in Christ.

Victory Outreach started with a novel concept.  They sought to reach the city of Los Angeles with the gospel.  That grew and expanded since 1967. 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. – Acts 1:8 (ESV)

What if you simply set your focus on reaching a city or region for Christ, spreading the news about the victory that is available through Him? It is possible.  It is doable.  It provides us with a focal point for the work of the ministry.  We can do more for the Lord with a focus that can help us grow from there.  We can be voices of His victory on the street corners of metropolitans like Los Angeles or we can speak loudly about His victory in a rustic church out in a rural area.  Location matters as a starting point.  Location should not stifle us from doing the work of the ministry.

Where is your Jerusalem? What serves as your home base or headquarters? Start right there.

What is your Judea or Samaria? Identify surrounding areas near your locale to spread the news of Christ’s victory.  Use these as key points on your map of ministry.  These will serve as the points where you have identified the need for both the presence and preaching of gospel-believing people.

. . . and to the end of the earth

God will send you where He has for you to serve Him.  He may start you out in one place, but He may send you further and further away from “home.” He wants to use you.  He start you out right where you are and grow you right before the eyes of your family and friends.  He could also send you away to develop you far away from all that you have known.  He just wants you to serve as a voice of His victory and the victory that you have in this life through Him.

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 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
– Matthew 9:37-38 (ESV)

Jesus expects us to have compassion on the sight of those who look like sheep without a shepherd.  He also wants us to be discerning about what it takes to the reap the harvest of souls throughout this world.  He knows that our hearts cry out for the very souls of the poor and needy, the ones who do not accept the Lord as Savior and those who never heard His Word.

The Lord has an expectation of us as believers.

He wants us to be more:

  • Ready: The Lord stated the bounty of the harvest.  If we are to harvest souls, we need to be ready to reap.  Our readiness will determine how much and how well we reap what has ripened in its season.  He expects us to be ready.
  • Responsive: The Lord points out that the laborers are few.  In the right season, you will be expected to be responsive.  The appropriate response to the harvest is to get to work and pray.  Work with what the Lord has provided you in your spiritual gifts and resources, but also be sure to pray to the Lord of the harvest for the help that you need for the harvest.  Work and pray as part of your response to the Lord placing you in position to respond to the plentiful harvest.
  • Reliant: The words of Jesus make sense.  We are expected to work in the midst of the harvest.  However, we are also expected to pray and rely upon the Lord of the harvest for who He will send our way and into the harvest.  We cannot simply rely upon what we have in our hands or heads and on our hearts.  We have to rely on God Almighty for all the help that we need for the harvest.  He is the Lord of the harvest and has all things within His power.  We need to become more reliant upon Him throughout the season of the harvest.

 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
– Mark 16:15 (ESV)

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