Archive for November, 2008

Incentives to Soul-winning

November 27, 2008

A good question to ask is, “why should we evangelize?”. There are several reasons, a few of which we will examine here. They all come right from the Bible. So, why should we share our faith with others? Here are three reasons, which have to with our love to God, our love for others, and our (let’s face it) love for ourselves.

  1. Because God says to. (Loving God)

This one is pretty obvious. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel unto every creature…”     (Mark 16:15) But the fact that God tells us to share our faith should encourage us to do it! Here is one reason why: Where God commands, He empowers. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) This is all a part of keeping that one great commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God…”.

2.  Because Hell is a real place. (Loving our neighbors)

“And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments…” (Luke 16:23) We need to tell other people about Jesus because Hell is a real place. Do you want to go to Hell? I think not. At least I know that I do not want to go to a place called Hell. Do you want to go to a real place called Heaven? You will if you are saved by Christ and understand what Heaven really means: what Heaven really is. And it is not just a place where we sit on clouds and play harps forever. I really think that Heaven will be the most fun place in the universe. So, I know that I want to go there.

If we want these things for ourselves, we ought to want them for others. The Lord says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39) This means that the good we desire for ourselves we should desire for others, too.

3. Because there are great rewards. (Toward self)

“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:6). The precious seed, says the Lord “is the word of God”      (Luke 8:11). God “renderest to every man according to his work” (Psalm 62:12). This means that because God is just (and there are many verses that say so!), he will give all of us what we deserve. He will not give us according to the results, but according to the effort. What do we get for this effort? Jesus said, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where theives do not break through nor steal”. These treasures are eternal.

So, as you can see there are quite a few reasons for us Christians to be out there witnessing. My challenge for us all this week is to gain a burden for the lost. Ask God to help you go and weep for the lost, seeking their souls for Christ. That is one step on the Greatest Adventure.

God bless!

~ Anthony H.

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The Role of the Holy Spirit

November 24, 2008

Romans 8:1-11

The Holy Spirit is often just a fuzzy figure in the back of our minds that we can’t truly define.  We know that it’s a part of the Trinity, but what does it actually do?  Is it just the part of God that comes to “live in your heart” after you take Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and except His free gift of Salvation, or is the Holy Spirit more than that?  What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

The Bible emphasises 3 main roles of the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit SENDS and GUIDES us.
  • The Holy Spirit GIVES US THE ABILITY TO DO THINGS.
  • The Holy Spirit GIVES US LIFE.

And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, with his Spirit.” Isaiah 48:16b  We have to realize that we don’t just go to wherever we want and get “lucky” about what happens when we’re evangelising to the lost.  The Spirit of God guides our path, our words, and their hearts. 

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you to all truth.” John 16:13a  

but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” 1Corinthians 2:10a 

 

Are you so foolish?  After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Galatians 3:3  We have to realize that we cannot do anything in our own strength and abilities.  We cannot even receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit . 

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,” 1 Corinthians 2:4

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:27 

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:4

 

 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.” John 6:63  We have to realize that above all else, the Holy Spirit gives us life!  There are approximately half over the amount of verses in the Bible about the Holy Spirit giving us life than verses of any other role of the Holy Spirit!

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4 

We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:13

…the Spirit gives [everlasting] life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6c

 

Hugs and Prayers, Kendra Allison

The Power of Scripture

November 23, 2008

Hey everyone,

Scripture, the inspired word of God, that was written by man, has been a strength through all ages. God used many different people from all walks of life to be his tool for writing His Word.
One amazing thing about the Bible is it’s uniqueness. The Bible is very different from all other books. -It was written over a span of 1,600 years. -It was written by over 40 authors from all walks of life including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, even a doctor. -It was written in many different places like, a wilderness, a dungeon, on the isle of Patmos, in the rigors of a military campaign. -It was written during different moods, some wrote from the heights of joy and others from the depths of despair. -The scripture has foretold many things that were in the future, and they came to pass. -The Bible is the actual word of God! 2Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The Bible has many uses in our lives. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ” God’s word is extremely powerful! Quoting scripture to believers and unbelievers releases an authority from God. The Bible is also a great source of inspiration and comfort. Psalms 119:105  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” God’s word leads us to His ways and plans for our life. Follow it! In Romans 10:17 it says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” The word of Christ while he was on earth has been copied down in the Gospels, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John.

With the tremendous advantages of reading scripture, how can we not read it every day? Every hour? I encourage and exhort you to read God’s word. Meditate on scripture. It will give you Life!

By Levi.

Wait on the Lord

November 22, 2008

This is something that SO many people, including myself, struggle with as they evangelize.  We too often become impatient when people don’t accept Christ right away.  We need to avoid that; it makes it so much harder to evangelize and often discourages us.

The Bible speaks of this in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” This has got to be pretty important if God says “wait” twice.

I have a really good example of this. I was trying to witness to my friend, and I kept inviting him to youth group, but, he didn’t come, and he didn’t come. So, I honestly got discouraged, but, I took it to God, I said, “God this is in your hands, there’s nothing I can do at this point.” Finally, I got a chance to witness to him yesterday. And God totally showed up, my friend really started thinking about what I was saying. So, waiting for God really does help, if you bash the door open and try to work on your own strength, it doesn’t work. He empowers you as long as you wait for His timing.

One more verse to think on. James 5:7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.

As farmers of evangelism seed we need to wait for the Lord’s timing to yield a harvest.

In Him,

History Maker

Don’t Sugarcoat the Gospel

November 22, 2008

This is a problem that must be avoided.  Matthew 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ ”  Matthew 5:10-12 says: “10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Persecution will come.  If it isn’t, then you are not doing anything about your faith (see our post “Persecution”).  This is part of being a follower of Christ.  You need to let people know what they are getting themselves into.  Now, obviously, you can’t say “Are you sure?” as that will turn them away for sure.  But you can’t just go around saying, “Follow Christ and your life will be perfect” because that isn’t true.  It will be hard, but the point is that Christ will help us get through those hard times.  He won’t eliminate them.  In Matthew 13:5-6 it says: “Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.”  Basically, this is saying that the Word of God (the seed) was well received in these people (the stony soil).  But after they realized that life was not going to be absolutely perfect, they fell away (sun coming up and plants wilting).  This is what will happen if we describe life in Jesus that way.  We will win many people, but few of them will be true Christians.  This is so important to remember.  Kindly tell people that life will not be perfect, but that Jesus will help them get through those hard times.  Hope this helps!

In Christ, Matt

Weekly devotional 2

November 17, 2008

History Maker says:

Grace gasps for air, as once again her lungs change from life giving
organs, to turgid muscle. Brian apologizes for the thousandth time, because he didn’t come to the meeting that would save his soul. James asks me to stop talking about religion, when I’m talking about the relationship he so desperately needs. I count the money I have as the time for my missions trip comes nearer and find that I’m still short.

All these worries and more tug at my heart. So often I bring them to God and tell Him, please, take care of this, this problem too God. A few hours later, I’m worrying again, I take back the problems, and try to think of a way to solve them. I’m a very independent person, so I’m used to doing things my way, but a lot of times, there’s things I just can’t take care of, there’s things I have to put in His more than capable hands.

So, there’s obviously some major problems I can’t handle, but what about the little problems, the things most people would think I *should* be able to handle? Should I give those to Him too? Or should I handle them myself?

Well, let’s think about it, let’s look at the Bible and see what God has to say about it, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT) Note the word *all* it doesn’t say, cast *some*, or cast *most*, but it says all, that means, the littlest thing, He cares about all of it. Still not convinced? Take a look at Matthew 6:28-34 ” 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will
we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God [a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

From this scripture you can see, God will take every worry for us, even
down to what we wear. You see, God cares about everything, He will take care of us.

Earlier, I shared a quote, that I honestly believe was from God, I heard
Him whisper in my ear, “Space is big enough to boggle the human mind, yet small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.” If God can hold space, he can definitely hold little me and my (compared to Him) little problems, He’s got it. I need to quit worrying. I know, it’s a hard lesson to learn, and honestly, I’m still learning it, but, the more I pray, and the more I tell myself to give Him my problems, the more he gives me peace and tells me, “I’ve got it, it’s under control.”

What worry do you need to surrender to Him?

The Power of Prayer

November 15, 2008

Hey everyone,

This is probably one of the most important aspects of evangelism.  This is true for several reasons.  The first reason is that it helps us to remember that we are not the ones who are convincing people to turn to Christ.  That is not our job; the Holy Spirit takes care of that.  Also, it helps us to stay humble.  Many times people make the mistake of becoming proud, and the sometimes they even feel like they are better than people who aren’t Christians.  This is very dangerous, and it often completely turns people away from Christ.  Finally, God wants us to pray.

Prayer is an extremely important part of evangelism. It can help us to love those we don’t want to love. How many stories have you heard of people having a hard time with people and then praying for and loving them? If we pray for those people we don’t get along with. God can give us a heart to serve, love, and evangelize.

Prayer could be illustrated this way: Pretend your in a valley in the Sahara desert. The sand dunes reach up high on every side. You are in the army and it’s your job to shoot the enemy with missiles. So you set your rocket launcher in the sand and start shooting them over the dune. You fire and fire not knowing if you’re hitting or missing, but that doesn’t mean you stop. Just because you don’t know if your hitting doesn’t mean it worthless. So keep sending prayer after prayer to God, you may not be able to see if does any damage to the enemy. but it probably is . Don’t give up! Mat 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mat 7:8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. ”

Another reminder to pray: Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Often when we see things going wrong physically they are also going wrong spiritually. We must pray to actually do something about them.”

The Gospel Message

November 14, 2008

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to publish something in “gospel message” section, because I believe that this is one of the most important things on our blog.  So here is my explanation.

Matt says:

First off, we need to realize that we are all sinners, whether we think so or not.  Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (emphasis added).  We all do things that God tells us not to and avoid doing things that God tells us to do.  The judgment for this is death.  Romans 6:23a says, “For the wages of sin is death…”  Now realize that I mean spiritual death, not physical.  After we die physically, there is a judgment where God decides what happens to us next.  Either we go to heaven, or we go to, well, you know.  If we were judged based solely on our deeds and how much good we did, no one would go to heaven.  It takes one sin to kick you out for good.  Here is where the good news comes in.  Romans 6:23b says, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christs our Lord.”  God has given us a chance to spend eternity in heaven.  He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.  He came to earth, was born as a baby, lived a sinless life, and died in our place.  He was then buried in the tomb of one of His followers.  Finally, after three days, He rose from the dead, fully alive.

Levi says:

There is so many important aspects of the gospel. God’s probably thinking, “Levi, get realistic, you don’t know half.” I will attempt to say what I think to be important. First “Gospel” means “Good news”, I think that for you to see that news is good, you first have to hear the bad news. The bad news is: Rom 3:23 ” For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Lets face it. I think I can safely say that we have all lied (at least). And if you have lied then “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10) That means that if you have lied that you are guilty of of murdering, theft, it all. Further more the Bible says Rev 28:1b “all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire”. That puts everybody in quite the pickle. God is such a righteous judge that He will send you to hell for sinning once.

Now for the gospel (good news). God doesn’t want to send you to hell. So why doesn’t he automatically send everyone to heaven? Because he is righteous. What righteous judge on earth would let people guilty of murder and theft go scott free? No, God requires something. Also, God had a lot of effort on his part for us to be able to be saved. He sent His Son to earth to live in the same temptations each of us have. His Son, Jesus, didn’t fall for those temptations, Jesus was and is most thoroughly perfect. He was killed for our sins. Jesus gave up his life so that we could be saved from our sins. He took our sins onto himself. Its a hard concept. It would be like a surgeon taking our disease ridden brain and switching it with his own. Or a stranger coming into a courtroom and paying our 500 million dollar fine. Jesus paid our debt that he didn’t owe and we couldn’t pay. Hallelujah! He then rose from the dead defying death! He asks you you to believe and have faith in Him and he will forgive you of your sins and give you eternal life. You must repent (change) of your ways and be made new.

He also says that you shall know them by their fruits. The things you do (what you watch on TV, think about others, things you say) are evidences of your faith and belief. Reports have shown that their is no difference between the morality of those who call themselves Christians and those who say they are not. What does that tell you? It should tell that their is a lot of hypocrytes who are going to hell thinking that that one prayer when they were three will save them. I know this sounds extreme, but a good tree won’t have bad fruits.                    There you have it. That’s my gospel message.

History Maker says:

I see the gospel message as one of love, Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” I think that is amazing while we were still in full rebellion against God, He sent His son to die for us. While we were still doing wicked deeds, while we still hated God, He sent His son for us.  John 15:13 says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” Again, we see that word “love” again. Because of His amazing love for us He lay down his life, so we could go into eternity with Him. The last “proof” of love I see is that He gave eternal life to us as a free gift, we don’t have to do anything to enter into a relationship with Him all we have to do is believe. Ephesians 2:8-9 say, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works so that no man may boast.” Three words stand out to me, grace, faith and gift. Grace is getting something good you don’t deserve, faith is believing, and a gift is something you get, you don’t work for a gift. So, what does the gospel mean to me? In a nutshell it’s LOVE!

Weekly devotional number 1

November 13, 2008

Levi says:

This is the first of our weekly devotionals. I have the privilege of giving it this week. Now when I say something, you be sure to search the scripture and ask God if it is true. Too many people read or listen to something and never even imagine that it might be false. God wants us to search the Scripture and see if what they’re saying is true.

Knowing by fruits

Take a look at these verses, and read them carefully:

Mathew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.   Luke 3:9And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

I’m going to bring up something quite shocking. But realize its not just what I’m saying that’s shocking, its how I’m interpreting the scripture. It says “Ye shall know them by there fruits.” There are so many churches and youth groups out there that have bad trees. The people look like the world, act like the world, and do the same things the world does. They watch the same movies, listen to the same music, wear the same clothes. When you ask if they’re saved they say “Of course, I said a prayer.” Let’s examine that and see how that compares to what the Bible says. The holy scripture says, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit”. If those “Christians” are truly a good trees then they have to have good fruit. There is no two ways about it.

So how do you know if yourself or someone else is truly saved? In my way of seeing it, you have to believe in Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and repent, after that you need spend your life abiding in Him. How do you know that you’ve believed? By looking at your fruits. If you’ve truly believed it will show in your life. What changes have a occurred because of getting saved? Of course we know Christians sin. The Bible tells us that if you say you aren’t sinning your lying. But a true Christian will let God convict him of his sin and repent. Some people say they’ve got God, but they don’t show any signs of Him. That is like a business man coming into a meeting at his office. He wears a nice trim suit and his hair is perfectly in place, but he’s half an hour late. He was supposed to be the speaker. He says to the other men, “Sorry I’m late. You see, I was driving down the highway when I got a flat. I pulled to the side of the road and started to change it. But then all of a sudden a Mack truck veered into me and smacked me twenty feet to the side of the road. I then finished putting the tire on.” If a man said something like that, the others would think he’s ludicrous. He would be one of two things, lying or crazy. That is how it is with God! If you say that you’ve met with God who is infinitely bigger than any semi, how could you possibly not be radically changed?

Some people get saved over and over rededicating their life to Christ. Does that sound biblical? Others wonder if they’re actually saved, so someone will ask, “Did you pray a prayer one time?” or “Did you write down when you prayed?” Does that sound biblical? When does the bible say pray a prayer and you will be saved. No! It says believe. How do you know if you believe? You shall know them by their fruits. There are so many people out their that go to church and Sunday school. But when you look at their life, their fruits are the same as their roots.

What does all of this mean? It means there are a lot of “Christians” who are still lost. God will say, “Depart from me for I never knew you.” This widely broadens our mission field.
Think about what I’ve said, pray and believe. If you want to hear more, the majority of this was taken from this message: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=19fd9c84c942a08316e0. I would strongly encourage watching it (even though it’s really long).

God Bless