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YWAM DTS Notes Evangelism based on lectures by Ross
for Evangelism...do you still have it?
By Danny Lehmann
A Mexican family receives
Christ at the dedication of their new home built by a Mission Adventures team. A
spiked and tattooed teenage couple kneel in tears at an invitation given by
skaters at an Impact World Tour rally in New Zealand. A street kid sits,
bleary-eyed, dazed and confused in a Brazilian gutter, the result of an hour of
inhaling glue fumes into his lungs, destroying brain cells in the process. A
patient DTS student, Good Samaritan style, drags him to a rehab center and
campaigns to get him in. A surfer is befriended on Kuta Beach in Indonesia by an American
from "Surfers for Missions" and returns to Australia a new creation in Christ. A
young Buddhist mother in Southeast Asia responds to God's love demonstrated by a
mercy ministry team.
Lives changed, souls (and
bodies) saved, and precious prisoners of war redeemed from Satan's clutches
every time the heart and hands of a YWAMer reach out with the good news of
Jesus. Every day around the planet the above scenarios (and hundreds like them)
are repeated to the glory of God.
Eternity on Our
Passion for souls. A
heart that beats with the compassion of Jesus for those who don't know him, and
a heart that aches when they refuse him. How do we get such a heart, and -just
as crucial-how do we keep it? How does a former hustler, saved off the streets
of Waikiki, stay motivated to travel for three years, raising hundreds of
thousands of dollars to open a restaurant for outreach to middle-class Brahman
Hindus in India? What drives a guy who
already has one half of his intestines removed due to tropical diseases to
return-against all medical advice-to the very country in which he contracted the
disease? From where does the passion come, that causes many in our mission to
live in abject poverty, risk life and limb, endure humiliation and rejection to
take Jesus up the Amazon, down into the underground tunnels of Eastern European
cities, and across the African plains to proclaim the gospel? It is passion, an
intangible quality that is hard to define but easy to identify, because you know
when you've got it and you know when you don't! We see it in Moses and Paul,
both willing to sacrifice even their own salvation for the people they were
passionate about reaching (Exodus 32:32;
and in Jesus who said, "Zeal for your house has consumed me" (John 2:17). We
notice it missing in Demas who forsook his call, "having loved this present
world" (2 Tim. 4:10).
Leonard Ravenhill once
challenged a group of us to pray for God to "stamp eternity on our eyeballs." Is
eternity stamped on your eyeballs and mine? Do we believe there is a hell to
shun and a heaven to gain? Do we believe that the passion that Jesus displayed
on the cross is the only hope for mankind? Do we believe in a Father God whose
heart is broken with every soul that perishes without Christ? Paul wrote, "It is
written, 'I have believed, therefore have I spoken.' We also believe, and
therefore speak" (2 Cor. 4:13). This verse gives us a clear equation: the more
we believe, the more we will speak about Jesus to those who don't know Him.
Two Edges of
In the film "The Last
Samurai" Captain Algren asks a question of his newly found Japanese mentor and
friend, Katsumoto. As the Captain admires the gleaming Samurai sword of the
veteran warrior, he asks for the translation of the kanji inscribed on its
blade. Katsumoto replies: "I belong to the warrior who combines the old ways
with the new."
Knowing the biblical
metaphor of God's Word being a "two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12,
I believe the Samurai has something prophetically to say to us in YWAM. Jesus
spoke of His messengers being like the "owner of the house that brings out of
his storeroom new treasures as well as old" (Matthew 13:52). As those of us that are younger pioneer "new" initiatives into
arenas such as business, government, and the arts we would do well to heed
Moses' counsel to his next generation of young leaders: "Ask your father and he
will tell you. Ask your elders, and they will explain it to you" (Deuteronomy
32:7). As we pursue our destiny, we must be careful to honor and receive the
legacy left to us by those that have gone before-the spiritual DNA and genetic code that makes us YWAM, whose
foundational verse is to tell every person on the planet about Jesus (Mark
Likewise, those of us who
are more "seasoned" need to throw combustible fuel on the fiery evangelistic
passion of the young, apostolic pioneers in our midst who are seeking new ways
to reach the lost. Like Katsumoto, we need both edges of the sword -both the old
and the new.
Loren's Schedule in
Recently, a lady who had
hosted YWAM teams in the early '70s stopped by to see me. While cleaning out her
garage, she had discovered a box of YWAM memorabilia that she thought I would be
interested in. At the bottom of the box, under the Francis Schaeffer books and
Winkie Pratney tapes, was an eight-page outreach manual for short-term teams,
written by Loren Cunningham. On page five, the daily schedule caught my eye. In
addition to follow-up or church ministry in the evenings, there were six hours
of evangelism scheduled every day. It was clear this referred to face-to-face
witnessing to lost people. I showed my discovery to some of our younger staff,
and even though we didn't completely adopt Loren's "70's" schedule, it did
provoke some spirited discussions on how much actual evangelism goes on during
Shortly thereafter I was
invited to participate in a DTS leaders' workshop. On one afternoon we were led
in an exercise to self-evaluate our DTS outreaches with regard to their
evangelistic effectiveness. The survey revolved around issues such as: numbers
of conversions to Christ, healings, and amount or percentage of time spent in
clear gospel proclamation. The leaders on average gave themselves a two on a
scale of ten with regard to their effectiveness! Needless to say, there is much
room for improvement!
In considering how we
could improve, we discussed providing outreach locations more conducive to
evangelism, better training for staff and students in how to effectively witness
and preach the gospel, and more specific outreach preparation for the particular
country to be visited on outreach. We also discussed the inevitable tendency to
drift from an evangelistic focus on our outreaches to activities such as prayer,
spiritual warfare, mercy ministries, serving churches, etc. We concluded that
although these functions are also biblical mandates, they are not intended by
God to be substitutes for evangelism, but supplements to reinforce our
Let's face it. Evangelism
is work. Winning people to Christ is tough. Jesus described it in graphic terms
when He likened us to sheep, being sent out among the wolves (Matthew 10:16).
None of us likes to be rejected, persecuted, or physically harmed for preaching
the gospel. We would much rather do less threatening activities and seek to win
friends and not take the risks required to win souls, yet we must! Eternity is
A Taste for Bad
Once we've prayed
Ravenhill's prayer and reinforced our belief in the eternal issues involved, we
need to fuel the fire of our faith with the following combustible materials:
1. Cry out to God for His
heart for the lost.
2. Give resources to the
evangelistic people in our midst so they can keep the fires of evangelism
burning hot within our hearts and our programs. Some people exude evangelistic
zeal. We need to catch their fire.
3. On a regular basis,
read books and listen to teachings that challenge us to be soul-winners.
4. Schedule time into
your week for outreach. The older you are in the faith, the more this is needed.
Statistics tell us that the older we are in our faith, the less evangelistic we
5. Carry practical tools
to help you practice your evangelistic lifestyle-tracts, Evangecubes, and
invitations to church, evangelistic events, Alpha Courses, recovery programs,
6. Seek God for your
particular evangelistic style, whether it be confrontational, intellectual,
serving, invitational, testimonial, or interpersonal. Keep in mind, however,
before you reject any evangelistic method, the words of evangelist D. L Moody,
in response to someone who criticized his methods, "I like the way I'm doing it
better than the way you're not doing it!"
G. K. Chesterton once
said of Jesus: "He never lost His taste for bad company." It is crucial in YWAM
that we do not lose our taste for bad company, and that we make sure that we are
following in the footsteps of Him who is a "friend of sinners" (Matthew 11:19).
In YWAM, evangelism is our lifeblood, our birthright, and the reason for our
very existence. We could know God and worship Him if there were no YWAM. We have
a mission: to know God and make Him known. Let's continue to seek God for new
ways to evangelize; but in pursuing the means, let's not forget the end: to
bring people from every nation into what John Piper calls the "white hot
enjoyment of God's glory."
What an exciting week,
evangelism, my favorite topic. Ross is a great communicator, such a wealth of
experience after 40 years in YWAM. It was such a blessing too that on the first
day, he laid hands on me, and prayed for me with a word of knowledge. What an
encouragement! He said, God has wonderful plans for you and Cindy, but He is
not going to reveal it, just one step at a time. We have been fretting a bit
over exactly what we were going to do in the outreach phase and then after our
internship. The outreach portion has been made a bit more clear. The other
will be clear as we get further along.
Another day should be spent on
“using words” in evangelism for those who need it.
We should pray more for our
outreach ministry rather than for our outreach funds.
A fuller definition of salvation
What are the essential
elements in a Gospel presentation?
Talk about the love of God, the
nature and character of God.
Talk about sin and it’s
Talk about the Savior, the
person and the work of Christ.
Talk about the need for
appropriation, receiving or accepting the free gift of salvation, using a
condition and promise verse.
A condition and promise verse is
one with God’s condition (requirement) for salvation and His promise of
salvation when that condition is met, verses like
These verses make it clear what
needs to be done for salvation and give assurance.
What are some methods
for evangelism? Giving out tracts, sharing the Romans road, using the Wordless
Book, using the Evange-cube, the Southern Baptists have Continuing Witness
Training and FAITH as two models of methods or dialogues to use in evangelism.
A very effective method I used in the hospital was distributing booklets from
the Radio Bile Class, that way the patient could choose what they wanted from
about 15 different titles. Another approach I used some was “How To Share Your
Faith Without an Argument” by Bill Fay, which is also available through the
Radio Bible Class. The New Testament illustrates several methods of evangelism.
We find examples of mass evangelism in the work of John the Baptist. Peter, and
Stephen (Acts 2:14-41). We see personal evangelism by Jesus and the apostles as
recorded in the Gospels and Acts. Paul met people where they were in dialog
evangelism on Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17:16-34). The
early Christians practiced visitation evangelism when they went from house to
house as recorded in
Acts 5:42. And then
there was written evangelism as seen in the writing of the Gospels of John and
Luke (John 20:31).
The most common and
perhaps the most effective biblical method of evangelism is the sharing of the
Good News on a person-to-person basis as we come in contact with others.
Sometimes just being a friend or listening to another person's troubles becomes
a point of contact. Good deeds do not convey the actual content of the Gospel;
the good news must be expressed in words.
What should motivate us
as believers to evangelize?
1. The Lord commands it.
We love our fellowman
We recognize that the unsaved
lost (Luke 19:10), without hope
(Ephesians 2:12), under condemnation (John 3:36), and destined for destruction
Praying for outreach
May I suggest that rather
than praying for outreach funds, that we pray for the advancements of God’s
Kingdom and pray for specific areas of ministry in the three outreaches. We
must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
then all these things will be added to us (Matt. 6:33). It would also be
helpful to let our potential partners in ministry, know some details of our
plans and goals in the outreach. What do we hope to accomplish? Are we going
to homes, prisons, orphanages, churches, schools, hospitals? Are we going to
help existing missionaries or ministries, if so how? People are more responsive
to purpose and vision, joining God in what He is doing, than in just financial
salvation and evangelism: a bit larger perspective on it, past, present, and
We have been saved, we
are being saved, and we will be saved. The first aspect is
justification. We are saved from the penalty of sin. Salvation is what
God has done for us in Christ. Salvation was arranged and accomplished
through the death burial, and resurrection of Christ. We have been forgiven, at
the moment of our repentance and faith. We were dead. He made us alive
(Eph. 2:1- 4). He made us new creatures in Christ. He gave us a new
heart, a new will, and a new nature. The second aspect is sanctification. He is
doing a saving work in us to make us more Christ like. To make us holy. He
is working in us to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). The third aspect is glorification. When the Lord God is
finished with us, when our salvation is complete, we will be conformed to the
image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). We will be
saved from the presence of sin and receive a new glorified body. Evangelism,
then, is the message that Christ's death upon the cross turns away God's wrath,
satisfies His justice, while maintaining His holiness. Evangelism is the
presenting of Jesus Christ, so that men will accept Him as their Savior from the
penalty, power, and presence of sin, and declare Him Lord as they seek to follow
Him in their daily lives.
And He said to them, "Go
into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
I am so glad that the
Gospel is for all, no part of humanity is excluded, everyone needs to hear the
Good News. The words of Jesus for His disciples then and now, is to go into all
Make God known
YWAM is called to make
God known throughout the whole world through, and into every arena of society
through evangelism, training and mercy ministries. We believe that salvation of
souls should result in transformation of societies, thus obeying Jesus’ command
to make disciples of all nations. (Acts 13:2-3;
Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15;
One of main reasons I
feel called to Thailand is in these two verses: “How then will they call on Him
in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not
heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless
they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO
BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!" The Thai people need the Gospel in written
and verbal form.
Romans 10:14-15 (NASB)
God does use random acts
of kindness done by people to lead people to faith. He also can still use the
power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit (Romans 15:19)
Satan is a great
interrupter. There were many interruptions in my hospital ministry through the
years. At the critical time of decision, the phone rings, the nurse, doctor, or
other staff, or family come into the room. We must remember to pray against the
The cardinal rule of
witnessing is listening. If you are listening then you are loving. We will
look at evangelism from the perspective of not saying anthing, to saying a few
things with words of knowledge, using your testimony, full on witnessing, and
asking questions. Just one question can be more effective than ten thousand
The relation between
the Gospel and Second Coming
This gospel of the
kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations,
and then the end will come.
But the day of the Lord
will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the
elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will
be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what
sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and
hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be
destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
We can be involved in
hastening the second coming, as we do our job to be His witnesses. Jesus is
saying, “I am giving you the Church a job to do, when it’s done, I’ll come
The need for the
Gospel to be preached in all the world
Unreached people -- 24%
of the world's population -- receive 1/2 of 1% of dollars given to Christian
Unevangelized World --
43% of the world's population -- receives 5% of dollars given to Christian
Christian World -- 33% of
the world's population -- receives 94.5% of dollars given to Christian missions
Evangelization by Worlds
A, B, and C
World C 1,999,564,000
World B 2,426,110,000
World A 1,629,375,000
World C countries 141
World B countries 59
World A "unreached"
Missions statistics from
the places of the 10/40 Window:
Center of population:Two-thirds
of the world's population -- more than 3.2 billion people -- live in the 10/40
unevangelized: 95% of the people living in the 10/40 Window are unevangelized.
Many have never heard the Gospel message even once. There are either no
Christians or not enough of a Christian movement in many cultures of the 10/40
Window to carry out evangelism. If those groups are to be evangelized, believers
will need to leave their own culture to enter another where they will seek to
plant the Gospel. Cross-cultural evangelism is required because there are people
groups with no church movements that are understandable or relevant to them.
World religions: Islam,
Buddhism and Hinduism are centered within the 10/40 Window.
Least evangelized cities:
Half of the world's least evangelized cities are in this window.
What is salvation? It is
knowing and loving God. The heart of it is friendship with God with freedom
from the penalty and power of sin.
"This is eternal life,
that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
For this is the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I
will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be
to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach
every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for
all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
(KJV) …dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do
not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. II Thess 1:8 (NASB) No longer do I call
you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have
called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made
known to you.
Evangelism is inspiring
others to know and love God. (Greek word euaggelizo means "to preach, to
proclaim the good tidings, to tell the good news)
God has emotion in
regards to salvation. The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice
over you with shouts of joy.
tells how the angels rejoice over one who was lost and is now found.
In evangelism you should
start where the other person is comfortable, not with your knowledge.
Thus says the LORD, "Let
not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his
might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast
of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises
lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these
things," declares the LORD.
Examples: Jesus and the
woman at the well in Samaria.
Paul preaches on Mar’s Hill about the unknown God.
24 hours later only 7% of
what was spoken by the witness is remembered by the listener, but up to 100% of
the emotions felt at the time is remembered. Don’t talk until they have seen
the love of God in your eyes first.
You display God’s
character. Ways we exhibit His character:
Through our lives
A negative example is hard bargaining
described in Prov. 20:14; I Peter 3:1 concerning wives. Be careful about
comparisons and complaints when ministering cross-culturally. Beware of bargain
hunting and hording. Don’t look at your culture as superior. Love the people,
the culture, and their language.
2. Through our restitution (and repentance)
Many also of those who had believed kept
coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19 And many of those who
practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight
of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand
pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and
19:18-20 (NASB) For this is the will of
God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual
immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in
sanctification and honor,
1 Thess 4:3-4
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing
salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires
and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for
the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior,
Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed,
and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good
deeds. 15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority . Let no
one disregard you.
Titus 2:11-15 (NASB)
- Acts of kindness
(good deeds and good works)
Illustrated in the story of the Philippian
jailer (Acts 16:20-31). We do not work for salvation but we work from
salvation. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and
one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do
not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so
faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
(NASB). Meeting a present
felt need. If you do good with your will, then your emotions will follow.
- The presence of God
/ spiritual atmosphere
Unbelievers can fall in love with God in His
presence. Spiritual leaders will never attract a following without enthusiasm.
- Miracles of healing
Why aren’t there very many miracles today? We
are materialistic. How much time do we pray to be more effective in
evangelism. We give up too soon in prayer. The longer you pray the more likely
there will be a healing. The more you love a person, the more likely they will
be healed. The depth of our unselfishness can release the power of God.
- Other miracles
The sign of not being afraid. Only conduct
yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come
and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in
one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 in
no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of
salvation for you, and that too, from God
(NASB) Brother Andrew said,
“A brave man is not someone who knows no fear, he carries on despite his
fear.” Joshua 1:6-9
and Psalm 1.
There a miraculous provisions.
A word of knowledge (I Cor. 12:8)
God’s leading to ask a question.
- Praying for the
Example Bill Bright was prayed for by his
mother for years. Not only was he saved and went on to found Campus Crusade for
Christ, but also about 4 billion of the world’s 6.5 billion have seen the Jesus
film that came through his ministry. (I can testify of the difference between
doing hospital visits without praying for evangelism first and those with. One
day I realized I hadn’t seen anyone come to faith in some time. I prayed and
that day, led five children to the Lord using my wordless book in the hospital
lobby. Also I prayed for my parents salvation for a number of years, they are
both saved now and active in church.)
- Point to creation
Creation is God’s other book.
- Giving your
It gives hope, it relates to the persons own
life, it’s not condemning, it is a platform of humility and need. The testimony
A hook (a short capture the
Describe your life before Christ
Stitch two things together, your
need coupled with what Christ gives. (The solution you found in a time of
Prove you’re different now
Keep it simple. Talk about God’s natural
attributes – He is almighty, all knowing, and everywhere. Note: we agree with
the Jews and the Moslems on God’s natural attributes, offering some common
ground. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Always speak on the cross, just like Billy
Graham does. Animals were slain to clothe Adam and Eve. Sacrificial lambs were
offered for atonement. The sacrifices in the Old Testament all point to the
Lamb of God. The message this give us from God is:
I love you, I am willing to
forgive you if you repent
This is how bad your sin is.
Eph. 5:5-6; Rev. 21:8; I Cor. 6:9-11 Gal. 5:19-21.
Questions you can ask to get a conversation
How you think the world came
There seems to be a great design
to the universe. The sun is the right distance from the earth…
Could you describe the character
of this God to me? (After they have said they believe in God.)
Do you think it is possible to
know this God?
What gives you a sense of value?
(if they say they don’t believe in God) Is that enough? What if that person
that gives you values dies, or goes way, what then?
In your view, how should someone
find forgiveness of sin?
In your view, who is Jesus?
Is it possible, He really is
God, that He died and rose again?
Would you like to hear my
If we died today and stood
before God, and God asked why He should let you into Heaven, what would you say?
Before leading someone to Christ
Make sure they believe in an
This Creator is loving and fair
He is wanting a relationship, a
friendship with us.
We need to turn from everything
we know is wrong. Prov. 28:13;
I Cor. 6:9-11; I
We need to trust Christ for the
forgiveness of sins. Both in repentance and faith
It is good to have the new
Christian confess the Savior
everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father
who is in heaven. 33 "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him
before My Father who is in heaven.
God anoints truth, no matter who says it. We
are wise to use the authority that they respect rather than ours. You can
witness to Moslems using their own Qumran. Remember too, that in Arabic speaking countries the word for God is
In self talk you must coach yourself into
truth and challenge wrong assumptions. Sin plus forgiveness doesn’t equal not
having sinned at all.
If you are dealing with people involved in
sexual sin, such as prostitution and homosexuality, it pays to use softness and
pray for the revelation of God.
You prophesy according to the clarity that God
gives you. If what He gave you is not clear, then give it hesitantly or even in
In evangelism you should
start where the other person is comfortable.
Listening is one of the
greatest tools of evangelism. When I went to New York to volunteer as a
chaplain at Mt. Sinai Hospital after September 11, I worked with a Rabbi who was the senior chaplain
retired from the Navy chaplaincy. One day we spent more than an hour in his
office as he vented on how he had been mistreated by Christians through the
years, especially fellow chaplains, some were Baptist ministers. One example
was being made to sleep on the floor, another was difficult assignments of
location and quarters given by senior chaplains. I apologized to him as a
Baptist minister. He then went on to ask, “why are you Christians so pushy in
wanting to make everyone else believe what you do? Why do you want everyone
else to be a Christian?” His name was Ari. I gave him this answer, I believe
from the Lord, “Ari, if you knew my house was on fire and I didn’t know it, I
was in bed sleeping with my family, wouldn’t you wake me up? Wouldn’t you try
to rescue me, get help, and perhaps even try to put out the fire?” He answered,
“well, yes of course”. I said, “that’s one reason why, let me give you
another. Let’s say that both of us have the same disease, we both have a
certain kind of cancer, and we are both dying. I discover the cure for that
cancer, should I keep the news to myself, or share it with you?” “I hope you
would share it with me”, he said. “That’s why Christians share their faith.”
He didn’t come to faith, but I think he had a better understanding, and because
of my listening, friendliness, and gentleness, he had a new openness to working
with “the mean Baptists.”
Grace is the power of
Meeting a present felt
need is why we are prepared to teach English in Thailand.
HAVE A MESSAGE AND BE ONE
We are not saved to be
"channels only," but to be sons and daughters of God. We are not turned into
spiritual mediums, but, into spiritual messengers; the message must be part of
ourselves. The Son of God was His own message, His words were spirit and life;
and as His disciples our lives must be the sacrament of our message. The natural
heart will do any amount of serving, but it takes the heart broken by conviction
of sin, and baptized by the Holy Ghost, and crumpled into the purpose of God
before the life becomes the sacrament of its message.
There is a difference
between giving a testimony and preaching. A preacher is one who has realized the
call of God and is determined to use his every power to proclaim God's truth.
God takes us out of our own ideas for our lives and we are "batter'd to shape
and use," as the disciples were after Pentecost. Pentecost did not teach the
disciples anything; it made them the incarnation of what they preached - "Ye
shall be witnesses unto Me."
Let God have perfect
liberty when you speak. Before God's message can liberate other souls, the
liberation must be real in you. Gather your material, and set it alight when you
—My Utmost For His
Highest March 10.
I hadn’t thought of
restitution and repentance as means of evangelism. Nor had I thought of signs
and wonders and words of knowledge as being used for evangelism, there are
biblical examples of signs and wonders.
I am reminded that I not
only have a message but I am a message. I was reminded to be enthusiastic in
Areas God has brought
to my attention
I was reminded of the
importance of random acts of kindness. A pastor friend of mine sent me this
We have a simple missions
strategy at Church on the Riverside – to be a blessing to the nations that God
has surrounded us with – just as it was for Abram when God sent him to the “land
he would show him” thousands of years ago. And as we’ve gone to be a blessing,
we’ve found that it doesn’t take much to be a blessing at all. Yet, we’ve been
amazed at the impact of what doing just simple things can make in a person’s
life, and their attitude towards things heavenly.
Cynthia and Nate for
example, were in the Cheesecake Factory a few weeks ago for their date night.
As their waiter Bobby delivered their dinner, they asked him if there was
anything they could pray for him about, since they were about to thank God for
their food. Bobby stared at them with a blank look for a minute, not really
knowing how to respond, since no one had ever asked him that question before.
A bit stumped, Bobby just replied, “Just mention the name Bobby McGee to God,
and He’ll know who you’re talking about.” Cynthia and Nate assured them that
they would indeed do that as they prayed for him.
After that moment, Bobby
was a changed man for the rest of the night. He returned about 3 minutes later
and said, “Wow, that was sure nice of you guys to ask me about that – no one’s
ever asked me that question before. You’ve really made my night tonight. Thank
you so much.” And so it was for the rest of the evening, with Bobby returning
every 5 minutes or so to make sure their glasses were filled with water, and
they had everything they needed. To say that Cynthia and Nate got special
service that night would be an understatement. But that wasn’t the end of the
When dinner was finished
and Bobby was clearing the plates, he asked them if they wanted desert – since
they were after all eating at the Cheesecake Factory. When Cynthia and Nate
hesitated for a moment on whether or not they should have dessert, Bobby said,
“Hey, I really want you guys to have dessert tonight since you’ve been so kind
to me. Just get whatever you want on the dessert menu and it’s going to be on
me.” So they had a fudge sundae, courtesy of Bobby, and they contemplated God’s
blessing on their lives as Bobby considered God’s blessing on his life that
Grace, another Church on
the Riverside member, felt the Holy Spirit nudging her to ask a paraplegic
classmate of hers the other night if he’d ever come to know the love that Jesus
has for him. He responded with a smile that yes he had, and shared that he once
attended a church in San Bernardino – which just happened to be Grace’s former
church. Both Grace and her friend were encouraged by the encounter, and now
Grace knows there’s another believer in her class who can encourage her as she
It’s amazing to see how
God uses these Random Acts of Kindness, and how contagious they become to others
around us. Last week, I as I turned into my driveway after running an errand, I
noticed our neighbor Meredith’s son mowing his lawn with our lawnmower.
Interesting, since I hadn’t loaned them our lawnmower. When I opened our garage
door, I next noticed a strange lawnmower in little pieces all over my garage
floor! Even more intriguing…
A few seconds later,
Travis (my son) met me in the kitchen and explained to me that he saw Meredith’s
son trying to start their lawn mower but noticed that it wasn’t starting for
him. So he walked over to see if he could help, and noticed right away that
they’d put weed whacker fuel in the lawn mower – a real no-no since that fuel is
designed for a different type of engine. Knowing immediately that starting the
mower with bad gas in it was going to be impossible, Travis offered to loan them
our mower while he took their lawn mower and rebuilt the carburetor on it.
Thirty minutes later Meredith’s lawn was mowed, her carburetor was rebuilt, and
she pondered the impact that her 14 year old neighbor had made in her life.
As I was chatting with
Meredith in her driveway a few days ago, she asked me, “You guys have a Bible
study at your house don’t you, and you have Church at your house too, right?” As
I responded with a simple “yes,” Meredith continued to share that she used to go
to church when she was a child, but hasn’t done that for a long, long time, and
that her kids are always asking her to take them to church now, but she just
hasn’t done that since going to church has become such a “big event” these
So I explained a little
more about Church on the Riverside to Meredith, and invited her to come over for Bible study on Tuesday
nights, and to join us on Sunday as well. She liked the idea of doing church in
a house and having some new friends…And she’s planning on joining us on Sunday
It’s amazing to see what
God says to the people around us whom we endeavor to bless in little, seemingly
insignificant ways. But we continue to notice that as we make it a point to
look at those around us with a “be a blessing to them” mentality, that the
blessing always seems to return to us – just as it did to Abram. But that’s
really no coincidence – is it? It’s God’s strategy for the nations, and for
those who on faith, embrace it – even in simple ways like fixing lawn mowers, or
asking a waiter how he can be prayed for, or asking a classmate if he’s ever
known someone named Jesus.
Such is life in the
Kingdom, and life at Church on the Riverside. For as we try to bless those around us, so also we find that
blessing returned – often that same moment. Funny how that works.