During a recent sermon on the role we can all play for the Gospel, my pastor asked, “how many of us don’t share our faith because we are afraid we won’t be able to answer the questions people ask?” Hands went up everywhere. Sound familiar? It’s a common fear, to be sure. But is it necessary? One way around that fear is to simply learn to tell your story, and how it intersects God’s story. But to be honest, sometimes we need some help. My pastor’s solution was to point us to the free video answers to life’s questions found at truelife.org. It might not be your style, but for many it helps people engage in spiritual conversations and get over the hump to sharing the Gospel. There’s a wide variety of topics covered. Check it out sometime.
It seems like everywhere we turn these days, we’re confronted with the issue of racism. Whether it’s a simple conversation over coffee or a violent protest that makes headlines, racial conflict seems to be on the minds of many people. But, one question that has not really been fully addressed is this: what is my role as a Christian? Or better yet, how does the Gospel touch the issue of racial reconciliation? If we believe that the Gospel impacts every area of our lives, and every aspect of society, then surely we must give this careful consideration.
The video below was recorded by The Village Church. It is an interview with author and pastor Bryan Loritts, and it focuses on how the Gospel is the ONLY hope for racial reconciliation …. and what reconciliation means for all sides involved.
I was reading through a You Version Bible devotional and encountered this entry on Faith. May reading this impact yours.
“The Lord expects his people to trust in him at all times. How clearly this is seen in the record of his earthly life. Faith to him was “natural” and he marveled at unbelief. He expects the royal official to trust his word as he walks the lonely road back to Capernaum (John 4:50). Even in the face of death he looks for faith. So he says to Martha, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?“ (John 11:25,26). The burden of his prayer for Peter is that his “faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32).
The nature of faith makes trust in the Lord a possibility at all times. For faith is not feeling, or sight, or mere human understanding. Faith is the helpless cast upon the Mighty, the weak leaning upon the Strong (S of S. 8:5). It is the obedience of those “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:5-6), the confession of “Jesus as Lord” (Ps. 10:9).
Trusting the Lord at all times is not a cold, indifferent exercise but the pouring out of the heart before him.”
As I watched the video below from Right Now Media, I wondered how many people feel like she does. Everyday folks who say to themselves, “I’m just a ______ .” I bet millions do.
What if we were to look at our work as God’s place for us to live, breathe, and speak the Gospel? To make the Kingdom come alive in that place? What if we were placed there to be more than “just a florist”, but rather as God’s instrument of grace and redemption? It might take boldness, intentionality, creativity, mercy, patience, or other gifts …. but it could change the world.
The other day I was reading Matthew chapter 14. Right after Jesus hears the news about John the Baptist being killed, we see Him feed the 5000 as well as take a walk on the water. It struck me that, in both of these accounts, Jesus directly involved his followers in the miracle. He invited them into the miraculous. Despite their fears, questions, doubts, abilities, past, resources, or any other perceived hindrances, Jesus offered His followers an opportunity to be part of the amazing work He was doing in the world. And, His invitation was simple. Come. Today I encourage you to read Matthew 14 and ask yourself these simple questions: What is God inviting me to today? What step of obedience can I take in light of this? Who can I share this with?
When I was first wrestling with how to live out my faith and have a Kingdom impact, I shared my questions with trusted friends and mentors. Almost all of them said, in different ways, “if you want to do something significant for God, quit your job, go to seminary, and become a pastor.” Well guess what … I didn’t listen. Are you caught in the job vs. ministry trap? Does it have to be “either or” instead of “both and”? Here’s another video from Joe Solomon that asks a similar question.
Many North American Christians use inviting people to their church as their primary tool for evangelism, and even that is a stretch for some. It’s as if we see our role as a Christ-follower to simply get people in the door and then let the “professionals” get the job done. But, what if we told our members to stop inviting people to church? In the video below, Joe Solomon proposes doing just that. Think it will work? Check it out.
Are you looking for creative ways to share the Gospel? Have you tried the “3 Circles” approach? Check out the video below that walks us through this tool to turn any conversation about the brokenness in our world into a spiritual conversation with Jesus as the solution.
I’ve recently started reading “The Book That Transforms Nations” by Loren Cunningham. Just a few pages in, the author challenges us with some serious food for thought. Quoting economist / author Dr. Michael Schluter, Cunningham states that perhaps God judges a nation not by its income but by how well it obeys Scripture. He then cites several areas of society where America leads the way – one of the highest divorce rates in the world, millions of inmates in prison, and addictions to everything from drugs to gambling to pornography. And, what guides our moral decisions? What do we rely on to make life’s choices? Well, according to a Barna Group poll, most Americans make their decisions based on “feelings” or “beneficial outcomes” for themselves. That might not be a huge surprise to you, but here’s the rub. How can this be true when over 84% of Americans identify themselves as Christians? Obviously, we are not living our lives and making decisions according to God’s Word. Seems like that needs to change. Do you agree, or do you have a better explanation? Think it over, and then pray as God leads you.
What if God gave you a platform from which millions might listen to you? What would you say? How would you talk about God? In the video below, actor and comedian Tim Allen talks to ABC’s 20/20, about his past and about his relationship with “The Builder”? What would you say if you were in his shoes? ( …. what you’d really say, not what you think you should or might say, but what you’d really say.)