Pray on their behalf for
- Gospel Opportunities and advancement
- Protection and deliverance
- Personal holiness and refreshment
More here by Dave Prickett at Cripplegate
Thabit Anyawbile shares how even though he resolved to share the gospel often this year, he struggled in his first 30 days. And even when he did share the gospel, it took an enormous amount of effort to overcome his fear of man. I think most of us will be able to relate to his experience so read the whole article which begins this way:
I began this year with a desire to be a better personal evangelist. By God’s grace, I’ve preached the gospel each Sunday I’ve been in the pulpit. But I don’t want my evangelism to be limited to the pulpit; I want to do the work of an evangelist as well. More, not less, proclamation is needed.
So, what’s happening with that desire? Well, I think I’m learning (again!) two vital lessons.
First, desiring something ain’t the same thing as doing something. Not by a long shot. And while I know that sounds like a rather obvious thing to say, in my case it needs saying. Desire has to be translated into specific plans and actions. I’m looking up nearly 30 days after expressing that desire and only once have I personally shared the gospel with someone. Aaaargh!!!
Second, I’m learning again that faithful evangelism requires putting to death the fear of man. Will I ever stop having that halting tightness in my chest? Will those hesitation-inducing thoughts of rejection and offense ever fade away? You know, probably not. I’m likely to always feel some hesitation and some fear of man when it comes to evangelism. But what am I going to do? Not share the greatest news the world has ever received? No. I’m going to remember Romans 1:16, Philemon 6, and Hebrews 10:38-39, and other such texts which encourage, admonish, promise, and guide.
Pray for this outreach in New Orleans this weekend. I received this note from one pastor:
In a few days, Lord willing, I’ll be in New Orleans with around 115 other brethren from around the country, for Super Bowl Outreach.
We’ll be (D.V.) giving away well over 100,000 gospel tracts (very possibly twice that), and holding many one-on-one conversations. And yes, there will be much public proclamation of the gospel of grace – street preaching – like what the prophets did, like what Jesus did, like what the Apostles did, and like what men throughout church history have done. It will be my first experience doing that, and I’m looking forward to it very much… and thus my request for prayer! (A helpful article on street preaching can be found here).
“Father, forgive us for the many times we have been ashamed of your Gospel.
Strengthen our faith, may we live like we believe; grant us the boldness to freely share the message that we have so freely received.”
That’s how Cornell ends his blog post in which he deals he was ashamed of the gospel recently. When and where he was ashamed of the gospel might be different from when you and I, but I think we can all relate to his struggle. I think most of us have had similar experiences. So the prayer above is certainly appropriate to pray.
Mike Riccardi suggests some ways that are helpful to people like us who may struggle with how to start or steer a conversation to the gospel. He writes about how we might think in terms of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation and look for opportunities in everyday conversation to connect events in people’s lives to these biblical themes. Check out “Starting Gospel Conversations” today and look for such opportunities. It might be easier to do this than you think.
You have probably heard these analogies at one time or another. See how a few astute men answer these questions:
The following story illustrates how we can convincingly offer proof of something (like the Deity of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, or the authority of Scripture) and still it ultimately takes the ministry of the Holy Spirit to persuade men of it:
John Warwick Montgomery, an evangelical apologist, tells the story of a man named Charlie, whose wife tried to rouse him from bed to go to work. Charlie would not get out of bed and said, “I can’t go to work today because I am dead.”
His wife said, “Charlie, that’s the most ridiculous excuse you’ve ever given to avoid work. You’re perfectly well. Now, get out of that bed and go to work.”
He continued to protest, saying, “I can’t. I’m dead.”
No matter how Charlie’s wife reasoned, she was unable to convince her husband that he was alive and well. So she called the doctor, and the doctor came and checked all his vital signs and said, “Charlie, you’re alive and well. Now you need to get out of bed and go to work.”
Charlie said, “I’m sorry, Doctor. Your instruments are wrong. I’m dead, and I know it.”
The doctor thought about how to convince Charlie that he was alive, and finally he said, “Charlie, when a person dies, the heart stops beating, and when the heart stops beating, it no longer pushes blood through the blood vessels. Dead people don’t bleed.” The doctor took Charlie to the coroner’s office, where he poked a needle into the cadavers to prove to Charlie that dead people do not bleed. Afterward the doctor said, “Now, Charlie, do you believe me that dead people don’t bleed?”
Charlie said, “Yes, you’ve proven it to me.” The doctor said, “Come here, Charlie. Give me your finger,” and the doctor pricked Charlie’s thumb with a pin, and Charlie’s thumb began to bleed. “So, what do you think now, Charlie?”
Charlie looked at his bleeding thumb and said, “Well, I’ll be! Dead men bleed after all.”
That is what John Calvin meant about the difference between proof and persuasion. Proof may be compelling, but because of hardness of heart people will not submit to it.
[Sproul, R. C. (2011-03-02). 1&2 Peter: St Andrew's Expositional Commentary (p. 119). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition]
Hudson Taylor lived in the 1800′s, and was one of the first missionaries to inland China.
Before he left for China, he worked as a medical assistant.
One of his first assignments was a man with severe gangrene in his foot.
This man was an atheist with a violent temper. When someone offered to read Scripture to him, this man loudly ordered him to leave. And when a pastor had visited, this man spit in his face.
Hudson’s job was to change this man’s bandages every day. He also started praying earnestly for his salvation.
The first few days he shared nothing of the Gospel, but focused on carefully changing the man’s bandages. This greatly eased his pain, and the man was deeply touched.
But Hudson Taylor was concerned for this man’s eternal destiny.
Keep reading “How God Saved a Hardened Atheist”
Gentle Reformation writes,
The gospels record about 175 questions asked by Jesus. Inquiries pervade his ministry. If so much of his ministry was taken up asking questions, shouldn’t we learn to do the same?
What kinds of questions did Jesus ask, and how can we learn from them? What follows are seven kinds of questions asked by Jesus. They begin with the easiest kinds of questions and move to more difficult questions. Admittedly, the categories are somewhat arbitrary, but they are still helpful. As you read, ask yourself the questions: “Do I ask these kinds of questions regularly?” or “How can I become more effective with questions?” or “Who could I ask today?” We will only grow in Christlikeness through conscious, intentional effort – so, why not begin today?
Keep reading for the list of seven types of questions Jesus asked.