Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Ok, so I listened to this 10 minute, amazing, segment of a sermon by Mark Driscoll the other day. He is the preaching and speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He spoke of how religion leaves you with the feelings of pride or despair, depending on how you are doing within the guidelines of that religion. I got to thinking and came up with that's how I feel sometimes when I do or don't share my faith. I can easily get puffed up or deflated. Not all the time, but enough for that sermon to strike a chord in me. It's easy when so few within the church are being obedient to the Great Commission to feel abundantly prideful when you are witnessing on a regular basis. Of course there's the flipside to this right? The side where you feel useless, disobedient, and unworthy when you don't share your faith. That's because you know that when you don't witness, you are not following God's commands and the bible says, "If you love Me you will obey My commands." Tough spot to be in, I know. So I want to just talk with our fellow evangelists out there and encourage you guys not to get puffed up and prideful. All you are doing is being obedient to the Lord. Being obedient is a no brainer and not something that should inflate your ego in the slightest or you are doing it for the wrong reasons. On the other hand, if you let someone slip by you without sharing don't let it ruin your day. That's a joy stealer and Jesus wants us to have joy in our hearts because of Him. Pastor Mark mentioned in that sermon that there's no joy in religion. It's true. Don't let evangelism become it's own monster of religion. Redemption and a relationship with Christ offers you true joy. Joy to be obedient. Joy to share your faith. You don't share because of the chains of a requirement or religious duty. You do it in joyful, loving obedience. You don't share to put a notch in your evangelistic belt. You do it because you have the cure for death and you want every lost person to know what that cure is.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Some of you may know or have heard about Project Ezra, others not... Project Ezra is a weekly reading dedicated to the public reading of the Bible. While I continue to search for that fishing hole where I will read publicly, I will get on my keyboard box and my controller & headset box and read through my keys and through my microphone the weekly readings that Tony and others so faithfully post. The new readings will be posted on the weekend and read throughout the week publicly.
This past weeks reading is Psalm 50, please follow along. I encourage you to be bold and read or share with someone and help proclaim His Word everywhere you go.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Every day since his fathers death, Daniel regretted ignoring the daily phone calls from his dad. He was in his parents old house, digging through the items not scorched by the fire. He reached down in the ashes and pulled out a journal his father had kept. A few hours later Daniel stood shaking and weeping in the local church waiting to talk to somebody, anybody. The pastor finally came out. Daniel looked at the pastor, held up the journal and said, "I want faith like this. I want to see my father again someday." The pastor explained the same things to Daniel that were explained to his father by David. Daniel cried out to God for forgiveness. He repented and put his faith and trust in Jesus that day. When he went home to his wife she was ecstatic. She had come to Christ through talking with Daniel's dad but could not get her husband to budge. Finally he had seen the light and was born again. That was not the only good news that day. They were to have a son. They would name him Job.
It turns out the journal that had belonged to Daniel's father was a very interesting find. Maybe this story has been an interesting find for you. Perhaps it has encouraged you to persevere through a trial. We can't throw Jesus to the side during tough times, the Bible promises we will have them. We stick with Jesus because by His blood our names are written in the Book of Life. Maybe you will share the Gospel more freely than you would have before because you now realize the urgency of the message. It's super important to share our faith because people die at a rate of 150,000 every day. Some of these people are our friends and family who need to know the truth. Some are strangers who need Jesus and don't know why. They think Jesus is for people who need happiness not righteousness. Will you tell them about the Jesus in the Bible and not the worldly Jesus? You could be their interesting find. If you are unsaved and came across this, I hope you see the need for repentance and trust in Jesus because the story explained what sin actually is, transgression of God's Law. I thank you guys for sticking with the story. Job was completely surrendered to God. As you can see, many amazing things can happen through one surrendered life. Will you be that surrendered life today?
Just left Emelia's funeral. Many people were there. Daniel didn't show up. Claimed he was mad at God. Last I had checked he did not believe in God. O well, at least he acknowledges His existence. I told her it was too late to go to the market. I wish she would have just stayed home that night. My friends all think I'm crazy that I still keep my faith in God and that I go to church. I told them when I repented and trusted in Jesus, I didn't do it for things to go right in my life. I did it because I saw my sins as exceedingly sinful and my conscience spurred my need for forgiveness. I told them that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and I wont trade that relationship because of some hard times. Like Job said,
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised."
My friends don't get it but I will keep praying for them. We don't have much time here and I always want to be ready to go when I die or when Jesus comes back. I am thankful for all the time that I have. I hope to use it wisely by sharing my faith and being obedient to the Lord. It is difficult to consider this trial pure joy but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can't wait to see my wife again in Heaven one day. I need to call my son.
Haven't had much time to write. Been out street witnessing and going to church with my wife Emelia now for several months. She is super excited about my salvation. It's opened doors to talk about Jesus with my son, Daniel who is now 20 years old. I've gotten to talk with his wife some too. She is seeming to understand. I hope he "gets it" one of these days. He's seen too many people claim to be Christians but have no fruit of salvation. At least I planted the seed with him like David did for me. Hopefully someone will water that seed like the sheriff in the airport did with me. I know God will make it grow. I've been growing in my walk with the Lord lately. I've read the whole Bible and I've read the book of Job several times since I've been saved. Job's story sure does seem to match up with the journal we found overseas. The University won't see it. The last thing they want is to admit that they found something that proves the Bible. Poor Eli. I think about him all the time. If only he knew what I know now. I need to make sure I keep telling people the truth about Jesus. He's not some life enhancing genie in the sky like I thought for all those years. He was God in flesh and He took the punishment for the sins of the world upon Himself as the perfect sacrifice. There could have been no other way. I know that it all worked out for Job in his book but the important part was the in between. That was the part where he praised and followed God even through the hard times. I know bad things can happen to me and my family. Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble. I do take heart that He has overcome the world. I hope I can always rely on Jesus and be like Job in those times when they come.
Well there was nothing more to find out there. Headed home to the see family. Talked with a very nice ex-sheriff at the airport today when I landed in D.C. He had just got in from L.A. and was on his way to Baltimore. We talked for a bit. He reaffirmed what my friend Dave had told me. He told me that my sins separated me from God and that Jesus took my sins upon Himself on the cross. I at least knew what sins I had committed after talking with David so this guy made a lot of sense. It was different hearing this from someone besides a friend or family member. He said to start reading my bible. He says that with my being an Archaeologist, I will be amazed at how discoveries prove, not disprove the Bible. I can't believe that all this time I've been in a profession that consistently proves the Book I never believed in. He said it's the same with Scientists. Crazy. What's more crazy is that I was crying in the airport. My wife will never believe it. She will also never believe that I repented and put my faith and trust in Christ after talking with this stranger in passing. I don't even know how to tell her after all I've put her through as believing wife married to me, an unbelieving husband. I can't wait to talk to her! I should have called her about the journal we found anyway. At the time I didn't want to talk Bible with her. Now it's all I can think to talk with her about. She's been faithfully praying for me and trying to tell me all of these things for over 20 years.
Very bad news today. I don't even know where to begin so I'll just say it. Eli was killed in a terrorist attack at our hotel. He was only in his late 20's. If what my friend David said is correct, Eli is not going to Heaven. I know he had never repented and put his trust in Jesus because we have been talking about things of that nature. Eli believed there was a God but belief is not enough. David made sense when he told me that belief in a parachute won't save you if you jumped from a plane. Only putting it on and using it will save you. All of this has really made me consider how short that life really is. It's like David said, "We need to make the most of the few and meaningless days that we pass through like a shadow while we are here." As angry as he made me a few days ago, I can't get this need for repentance and forgiveness out of my head. My conscience is really driving me crazy since we found out about Eli. We truly can't live like we want and then hope we have time to decide to live for God at the end. We never know when we are going to die.
Waiting for Eli to show up from the hotel. Its a bit of a drive but I thought he would have been here by now. He's always late. Spoke with David today. David is a Christian and normally he is just like my mom with the "Jesus loves you" stuff. But today he kind of made me angry. He asked if I felt I was a good person and if I was familiar with the 10 Commandments. I told him I was a good person. I mean, I've never killed anyone. He told me that according to the Bible hate is like murder and that God will judge our thought life too. He also said that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire and that that thieves and adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I adamantly told him that I never cheated on my wife. He told me that Jesus considers a lustful look to be the same as adultery in the eyes of God. All this fear mongering and talk of Hell is not what I wanted to hear. Still, I am guilty of all those things. If what he says is true I could be in big trouble if I were to die today. At least the conversation ended good. Dave mentioned that it sounded like I had found Job's journal but he kind of laughed off the thought. I will have to look up Job in my Bible when I get home if I can find it. He also informed me that the word dinosaur wasn't invented until the 1800's. No wonder that exact word is not in Daves "Good Book" there. He prayed for me and told me he loved me and missed me. Speaking of missing someone, I had better call Eli.
Eli is feeling better today. He's very leery of the hummus though. He's still not able to return to work. We did, however, manage to get a bit more of the journal translated from a helpful local who wandered by the site. From what he gathered the man in the journal was cursing the day he was born. There were also many pages of the man listening to his friends' advice. It was hard to tell because these pages were majorly damaged. The most interesting thing the local noted was the mention of a Leviathan. Wonder what that could be? A hippo? Elephant? Dinosaur?? If this is indeed something biblical that wouldn't fit, would it? I thought the Bible didn't mention dinosaurs. They would have been around millions of years prior to this guy for sure right? Still waiting for David to call me back. I can't wait to get to the bottom of some of these things.
Haven't found much else at the site besides this journal. Work is slow on the translation since Eli got a hold of some bad falafel. He went back to the Shaharut Inn to get some rest. That gave me some time to call my mom. I asked her if she knew who this journal might belong to, if the story sounded familiar to her. She said it did but that dad always read the Bible more than she did. He had went home to be with the Lord, as she put it, 5 years ago. With her it's always either, "Jesus loves you" or "you're a sinner headed for Hell." Neither of those have ever really made sense to me. I will have to call my friend David tomorrow. I tried getting in touch with him. Apparently he was off to some crazy evangelism academy in Hollywood. That's weird. He's never shared his faith with people, not even me. Now his wife says he's spent the last 3 days on a box with a microphone. O well. Off to check on Eli.
Monday, July 26, 2010
There seemed to be days where this guy didn't write anything or perhaps there were pages missing(about a weeks worth) based on what we found on this next entry. "So three of my friends came by to see how I was doing. They did the best thing that could be done for me. They were there. It was very comforting even though no one said anything for days. The torn robes and dust on their heads show me that they care even without words. I hope they don't say anything stupid to mess this up." This is sounding very familiar. It's almost like a story that I remember from when I was a kid and mom forced me to go to Sunday school. I should call my buddy back in the states who still goes to church and see what he says.
The lack of running water today seemed like a small issue after we learned some more of what it said in the journal we found. This guy who seemed to have everything really had a bad day according to Eli's translation here. Check this out, "These sores are all over my skin. Using this pottery to scrape them isn't helping. These are nothing compared to what happened yesterday. The wife and I lost everything. The kids, the servants, the animals, all of it! My wife says I should curse God and die. I told her that we have to accept trouble from Him as well as good. I will not sin by charging God with any wrongdoing." Wow, this guys faith is amazing. I had always heard that God had a wonderful plan for my life. If I had accepted this "wonderful plan" and something like this happened to me I doubt I would have been so faithful to God. If this message of a wonderful plan isn't the actual message, I wonder what is? What does this guy know that enables him to stay so faithful?
Well, as expected the translator was late. That being the case, he was only able to interpret the first page of the journal we found yesterday before we had to wrap things up for the day. The Hebrew text was barely visible on the ash covered parchment. Eli was able to make out what was on it anyway thanks to the tools that had accompanied him in a small pouch around his waist. The old parchment read, "Life is good. God is so great. I just got back from checking on my livestock. The thousands of sheep made for an interesting shadow as the sun appeared. Now it's time to go make my burnt offerings for the sins my children may have committed. They seem to take turns having these feasts in their homes. Hopefully by doing so they have not cursed God in their hearts! My God has blessed us with so much. Praise Him." I don't know who this guy was but it sounds like he had good reason to praise his God. Wonder what he would write if things were bad. Hope to find out some more tomorrow.
I am a leading archaeologist working in the southern part of Israel, just North of the Gulf of Aqaba. We just came across an interesting discovery. A pile of ash with bloody, skin flake covered pieces of broken pottery. Among the ash he also found some parchment. It appeared to be a journal of some sort. It is quite possibly one of the oldest writings we've ever come across. Day 1 of the journal was relatively clean considering where we found it. We don't understand what it says but the old Hebrew writing appeared to be written by someone who was very content. These writings got increasingly harder to make out due to the ash stains. On some of the pages it looked as if someone were crying as they wrote. We will have to wait for our translator, Eli, to fly in from L.A. tomorrow to find out more.
Friday, July 23, 2010
1 Corinthians 2:3 (New International Version)
3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
Yesterday we went to Victoria Gardens, an outdoor mall near our house. I was pretty bummed out because I had forgotten my Trillion Dollar Bill Tracts. They make it so much easier to get into a conversation with someone about Jesus. Great icebreakers. I let it go and just continued to enjoy the day. We were at the last store of the day and my wife needed to just run in "real quick." So I sat outside with the kids and listened to the CD that my buddy Doug had just sent me. As we waited, two guys approached the car and asked, "hey G, do you listen to hip-hop?" They were trying to sell their CD. You should have seen the look on their faces when I told them I was listening to a Messianic Worship CD lol. I quickly switched gears and asked them if they had heard of Lacrae, a Christian rapper. They hadn't so I asked the taller of the two if he had a Christian background. He did. His uncle was a pastor and had talked to him many times about Jesus. This young man had even made the choice to be baptized four years ago but wasn't living for the Lord because apparently his life came under attack after "trying" Jesus. I did a little variation of the good person test but mostly explained that Jesus said in the Bible that in this world we would have trouble but to take heart because He had overcome the world. I explained that the key thing to remember was that the Bible doesn't guarantee us plans of a wonderful life. It does say that if he were to repent and put his faith in Jesus, his name would be written in the Lamb's book of life and he will go to Heaven when he dies. He seemed to "get it" and it was great talking with him. His poor friend stayed away from me like I had lobsters crawling on my face. It ended with me praying for him then he shook my hand and said thanks. Praise God that He made that divine appointment for me and I'm just glad I was prepared even though I had felt unprepared all day because of the forgotten tracts. Please pray for this young man to come to repentance and faith in Jesus.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
if–conjunction 1.in case that; granting or supposing that; on condition that.If is such a small word but it can really pack a punch when something important hinges on it. My family and I are participating in the Bible Bee this year. Part of that is a study of Colossians. Lets look at a bible verse that my family and I have been looking at all week. It's Colossians 1:22. It reads...But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— That sounds great right. We are reconciled and will be without blemish thanks to Jesus death on the cross for our sins. Who wouldn't be excited about that? Well keep reading because it's not that simple. Our little two letter conjunction comes in and smacks us with some responsibility in verse 23. if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel(emphasis added). Powerful little word huh? It stands to reason that if you don't continue in your faith, established and firm that we won't be presented holy in his sight, without blemish. Let's make our calling and election sure by continuing in our faith, established and firm guys. We need to always have oil in our lamps like the five smart virgins in Matthew 25 and be ready for Jesus to come back at any minute. He will come like a thief in the night and I don't to miss Him, do you? Don't miss out because of if. Be ready. Be in the Word. Be in prayer. Be in Fellowship. Don't be moved from the hope held out in the gospel. If you are not sure about your relationship with the Lord today, please listen to True and False Conversions on this site or DiGoutreach.com We don't know when He will return and we don't know when we are going to die. All I know is that it won't be as long now as it has been. If you haven't repented and put your faith in Jesus, today is the day.
Matthew 25:13 (New International Version)
13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
For those that don't know, experts tell us that it takes 21 days straight of doing something to make it a habit. Conversely, it takes 21 days of not doing something to break a habit. Most times I've heard this principle used for running or lifting weights or quitting things like smoking. This isn't a blog about exercise and tobacco so what does that have to do with us? The Gospel of John. The 21 chapters in this book could easily help you or someone you know form a habit of reading the Word of God on a daily basis. All you have to do is make a commitment to one chapter a day. That should lead to making it a habit and also to reading the other books in the Bible and increasing the number of chapters per day. Remember its hard to know God's will if we never look at his Word. This isn't just for new believers. If you have been walking with the Lord for a number of years and don't read like you should, this is a great chance to get back to your first love. We should treasure His Word like it says in the book of Job. Chapter 23 verse 12 in Job reads,"I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food,". A good thing to remember is "no read, no feed-no Bible, no breakfast." The 21 chapters in the Gospel of John will help you treasure God's word and help to form the great habit of reading your Bible daily. On the flipside, if there is some kind of sin in your life give it up for 21 days and see what happens. If for whatever reason you are having trouble letting go of a certain sin, a mere three weeks could help change your walk and your life completely. God wants us to repent, to completely forsake our sins. This could be used as a way to do that for you. Don't try this under your own power. Pray for God to be with you and help you. Remember you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Psalm 119:11 (New International Version)
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
So, I watched a pretty good movie last night about rugby called, "Forever Strong." It was based on a real coach and rugby team from Utah. This movie had themes familiar to the Christian faith such as redemption, second chances, forgiveness, & love. It turns out that the coach portrayed in the movie is Mormon. His salvation and doctrinal differences aside, what stood out was the sportsmanship, the caring, and the encouragement these guys had compared to the other teams. What if everyone, not just this one sports team, lived by biblical principles? What if they had at least heard the 10 Commandments and knew of God's expectations? Even better, what if those who heard God's Commandments adhered to them in at least some regards? Best yet, what if all who heard God's Law felt godly sorrow and repented and put their faith and trust in the Jesus Christ of the Bible and lived by His commands. What an amazing place this would be huh? Amos hits the nail on the head when he says in chapter 8 verses 11-12-
"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.
Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.
These words written in the book of Amos, that talk about Israel, seem to be speaking of the condition of evangelism today in America. Knowing that a staggeringly low 2% of Christians share their faith it's easy to see how this could apply to us in the here and now. It's scary to think that these words that applied to Israel way back when at some point were speaking to Europe and now they are pointing their prophetic little finger at America. If we don't all start getting the Gospel out soon, every one of us who claim the name of Christ, we are gonna be in a world of hurt. We can't rely on Billy Graham and Greg Laurie, or our pastor, or the missionaries anymore. We all need to act now. All of us as believers of the Son of God. The cults our out there telling people about other Jesus'. At least they have the part about sharing their faith down. What are we gonna do about it? Should we who have the actual Truth, who haven't added or taken from God's grace or His Word, be less obedient than the deceived? I encourage you today to share your faith with someone, anyone who will listen. Get in the habit of doing it. Use the Law, the 10 Commandments, to show people their need for Jesus. These Commandments don't help the sinner get to Heaven but they point them to Jesus who is the only way to Heaven. There may be someone going back and forth looking for the words of God, not finding them, like Amos says. You can give that to them. Share with someone today. It may not just lead to a better place to live. If we all get on board, it could lead to revival.
Romans 10:14 (New International Version)
14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Looking for people to follow Jesus. Payment is trials, tribulation, persecution, and sometimes martyrdom. However you will get to go to Heaven and escape the fires of Hell for Eternity in spite of every sin you've ever committed thanks to God's grace. We used to be able to keep this position filled because evangelists preached the full Gospel message of the Law, future Judgment, punishment, repentance, faith, love and grace. Applicants never lost sight of the fact that their sins were forgiven and they would go to Heaven upon death. These days those that make commitments to Christ fall away because of modern gospel promises of wonderful plans and gifts of the Spirit, not realizing that being a follower of Him is about righteousness and not their happiness. When the previously mentioned trials and tribulations happened they saw the wonderful plan message as a lie so they thought Jesus did not work for them. As quick as they were to accept this position, they quit just as fast. Serious applicants should evaluate themselves against God's Law, the 10 Commandments. If you see every lie, theft, and lustful look you've ever committed as exceedingly sinful and punishable by Hell like the Bible says and that concerns you, apply today by asking God for forgiveness, then repent and put your faith and trust in Jesus. Applicants should be willing to read their Bibles daily and obey what it says. This position is available freely to all who humble themselves and repent and trust in Jesus but don't wait because 10/10 people die and you don't know when it's your turn.
Luke 9:62 (New International Version)
62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
God's Law Disobeyed
I Was Headed Straight For Hell
Jesus Said, Fine's Paid
Thousands Are Dying
Warnings From us Come Flying
Those Perished Crying
Why Did Jesus Die?
Not so I Could Keep Sinning
Some Still do, But Why?
Bible Says Repent
Some Still Live inside Sin's Tent
Why Then Was He Sent?
Faith & Trust
I Can't See You God
Creation Proves Creator
How Can't Some See That?
Nail Holes in Your Hands
Your Word Tells us That you Care
It Takes us Back There
Jesus Loves us Why?
Calvary's Cross, Where He Died
Trust in Him, Gain Life
An Amazing Love
You Died For Your Love of Me
Saved by Death on Tree
Monday, July 12, 2010
Well then Pastor Karen went on to talk about how a friend of hers had inspired her after reading his blog. She then went on to read excerpts from my blog post - my cross. She kept me nameless and you could see how moved people were, some were moved to tears including myself. As I sat behind my sound board I felt so utterly blessed that I impacted someone through an act of obedience to go stand on a corner with a cross. I had no idea that a church service would be inspired and shared with those in attendance from my standing on a corner with my cross. To think I was afraid of man, man's response to me being faithful to my God. So many others have this fear of man, that's why people don't step out and share mostly. They are afraid of what people are going to think how they will act to them speaking about their Creator.
What happened next was Karen showing a short clip of Tony Miano on the corner with his cross. It was really amazing!
You see last Wednesday Karen worked with the youth to build crosses after reading this blog about my cross, and God gave her a plan to encourage Upper Room attendees to go public as a testimony of God, get out there and be bold for Christ!
and conquer their fear. What will happen when all of us are obedient?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The title is not a misprint. It's half of the word Gospel. It's the Gospel message that most people are given today which is exactly half. Gospel means 'good news' but there's a bad news side to it too that is consistently left out with the modern Gospel message. People want to share John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" but not tell them John 3:18 which says,"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. They want a Romans 6:23 that tells us, "but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" and then leave out the first part of the passage that says, "For the wages of sin is death," Christians do this in an effort to not be judgmental or condemning and ultimately think they are being loving. Jesus loves us of course but every mention of Jesus' love correlates directly with the cross of Calvary and His death on it. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Notice that it doesn't say, "while God was pleased with our current lifestyles and wanted to be our friends, Christ died for us." We can share the Gospel biblically without ourselves being condemning. I know that it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict the world of sin but it is our job to share the Gospel message in it's entirety. That message is that our sin is what separates us from God and the Jesus died for those sins. It is not that "Jesus has a wonderful plan for our lives" or "just accept Jesus and ask Him into your heart". Those phrases are nowhere to be found in the Bible. Repentance of sins is taught throughout. Luke 24:45-47 says, "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The message is and always has been that we broke God's Law and Jesus paid the fine. Our sins put Him on the cross but His love for us held Him to the cross, not the nails. Paul consistently preached the full Gospel throughout the New Testament without compromise and he even instructs us in Galatians regarding there being no other Gospel. Chapter 1 verses 6-8 read, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" I don't know a better way to share the Gospel than to prepare the sinner's heart for good news by sharing the bad news first. It's super effective and the people that I've witnessed to are always receptive and even happy that I've shared. The only people who this seems to upset is other Christians who don't share regularly or don't biblically share the Gospel with people. For more info on how to witness biblically, listen to the Hell's Best Kept Secret or True and False Conversion sermons. Both are available to listen right here on this blog on the right side of your screen. If you have questions regarding biblical evangelism, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org or simply visit wayofthemaster.com.
Mark 13:10 (New International Version)
10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Last week before vacation I had taken my Mazda 3 to get the rim replaced. I ended up having to bring my car home before it got fixed because we had to leave for vacation. I took it back today and it was immediately evident why. God had a plan for today. I had with me my trusty trillion dollar bill tracts. As I waited, I noticed two ladies waiting for their car with their kids. I was going to give them a tract and try to talk with them but they were very preoccupied with themselves and I did not want to interrupt. I prayed, "God, if you want me to witness, please open a door. Give me the words to speak so I can share the Gospel." After that, I walked inside. The man, Paul, was from India. I kept asking him questions about himself and found out that he was part of a religion known as Sikh. I didn't let that stop me. I asked if that religion was based on being a good person then proceeded to ask him if he thought he was good. I took him through several of the commandments and shared the Gospel with him. Here's where it gets crazy! As we were finishing talking, another worker came in and asked what we were talking about. His name was Mario. I got to share the Gospel with him too! Then Frank came in while I was finishing with Mario so he heard the Gospel as well. Now you might not believe this but then Fern and Marcos came in and I was able to share the Gospel with them too! At this point Paul had returned with another guy without a name tag and I was conducting a mini sermon to 6 guys right in the lobby of Just Tires! All of them listened intently and some were reading the back of the trillion dollar bills. It was truly a divine appointment that God had given me. No one made a commitment today but they received and understood the Gospel message. Thankfully they were all open to at least listening to what I had to say. This group of tire shop guys gave me no hard time at all. I thanked them for letting me share and they all looked happy that I cared enough to stand there shaking and share the Gospel with them. I was so glad that I was obedient to the Great Commission today. I know that not all witnessing experiences go like this but these are the kind that keep me going and I hope it encourages you to share today.
Luke 3:18 (New International Version)
18And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Well thanks to my dad, we spent the 4th of July holiday in Denver for my lil' sisters birthday. I had purchased 200 "Happy 4th of July" tracts from livingwaters.com to give out over the 4 days we were there. I also had some trillion dollar bills to give out on the Monday and Tuesday after the weekend. I was all set and on fire to share when we pulled up to the Denver Zoo. That was when my first discouragement occurred. I handed two guys each a tract and when I told them what they were one replied that he was on the nose of the plane headed to Hell and the other said he wouldn't talk about "religion." They tried to give back the holiday millions but I said to keep them strictly as a gift even if for just the art on the front and not the message on the back. Thankfully they did. I gave out quite a few tracts at the Zoo and finally got in a couple one to one conversations. God gave me two separate lemonade stand workers to talk with. First was a girl who had a christian background but wasn't walking with the Lord. I took her through the Law and she was visibly ready for God's grace so I shared the Gospel with her. Her face lit up and she thanked me so much for sharing. That was a boost to keep going. Later on I spoke with Eric, a Roman Catholic, in a conversation that also went very well. I even got him to say that "now" is the best time to repent all on his own. I pray that both of them do come to repentance and faith in Christ. I left the Zoo feeling good but apparently in a "pride comes before the fall" sort of way. The last guy I handed a tract to proceeded to get up and throw it away, slamming the lid for good measure. Needless to say, I didn't go back to talk about it lol.
The next day was a bit more mellow. We went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. This day had already had a rough start because of an email we at DiG received from an unhappy "christian" who said we shouldn't be evangelizing on Xbox. I had my tracts with me anyway. There is a ton of vagrancy in Denver and all I had were money tracts which aren't to be given to the homeless. Inside the museum it was also difficult to hand out tracts because people were really focused on reading the placards on the displays. I did manage to give out a few here and there though. Mostly I tried to fish for conversations by commenting on on the false religions and their worship of people and things in King Tut's times. People pretty much ignored my comments about changing times from B.C. (Before Christ) to B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and how the world will do anything to get rid of Christ so they don't have to think about their sin. The lack of tracts handed out let me to get pumped to do some open air when I got outside but there was no crowd. Literally everyone was inside when we left. I pray that the tracts I was able to hand out speak to the people who received them at the right time.
When we got back to the hotel I had let my discouragement get the best of me. I thought I was done handing out tracts for the rest of the vacation. Then, my encouragement came back to me from the strangest of events. We didn't know where my son's shoes were so we had my daughter searching for what was lost. It finally dawned on us that the shoes may still be in the car. My daughter overhearing that, didn't want to keep looking even though we insisted she do so. That reminded me that I didn't have to "find the sinner", I just had to keep seeking for what was lost because God said to.
My renewed obedience started the first thing the next morning when the potty mouth chef was cooking my omelet. When he spoke about going to church the day before, my "something doesn't add up" alarm went off in my head. I took him through the good person test and when I asked him if he'd ever looked at a woman with lust. He said no. Looking back I guess this could be considered stereotypical since he was African American but I said, "not even Beyonce?" However he or anyone else would take that, it worked so I went with it. He admitted that yes he had looked at Beyonce with lust. Not even noticing that my wife had come into the kitchen area, I continued with the Gospel presentation. Come to find out my wife was laughing at my using Beyonce to share the Gospel. Looking back, I kinda have to chuckle too.
After that we went to Dave & Busters to meet some of Kelli's family. I left tracts everywhere! In drink menus, on arcade games, in change machines & atm's, and on tables all around the bar area. It was great to still be doing something because I was so tired and didn't feel like I had the strength to carry on any one to one's. I did get to share what I've learned from the Way of the Master with Kelli's family. Hopefully they will take the time to listen to Hell's Best Kept Secret in the near future.
Sadly, I did not get to give out all of my holiday themed tracts but I do feel like I was obedient to the Great Commission. Every tract that went out has the possibility to be read over and over. At the right time, God's Holy Spirit can do the converting. All I had to do was be the messenger. I did, and that is the success right there.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
So I have been thinking how and what to make it out of and when I was going to do it. So two nights ago I had to go Home Depot and while I was there I figured I would look for some supplies to build a cross. Low and behold down the molding and trim aisle I found two boards that had been cut by someone else and were jut sitting there... Hmm I thought that's odd. One was 7 foot and the other 3 foot. Wood, check next was letters I got all that I needed and away I went.
So having the parts in hand I started get more nervous and afraid. I knew I shouldn't be afraid and that fear is of the enemy not something from God but let's face it I still have some fear. So I sent Tony a message and asked for some prayer and direction, next day I get a call from Tony and we had a wonderful conversation and he confirmed what I think I needed to hear from someone else. I have a fear of man- a fear of what they could, would say, think etc especially in my community. Not that I wanted to but it was there. That confirmed it I cannot have fear of man, I had to go out with my cross and overcome this fear.
So today I assembled and got my Cross ready, for some reason while I was building I had a particular interaction in mind about 15 minutes away. So now the Cross is ready
and I decide I need to go now not later.
So I headed to 82 and Lorain where I pictured while building, on my way there I knew Virgil was praying and remembered hearing Tony telling me to text him before I go and he would pray for me, so I did.
What came next was sitting in my car waiting to get out and go. I prayed again and then decided I couldn't wait any longer. I got out and grabbed my Cross and headed for the corner.
So there I was I had my bag with my Bible and tracts in case I had a chance to share. I stood there and listened to the birds singing, the wind and the sound of the cars and motorcycles, lots of motorcycles tonight. I stood what seemed like a long time at first but was only a few minutes while standing thinking and wondering how long was I going to stand there a convertible full of adults drove by giving me thumbs up and saying praise God! Wow I got energized right there and wanted to stay longer. I then had a couple more cars go by and few more thumbs up and a few people pointing at me. I prayed for them, I prayed their hearts would be softened and that God would work in their lives and that conversations about being ready might be taking place. I kept thinking one more traffic light and then there was a bunch of cars so I would do another and another. Next thing I knew about 25 minutes had gone by and I was feeling great and obedient for getting out there.
When I got home I was greeted by my wife, Leah who quickly asked how it went and told me that her and the boys were praying for me. I was so grateful she is supporting me in this area of my ministry. I shared my experience and then went in to tell my boys! They were jazzed!
I know my fear was conquered tonight, but I also know that like handing out a tract in the beginning it is very scary and nerve racking, but you do it anyway because it's not about you but about those who don't know where they are going or those who think they are safe and don't realize they are heading for Hell. Remember Hell is full of people who know who God is. We need to get out there and educate them as many different ways possible and warn them of their immanent doom if they do not change their ways. I plan on using this Cross and finding places to stand and will continue to ask for prayers and direction of where to stand.
Thank you Tony for helping me realize my fear and encouraging me to get over it, it felt really good to serve the Lord and overcome fear!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Babe Ruth is one of the most famous baseball players in history. I came across a quote of his this morning that I wanted to share with you guys. This baseball legend was quoted as saying, "Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games." Maybe you used to be in the Word every day. Maybe you spent quality time in prayer when you came to know Jesus. Perhaps you shared your faith on a regular basis. What happened? Is Jesus any less worthy of your fellowship, obedience and worship? Did Jesus change? Nope, the bible says in Hebrews 13 that 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.' The more likely verdict is that you changed in how you regard to Him. You don't value time reading the Living Word of God, the Bible. You don't see the point of praying anymore. You most likely don't share your faith because, being out of fellowship, you don't feel equipped or worthy to like you may have before. What's even worse is that maybe you are a stony ground hearer as found in Matthew 13. Verses 20-21 explain, 'The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.' Sticking with a baseball theme, below is a scoreboard and how this would look in Babe Ruth's world.
Good Soil _____ 1__1___1__1___1__1___1___1__1______9
Stoney Grounds_ 8__0__0__0___0__ 0___0___0__0_____8
As you can see, the stony ground hearer described in Matthew jumps out to a great early lead but falls away and in the end and loses the game. The person who's seed fell on good soil played a solid, consistent game and come out victorious. I want you guys to think about which one you are. Did you come to Jesus because He saved you from an eternity in Hell in spite of your sins? Or did you come to Jesus for wonderful plans and promises of a better game(life) and when that didn't happen you stopped going up to bat? Have you forsaken your first love like Jesus said to the church in Revelation chapter 2? Was He ever your first love to begin with? If that's the case and you are not truly grateful to Jesus and you don't love Jesus today like the first day you believed, today I want you to think about why Jesus died. We broke God's Law and He paid our fine. Repent and Trust in Him alone for salvation today. Don't rest on a great first inning or even John 3:16 and then call it quits. Get in the game. Get back in the Word. Pray. Witness. Return to your first love so you never have to hear, "Depart from Me, I never knew you." That would be the ultimate strike out.
Revelation 2:4 (New International Version)
4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.