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Posts Tagged ‘reaching out’

LOVE REACHES OUT #3AM Love Reaches Out 3 Screen

What do I say?

Right through this year we have been sharing about God’s love. It’s the biggest subject of all! We have been made aware of His loving kindness, His intense desire to forgive, restore, heal and bless those in covenant with Him. That’s you, if you have bowed you heart and your knee to Jesus Christ. But this great love isn’t just for those who currently know Him. The harvest is ripe Jesus said, and we must go out into the highways and byways and tell them of His love.1 Listen, what if no one bothered to tell you? Then where would you end up? Yes, just like anyone who has not turned to Jesus with all their heart; you would be lost for all eternity in hell.

Week one we shared about the reality of heaven and hell. The stark cold hard facts about the horror of hell must surely motivate us to do all we can to save others from the fire.2 As the famous preacher Charles Spurgeon said “If you care not that others are not saved, then you are not saved, be sure of that.” 3

Week two Rhys shared about the great obsession – a love for Christ so large we can’t help share it. His passion for the lost was very evident. Today I want to answer the question – What do I say? What is it that we are to share with others about Jesus? How must one convey the gospel? – I’m glad you asked….

The first thing is that we must have a heart for the lost. I have been praying much for us that God will pour out His fire upon us and He did to the early church.4 Having a heart for the lost is the most sensible thought you will ever have. After all if you have been saved from a burning building, wouldn’t you want to save others if you are able?

Secondly we must be led by the Spirit. Listen to Jesus’ advice the day He departed from the disciples and leave them with the task of filling the whole earth with this message: Acts 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.(NLT)     So often in our insecurity we worry about what to say. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don’t know the answers to tough questions? This insecurity is out of place. If you were about to rescue someone from a burning building, would you worry about what to say? There are no end of methods employed by people. So many tracts, formulas and so called fool proof methods about how to witness; but Jesus said when you receive the Holy Spirit, then you will be my witnesses. So church, be led by the spirit. What does that mean? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you; then when you are with people, say what comes to your heart. The more you do this the more you will learn what His voice sounds like.

Here is some great wisdom.

  1. Share your God story. We used to call it your testimony, but that word seems old fashioned now. This is your story about what Jesus means to you. It’s the story of how you know Jesus is real and/or what He has done for you. Never be ashamed of your story. It is your eyewitness account and it’s irrefutable! Some people may say they don’t believe the bible but very few people will ever say to you that they don’t believe your story.
  2. Ask questions. Ask people, “What do you think about Jesus?” or “Why don’t people go to church?” Then Listen. Really Listen. You value people when you listen to them. Then they will give you permission to speak to them and they will listen. Listen for the personal stories. When people share their pain, you know you’re on the right track. They are opening up. You care about them and you have the answer! Jesus is always the answer.
  3. What is the Gospel message? In one word – Jesus. In one sentence: Jesus died for you. In one brief explanation it is this: God is Holy. That means He is perfect in every way, without any sin or wrong doing. Also He is just and that means He must make a judgement to punish any and all wrong doing. Imagine if an earthly judge were to let someone off from murder because they had done good things as well. It’s unthinkable, and so we see that God being good and just must punish us also for the wrongs we have committed. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and come short of the glory (standard) of God. And further more Romans 6:23 says the wages (or the penalty) of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life. But God so loved mankind that He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, to die in our place, instead of us so that our penalty would be carried by another.  At his point it’s helpful to share a metaphor – a story in modern context to illustrate how this works. – For example. Say you went through a red light and you received a ticket in the mail and your fine was $300. But you don’t have the money, and so you might be forced to go to gaol. Then I come over to your house and I notice the ticket and I take a note of the number. Later I call the Police or Fines Victoria and pay the fine for you without you knowing. Later again, you call the Police and ask is there any way to pay off the fine and you are told, “No, it’s paid! Someone called Craig came and paid the fine for you. You’re free to go. Now you’re happy! You were guilty and you didn’t pay. Craig was innocent of that crime and he did pay. It’s like that with Jesus.    Repentance is an old fashioned word that means a change of mind. A person must have a change of mind first before they can believe in Jesus. They must change from saying, “I don’t need God.” to “I am a sinner and I need God’s forgiveness.” There must be a realisation that I can’t make it on my own. Without Jesus I am done for. This realisation is a free gift of God as a revelation and is granted to people in order that they can believe. We must pray for people we are sharing with, that God will touch them with His grace and give them this gift. The message of the gospel must include the advice that only by faith can this free gift of salvation be received. A person must believe that Jesus died for them and that He rose again.5 When a person has changed their mind, then encourage them to believe that Jesus died for them, and lead them in a prayer surrendering to Jesus. The words are not as crucial as the intent of their heart to leave the old life and come to Jesus and begin a new life.
  4. In general sharing with others may graduate through these various kinds of communication:
    1. Use teasers. For example, drop into a conversation statements like, “My pastor is a tremendous communicator.” Or “Have you ever wondered how some people can be so evil like these ones that shot down the Malaysian plane?” or “No I can’t go to that event on Sunday, I’m going to the most exciting place in town.”
    2. Give the gift of prayer. “Can I pray for you?” Whenever a person shares a problem or trouble or pain, then ask this very innocuous question.
    3. Use tracts. There’s one we have given out to day and it’s also available on the website and the face book page.
    4. Use an invitation card. Be inventive and use those in lots of different ways.
    5. Tell your God story. Tell it often, tell it in short and long forms.
    6. Share the gospel message as outlined above.

Next month we will be sharing about prayer. It is so very important to pray for your lost friends and loved ones. It is God’s work of the Holy Spirit to draw people to the Father. Yet here must be a preacher to communicate His message. This month is all about communicating this message and next month will be about praying for them.

How are these messages affecting you? You are either moved or unmoved. I am praying for you and for myself that God moves us to reach this community around us because the majority of them are truly lost. Will you join me?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Does the plight of lost people get to you?

2. Have you ever felt like you were not getting through to someone? What can you do about that?

3. How much are you relying on the Holy Spirit to assist you?

4. Still it does take a long time for some; right?

5. How much is God’s work and how much is our work?

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