Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beloved...!

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, since you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12,13)

We live in a world today that news can be given to us at a moment's notice. The vast majority of households throughout the world have internet access and TV. With that said, it is easy to be enveloped with not only the good news of our day, but the bad as well. 

With bad events continuing to unfold around the world in forms of natural disasters, wars, and rumors of wars, it is totally understandable why people become anxious about their respective futures, especially those who live in the countries by such events. Last Sunday, I came across an e-book titled "The Anxious Christian - Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good?". This book serves an amazing encouragement to me as I ready how God allows anxiety to play a role in our personal development.

I want to share a small portion of this book with you and then follow up with discussion questions, exercises, and a prayer from the book  as well to finish this post. Here we go. 

"It is more than likely that if you have ever taken the risk to share your anxiety within the Christian community, you have heard some counsel in the form of the apostle Paul's exhortation in Philippians 4:6. Paul says to the "holy people" at Phillipi, "Do not be anxious about anything." It's a very powerful verse, a favorite of mine, and one that Christians have turned to time and time again when they experience anxiousness. Perhaps you have used it when trying to encourage others during their times of anxiety. 

To be honest, I have been guilty of providing "Christian counsel" to people encouraging them to "not be anxious for anything". Little did I know that God can actually use our anxieties to embrace the challenges that we are confronted with and refuse to give up regardless of the circumstances, especially the bad ones. My dear friends, this one last piece from the book should encourage you to embrace anxiety as an agent that God will use to help you move forward in light of His grace and power over your life. Here we go.

"Without our anxiety, we do not become who God wants us to be. Begin to embrace it on your journey with God."

Sounds simple enough. Right? Wrong! Knowing very well that there are two faces to anxiety, the vast majority of us will fail to embrace anxiety and fall victim to wearing masks and living out pretentious lives for the sake of being politically correct and maintaining a "positive self-image" when our anxieties are eating at the core of our being. Don't get me wrong friends! I'm all for remaining optimistic and having a hopeful outlook on what God has to offer for my life. We simply have to keep in mind that we should never pretend to be someone that we are not at the expense of anxiety. To close, here's our discussion questions, exercises, and prayer from the e-book mentioned above.

Discussion Questions

1) How have you most experienced anxiety in your life (i.e., fear, stress, worry, etc.)?

2) When you feel anxious, do you ever find yourself experiencing shame or hiding from others?

3) What are some of the messages that have been communicated to you by the Christian community about anxiety?

Exercises:

1) Write down any anxieties that you are currently experiencing.

2) If you feel safe in your group or with someone, share some of these anxieties with another person.

Prayer:

God, please take the anxiety I feel and use it for Your good. Help me to not hide in shame, but instead to be covered by Your grace. 

Thank you for reading this far my friends! May God bless you and keep you at ALL times! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-).  

  

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Epilogue (The Master and Your Plan)!

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. (Rev. 1:8)

Life Has a Plan

What is the plan of your life? Everyone has to live by some plan. The plan is the organizing principle around which the aim of life is carried out. We may not be conscious of the plan in every action, or even know that we have a plan, but nonetheless our actions invariably unfold some kind of a pattern at the center of things.

When we actually get right down to it, and try to see our objective and how we are going about it to achieve it, what we discover may not be very satisfying. But an honest appraisal should cause us all to be more concerned for our calling, at least for those who believe Jesus' way is the rule by which every action should be tested.

It might well be that some cherished plans of our own making may have to be redirected, or perhaps abandoned altogether. Equally agonizing may be the adjustment of the congregation to the Master's view of the ministry. In all probability our whole concept of success will have to be reevaluated. Nevertheless, if the principles outlined here have any validity at all, they should be understood as guidelines for action. It is only as they are applied to the everyday work of living now that they have any real significance for our lives. To regard them as true means that they must be relevant.

Is This Your Vision?

The world is desperately seeking someone to follow. That they will follow someone is certain, but will that person be one who knows the way of Christ, or will he or she be one like themselves leading them only on to greater darkness?

This is the decisive question of our plan of life. The relevance of all that we do waits on its verdict, and in turn, the destiny of the multitudes hangs in the balance.

The world is desperately seeking someone to follow.

My dear friends. If the world at-large does not follow Jesus through our evangelistic efforts, they are going to end up following someone else that will very likely send them down a road they don't want to really travel on. What would our lives be like if Jesus didn't round up the twelve disciples, disciple them, and send them into the four corners of the world?  What if the disciples decided to follow their own way of life and chose not to evangelize to the lost and dying of their time? I can assure every single person that reads the posts of Christian Living that our lack of efforts to evangelize the lost and dying of our times today will result in my souls going to hell. Jesus has given us a mandate over 2000 years ago. That mandate is to go into the four corners of the world to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Given the resources that God has readily given to us, we have no excuses. We can travel the world by plane in a matter of hours. With access to internet, all we need to do is send a message at the click of a button. ALL OF US have a responsibility before God to continue to carry out the message that His Son has done and millions of souls have done since then. No more excuses friends. Let's keep on working where God has us and win as many souls for Christ as possible!

Thank you so much for following this series friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you all in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

P.S.: I have another series coming soon titled The Master Plan of Discipleship. Stay tuned my faithful friends and keep following Christian Living as I will be forever grateful to every single one of my readers. I'm so blessed to reach all of you in the name of Jesus Christ...:-).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Reproduction!

You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16) 

He Expected Them to Reproduce

Jesus intended for the disciples to produce His likeness in and through the church being gathered out of the world. Thus His ministry in the Spirit would be duplicated many-fold by His ministry in the lives of His disciples. Through them and others like them it would continue to expand in an ever-enlarging circumference until the multitudes might know in a similar way the opportunity which they had known with the Master. By this strategy the conquest of the world was only a matter of time and their faithfulness to His plan.

Jesus had built into His disciples the structure of a church that would challenge and triumph over all the powers of death and hell. It had started small like a grain of mustard seed, but it would grow in size and strength until it became a tree "greater than all the herbs" (Matt. 13:32; cf., Mark 4:32; Luke 13:18,19). Jesus did not expect that everyone would be saved (He recognized realistically the rebellion of men in spite of grace), but He did foresee the day when the gospel of salvation in His name would be proclaimed convincingly to every creature. Through that testimony His church militant would someday be the church universal even as it would become the church triumphant.

It was not going to be an easy conquest. Many would suffer persecution and martyrdom in the battle. Yet no matter how great the trials through which His people would pass, and how many temporal skirmishes were lost in the struggle, the ultimate victory was certain. His church would win in the end. Nothing could permanently prevail against it "or be strong to its detriment, or hold out against it" (Matt. 16:18, Amplified New Testament).

The Issue Today

This is our problem of methodology today. Well-intended ceremonies, programs, organizations, commissions, and crusades of human ingenuity are trying valiantly to do a job that only can be done by people in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is not to depreciate those noble efforts, for without them the church could not function as she does. Nevertheless, unless the personal mission of the Master is vitally incorporated into the policy and fabric of all these plans, the church cannot function as she should.

When will we realize that evangelism is not done by something, but by someone? It is an expression of God's love, and God is a person. His nature, being personal, is only expressed through personality, first revealed fully in Christ, and now expressed through His Spirit in the lives of those yielded to Him. Committees may help to organize and direct it, and to that end they certainly are needed, but the work itself is done by people reaching other people for Christ. 

That is why we must say with E.M. Bounds that "men are God's method." Until we have such people imbued with His Spirit and committed to His plan, none of our methods will work.

This is the new evangelism we need. It is not better methods, but better men and women who know their Redeemer from personal experience---men and women who see His vision and feel His passion for the world---men and women who are willing to be nothing so that He might be everything---men and women who want only for Christ to produce His life in and through them according to His own good pleasure. This finally is the way the Master planned for His objective to be realized on the earth, and where it is carried through by His strategy, the gates of hell cannot prevail against the evangelization of the world.

Thanks again for continuing to follow this series my friends! I hope and pray that God will continue to bless you an keep you in Jesus' mighty name. Abundant blessings as well! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Supervision!

And when Jesus knew it, he said unto them, Why reason you, because you have no bread? perceive you not yet, neither understand? have you your heart yet hardened? (Mark 8:17)

He Kept Check on Them 

Jesus made it a point to meet with His disciples following their tours of service to hear their reports and to share with them the blessedness of His ministry in doing the same thing. In this sense, one might say that His teaching rotated between instruction and assignment. What time He has with them, He was helping them to understand the reason for some previous action or getting them ready for some new experience. His questions, illustrations, warnings, and admonitions were calculated to bring out those things that they needed to know in order to fulfill His work, which was the evangelization of the world.

Accordingly, not long after the Twelve were sent out, they gathered themselves "together with Jesus" to tell "what things they had done" (Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10). It would appear from the Bible that this reunion was prearranged, and hence, the initial solo excursion of the disciples were merely a field assignment as they continued their training with the Master.

The regrouping of the disciples following their evangelistic tour, of course, provided them some needed rest in body and soul. As to how long the disciples had been out, the Scripture does not say. Perhaps a few days, even a week. The time element here is not the important thing. What does matter though, as the record shows, is that after the disciples were sent out to work, they were expected to share their experiences, later, with the group.

The Principle Applied Today

No less patient yet determined supervision is needed today among those who are seeking to train others for evangelism. We dare not assume that the work will be done merely because we have shown a willing worker how to do it, and then sent him or her out with a glowing expectation of results. Innumerable things could happen to frustrate and sidetrack the work, and unless these matters are dealt with realistically by competent and understanding people, the worker may easily become discouraged and defeated. Likewise, many experiences of grace which bring great delight to the soul need to be clarified and deepened as their meaning is interpreted in the light of the total world mission of Christ. It is thus crucial that those engaging in the work of evangelism have personal supervision and guidance until such time as they are matured enough to carry on alone.

We must always remember, too, that the goal is world conquest. We dare not let a lesser concern capture our strategy of the moment. All too many times one has been brought to the place of service only to be discharged with no further training or inspiration. The result is that the activity becomes localized in a feverish round of excitement. There is no growth. The potential ability resident in the worker is not developed, and before long a promising leader is spoiled for want of supervision. Success is lost on the eve of victory. What once looked good eventually becomes a stumbling stone to the best.

Undoubtedly much of our effort for the Kingdom is dissipated for this reason. We fail, not because we do not try to do something, but because we let our little efforts become an excuse for not doing more. The result is that we lose by default the advantage of years of hard work and sacrifice. 

When will we learn the lesson of Christ not to be satisfied merely with the firstfruits of those who are sent out to witness? Disciples must be brought to maturity. There can be no substitute for total victory, and our field is the world. We have not been called to hold the fort, but to storm the heights. It is in this light that the final step in Jesus' strategy of evangelism can be understood.

Thanks for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you as we learn more and more about our responsibility in the process of evangelism. Always remember...JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Delegation!

And he said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt. 4:19)

He Assign Them Work

Jesus was always building His ministry for the time when His disciples would have to take over His work, and go out into the world with the redeeming gospel. This plan was progressively made clear as they followed Him.

The patience with which Jesus brought this out to His disciples reflects on His consideration for their ability to learn. He was never premature in His insistence on action. The first invitation to the disciples to follow Him said nothing about going out and evangelizing the world, although this was His plan from the beginning. His method was to get the disciples into a vital experience with God, and to show them how He worked, before telling them they had to do it.

On the other hand, Jesus did not discourage  their spontaneous reactions to bear witness to their faith, and in fact, He seemed delighted that they want to bring others to know what they had found. Andrew got Peter, Philip found Nathaniel, Matthew invited his friends to a feast in his house---and Jesus responded to these new introductions with gladness. It is well, also, to note that on several occasions Jesus asked specifically asked those who were helped by His ministry to say something about it to others. However, in none of those early instances is the real purpose of their life of witnessing made a matter of explicit command.

The Principle Applied Today

But it is not enough to make this an ideal. It must be given tangible expression by those who are following the Savior. The best way to be sure that this is done is to give practical work assignments and expect them to be carried out. This gets people started, and where they already have seen their work demonstrated in the life of their Teacher there is no reason why the assignment cannot be completed. When the church takes the lesson to heart, and gets down  to business with evangelism, then those in the pews will soon start moving out for God.

However, the fact that one starts the work is no assurance that he or she will keep it up. Once inertia is overcome, it is  still necessary to keep one moving and going in the right direction. Certainly the assignments that Jesus gave His followers, at least at first, were no discharge from His school of training. They had much more to learn before they could be considered ready for graduation, and until that time came, He had no intention of turning them loose from His personal direction. His concern at this point was so explicit and His method of dealing with it so pronounced that it needs to be considered as another step in His strategy of ultimate victory.

God bless you friends and I really hope and pray that this post will encourage you to step out and not only put evangelism into practice, but also train others and delegate those responsibilities to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our lost and dying world. We owe it to God and everyone that He places in our way to win that soul for His kingdom.

Thanks again for reading this far my friends! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-D

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Demonstration!

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15) 

He Showed Them How To Live

Jesus saw to it that His disciples learned His way of living with God and man. He recognized that it was not enough just to get people into His spiritual communion. His disciples needed to know how His experience was to be maintained and shared if it was to be perpetuated in evangelism. Of course, in a technical sense, life proceeds action, but in a thoroughly practical point of view, we live by what we do. We must breathe, eat, exercise, and carry on work normally if we are to grow. Where these functions  of the body are neglected, life will cease to be. That is why the effort of Jesus to get across to His followers the secrets of His spiritual influence needs to be considered as a deliberate course of His master strategy. He knew what was important.

The Principle in Focus

The method of Jesus here was more than a continuous sermon; it was an object lesson as well. This was the secret of His influence in teaching. He did not ask anyone to do or be anything which first He had not demonstrated in His own life, thereby not only proving its workability, but also its relevance to His mission in life. And this He was able to do because He was constantly with His disciples. His training classes were never dismissed. Everything which He said and did was a personal lesson in reality, and since the disciples were there to notice it, they were learning practically every moment of their waking day.

How else will His way ever be learned? It is good to tell people what we mean, but it is infinitely better to show them. People are looking for a demonstration, not an explanation.

The Principle Applied Today

When it is all boiled down, those of us who are seeking to train people must be prepared to have them follow us, even as we follow Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). We are the exhibit (Phil. 3:17 f.; 1 Thess. 2:7,8; 2 Tim. 1:13). They will do those things which they hear and see in us (Phil. 4:9). Given time, it is possible through this kind of leadership to impart our way of living to those who are constantly with us.

We must take this truth to our lives. There can be no shirking or evading of our personal responsibility to show the way to those we are training, and this revelation must include the practical outworking in life of the deeper realities of the Spirit. This is the Master's method, and nothing else will ever suffice to train others to do His work.

It makes us vulnerable, of course. We are not perfect like our Lord, and those persons to whom we open our lives will come to see our many shortcomings. But let them also see a readiness to confess our sins when we understand the error of our way. Let them hear us apologize to those we have wronged. Our weaknesses need not impair discipleship when shining through them is a transparent sincerity to follow Christ.

Yet, as we know, mere knowledge is not enough. There comes a time for action. To disregard this privilege can nullify all that has been acquired in the process of learning. Indeed, knowledge unapplied to living can become a stumbling-stone to further truth. No one better understood this than the Master. He was training men to do a job, and when they knew enough to get started, He saw to it that they did something about it. The application of this principle is so pronounced that it needs to be considered as another part of His strategy of conquest through trained and spiritually alert men.

Thanks for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-). Stay tuned for the next post my friends! This is such a great topic to talk and share about!...:-).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Impartation!

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive you the Holy Spirit: (John 20:22) 

He Gave Himself Away

Jesus wanted His followers to obey Him. But in recognizing this truth, He realized that His disciples would discover the deeper experience of His Spirit. And in receiving His Spirit they would know the love of God for a lost world. That is why His demands were accepted without argument. The disciples understood that they were not just keeping a law, but were responding to One who loved them, and was willing to give Himself for them.

His was a life of giving---giving away what the Father had given Him (John 15:15;17:4,8,14). He gave them His peace by which He was sustained in tribulation (John 16:33;cf.,Matt.11:28). He gave them His joy in which He labored amid the sufferings and sorrows about Him (John 15:11;17:13). He gave them the keys to His Kingdom against which the powers of hell could never prevail (Matt. 16:19;cf.,Luke 12:32). Indeed, He gave them His own glory which was His before the worlds were made, that they all might be one even as He was one in the Father (John 17:22,24). He gave all He had---nothing was withheld, not even His own life.

Love is like that. It is always giving itself away. When it is self-contained, it is not love. In this sense, Jesus brought clearly into focus before His followers just what was meant when  "God so loved the world" (John 3:16). It meant that God gave all He had to those He loved, even His "only begotten Son." And for the Son, in incarnating that love, it meant renouncing His own right of living and giving His life for the world. Only in this light---when the Son is put in place of the world---can one even begin to understand the cross. Yet in this realization, the cross of Christ is inevitable, for the infinite love of God can express itself only in an infinite way. Just as man by his sin had to die, so God by His love had to send His Son to die in our place. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

The Principle Issue Today

The whole thing revolves around the person of the Master. Basically His way of life. And so it must be with His followers. We must have His life in us by the Spirit if we are to do His work and practice His teaching. Any evangelistic work without this is as lifeless as it is meaningless. Only as the Spirit of Christ in us exalts the Son are people drawn unto the Father.

Of course, we cannot give something away which we do not possess ourselves. The very ability to give away our life in Christ is the proof of its possession. Nor can we withhold that which we possess in the Spirit of Christ, and still keep it. The Spirit of God always insists on making Christ known. Here is the great paradox of life---we must die to ourselves to live in Christ, and in that renunciation of ourselves, we must give ourselves away in service and devotion to our Lord. This was Jesus' method of evangelism, seen at first only His few followers, but through them it was to become the power of God in overcoming the world.

But we cannot stop there. It is also necessary for one to see in us a clear demonstration of the way to live His life. Thus, we must understand another obvious aspect of Jesus' strategy with His disciples.

Thanks again for reading this far my friends! This post speaks for itself. May God bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Master Plan Of Evangelism - Consecration!

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. (Matt. 11:29) 

He Required Obedience

Jesus expected the men He was with to obey Him. They were not required to be smart, but they had to be loyal. This became the distinguishing mark by which they were known. They were called His "disciples" meaning that they were "learners" or "pupils" of the Master. It was not until much later that they started to be called "Christian" (Acts 11:26), although it was inevitable, for in time obedient followers invariably take on the character of their leader.

The simplicity of this approach is marvelous if not astounding. None of the disciples was asked at first to make a statement of faith or accept a well-defined creed, although they doubtless recognized Jesus to be the Messiah (John 1:41, 45,49; Luke 5:8). For the moment all they they were asked to do was to follow Jesus. Of course, clearly implied in their initial invitation was a call to faith in the person of Christ and obedience to His Word. If this was not comprehended in the beginning, it would be perceived as they continued in the way with the Master. No one will follow a person in whom he or she has no trust, nor sincerely take the step of faith unless he or she is willing to obey what the leader says.

The Principle Applied Today

We must learn this lesson again today. There can be no dillydallying around with the commands of Christ. We are engaged in warfare, the issues of which are life and death, and every day that we are indifferent to our responsibilities is a day lost to the cause of Christ. If we have learned even the most elemental truth of discipleship, we must know that we are called to be servants of our Lord and to obey His Word. It is not our duty to reason why He speaks as He does, but only to carry out His orders. Unless there is this dedication to all that we know He wants us to do now, however immature our understanding may be, it is doubtful if we will ever progress further in His life and mission. There is no place in the Kingdom for a slacker, for such an attitude not only precludes any growth in grace and knowledge, but also destroys any usefulness on the world battlefield of evangelism.

Thanks again for reading this far my friends! My hope and prayer is that we will remain consecrated to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we seek opportunities to evangelize the world through the resources given to us. My dear friends, our attitudes toward the subject of evangelism and the actual work that goes into creating a new generation of servant leaders is critical from the outset. Let us never get comfortable and complacent in our evangelistic efforts. This subject is essentially a very personal topic for me because God has called me to be an Evangelist. God has called me to "revolutionize" churches on three different occasions and has been confirmed on three different occasions. Christian Living is only the beginning. I'm confident in my Lord Jesus that I will one day get to travel the world making an eternal impact in the lives of those who are in desperate need of Jesus. 

May God continue to bless you and keep you my friends! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-D 


Friday, September 13, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Association!

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt. 28:20) 

In the previous post we talked about how Jesus chose His disciples. In this post, we will discuss in how Jesus associated Himself with His disciples. I hope and pray that the previous post and this post will serve you well. God bless you and enjoy!

He Stayed With Them

Having called His men, Jesus made a practice of being with them. This was the essence of His training program---just letting His disciples follow Him.

When one stops to think of it, this was an incredibly simple way of doing it. Jesus had no formal school, no seminaries, no outlined course of study, no periodic membership classes in which He controlled His followers. None of these highly organized procedures considered so necessary today entered into His ministry. Amazing as it may seem, all Jesus did to teach these men His way was to draw them close to Himself. He was His own school and curriculum.

The natural informality of this teaching method of Jesus stood in striking contrast to the formal, almost scholastic procedures of the scribes. These religious teachers insisted on their disciples adhering strictly to certain rituals and formulas of knowledge which distinguished them from others; whereas Jesus asked only that His disciples follow Him. Knowledge was not communicated by the Master in terms of laws and dogmas, but in the living personality of One who walked among them. His disciples were distinguished, not by outward conformity to certain rituals, but by being with Him, and thereby participating in His doctrine (John 18:19).

Still Ministering to the Masses

One must not overlook that even while Jesus was ministering to others, the disciples were always there with Him. Whether He addressed the multitudes that pressed on Him, conversed with the scribes and Pharisees which sought to ensnare Him, or spoke to some lonely beggar along the road, the disciples were close at hand to observe and to listen. In this manner, Jesus' time was paying double dividends. Without neglecting His regular ministry to those in need, He maintained a constant ministry to His disciples by having them with Him. They were thus getting the benefit of everything He said and did to others plus their own personal explanation and counsel. 

I cannot help but be incredibly fascinated in how Jesus was able to win the trust of His disciples without them ever really knowing Him in the beginning and without drawing any misconceived conclusions about Jesus, His divine nature, and His motives for not only choosing them, but also taking the time to associate Himself with them and vice versa. 

So friend, what are your thoughts on Jesus and His ability to be able to associate Himself so naturally with His disciples without all the preparation that goes with evangelistic ministry these days?

Thanks for reading this far my friends! My hope and prayer is that we will make a great effort in associating ourselves with those that God brings into our lives for the sake of the Gospel because in all likelihood, we may be the only "Jesus" and "Bible" anyone may ever get to read. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name my friends! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Selection!

And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; (Lk. 6:13)

Men Were His Method

It all started by Jesus calling a few men to follow Him. This revealed immediately the direction His evangelistic strategy would take. His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow. Remarkable as it may seem, Jesus started to gather these men before he veer organized an evangelistic campaign or even preached a sermon in public. Men were to be His method of winning the world to God.

The initial objective of Jesus' plan was to enlist men who could bear witness to His life and carry on His work after He returned to the Father. John and Andrew were the first to be invited as Jesus left the scene of the great revival of the Baptist at Bethany beyond the Jordan (John 1:35-40). Andrew in turn brought his brother Peter (John 1:41,42). The next day Jesus found Philip on his way to Galilee, and Philip found Nathaniel (John 1:43-51). There is no evidence of haste in the selection of these disciples, just determination. James, the brother of John, is not mentioned as one of the group until the four fishermen are recalled several months later by the Sea of Galilee (Mark 1:19; Matt. 4:21). Shortly afterward Matthew is called to follow the Master as Jesus passed through Capernaum (Mark 2:13,14; Matt. 9:9; Luke 5:27,28). The particulars surrounding the call of the other disciples are not recorded in the Gospels, but it is believed that they all occurred in the first year of the Lord's ministry.

As one might expect these early efforts of soul winning had little or no immediate effect upon the religious life of His day, but that did not matter greatly. For as it turned out, these few early converts of the Lord were destined to become the leaders of his church that was to go with the gospel to the whole world, and from the standpoint of His ultimate purpose, the significance of their lives would be felt throughout eternity. That's the only thing that counts.

I have always known a great deal about evangelism, but this book really helps me to be able to see evangelism in a different light, God's light. I'm only getting started and look forward to sharing so much more with you in regards to such an incredibly critical subject. In the last days we live in, global evangelism online and offline will continue to be a benchmark of God's calling upon our lives. With that said, let us never take for granted anything that God provides us to be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ.

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! My hope and prayer is that your heart for evangelism regardless of where God chooses to use you never fades. God has indeed chosen us to witness and share the love of Jesus Christ with our loved ones, friends, co-workers, and anyone that God brings our way. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name my awesome friends! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-).

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Master Plan Of Evangelism - Preface (The Master and His Plan)!

Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. (Jn. 14:6) 

The Problem in Evangelistic Methods

Objective and relevance---these are the crucial issues of our work. Both are interrelated, and by the measure by which they are made compatible will largely determine the significance of all our activity. Merely because we are busy, or even skilled, doing something does not necessarily mean that we are getting anything accomplished. The question must always be asked: Is it worth doing? And does it get the job done? 

This is a question that should be posed continually in relation to the evangelistic activity of the church. Are our efforts to keep things going fulfilling the great commission of Christ? Do we see an ever-expanding company of dedicated people reaching the world with the gospel as a result of our ministry? That we are busy in the church trying to work one program of evangelism after another cannot be denied. But are we accomplishing our objective?

Form Follows Function

Concern at this point immediately focuses the need for a well-thought-through strategy of movement day by day in terms of the long-range goal. We must know how a course of action fits into the overall plan God has for our lives if it is to thrill our souls with a sense of destiny. This is true of any particular procedure or technique employed to propagate the gospel. Just as a building is constructed according to the plan for its use, so everything we do must have a purpose. Otherwise our activity can be lost in aimlessness and confusion. 

This is only the beginning on our new series on evangelism. Given the volume of information on this topic, I can only share bits and pieces of each chapter from this book. If you have any way to be able to purchase this book, I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you try to get your hands on this book.  

Thanks again for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you as you endeavor on the evangelistic outreach in your part of the world! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-). Enjoy as well my friends!!!...:-D.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Master Plan of Evangelism - Intro!

And he said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mk. 16:15) 

"Philosophers," wrote Karl Marx, "you have only interpreted the world differently; the point is, however, to change it."

However unlike they are in fundamental affirmations, the Christian gospel and communism are at this point in agreement. But the agreement goes little further. Distinctively, the Church proclaims the changed world as the consequence of changed men. Reflective man produces new philosophies; it is only regenerate man who holds the clue to a society that is really new.

It is the conviction, grounded in the good news that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself," that makes evangelism immensely more than a theory or a slogan. It brings it into focus as a necessity.

At this point, however, the question rises: How do we go forward with an evangelism---a widening of the circle of faith so that it includes more and more people who have transformingly trusted Christ as Savior---that is continuous, contagious, and compelling?

Robert E. Coleman has presented a set of principles and sketched a scheme which, studied carefully, will go far toward rescuing the concept of evangelism from the realm of the "special" and the "occasional", and anchoring where it belongs in the essential, ongoing life and witness of the congregation.

There is nothing in the following pages that belittles what the Spirit of God has done, and continues to do, through the colossal, concerted, temporary undertakings of such evangelistic specialists as Moody, Sunday, or Graham. On the other hand, there is much that beckons us to the disciple-winning that works through small groups and builds toward congregational witness---all of it calculated to demonstrate the connection between the Gospel to which we bear testimony and the life which that Gospel enables us to live.

The author's work, concentrating as it does on the pattern we see in our Lord and His disciples, is saturated with Scripture. His style  is unembellished. It is plain. It is direct. It unfailingly echoes the transparent sincerity of the mind that has thought long on the theme with which it is at grips.

Only this morning I heard a radio speaker make the observation that, in most matters, we move in either of two directions: from words to things, or from things to words. That is to say, if we do not make the journey from theories and ideals to concrete situations, then the concrete situations will be lost under a smog of words.

From the latter peril I believe this earnest volume can help deliver us. It is therefore a pleasure to commend it.

Paul S. Rees

My dear friends, "this earnest volume" that has been spoken of is the book in which these words come from, The Master Plan of Evangelism and Discipleship written by Robert E. Coleman. This book has made a huge difference in my life as it has in the lives of millions of Christians around the world. In my opinion, this book is the best book ever written on such topics. My hope and prayer is that in the next couple of weeks or so the words from this book will make an immense impact in your lives. 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! I hope and pray that this series on Evangelism will make an immediate impact in your life and those you serve in your community and family. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)