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Archive | Evangelism

6 Ways to Connect with Others for Jesus

evangelism We don’t have to travel to a foreign country to encounter a different culture. Not only has the world come to America, but also the American culture embraces values far different than the godly standards Christians seek to live by. How can we connect with others so vastly different than ourselves in order to share Jesus and His priceless gift of salvation?

The apostle Paul purposefully worked to fit into the culture where he ministered. He removed all the roadblocks he could and sought to build bridges to earn trust and to gain opportunity to share the Gospel. He kept his prime directive in mind: “My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24, NIV).

 

Paul did everything he could to open doors to share the Gospel. Most of us probably won’t be given the opportunity to talk to Greek philosophers about Jesus on a hilltop in Athens (Acts 17:16-34) or share our testimony with a king (Acts 26:1-32) like Paul. However, we can work to “become all things to all people so that by all possible means we (I) might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22, NIV).

6 Ways to Follow Paul’s Example to Connect with Others:

  1. Find a common life experience or interest – In Acts 17, Paul the evangelist found affinity with the Athenian philosophers. They both liked to engage in deep, thoughtful conversation. Even if your new neighbor comes from the other side of the world you can find common ground. Maybe you’re both parents, or like to garden, or are both trying to get rid of fire ants in your yard. Whatever it is, it’s a place to start.
  2. Adopt their speech – As long as it’s not profane or “unedifying,” use their style of conversation. For instance, when I lived in the north, I said “you guys” and “soda” instead of “y’all” and “coke.” Paul used general sentiments and words his hearers would have known, understood, and accepted. Too often we use words and phrases that are very familiar to Christians, but they sound very foreign to the non-Christian (See “7 Churchy Words”).
  3. Compliment them – Of course, this must be genuine. Paul found something about which to commend the Athenians (Acts 17:22). Look for something about them on which to positively comment or admire. This small effort will help them understand you’re not “against them.”
  4. Find a launch pad – In Athens, Paul spotted an altar to “an unknown god.” This altar gave Paul the opening he needed to talk about Jesus. We may learn of a cultural idea we can use as a springboard to introduce spiritual truth. Or perhaps your new friend is struggling with difficult circumstances, and therefore open to words of spiritual encouragement.
  5. Respect their cultural mores –Paul did not demean or insult their culture or customs. He even conformed to them when they did not conflict with God’s holy standards. When Paul began ministry to the Gentiles, he began going by his given Greek name and did not stick to a kosher diet.
  6. Serve the truth with grace – Christians sometimes try to force God’s standards of values, beliefs, and behavior on non-Christians. We forget that to a person without the indwelling Holy Spirit, the things of God seem “foolish” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Our first priority should be to introduce them to Jesus. But honest, grace-filled conversations about “controversial” topics within the context of relationship can spark interest in Jesus (Colossians 4:5-6). So let’s always be prepared to lovingly, respectfully, and biblically speak to specific topics when asked (1 Peter 3:15). (See “Grace or Truth?”)

I would love to hear how you have purposefully worked to find ways to connect with the people around you to build relationships and ultimately share Jesus.

 

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6 Ways to Impact Children with the Message of Easter

Rich memories of childhood Easters are rooted in my mind. I can still feel the cold metal of the folding chair as I sat with my family in the church parking lot waiting for the first rays of the sun to make their appearance. And with the sun, the somber notes of “low in the grave He lay…” became the joyous thunder of “up from the grave He arose (He arose), with a mighty triumph o’er His foes.” After prayer and singing, everyone escaped the chilly air and enjoyed pancakes and sausage in the church fellowship hall.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the impact Easter had on me as a child. I also have wonderful memories of Christmas, but Easter took root in my soul from an early age. Even then, I must have sensed the eternal significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. As parents and grandparents, we have a great opportunity – and God-given responsibility – to make sure our children understand the great truth and power of Easter.

Below are six easy, but memorable, ways to help your children understand the Easter story. Make sure you check out the links for details and more information:

  1. Make a set of Resurrection Eggs – This is a fun way to “concretely” share the Easter story with your kids. You can purchase a ready-made set, but putting them together with your kids is part of the fun. Here are the instructions for making your own Resurrection Eggs.
  2. Watch a movie together – One great way to start a conversation with your children about the Easter is by watching a movie that portrays the Easter story or illustrates its truths. Several great ones are available. Just choose one that is age-appropriate for the kids in your life. Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Attend a Good Friday service or event – Many churches have services on Good Friday to help us remember Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. This is a great opportunity to talk about Jesus’ death and what it accomplished for us. Cochrane, the small town where we lived in Canada, had a “Cross Walk.” Members from all areas of the community met downtown and prayerfully followed the cross as a volunteer carried it through the streets.
  2. Make Resurrection Cookies – Use this tasty object lesson to teach your kids about the empty tomb. Make them on Saturday night and enjoy them first thing Sunday. Here’s the recipe and how-to’s for Resurrection Cookies.
  3. Share the Gospel from Scripture – Your kids are never to young to hear that “Jesus died to save us.” Of course, the way you share this truth needs to be age appropriate.
  1. Experience the Easter Sunrise – Like the women who went to the tomb, be up and ready to greet the first light of Sunday morning. You can do this at an official sunrise service or in your own backyard. Friday was somber. Sunday is a celebration! (And don’t forget the pancake breakfast!)

I’d love to hear about your childhood Easter memories! Also, please share ways you celebrate Easter with your kids and grandkids.

Note: This post is a “re-run” from previous years. But it’s full of helpful info!

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3 Reasons I Plan to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's DayI have a fresh interest in St. Patrick’s Day this year. Since last March 17th I discovered that I’m sort of Irish!

For Christmas, Wayne gave me a DNA kit from Ancestry.com. It was something I’d been wanting to do. Basically, the test confirmed what I suspected – I’m basically a mutt, a pound puppy. But I was surprised by the top percentage. Thirty-one percent of me is Irish!

Perhaps, like me, you’ve considered St Patrick’s Day a fun, but frivolous observance – a day to wear green clothes, eat green food, and listen to Celtic music. However, there’s actually good reason to stop and consider St. Patrick.

A Really Brief History of St. Patrick

Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born about 387 AD in Scotland. Although his grandfather was a priest and his father was a deacon, young Patrick did not embrace the family faith. Then at the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland and forced into servitude.

During his years as a slave, Patrick spent large amounts of time alone caring for the herds of his master. This life of slavery and solitude fostered a deep prayer life and Patrick came to true faith in Christ. In “The Confession of St. Patrick,” Patrick acknowledges that God used his time of trial to turn heart toward Him.

After six years of slavery in Ireland, Patrick escaped and returned to Britain where he continued his religious study. But it wasn’t long before a vision of a lost Ireland burdened him with the need to return with the Gospel. God was sending Patrick to a people that the church had decided was too lost to be reached – the pagans of Ireland were just too different.

In his mid-40’s – after becoming a bishop of the church – Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary. He spent 30 years converting thousands of Irish “pagans” to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Patrick died on March 17th, 461 AD at the first church he built in Ireland.

Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and although never officially canonized, early Christians consider him a “saint in heaven.”

3 Reasons I Care About St Patrick’s Day

  1. I’m Irish – Well, at least I’m more Irish than anything else and it’s the closest I will ever get to an ethnic holiday. So humor me.
  2. Patrick faithfully followed Christ no matter the cost – Loyalty to Christ and concern for the eternal state of his enemies led Patrick back to Ireland. He willingly and obediently faced danger to take the Gospel to Ireland. He constantly fought the temptation to leave the mission field and return home. Patrick even shared the Gospel with his old master. That’s bold faith!
  3. Patrick sets the example for evangelism – Patrick wisely separated the Gospel from the Roman culture, something the Catholic Church could not or would not do. Just as many Jewish Christians in the first century wrongly believed Gentiles had to first become Jews before they could become Christians, the church of the 5th century thought the “pagans” had to first become “civilized” before they could come to Jesus. But, Patrick shared the Gospel within the Celtic culture. He did not try to change their culture before he offered the Gospel. His method of evangelism freed him to embrace the areas of their culture that did not break God’s laws of righteousness. Like the apostle Paul, Patrick became “all things to all people so that by all possible means” he might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22). In this way, Patrick showed respect for the Irish and was able to build bridges and relationships that fostered opportunities to share the Gospel. By the way, Patrick used the 3-leaved shamrock to help explain the concept of the Trinity!

St. Patrick’s Day is not just a fun day of all things Irish. For those “in the know,” remembering St. Patrick encourages us to faithfully follow Christ no matter where He leads and to boldly share the Gospel of life with those in our path, no matter how different from us they may be.

How do you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Some helpful articles for more information on St. Patrick:

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Should Christians be the Morality Police?

morality-policeThe cultural norm in America has shifted dramatically in the last few years. In fact, almost every day, another story pops up in the news revealing an ever-widening gap between the world’s values and God’s standards. Our culture glorifies and increasingly normalizes attitudes, values, and behavior that blatantly contradict biblical standards for godliness. But should Christians engage in this cultural clash? And if so, how?

A Christian’s Purpose in the World

Sometimes Christians get so distracted by cultural skirmishes we lose sight of our prime directive. A quick reminder of God’s purpose for Christians in the world will help us better determine how we should respond to our culture’s changing values:

  • We are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
  • We are God’s priests, declaring His praises to the nations (1 Peter 2:9).
  • We are Christ’s ambassadors, imploring the world to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

In Acts 20:24, the apostle Paul beautifully described this God-given task in the world as “testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” A Christian’s God-given purpose in the world is to introduce non-Christians to Jesus and His salvation. God has reserved judgment of the world for Himself (1 Corinthians 5:12-13), but we Christians often attempt to take His job. We expect non-Christians to share our standards, values, and viewpoints. When they don’t, we sometimes try to force them to accept and live by our Christian standards and worldview.

But forcing Christian morality on our culture focuses on the symptoms of the problem and not the cause – the need for Christ. It’s like a doctor prescribing aspirin for a brain tumor. We cannot change the world and its ways from the outside in. Non-Christians will naturally act like non-Christians. Without the indwelling Spirit, God’s standards seem foolish to them (1 Corinthians 2:14). A true change of values and behavior must begin with a heart change.

The Danger of Fighting Like the World

Christians often use the world’s tactics in an attempt to fight a spiritual battle. We flood our status updates and tweets with shock and indignation over the latest symptom of a spiritually dead culture. We demand a secular business conform to God’s standards with a boycott. The usual result? The culture labels us intolerant hypocrites and closes its ears to the message that can change their eternity.

Even if our efforts are deemed “successful” by the world’s standards, we must ask how a one-time temporary victory in a cultural skirmish impacts the greater spiritual battle. How do our efforts impact the name of Christ? Jesus invites the world to come to Him but we often throw stumbling blocks on their path. Rather than expressing Christ’s unconditional love for the sinner, our words and actions sometimes imply they must be “good enough” before they can come to Jesus.

Ed Stetzer describes this danger in a recent article at ChristianityToday.com:

Our desire must not be to prove ourselves right or to force our way on the world around us. Instead, our goal is to show Christ to be true and worthy. Just as wrong as running away from our culture is driving people away from the church. Countering culture doesn’t mean attacking it. Countering culture means engaging culture with conviction and compassion. We stand firmly on the truth of God, empowered by the Spirit, to extend the love of Christ to the world. Our desire isn’t to conquer but to redeem. It matters what we do, how we do it, and why we do it… A wrong response to culture is more than unhealthy or unhelpful. Engaging our culture is literally a matter of life or death.”

Christians Can Share Jesus and Counter a Godless Culture

Making the Gospel message our first priority doesn’t mean Christians simply go with the cultural flow. Armed with the proper goals, attitudes, and purpose, we can extend the grace of Jesus to the lost and stand firm on godly values and principles. Whether we’re considering a boycott, picket line, or social media statement, these guidelines can help us evaluate our cultural engagement:

  1. Keep the cause of the Gospel primary – Will our actions and words help or harm the spread of the Gospel? If I refuse to purchase Starbucks coffee or shop at Target will it help me engage my neighbor about spiritual things or hinder my opportunity to share Jesus?
  1. Model a godly lifestyle – When Christians refuse to conform to the world, the world notices. A Christ-like life points people to Jesus and causes them to glorify God (1 Peter 2:11-12). We don’t want the tone of our cultural engagement to negate our lifestyle witness. Will the way we choose to engage the culture foster respect or derision?
  1. Engage in gracious conversation – Public words of condemnation only hurt. Dogmatic diatribes close down lines of communication. But honest, grace-filled conversations within the context of relationship can spark interest in Jesus (Colossians 4:5-6). Always be prepared to lovingly, respectfully, and biblically speak to specific topics when asked (1 Peter 3:15).
  1. Do not support ungodly behavior –Sometimes Christians condone sinful behavior in a misguided attempt to be tolerant or relevant. For instance, after the Supreme Court’s decision last June to uphold same-sex marriage nationwide, many Christians added a rainbow to their social media profile photos.
  1. Do promote social change in positive, non-confrontational ways – Christians can vote, donate time and money, engage in politics, and support community efforts in ways that don’t invite confrontation and incite anger. Respectfully choosing to shop at a different store because of personal faith convictions elicits a different response from our culture than public words of condemnation. Supporting a crisis pregnancy center builds more relationships than an angry protest at an abortion clinic.

As we seek to share the Good News with the lost, let us be marked by our good deeds, not our opposition to the world. Let us be seen as for Christ, not as against the world.

This article first appeared at Crosswalk.com on May 18, 2016.

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Does God Need an Update?

Last week, Pope Francis visited the United States. Thousands came out to see and hear him at every stop. But his visit raised a question in the media that troubles me. Several times during news stories I heard journalists pose questions similar to:

Will the Pope address ways the Church can be more relevant in our culture?

God UpdateDon’t get me wrong. I believe Christians must show how our faith is relevant to people today. But what the media suggested went beyond strategies for reaching and engaging individuals where they are with the Gospel message. They wanted to know how the Church would “update and change” to better reflect our current secular culture. To bring Christianity into the 21st century.

This question doesn’t begin and end with journalists. People from every country and generation seem to want to change or update Christianity to suit their lifestyle. People want our culture to speak to God’s Word instead of allowing God’s Word to speak to the culture.

Consider with me for a moment just how ridiculous this idea really is. We humans – who are beings created by God from a handful of dust and live but for a moment in time – think we have the right to tell the Creator how things should be, what is right and what is wrong, and how we should be able to “get to heaven.”

Job tried this. Here is God’s response:

“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?… Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?… Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?” Job 38:2,4; 40:2

Jesus and Christ and His saving work on the cross is relevant to every person in every culture in every century. All have sinned and are separated from God. All need a Savior. Christ died for all. God doesn’t want any to perish, but all to be saved.

That never changes. It is always relevant.

And yes, I know that’s not really what those journalists are talking about. They are thinking of ethics, and lifestyles, and the things people consider to be important. Those things change constantly.

But God does not change like shifting shadows. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The one, true Creator God is perfect holiness. He is Life. He is Light. In Him there is no darkness at all. He is the Almighty, Sovereign One. He has no beginning and no end. He is all powerful and all knowing. He created life and established its boundaries.

And this is the God to Whom we say: “Hey, why don’t you step into the 21st century? Aren’t you a little behind the times?”

Really? Think about how ridiculous this really is. If our culture doesn’t agree with God’s standards, then who needs to change?

Have you ever thought that God or the Christian faith needed an “update?” If so, in what way?

Note: I totally agree that Christians and the Christian faith is and should be relevant to the culture. I believe Paul expresses this in his declaration that he tried to be “all things to all people in order to win some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). But Paul meant in ways that did not contradict God’s moral standards or teach doctrine differently than God has revealed in His Word.

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Pray for Laborers

harvest prayerLast week I was on a “ministry cruise.” Yes, yes, I hear you. “Sure, you were.” Seriously, I went on a four-day cruise with a small group of women who work together as advocates for a particular work of God in Bangladesh. And we spent lots of hours, praying, studying, and planning. But we also had  a lot of fun together!

One thing that struck me during our meetings – even with as much as we’ve seen God do already – there is so much work still to be done. So many people in Bangladesh, America, and around the world that do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. So many, many people who would be forever separated from their Creator if they died today.

What can we do? What can we do as individual believers and churches to spread the Good News about Jesus Christ? Here are 3 things we can do today:

1. Go – We can go and tell someone about the eternal salvation that can only be found in Jesus. He is the “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). “Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Although the whole world needs Jesus, we don’t have to move across the world to tell – unless Jesus calls us! We can go on a short-term trip. We can go around our city. We can go next door!

2. Give – Missionaries – long-term and short-term – need our financial support. Even small amounts can be used to support the work of Jesus around the world.

3. Pray – I think we too often turn to prayer as a “last resort” or when we can’t do anything else. Prayer should be our first, last, and everything in between mode of operation. Pray for God’s guidance in what He would have you do. Pray that He would supply the needs of the missionaries on the field. And pray that He would send more laborers into His harvest field.

Today, on Labor Day, I think it’s appropriate that we pray for God to send out more workers into His harvest field. So many people do not know Jesus. The harvest is indeed plentiful. And sadly, the workers are few. Will you join me in this prayer today?

Lord Jesus, so many people around the world are lost, separated from You because of their sin. Call your people to go and tell. Raise up workers to the harvest! Expand Your Kingdom and bring glory to Yourself! (Feel free to add your prayers in the comment section!)

Do you know Jesus as Lord and Savior? Here’s how you can.

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I Really Blew It

Blew itI missed a big opportunity. God handed it to me in a silver pickup truck and I let it get away without a fight. I really blew it.

It happened last Saturday. I had just stepped out of a Lifeway store and was headed to my car. Just as I reached the first car in the parking lot I heard, “Ma’am? Excuse me ma’am!”

“Ma’am? Oh, does he mean me?”

I turned to see a young man sitting in a pickup truck, now directly between the store and me. His window was down and he was looking my way.

“Yep. He meant me.”

The young “cowboy” wore a sleeveless t-shirt and tattoos covered both arms. He needed directions. “Is there a bookstore around here somewhere?”

I thought about looking around for a camera. I mean, really? He was sitting in front of a bookstore. Surely this was a joke.

“Seriously?” I replied. “Lifeway is right there,” I pointed as I declared the obvious. But I could tell he had no idea what Lifeway was by the look on his face.

“Uh, it’s a Christian bookstore,” I tried. Half statement, half question. Still no recognition.

“I’m looking for self-help books,” he added hopefully.

Okay. Seriously, I have no excuse.

I stumbled around and told him I didn’t know the area – which I didn’t. That I had a friend waiting in the car – which I did. Then I suggested he try Sam’s, which was close behind us.

By the time I got to the car, I was kicking myself over the lost opportunity. As I began to tell Janet about the encounter, all sorts of better responses began to pop into my head.

There’s a Book in there (I would be pointing at Lifeway) that will give you help that lasts for eternity.

I have a Friend that can help you with anything and everything.

Or simply:

Do you know Jesus?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quoted or taught or written about 1 Peter 3:15:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

This guy needed hope. I know the ultimate Hope.

I blew it.

Praying today that God will give me another opportunity. Maybe I’ll head to Lifeway.

When was the last time you missed – or took – an opportunity to share your Hope?

Oh, and by the way – do you know Jesus?

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The Answer to Life’s Biggest Questions

Many things puzzle me. I have questions about a host of random, non-life-threatening issues. Here are a few examples:

  • How can mothers always hear the baby cry in the night, but fathers rarely do?
  • Why can’t I find a pair of jeans to fit my body?
  • How do I always end up in the slowest line?
  • Why is my hair neither curly nor straight?
  • Why does 1 ounce of chocolate contain more calories than 1 ounce of fruit?

Life's questionsOkay, I realize there is a logical or scientific answer to most of these questions. But I don’t know them. And in the big scheme of things, the answers to these particular questions aren’t really all that important anyway.

However, some questions are critical. You might even say some questions are a matter of life and death. The answers to those questions matter greatly.

In first-century Jerusalem, the question at the top of everyone’s list was this:

Who is the Messiah and when will He come?

They’d been waiting centuries for the Anointed One to come. The Messiah would save them, redeem them, give them hope and a future.

Who is the Messiah and when will He come?

Most of them missed Him when He did come, but a few did not. And after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, those few began to give the answer and the number of people who had the answer grew.

Who is the Messiah and when will He come?

And every day, in the Temple and in their homes, they continued to teach and preach this message: “The Messiah you are looking for is Jesus.” Acts 5:42, NLT

Jesus was the answer to the biggest question in Jerusalem in the first century. Jesus is still the answer today for life’s biggest questions. And not just in Jerusalem, but everywhere.

Why am I here?

 Jesus

What is the meaning of life?

 Jesus

 Is there life after death?

 Jesus

How can I know God?

                        Jesus

 Yes, life is complicated and hard and unfair and messy. And giving everything to Jesus doesn’t magically “fix” everything. But He is the answer to the big questions and He has the power and authority to take care of everything else in His time and way if you’ll depend on Him.

Have you ever given your life to Jesus? If not, why not today? Let Him be the answer to all your big questions. (Find out more about a relationship with Jesus.)

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3 Priorities of the First Christmas

Have you made a Christmas list? I’m not talking about a list of the gifts you hope you receive or even the gifts you intend to buy for others.

No, I’m talking about your Christmas “to-do” list. Maybe it looks something like this:

Christmas to do list

And the list could go on and on… Wow!

That’s a lot of stuff – and a lot of stress – for a holiday meant to celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace.

Christmas stressMonday, I began a series on having a “less stress Christmas.” The goal? To keep Christ the center of Christmas while enjoying the holidays with family and friends.

So, what can we do differently? Today, let’s go back to the first Christmas to discover the priorities of those who personally experienced the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah.

  1. Shared Jesus (Luke 2:8-18) – A group of lowly shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem received an angelic announcement that the Savior had been born. After a late-night visit to the stable to see the miracle, they couldn’t keep the news to themselves. Scripture says, “they spread the word concerning the child.” They told everyone who would listen and “all who heard it were amazed.”
  2. Worshiped Jesus (Matthew 2:10-12) – Magi from the east had seen the star and traveled a great distance to find the One who had “been born king of the Jews.” These important men put their lives on hold to seek the Savior. When they found Him, they were “overjoyed” and “bowed down and worshiped Him.”
  3. Pondered Jesus (Luke 2:18-20) – Scripture tells us that Jesus’ mother Mary “treasured up” all the things she heard and saw and “pondered them in her heart.” Mary deeply contemplated everything God was doing. She meditated on it and considered what it all meant. It was constantly on her heart and mind.

The ones who were there that first Christmas shared, worshiped and pondered Jesus. He was their focus and their activity revolved around Him.

So how are we doing? It’s so easy to allow our focus to shift from Jesus and onto the many other things that vie for our attention during the Christmas season. Many of these things that compete for our time and thoughts are good things too. But too much of the “good” can push out the “best.”

We just have to find a proper balance. When we make Jesus the priority, then the other things will take their proper place. There will still be time for cookies, shopping, and tree trimming. And some things that seemed so important before may simply fall away and not even be missed.

Want to experience the true joy of Christmas? Share Jesus with others. Worship the King of kings with all that you are. And ponder the Savior and His love for you.

What have you allowed to become a priority this Christmas season at Jesus’ expense? What can you do differently?

 

 

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The Gospel – Judgment or Saving Truth?

Gospel TruthHave you ever been called “intolerant” or “judgmental?” Or maybe you’ve heard something like: “Well, Jesus may be great for you, but…” or “There are many ways to God…” If you regularly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, chances are you’ve been called this and more. It seems our culture tolerates everything but God’s truth and those who proclaim it.

Last week, while reading in the book of John, something Jesus said struck me and I believe it applies to us today as we seek to share the Gospel of Jesus with others:

Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness. If anyone hears me and doesn’t obey me, I am not his judge – for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me gave me His own instructions as to what I should say. And I know His instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say!”    John 12:44-50, NLT

Can Christians – should Christians – tell others that Jesus is the only way of salvation, the only way to the only God?

Several truths found in this passage apply directly to this question:

  1. Jesus and the Father are eternally one and we cannot separate them.
  2. The Father – the one true God who makes up the rules – sent Jesus as the way of salvation.
  3. Anyone who rejects Jesus will be judged by this truth on the day of judgment.

We have been given the message of eternal life. That message is that we all stand condemned already because of our sin, but forgiveness and eternal life is offered through Jesus Christ and Him alone. When we share that Jesus is the only way to God, we are not being narrow-minded or condemning others. We are merely sharing the truth that God established because we want them to receive eternal life. Sharing Jesus is an offer of life!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

If we truly, truly believe Jesus’ bold declaration than how can we keep it to ourselves? The eternal destination of our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers depend on their relationship with Jesus Christ.

How are we doing? How can we share this message of truth today?

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