“Mistaken Identity and Awful Surprises: How to Cope When Tragedy Strikes” 4/25/2015 by Pastor Mike Campagna

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Pastor Mike Campagna @ http://www.aheartforgod.org

Original post @ http://www.aheartforgod.org/2015/04/19/mistaken-identity-and-awful-surprises-how-to-cope/

Mistaken Identity and Awful Surprises: How to Cope When Tragedy Strikes

April 19, 2015 By Mike Campagna

Head On Car Collision
“While he was still speaking, another also came and said [to Job], ‘Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.’” (Job 1:18-19)

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

If there ever was a more tragic case of mistaken identity, I’ve never run across it.

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, the story comes out of the family whose daughter survived a car accident (or so they thought) where four others were killed.

Some five weeks after the crash, the family of Laura VanRyn discovered it really wasn’t her in a coma that they’d been caring for, but one of her friends.

It seems that Whitney Cerak was the one who actually lived while Laura had died.

How could such a mistake be made?

Well, first off, the two girls had an astonishingly similar appearance.

And then secondly, the authorities involved determined that, since the family had made a positive identification on the living girl, no DNA tests needed to be made.

Oops!

And can you just imagine the feelings of the VanRyn family while at the same time those of the Cerak’s?

You talk about a roller coaster of emotions!

AWFUL SURPRISES

It goes without saying that life is full of surprises both awful and joyous.

So how do we cope when it’s the former that strikes?

The Old Testament story of Job offers us insight. (Job 1:1-22)

Job had some pretty awful things happen to him, you’ll remember.

The Sabeans attacked and stole his donkeys and oxen and killed his servants.

Then, fire fell from the sky and burned up Job’s sheep and some more of his servants.

Next, the Chaldeans raided and stole his camels and slew even more of his servants.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, worst of all, a windstorm arose and struck the house Job’s seven sons and three daughters were in causing it to collapse.

They all died.

(And you thought you were having a bad day.)

HOW TO COPE

But what was Job’s response to all this?

It was both human and Christian.

He tore his robe and shaved his head which represented tremendous grief and heartache.

(It’s a misnomer to think that somehow followers of Jesus ought not feel hurt when something bad happens. It’s only human.)

And then secondly, Job worshiped.

This is how we cope when tragedy strikes.

We don’t deny that we’re hurting.

But then also, along with that, we turn our attention to the Lord and trust Him with what’s happened.

He’s a good God.

He never makes a mistake.

Even when life seems to suggest otherwise, it’s still true.

Are you going through something today?

God’s got the whole world in His hands.

But more than that.

He’s got you and your life there, too.

(Head On Car Collision picture file above is under the GNU Free Documentation License: click here / CC BY 3.0.)

About Mike Campagna

Mike Campagna (affectionately known by some as Pastor Mike) is making the most of web technologies to encourage disciples. A self-proclaimed “twitterholic,” one twitter follower describes him as the “jogging, blogging, tweeting Pastor.” Visits to Pastor Mike’s blog (http://www.aheartforgod.org) number in the hundreds of thousands. His video blogs have been viewed over a half a million times. His day job is content manager/social media specialist for Sugar Pine Realty. Pastor Mike and his family have lived in the Sonora area of California since 1997.

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“S is for.” 4/24/2015 by Ann Friend

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 

Written by Ann Friend for “afriendofJESUS2013Blog” @ http://afriendofjesus2013.com/

View original post @ http://afriendofjesus2013.com/2015/04/22/s-is-for/

S is for…

by Ann V. Friend

In silence lies the ability to listen; to listen to ourselves, to others and to God. Listening is a lost art. Without it we cannot communicate, we cannot relate to each other and so we cannot live life meaningfully.

We need to learn to listen. Sitting in silence allows us to listen to ourselves and to understand. This silence can heal. The worries, the pain can be healed when we listen. Spiritual medicine is ever-present in the soul. Whenever we need it, to whatever extent we need it, we can find it within.
~ Author Unknown ~

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~

To master life, control the mind. To control the mind, guard your speech.
~ Unknown Author ~

Hello friends. (smile) My schedule was off today. I made posting before midnight. (wink) Hope you had a super blessed day.

Spiritual strength. Spiritual growth. Self awareness. Seasons. God sustains.

Being spirit led helps the flesh man stay in check. Practice the pause before speaking.

Listening and silence are powerful during challenging moments.

Speak positive words by faith. We remember everything we say to ourself.

Speaking, Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me, is powerful when thoughts of cannot whispers psst.

There is security knowing the grace of God is available daily, even when we stumble.

A smile can brighten a moment. A sense of humor keeps life balanced.

Nothing is more satisfying than letting go of coulda, shoulda, woulda. No second guessing, sometimes, it is, what it is, until it was.

Blessings, my friends, to just keep the faith and enjoy the T to Z challenge! (smile)

Feel free to share your thoughts.

©afriendofjesus2013Blog, Aug 2013 to present.

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“Humility…” 4/23/2015 by The True Light

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 

Posted by The True Light @ https://thetruelight2014.wordpress.com/

Original post @ https://thetruelight2014.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/humility/

Humility…

Posted on April 20, 2015 by The True Light!

humility 3
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:2

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

Philippians 2:3

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Romans 12:16

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4

Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 22:4

humility 1

Patience. Value. Living in harmony. Wisdom. Inner, (true), beauty. Riches. Honor. Life…

Aren’t these the things which almost all people want? Aren’t they the things most people admire and appreciate in others? Aren’t these the virtues and principles by which we can live the most fulfilling life?

Of course they are; and these things are not only important to people, but they are very favorable in the sight of God. Notice that there isn’t any mention of money, cars, houses, etc. No, that’s the message from the “world.” But worldly minds see things much differently from our Father in heaven!

Now as we’ve said before, there isn’t anything wrong in having the nicer materialistic things of this life. But their worth is transitory, they last for only a while and then they are gone. And the satisfaction they bring can vanish very quickly!

In contrast, we can all benefit from a life lived in Godly humility. Of course not everyone will master these most important humanitarian traits, nor will all people respond to them. But it would probably be very surprising to see just how much better off everyone would be if these values were applied in our daily lives.

So then, as we go about this day, let us try to keep a humble spirit. Let us show it to others by respecting what they say. Let us respond to everyone with a Godly servility.

For those who wish to live “loud and proud,” they have that God-given right.

However, truth be known, most of them don’t even realize how many people they put off with such an uproarious air about them!

Let them be. Christians must be an example of a better way, a more Godly way. We never know who we might be influencing for good…

Let this be our refuge and guide each day!

humility 2

Proverbs 3:34

“He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”

Church of Christ

“The belonging place…”

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“Are You Ready?” 4/22/2015 by Wally Fry

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Posted on April 19, 2015 by Wally Fry @ https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/

Seen On a Church Sign

Jesus is coming, perhaps today. Are you ready?   John 14:4

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  Acts 1:11

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

——————————————————————————–

Jesus is coming back; that is a fact. He told us; God’s angels told us. Scripture is replete with the concept and theme that Jesus will be returning.

There are many, many views about the wheres and whens of Jesus’ return. We aren’t covering those here. It’s really not relevant to this post. We will talk about judgment also; there are many opinions about the wheres and whens of those also. Guess what? We aren’t covering that debate either! It’s not relevant to this post. No matter what we believe about the timing of certain things, there are issues that we all need to think about in preparation for the return of Jesus.

Everybody needs to think about these things. Believers and non believers alike have issues to consider.

Romans 14:11   For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

We all will bow, we all will confess. All of us, no exceptions.

To the non believers

We are all sinners. I am, you are; we all are. God is perfect and we are not. We all have fallen short and missed the mark of God’s perfection.

Romans 3:23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

God not only set the bar for what sin is; He set the penalty for it as well.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death……….

Yes, the penalty for our sin, any sin, is death. The penalty is eternal separation from God in a place called hell. Why separation, you may ask? God cannot abide or look upon our sin; it is outside His nature as perfect and Holy.

Isaiah 59:2  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God, however, loves us with a love we cannot even grasp or understand. He loves us enough to literally give Himself to us as a sacrifice to pay our penalty. He loves us despite the fact that we have rejected Him; He knew we would be sinners and loved us enough to provide us a way.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Friends, you can never make yourself good enough to earn your way to God. Our salvation is only by the Grace of God, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. It is a gift from God, to us.

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What must we do then, to be saved? The answer is repentance toward God and faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t DO anything, but we do believe some things. We sometimes teach kids the ABCs of Salvation, and they are pretty good for grown ups to.

A) Admit you are a sinner before God. Agree with God about the wrongness of your sin.

B) Believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and was resurrected in three days, paying the penalty you should have paid.

C) Confess Him. We have to ask God for Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. We have to ask Him to become Lord and Savior of our lives.

What does Paul say about this in Romans?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

It is just that easy. You don’t need to be a theologian; you may not even have a Bible. You don’t have to do anything, so quit trying.

To Believers

Guess what friends? As believers, we face a judgment as well. We do not face a judgment for our sins; we do not face a judgment to determine whether or not we are heaven or hell bound. We make that decision only here on Earth, while we are still living. That is true for us all, by the way. Saved or unsaved, we only have the chance to decide while we are still breathing; the instant we stop that, our eternal destiny is sealed forever.

What then, are believers judged for and what happens? We are judged for the work we have done for Jesus while we were alive and are rewarded accordingly. We are not punished for sins at our judgment but are rewarded for our works. Or, not rewarded for our lack of works. We may very well arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ and find we don’t get any rewards.

Let’s look at a couple of places where this concept is taught:

Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

2 John 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I wrote a lengthier post on the Judgment Seat of Christ in this article, “Crowns in Heaven-How’s That Work?

As I stated earlier, we may disagree on certain aspects concerning the Return of Jesus; this post was not for the purpose of debating all of that. What really matters?

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Philippians 2:10-11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That is what matters. Someday all of us, lost and saved will bow the knee and confess Jesus.

Are you Ready?

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Daily Devotion-April 21, 2015-Be Patient Again

Originally posted on Truth in Palmyra:

James 5:10.11

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.


Read all of James Chapter 5 here

James is speaking here again of patience. Remember earlier, way back in Chapter 1, James began the text of his letter by talking about patience and how it matures us in our walk with The Lord. James may have begun touching on this revisit to patience in verse 7 while he was discussing not holding grudges. Some of his teaching there may have been to show that we should not allow the trials we face to cause us to act out towards our brethren, but…

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“Ditches in The Desert 4/21/2015 by Karina Susanto

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Karina Susanto @ http://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/

Original post @ https://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/ditches-in-the-desert/

Ditches in The Desert

Apr20

DITCHES IN THE DESERT -Karina's Thought
Today, my morning activity in the office begins with an interesting conversation with my secretary. I didn’t know why she suddenly asked about this thing, “Ma’am, do you really believe in what is written in Luke 1:37?” My mind directly drifted to that verse. “For with God nothing shall be impossible” A bit difficult to answer this question. I could answer, “Yes! Of course I strongly believe that nothing is impossible for God” but it only will be a stumbling block if my attitude and deeds at a later time not in accordance with my word. Then I try to answer its question carefully. I said, “I always pray ask for strength and wisdom to keep learning to believe everything that God says. I always open my ears wide to listening every of His word then I put it in the deepest of my heart as something absolute should to believe.”

My secretary question made me ponder deeply. As Christians we all surely know that there is nothing impossible to God. But the problem is how far we truly believe it? Have we applied it in our daily lives? How far our obedience to obey doing what God commanded, even when we have to do something that seems doesn’t make sense? In our daily lives, we found a lot of people that easily discouraged when confronted by adversity, moreover if our logic says that it is impossible to be overcome. Even worse, if we don’t believe in what we do, although we know that it is in accordance with God’s guidance. In that circumstance, we often forget one of God’s characteristic that He has unlimited power. We become doubt because we feel it is impossible to find the way out of our difficulties. Actually, if we want to spend some time to learn and contemplate what God says in the Bible, we will find a lot of events and the real examples of how God did many miracles which by human logic is very impossible.

Right now I will take all of us to look at one of the bible passage to convince us that there is nothing impossible for God. Let’s have a look to the book of 2 Kings 3. When the Israelites joined together with the nation of Judah and Edom for war against The Moab, they went through the desert of Edom and they were facing a very difficult problem namely couldn’t get the water after walking for seven days. (2 Kings 3:9) Let’s imagine, for a week without water in the middle of very hot and barren desert. They will be thirsty, dehydration, and very weak. How could they fight? Slowly but sure their body’s condition will getting weak.

Fortunately, King Jehoshaphat realizes that they need guidance from God.” But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” (2 Kings 3:11 NIV) It turns out, there is Elisha the son of Shaphat there. Then Elisha asked one harpist to play. “But now bring me the harpist” While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha (2 Kings 3:15 NIV) Elisha was filled with God’s Spirit through the praise and worship of the harpist. Then Elisha Said: “Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches.” (2 Kings 3:16 NKJV)

Once again, I ask all of us to imagine one thing. Supposing at that time we were there with them, what is our reaction when we hear what Elisha said? We have been thirsty and weak because already a week without water and now God commanded to make ditches in the barren and waterless desert. For what we make ditches if no water at all? Do we will obediently to do what God commands? Maybe we will laugh and said, “God, Are you joking?” Yet, actually God was not joking and He never makes a joke. He said:

“You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands.”

(2 Kings 3: 17-18 NIV)

That was so true that there is no wind, rain, and maybe even not cloudy. Although it sounds very strange and illogical, if God had promised, God definitely will keep His promises. If we read this passage till the end we know that finally what God commanded to them was not in vain. God proves His words. Not only an abundant water but God even gave them a victory against the Moab.

Through this story we see that God proves that nothing is impossible for Him. God can do anything beyond our limited logic and thinking ability. Something unreasonable for us is reasonable for God. Made ditches in the desert is something difficult to accept by the common sense, but God in real made impossibility became something very possible, because:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)

If this story were not powerful enough to convince us that indeed nothing impossible for God, let’s look to another story. Let’s briefly have a look to the story of Gideon in Judge 6. When the Israelites were oppressed by the Amalekites and the Midianites, God sent His angel to meet Gideon and said that God chose Gideon to defeat the Amalekites and the Midianites. (Verse 11-12) What is the impossible thing that happened in this story? Let’s see a map of the power of the both parties. The Midianites and Amalekites have so many people. Was mentioned in the Judges 7:12: The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore. While in the Gideon’s side, God said to Gideon: “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” (Judges 7:7 NIV) logically, it was a highly impossible thing. How it is possible with only three hundred people could defeat the Midianites that have uncountable number. Through this story once again we see that something is impossible for us, it is not impossible for God. With God’s inclusion and guidance Gideon and his people finally can defeats the Midianites.

When we face so many hard problems, we often try to find the way out by using logic and the ability of our own mind. And by the time we were deadlocked then our logic will say that this in an impossible thing to be resolved. We forget that there is God who is in control of all our lives. Through the Bible we can see more proofs that God overturns human logic. We can see the power of God is far above of our logic. A young David against Goliath, Shamgar, or if we could ask to Noah, I do believe that Noah will tell us a lot of how the Lord overcoming what is regarded impossible by human logic. Jesus Himself reminds us:

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NIV)

My beloved readers, whether right now we are in facing tribulations and we feel that all of it is impossible to be resolved? Or we’re in doubt doing something that God commanded? This evening, please allow me to encourage all of us to bring every of our severe problems and difficulties through prayer to God. Let Him help us to solve our problems by His own way. Please always remember and bear in our heart and mind that for with God nothing shall be impossible. Perhaps our logic and mind says impossible but neither to God. All that happened thousands of years ago will still be going on in our lives today. In my personal life, many times I had many hard problems and seem it is impossible to be resolved. But many times too God shows His marvelous way, far away beyond my logic and thought to solve my problems. Everything that is not easy for us is an easy thing in the God’s eyes. If God commanded us to dig “ditches in the desert” we just need to obey to do what He commanded though it sounds impossible.

But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. (Jeremiah 7:23 NIV)

The Israelites chose to obey to what God said and finally they got double blessings. God gave the water that they need and a victory against the Moab. Gideon also always obedient to did what God commanded and he can defeats the Midianites with only three hundred people.

We need make a step of faith to get God’s promises. God’s promises and blessings will not come instantly. We have to do our part first, and God will do His part. The step of faith that has made by the Israelites is build ditches. Gideon had step of faith by decreasing the number of his people from thirty-thousands to only three hundred people. We should not just remain silent waiting God’s blessings. We have to act to do something with firm faith, walk deeper into the closer relationship with God, and always involve Him in all things in our lives.

…”Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

(Matthew 17:20 NIV)

We also have to believe. Distrust and doubt is often become a stumbling block and an obstacle for us to receive God’s Miracles. Please remember that our God is more than capable to doing unpredictable miraculous things. God be able to doing unthinkable and unreachable thing. Although it sound so odd, The Israelites completely believe that through the ditches that they make, God’s power will work. Gideon was truly believed that God will always be with him. We have to believe God will be able to help us through His amazing way. Everything is impossible will be possible if we believe.

“…Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23 NIV)

My dear friends, if today we got the same question as my secretary question, what is our answer? Let’s confidently answer that question: “Yes! For with God nothing shall be impossible as long as want to completely obey, always walk in firm faith, and believe.” Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: chrislukic.com

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“Stop Talking Yourself Out of Evangelism” 4/20/2015 By Ed Stetzer from www.Outreachmagazine.com

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
“Homily Grits Devotional” http://www.homilygrits.com

 

Posted by Ed Stetzer from http://www.Outreachmagazine.com

Original post found @ http://www.outreachmagazine.com/features/5541-stop-talking-yourself-out-of-evangelism.html/2

Stop Talking Yourself Out of Evangelism

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By Ed Stetzer • April 12, 2015

Why is it that Christians are always looking for ways to talk themselves out of doing evangelism?

It’s pretty clear that God sent Jesus into the world to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Jesus acted on full authority of God and commissioned us to make disciples (Matt. 28:16-20). We have been sent into the world just as Jesus was sent (John 17:18; 20:21).

Yet, it seems to me a whole lot of people are talking themselves out of their calling to do evangelism for a lot of reasons. Let me tackle just two. Simply put, Christians need to stop thinking evangelism is a spiritual gift and stop thinking you can preach the gospel without words.

There’s No Such Thing as the Gift of Evangelism

It’s an unbiblical and unhelpful idea to think we should not share the gospel because we lack the spiritual gift of evangelism. Some think if a person doesn’t possess the gift of evangelism, then they are often relieved of this burden; they no longer have the responsibility to do evangelism. That’s bunk.

Here is why it is so unhelpful to refer to evangelism as a spiritual gift reserved for the few: It removes the responsibility of all believers to share their faith. In other words, many think if they don’t have the gift, then it is not their job.

But in the Bible, evangelism is not a “gift.” (Don’t believe me? Look it up.) Instead, sharing Christ is a call for all believers. Somewhere along the way,
people confused the “role” of evangelist (Eph. 4:11) with the “gift” of evangelism. There is no gift of evangelism, but a call for all to evangelize. The church is gifted with evangelists, and their job is to equip all of God’s people to do evangelism.

The “evangelist” is a biblical role and a gift to the church. Evangelism is a biblical mandate for all believers and a responsibility of the church. We should not wait for the gift of evangelism before we assume the task of evangelism.

All believers are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). Therefore, all Christians are called to be agents of reconciliation and to share how men and women are to be reconciled and redeemed—changed by the power of the proclaimed gospel.

Preach the Gospel—Use Words, Since It’s Necessary

Francis of Assisi is attributed the statement: “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” I’ve seen it on Facebook about a billion times.

I can appreciate living in such a way that our lives point to the person and work of Jesus. However, two basic problems exist: 1) Francis never said it, and 2), the quote is just not biblical.

For many today, wordless ministry is a compelling approach. “Words are cheap,” we like to say, and, “Actions speak louder than words.” Some cite 1 John 3:18 as validation for their lack of words: “Little children, we must not love with words or speech, but with truth and action”(HCSB).

But, John is not saying to be quiet, but rather to love one another in actions as well as words. The Bible is full of exhortations to share the gospel with words (emphases added):

“This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world” (Matt. 24:14).

“They continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 5:42).

“Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them” (Acts 8:5).

“This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah” (Acts 17:3).

Christians are quick to encourage each other to “live out the gospel,”and to “be the gospel” to our neighbors. The missional desire is helpful, yet the result can be really unhelpful if it continues to give Christians yet another reason not to share Christ.

Saying “preach the gospel; when necessary, use words” is a lot like saying “feed the hungry; when necessary, use food.” Both are silly when people need bread—and the bread of life. So proclaim it. Out loud. To people without Christ.

The communication of the gospel is part of the process—and the only means—by which people are brought into a right relationship with God. The apostle Paul made this point to the church in Rome when he said: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:13-14, HCSB).

If we are to make disciples of all nations, we must use words. So let me encourage us to preach the gospel—and use words, since it’s necessary.

And you don’t need a gift to do it.

Stop Making Excuses

Christians seem to really love evangelism—as long as someone else is doing it.

Let’s not find and propagate reasons to not share Christ. There is not a gift of evangelism, but there is a call. Yes, we need to demonstrate the implications of the gospel in how we live—but let’s tell people far and wide about the good news of Christ

Let’s just have everyone tell somebody about someone who changes everything.

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P.S. (From bruce) For those who want to share their faith using social media…here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, after first being drawn in by God…John 6:44… http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

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