How would you respond?

Often times, we get the opportunity to witness and minister to people and it’s not on a missions trip or in a sanctuary – but completely by accident (and if you’re anything like me, it catches you completely off guard.) The other day, while talking to an associate, she said,

“I love God and I have strong faith, but for me in particular, I feel that God is an observer of my life – I don’t think he intervenes… just watches.”

At first the statement was like a foreign language to me. How could you have “strong faith” but in the same sentence admit that God isn’t an active part of your life? Honestly, I still don’t understand how the two could fit together. I have tons of examples of times when God had intervened in my life and provided for me, or given me peace of mind in hectic situations. I certainly have felt alone when making decisions or when trials come – but that’s because I was out of touch with God – not because He was “just watching.”

So the question I pose today is: how would you have responded to her question?

Only One Answer Matters

Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve been teaching Sunday school since the age of 12. That’s early for that kind of ministry, but I’ve always loved Jesus and would do anything to edify the kingdom. Sunday school just so happened to be what was and is needed.

After over 12 years of teaching Sunday school I was burnt out! So I’ve been on “vacation” for the past year or so, and I’m not going to lie, it’s been a much needed break. This Sunday I was in church and the youth minister was out, so my pastor turned to me and asked me to teach a group of 8 students ages 4-12. I wasn’t prepared, but I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me.

We studied John 14: 1-6. It was a good lesson. I really think the kids enjoyed themselves and learned/reinforced a lot. By teaching the class, though, I think I received the most benefit. The lesson I learned from my students is:

ONLY ONE ANSWER MATTERS!

Having a group of students ranging from, “I just want to color,” to “I just want to talk with my friends,” is difficult. So to keep all the kids engaged, I ask a lot of question before, during, and after the lesson. And I realized, every kid, no matter the age, no matter the question, always shouts the same answer: JESUS! 

It doesn’t matter what question I ask, whether or not “Jesus” is the appropriate answer, or if it even makes sense, the kids always yell out Jesus. It’s actually quite humorous but it made me think. Why is it that they always yell out, “Jesus!” And it came to me. 85% of the time, in Sunday school, “Jesus,” is the right answer to the question. The kids know that they have a great chance of getting the answer correct if they stick with, “Jesus,” as the response.

That Sunday school class simplified a biblical truth for me in such an innocent way. The best answer to any question, problem, or dilemma is Jesus. How timely was this realization with the text of the Sunday school lesson?

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

-John 14:6

As adults, we complicate things by trying to figure things out on our own, but in reality, the bible has addressed every issue we will encounter and we must first look to Jesus to answer life’s questions. Jesus is THE [one] way, THE [one] truth, and THE [one] life. We turn to Jesus by praying and reading the bible – because the Jesus is the word in the flesh (John 1:14).

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Evangelism?

Hello All,

I’ve been busy, but I wanted to take a minute to write on a subject that is becoming more and more pressing to me everyday: Evangelism. 

A few weeks ago, I was in a store parking lot, and a lady walked up to me and said, “can I ask you a question?” So I said sure. She went on to tell me how she was homeless and how she was trying to raise up enough money to get a room at a local motel to take a shower and get some decent rest.  I knew, and had previously meditated (thought on) on the fact that it is our Christian duty to help those in need – so when she asked for cash, I had no reservations in giving to her and I really didn’t need to give it much thought. 

Fast forward 10 minutes and all of a sudden it hit me: Why didn’t you talk to this woman about Christ? It honestly didn’t occur to me until she was long gone. Since then, I’ve been focusing my mind on evangelizing. What do I say? How should I approach the topic of Jesus with a perfect stranger? Then I came across this:

Today, much of the emphasis of the church is placed on techniques of evangelism or spiritual warfare. We motivate people to witness through feelings of guilt or punishment if they don’t.”

This made me think that I don’t need to figure out a technique or how to approach a person. I really just need to focus on how much I love Jesus & how much Jesus loved/loves me! If I spend my time focusing on that fact, when an opportunity presents itself, I’ll automatically respond, “Do you know that God loves you so much that He sent his Son to die for you and me?”

As if I need anymore motivation to be Jesus’ “hype man,” Romans 1:16 says: 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 

An individual’s salvation is not up to me. All I’m doing is making the information available to them. Whether they accept the free gift is not up to me. And even if I never open my mouth, God still loves me. Isn’t that wonderful?

Hate is the Key…

Hate is the Key to a Loving Marriage!

I read an article once that said the key to staying married for a long time is not how much you love you spouse. The key, the writer said, is to hate all the same people. Hate the neighbors together, dislike each other’s bosses, share discontentment for the same movies, etc. I thought the article was pretty funny and although the level of hate was unnecessary, I get the point!

As a Christian, I would never recommend a person to hate people. In fact, God calls us to love our neighbors (Mark 12:31), and to love & pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44).  The way I apply the article to my marriage is that Satan hates anything of God, and marriage is ordained by God (Genesis 2:24, Hebrews 13:4); therefore Satan hates marriage.

To create a lasting union, hate Satan together. James 4:7 says, “…resist Satan and he will flee from you.” The word “resist” means to actively fight against. If you come together with your spouse to actively fight against Satan’s devices to corrupt your marriage, your relationship will be stronger for it. 

God’s Will for your Life!

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Photo from: http://thecrackeddoor.com/Main/?p=1829

Often times, we struggle to find God’s will for our lives. There are so many areas of ministry we could go into; so many jobs we could take; so many other decisions that seem to shape our lives and the impact we’ll have on the world. So for anyone who is struggling to find God’s will for your life, I’d like to share a quote I once heard:

The word of God IS the will of God.” – Andrew Wommack. 

So what part of God’s word points you in the direction of His will for you? I lean on 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18:

15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Once we make Jesus Christ our Lord and personal Savior, if we focus on mastering the items listed above, we will be in the position to carry out God’s perfect will in our lives. 

Prayer for Protection

“Jesus, be a fence all around me everyday. Jesus I want you to protect me as I travel along the way.”

Lord, your word says that “the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3) God, it also says that you are not a man that you should lie. (Numbers 23:19) Thank you for always being a promise keeper and keeping true to your words. God, we know that the entire universe was pieced together by your words (Genesis 1) and so we know how important they are.

Thank you for protection from evil and protection from people and things that attempt to steal my joy. Thank you for overcoming those things (John 16:33) and giving me power and authority to do the same thing (Luke 10:19). I love you and I praise you for what you have already done in me today. Thank you for being with me always and never leaving me (Matthew 28:20).

In Jesus name I pray, amen.