Christianity

preach470How is it today that the preaching the Gospel has come to be reserved to pastors behind the pulpit and inside the walls of a church building! When it was never meant to be confined to a building, Jesus taught His followers something quite different, to proclaim it everywhere they go, even from the rooftop.

What if pastors like Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Pete Wilson, Perry Noble, Miles McPherson and Francis Chan, took their gift of teaching and passion for preaching out into the world, to those who really need to hear the message of the Kingdom of God? What if all pastors like these awesome teachers uses their gift the way the disciples and Paul did among the lost just as did some of the greatest preachers of old like Charles Spurgeon, Dwight Moody, John Wesley and so many others. These great preachers went where the people where and didn’t stay within the four walls of the church building!

The only preacher that I know about personally today who even comes close is Greg Laurie who regularly does his Harvest Crusades. Reaching 10’s of thousands with the gospel. He has use his gift outside the walls of the church building, but I am not thinking of just something that grand in a stadium, but something done daily in every day places as well.

So this is my challenge to pastors and all like the greatly gifted pastors above who can deliver the gospel so effectively. What if we went back to the likes pastor of the past like above. These men of the pulpit that spent their week days and nights in the bars, social halls, dining halls, school campuses and street corners preaching the gospel. And then where in the pulpit of a church on Sunday filled with the repented sinners they reach preaching outside the church that week. They spent their days about what they knew to be the real business of church, reaching the lost, perching to the lost where ever they where. Like Jesus, the disciples and Paul they went into he world, where the lost are.

I challenge you all to spend your week, every week out and about proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Not where all the Christians are, not even with the un-churched Christians are but rather where the un-believers are, the unsaved sinners, the God haters, the drunks, the harlots, the gang members, everywhere anywhere the lost are, anywhere they gather.

Let history read your life story like the great pastors of old, how you empted the streets, the bars into the church buildings.

Jesus planner 2“And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.” Matthew 4:23

“When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.” Matt: 11:1

That was Jesus typical day, His agenda for the day. What if we made that the template for our daily schedule, our agenda for the day. What would our lives look like, if that was our to do list for the day. Add to this the great commission of course that was given to us to do, live out.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matt 28:18-20

Note great commission contains the same core action verb, teach. And then what Paul said…….

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

Paul imitated Jesus’ life and said we are to also, we should have Jesus’ daily To Do list as our own. If we did that then well one should never wonder what is to be your priorities for the day, what is God’s will for you, your life today, you will know.

I put in bold the actions, verbs that describe the daily activity of Jesus’ day in these verse. Take them and plan your day around them, everything in light of accomplishing them. Start off with the 4 key actions and add them to your daily to do list, be the foundation for all you do today.

Proclaim – Is to publicly to tell everyone the gospel of Jesus, tell about Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Every encounter with others, your goal is to share the gospel, Jesus with them. Just like Jesus did.

Teach – Is to explain the deeper truths about the word of God, about God, the Gospel and Kingdom, the life application of the word and the Gospel, how to live the kingdom life. In every conversation you share God’s truths that relate to the conversation, as a solution to an issue, apply the Gospel, the word of God, God to it. Just like Jesus did.

Make disciples – Do day-to-day life with others, pour you life into them, teach them in a life sharing way. You are intentional about building others up in Christ, the likenes of Jesus, teaching them God’s truths for their life. Just like Jesus did.

Healing – Healing has two components, physical and relational. If you do not have the gift of healing physically (are you sure you don’t), simply insert your spiritual gifts and exercise them daily. But every Christian can bring healing to someone’s life, someone’s relationship with God, by introducing them the the savior, the gospel brings healing to them relationally and emotionally.

So how about start today with these four, make your To Do list off of Jesus’, make these things your agenda for the day, your priority. The bases for all you do today. There is much more to His daily life, but these four are a good place to start and really every else flow from them.

blessittArthur Blessitt is evangelist who back in the 70’s became famous world wide when in 1969 he carried a 12 foot wood cross for Jesus around the world. He walking across all seven continents including Antarctica, through 315 countries. He was second only to Bill Graham as the most well know evangelist in the world then. Thousands upon thousands of people came to Christ from his direct witnessing to them on his journeys and his everyday life back in Hollywood where he lived.

I read in one of his books years ago that when he was speaking at a bible college a student asked him what was the secret for so many salvations, leading so many people to Christ? He answered quite simply “I share Jesus Christ, the Gospel with every single living soul I encounter everyday, bar none.” He had determined very early in his life he wanted to live for Jesus, as Jesus did, and fulfill the great commission as Jesus commanded His followers to do. That resulted in a life that saw tens of thousands come to Christ.

But sadly I have to say in the last 10 years I could count on my hand the number of people I have known or even met who have lead someone to the Lord. And when ever I have brought up the subject of sharing Christ with others it brings strong opposition to doing such a thing. What I here is “I believe in friendship evangelism” Not that sharing Jesus or the Gospel with them type of evangelism, not that old school stuff.

But I would have to say that plan is not working! Has not worked over the last 10-15 years. Going back years before that when I was at Calvary and sharing Jesus and the gospel was a deliberate act, a way of life for Christians. When Christians lived like Arthur actively sharing Christ with others, straight out proclaiming the Gospel, talking about Jesus. Everyone I knew or met at church could testify of people coming to Christ on a weekly bases.

I think we need to once again become like Arthur Blessitt, or more precise, get back to living like Jesus and fulfilling the great commission, start sharing Jesus and the gospel outright as a way of life with every person we encounter every day, without exception.

We need to step out and take hold of the great commission and share the gospel. To begin each day asking the lord for both boldness and souls. Take Arthur’s advice and share Jesus with everyone we meet.

Pray the prayer of John Knox, “Give me Scotland or I die” only fill in our neighborhood, city, or “souls” period. I know that is where I want to be, to start living like Arhur, like Jesus said to, live to fulfill the great commission, to share Jesus, the gospel with everyone I encounter daily, in both deeds and words.

A simple test, ask yourself how many people have you shared Jesus, the gospel with in the last month, year? How many people have you lead to Christ in the last year, five, ten years? If the answer in none, obviously what you are doing is not working, bearing fruit.

And before you make excuses for not doing so, remember, Arthur’s life proved that if you share the gospel with everyone, every person you meet, leading people to Christ can be a daily event. If you go back before the days of “friendship evangelism” started, to the 70’s and 80’s they proved that when Christians live openly sharing Jesus, leading people to Christ can be a weekly event. I think the answer is we are to do both, befriend unbelievers with the intent of sharing Christ, but also openly proclaim the Gospel to everyone we meet daily. Something to think about.

Converts to What? – EdStetzer.com. Writes Stetzer:

I continue to see movements gaining traction among Christians that do not seem to have many converts. In other words, they have recruits to their cause, but few converts to Christ. And, I am concerned. I am concerned that in the name of “fixing the Church” we are not proclaiming the Church’s gospel.

… So, my Reformed friends, let’s not only read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John (that is, John Calvin, John MacArthur, and John Piper), let’s go plant some more churches. My emerging church friends, let’s take a pause from the theological rethink and head into the neighborhood and to tell someone about Jesus. My missional friends, let’s speak of justice, but always tell others how God can be both “just and justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” My house church friends, let’s have community, but let’s be sure it is one focused on redemption. My Baptist friends, let’s focus more on convincing pagans than Presbyterians. And, my charismatic friends, let’s focus less on getting existing believers to speak in tongues and more on using our tongue to tell others about Jesus …

If you want to convince me (and the body of Christ) to your cause, you must show me it is a better way. You must tell and show something different. You must not just protest what is, but you must show me what should be.

I was looking at people that got married in the bible, their stories, this is what I found and was pondering about them.

Adam and Eve had a prearranged marriage and they married the same day they met. So I guess that give support for the whole Jewish matchmaker thing?

Rebekah was a “mail order” bride and agreed to marry Isaac sight unseen. So maybe I should look into all those Russian mail order bride sites after all?

Boaz had to purchased Naomi to be his wife. So does this does lends support again to the whole Russian mail order bride thing?

David got Merab as his first wife for killing a hundred Philistines and gathered their foreskins to the king. Now where can a fella find a Philistine today, let a lone a hundred of them? And where would I redeem those foreskins for my prize?

David also got Michal, Ahinoam of Jezreel as perks from the King for a job well done. Makes you rethink the whole benefit and bonus package at work doesn’t? Know what I’m asking for next job negotiations.

Esther won her husband in a beauty contest. So I guess that opens up the door to hanging out at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show to get a wife? Woo hoo!

Now on a more serious note, all fun aside.

David got Abigail as his wife after Abigail showed herself as a Proverbs 31 woman, dedicated wife and servant. This shows us the benefits of looking at the girls life, seeing her character lived out, proving her worth as a wife and mother before you take her as a wife! How well she takes care of herself physicality, no bad habits or addictions, no bad attitudes, emotionally stable, proves she is a woman of God. Do you look at her and see Jesus in who she is, how she lives and loves others, and serves God?

Do not pick her on her beauty alone but her character, personality, qualities and traits. Look at the story of Abigail, Naomi and read Pro 31. Look at those women’s trates, does she display them. Is she walking with Christ.

Jacob served fourteen years as a slave to buy Rachel to be his wife. This shows us we must be patient, work hard and prove ourselves worthy as a husband first!

Men are you proving yourselves to be worthy husbands and men of God while you are single? Do you have any bad and destructive habits or addictions like drugs, alcohol, food, lust or porn, est that you need to get delivered from first. Are you emotionally stable? If so address them now, you do not wait tell you married to fix these things.

Are you proving you are a man of God, a faithful servant of God. Are actively involved with the church, the body of Christ. Are you not just going to church but are serving, exercising your gifts in service to the church/body of Christ. Are actively building the Kingdom of God, serving others, investing time into the lives of others showing that it’s not just all about you. That you are a man of the word, you are actively studying the word daily, that you are a man of prayer, you are actively discipling others, all this proving, showing the woman what kind of husband you will be.

Are you showing you care about yourself and others by how you live? Showing you have good passion for God, people and life, are you actively involved with others? It is all about showing how well you will take care of her and your children by how well you take care of yourself, by how you teat others and yourself now. Are you in good shape, dress nice, shave and shower daily, eat healthy, no bad self destructive habits or attitudes and have a active relationship with God and His church/people?

Bottom line is are you a good preview of want a good woman of God wants to marry, have as a husband and father to her children?

If not take action now, today as a single man of God. I am not saying we have to be perfect, I’m just saying take a look at who you are and what you are offering to someone. Would you marry someone like you? It’s only when we seek to be the best man we can be for God, man of God, be the best for ourselves, that we will attract the best woman of God and have something of value to give her.

After all if you want a Angelina Jolie you better be a Brad Pitt. If you want a woman of God you better be a man of God, and live like it now.

Some simple but effective Ways to Share the Gospel on the Internet.

1. Answer a Question at Yahoo! Answers
2. Blog your testimony in plan English
3. Podcast your your testimony
4. Post your video testimony on YouTube
5. Blog what you learned in church
6. Blog what you learned in your daily bible study
7. Blog about your daily walk with God, what He is doing
8. Even when blogging about secular things interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.
9. Edit for Wikipedia .org
10. Link you Bog and personal site to good Christian websites
11. Link other pastors Podcast’s and Blogs to yours
12. Post your testimony on other blogs and sites
13. Post on other blogs regularly in a Evangelical way
14. Share your beliefs in a Facebook Note
15. Put personal Christian book reviews on your blog & Facebook
16. Put a link to live service feeds for your or another churches
17. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to where you can download a free MP3 of the Bible
18. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to the online version of the bible
19. Comment on news stories and interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.

You can be as settle or as bold as you want in sharing.

Helpful tips on blogging for outreach to the blogging world

Top 10 Social Networking Sites (World)

1. Facebook (http://www.facebook.com)
2. Myspace (http://www.myspace.com)
3. Hi5 (http://www.hi5.com)
4. Flickr (http://www.flickr.com)
5. Friendster (http://www.friendster.com)
6. Skyrock (http://www.skyrock.com)
7. Tagged (http://www.tagged.com)
8. LiveJournal (http://www.livejournal.com)
9. Orkut (http://www.orkut.com)
10. Fotolog (http://fotolog.net)

Books I would reckomend to everyone to read.

Total Church

 

Total Church – This small manual for doing church was surprisingly insightful and winsome to me. They cover a wide range of topics that are all essential for healthy church life. I love the focus on Gospel and community. This is must read for all church leaders.

the-mission-of-god

 

The Mission of God – What is God’s agenda in the world? You’ll find it clearly and exhaustively articulated in this tome from Dr. Chris Wright. I would say this book should also be required reading for all Christians. A bit longer than most want to tackle, but the blessing will be enormous. Those of us who are passionate about the gospel will want to consume this book as it convincingly articulates God’s heartbeat from cover to cover of the Bible.

deathbylove1

Death By Love – I have not actually read this book yet (on the list for 2009), but I have read enough excerpts to know that this book is certainly one that you will want to pick up and check out. Mark shows how the gospel applies to a variety of different and challenging pastoral situations.

The Biblical Man:

Here are some good resources on biblical manhood.

1) Masculinity Powerpoint
2) Proverbs: What it Takes to be a Man (Darrin Patrick – The Journey Church – St. Louis)
3) Proverbs: Men and Masculinity (Mark Driscoll – Mars Hill Church – Seattle)
4) Here is an interview with CJ Mahaney on biblical masculinity. (PDF here)
5) Defining Masculinity (Matt Chandler – The Village Church – Highland Village, TX)
6) For Guys Only – A Collection of Articles on Biblical Masculinity
7)What’s Your Story? Sermon. Mark Driscoll. Mars Hill Church. 1 Tim 1:12-20.
8)Life Inventory Chart.
Supplement to Sermon.
9)Biblical Man Intro Powerpoint.

463066766 be1e63030b“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matt 6:25

It’s amazing that scattered through our everyday lives are strategically placed ’scarecrows’. They are not placed by God, but rather by satan to rob us of God’s best. If the birds could figure out that a ’scarecrow’ was really a ‘tip-off’ to the best location of corn- would they really allow themselves to be scared away? Scarecrows only possess the image of harm. They are completely unable to inflict any degree of harm.

One such ’scarecrow’ in our lives is worry. Worry is a powerful tool that satan parades to rob us of God’s best. It not only will effect us spiritually but physically. The harm it can bring upon the human body is endless…..never mind the fact of how it can destroy relationships and our ability to fully trust God.

Worry is the sin of distrusting the power and promises of God upon our lives. It will never add anything to us- only rapidly diminish and steal away. God promises that He will take care of us. God specifically tells us not to worry, but only to trust.

So often that is easier said than done. But He is either able or not! He is able to sustain us and bring us through. Look out for ’scarecrows’. Identify their source and don’t allow them to rob you from God’s best. Look for the ‘tip-off’ to the promises God has for your life. TRUST GOD!

The next King of Israel anointed, the choice of God and not of man, surely his life would be plain sailing and all effortlessly lock into place- running for his life, and having to flee without even time to grab a weapon, no time to spare. Acting like a madman in the face of his enemies, finding himself all alone in a dark, damp, depressive cave…..this surely wasn’t God’s scripted plan? (Psalms 142:5-7)

The reality of life can sometimes catch us off guard. We find ourselves in places we didn’t even think possible; places where we didn’t even have time to prepare for….this wasn’t what we were expecting in life? I’m sure David felt exactly like that. All he had done was to give his best. Every task King Saul sent him on, he fulfilled in an excellent manner. He should have been the hero of the kingdom….but now he’s the hunted.

Have you ever heard the saying- ‘when it rains, it pours’! Well, I think David could have been the author of such sayings. He’s fleeing for his life and ends up in a cave. Once as a young man I had the opportunity to go ‘caving’ – apart from the (occasional) stalagmites and stalactites there wasn’t much else to see in that dark and damp environment. It certainly wasn’t a place you would want to stay in….and add the fact you were all alone to that too, it certainly doesn’t paint a very appealing picture.

In that ‘place’- one out of control to David, he decides to take control. He couldn’t change the circumstance naturally, so he changed the moment spiritually. David turned to God in his despair. So often, unlike David we try to do it all on our own- we think we can make the difference, but all we do is make it worse. David began to confess that God was his refuge (his dwelling place) – no matter what he saw around him – he knew what was in him. He began to claim that God was his reason for living and that God would be his rescuer and restorer.

Life is never fair – but God is always good. There will be times we feel all alone, and that no one cares….but like David we need to remind ourselves how wrong that way of thinking really is. The temporary ‘happening’ around us should not alter the permanent knowing (faith, belief) within us. With God we are never alone