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Posts Tagged ‘sharing your faith’

Series on witness

By way of context and keeping the bigger picture in view, I am calling our congregation to spiritual renewal, and that in three areas:

The first has to do with our use of time and our busyness when we get caught up in too fast of a pace of life, so that we are too busy to serve the Lord and do what God has called us to do as a local congregation.

The second area has to do with becoming a more loving, caring and connected community. We want to be a congregation where resentments are dealt with, relationships are healed and our love for each other will be evident to anyone who comes in the door.

The third area has to do with being more outwardly focused so that we move from being comfortable, to where we are willing to take risks to reach out and include new people among us. And this last emphasis is where this series of messages comes from.

Today we are looking at several ways you can reach out, even if you are not gifted in this area or called to a specific ministry of outreach. We will begin today and then I plan to finish this up next Sunday before Communion.

Live a faithful Christian life

It matters how we conduct ourselves because others are watching. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

We are a witness by how we live our lives. For others will “see our good works” and by this means they can come to give glory to God. This is the testimony of our deeds and it is foundational to all else. Because without this it doesn’t matter what you say.

So let people know you are a Christian, and then live it out by your integrity, your work ethic, your love for others, by how you handle conflict, and by how you go through hard times trusting in God. People are watching and if your life reflects God’s work in you it will be a witness to the truth of Jesus.

*Think for a moment: What area of weakness or failure do you have that discredits your witness? What I am saying is that it is not just a matter of faithfulness to God, but also of your witness to others.

Share what God has done for you

I told the story recently of the man who had many demons and how he was out of his mind and he lived naked in a graveyard – and how Jesus set him free. Well this is what Jesus said to him at the end of the story – Mark 5:19 – “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

If the first was the witness of our deeds, this is the witness of our words. And we need both.

What’s your story? What has the Lord done for you? How has he had mercy on you? Every Christian has a story. This is what you share. And not just about when you first came to Christ, but how the Lord helps you and has mercy on you now. Learn how to tell your story so you can share it with others and then look for opportunities to do this.

*A story from my life in high school . . .

 Pray for the lost

The psalmist, in Psalm 67:2, prays for God to act, so “that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” We looked at this Psalm recently. As you will remember the writer wants those who don’t know God, to come to know God. And we should pray similarly.

So you can be in your prayer closet hidden to the world and still be partaking in God’s great kingdom mission in this world through prayer.

Who is on your heart – unsaved loved ones? neighbors? coworkers? SW Chambersburg? The Gambia? Who has God put on your heart?

*Let’s pause for a moment to pray for someone who is already on your heart, or to ask God to put someone on your heart.

Pray for outreach workers

People that have spiritual gifts and talents that make them effective at this, and also those who are called to have special roles like missionaries and evangelists. Jesus tells the disciples in Matthew 9:37-38 – “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Not only are we to pray but notice, we are to pray earnestly. Do you pray regularly for this?

*Let’s pause for a moment to pray for Gary and Denise, for the outreach ministry of our congregation and for God to raise up others among us to reach out.

Now that we have prayed let me just say I hope you will be open to being the answer to your own prayers, as the disciples were, when right after Jesus spoke of the need to pray, he sent the disciple out into the harvest to work.

And then finally for today . . .

Support those that are called to reach out

That is, those who have a regular ministry in this and are gifted and called by the Lord to this – missionaries, local evangelists, pastors and other leaders.

In Luke 10:7 Jesus says this talking about those involved in ministry receiving financial support. He says, “the laborer deserves his (or her) wages.”

We need to understand that there is a mutual relationship between someone who is called to reach out and those who support them. The first is obvious – the one who ministers needs to be able to be free to do the work of the Lord, and so they need support. But also note that the one who gives shares in the reward of the work they do. (Mark 9:41; Matthew 10:41.) So that’s a good deal for you. Through your support of their work you share in the blessings that will come both now and on the final day.

And certainly those who minister need more than just financial support to do their work. They also need love, encouragement and prayers.

*This is a missionary couple . . .. Let’s take just a moment now to write a check or gather up some cash for their ministry, which you can give on your way out of church today.

William Higgins

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