Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

Why passion for God must precede our preaching of God.

Posted: September 16, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Mission
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John Piper writes, “Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching”. But why? He adds to this statement, “You can’t commend what you don’t cherish.” I believe that he is right. Imagine someone wanting to persuade you of anything they view as valuable. Whether it’s a restaurant, a gym, clothing or anything really, no one is really interested in a uninterested description. If you were to tell me you went to the best burger place with the most nonchalant tone, emotionless facial expression, and dull word choice, I would more than likely not believe you.

When something truly grips your heart you talk about it with a wonderful tone, flowery language, and pull for metaphors and similes to make sure you get your point across.

God is bigger, more majestic, greater and far more indescribable than we make Him out to be. Let’s see the display of his magnitude in the Bible, in the cross, and in our lives and declare it to others in a unbelievably believable way!

My prayer is that they experience something different than what is described of Einstein by Charles Misner

The design of the universe…is very magnificent and shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, I believe that is why Einstein had so little use for organized religion, although he strikes me as a very religious man. He must have looked at what the preachers said about God and felt that they were blaspheming. He had seen much more majesty than they had every imagined, and they were just not talking about the real thing. My guess is that he simply felt that religions he’d run across did not have proper respect for the author of the universe.

How would people view the way you talk about the glorious God of the gospel? Would they believe the unbelievable news offered to them? Or would they be so staggered by the fact that God would do the impossible to demonstrate His love for them?

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Interview With An Atheist

Posted: July 22, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Mission
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Penn Jillette, of the magician duo Penn and Teller put out a video in which he said

I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

Here is a video of an interview with an atheist that says something very similar in a very poignant way.

Have you ever seen a video of someone working out and wish you could lift as much as they did? Have you ever watched a clip of someone playing an instrument and wishing that you had the ability to play that smoothly? I have. To be honest, I do that a lot. I watch videos of Navy Seals, boxers, Dave Matthews, vocalist on various shows and they all make me wish I was more like them. Sometimes I am encouraged to be disciplined in areas that I am strong in. Most of the time I end up seeing all the ways that I come up short, especially when it comes to being a Christian.

I have seen people who read their Bible with intensity. They spend hours and hours reading, meditating, memorizing, preaching, teaching, cross-referencing, praying, and so on. I know people who have done amazing things for God. Men who love their wives and children in ways I don’t. I have been on the receiving end of generosity, hospitality, and servanthood. These are all gifts. Gifts for which I am to be thankful and moved by.

The problem is that I do compare myself, as do others whom I have counseled, when other Christians seem to accomplish more for God than I. They sacrifice more nights, they give away more money, and they travel to nations that don’t know Jesus.

I have to remind myself, and others, that Jesus has not commissioned me to be a omni-compotent ambassador for His Name. He has sent me on a mission to make, mature, and mobilize disciples of all nations. He has gifted me, set me in a context, and provided for me a specific way of carrying out that commission. It will look different for every other person in my small group, my Bible study, and church. We are all sent to different work places, neighborhoods, and have burdens for different nations.

Some have the capability to give lavishly, while others give generously within their budget. Some go long-term, while others go for short-term; some can only give and pray. Some have the houses to host a lot of people. Others see the positive effects of building deep with a few.

If you, like me, struggle with the constant comparison…you might want to consider this- God has made you to be uniquely equipped to reach your co-workers, city, and build the church. You have different capacities. You have different burdens. You have ideas that work for you that wouldn’t work for anyone else. In the words of J.D Greear, “Do what you do well to the glory of God. Do what you do well strategically for the mission of God.”

Our salvation does not hinge on our works. Jesus has earned our standing before God based on His obedience to fulfill the perfect requirements of God.  The motivation to see others come to faith should not be motivated by a desire to perform works that make us acceptable to God. Instead, they should be motivated by the work of Jesus, who accepts us as we are, and empowered by the Spirit who sent us. Jesus saves us. Jesus sends us. Jesus sanctifies. Jesus solely gets the glory. Let’s rest in His finished work alone.