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Thread: For thought and meditation

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    For thought and meditation

    Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

    —Isaiah 6:8

    In all honesty, I think the reason more Christians are not sharing their faith is they really could care less. Their attitude is, “Look, we’ve got ours. That’s your problem.”

    Jesus told the story of ten bridesmaids, five of whom were wise, and five were foolish. The five who were wise had oil in their lamps, and the five who were foolish did not. When the cry went out that the bridegroom was coming, the bridesmaids who had no oil said they needed some, while those who had it said, in effect, “Get it for yourselves.” In other words, “It’s not our problem. We’re set. We’re happy. You work out your own problems.”

    Quite honestly, I think that is the way many people feel in the church today. They don’t want to be bothered with it. They just don’t care. They hear so much about the need for evangelism and hear sermons on how to share their faith with others. Programs are designed to mobilize the church to do it. But all this is of no consequence if we as believers lack one simple basic: a burden and a concern.

    The great British preacher C. H. Spurgeon said, “The Holy Spirit will move them by first moving you. If you can rest without their being saved, they will rest too; but if you are filled with an agony for them, if you cannot bear that they should be lost, you will soon find that they are uneasy too. I hope that you will get into such a state that you will dream about your child, or about your hearer perishing for lack of Christ, and start up at once and begin to cry, ‘O God, give me converts, or I die.’ Then you will have converts.”

    We have to care.
    when the dust settles and the smoke clears all that matters is I hear the words " well done my good and faithfully servant "

    <(*)(()><

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I'm a firm believer attraction works stronger than what most of us would consider evangelizing. I have to live my faith in front of others to be effective, I have to show love, not just preach it! Only when others see it and want it is sharing to conversion possible. If you went to trial would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian? Just because I may run around saying and sharing don't make me an evangelist, it's the life one leads that speaks the loudest!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Those Christians who had the biggest impact on my life did as Thundarstick said, they lived it. They did not get in your face and tell you what to do. But they always had a smile, a kind word, a willing ear.

    They never tried to tell me what I was doing wrong. Or what they were doing right for that matter. But they were always there, ready to help. Always willing to pitch in and do what must be done.

    They tended to be just on the comfortable side of middle class.

    Some of them dealt with one major blow after another. Almost like Job,
    But no matter how bad their life was, they always had concern for how yours was going.

    I don't consider myself in their class. Not even close. But I am working on it.

    I see the JW's trolling around yearly, and the Mormon's keep an apartment for their "Missionary's" in the area. But I think my father brought more to him by being willing to pitch in and lend a hand when needed. No matter what the persons faith, or politics might be.

    But he did not do it for those who were just lazy and did not get their work done.

    He did it for those who for whatever reason were unable to do the work. Be in it hospital, laid up with a broken leg, or really sick at home in the middle of harvest.

    Just my theory but I think the Lord spoke to him. Especially when he was out standing in his fields, quiet, thinking and pondering. He would walk in the door sometimes firing orders like a machine gun. "Mom get on the phone, what's the deal with so and so"

    It would come like a whirlwind, out of no where, then a flurry of activity. Eat our lunch and off we would go. Within an hour we would be working at a neighbors and the word would go out. Normally one day, or a day and a part of another and it would be done. Their fields planted, or harvested. What needed doing was done. No thanks asked for or needed. No special attention required. Give with your right hand in such a way that your left hand knows not what happened.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Frankly, I find evangelists rather a greasy lot, acting much as though they were doing the converting and saving, plying guilt and innuendo to gain a convert at any cost.

    I'm aware we need evangelists, Christ gives the gift of evangelism to some, some just assume they are evangelists and play on peoples emotions then wonder at the weakness of those who fall away because they just rode the wave.

    (Luke 14:28-30) "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? {29} Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, {30} Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish."

    Thundar's post says a mouthful,

    (James 2:18) "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

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    You all must have thought Jesus and the apostles were fools, as they preached The Good News. Most people are not anointed to preach and teach, but all members of the Body of Christ have been ordered to spread the Word. I think most are too shy or embarrassed to witness. With all due respect, merely helping a man change his tire in a vacuum does nothing without spreading the Good News. It is no wonder Paul said the Church was at the baby level imbibing on milk.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    God bless you kind sir for making the scales fall from mine eyes.

    I thought many of the people came out to see the miracles he was performing and because they had heard of Jesus healing powers. I had forgotten how he let the people go hungry while he preached all day!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Boaz's Avatar
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    Thank you rl69 . We are all called to spread the gospel in the best way we can . If you don't feel compelled to mention GOD when you have an opportunity you might check to make sure the Holy Spirit still dwells within you ?
    No turning back , No turning back !

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    Good and Bad Soil
    Jesus often compared the kingdom of God to a seed planted in the hearts of men and women. Each of us has the seed of the kingdom within us, but it will grow only if we give it the proper "care and feeding." Jesus tells of this aspect of the kingdom in His famous Parable of the Sower:
    Jesus left the house and went down to the shore, where an immense crowd soon gathered. He got into a boat and taught from it while the people listened on the beach. He used many illustrations such as this one in his sermon: "A farmer was sowing grain in his fields. As he scattered the seed across the ground, some fell beside a path, and the birds came and ate it. And some fell on rocky soil where there was little depth of earth; the plants sprang up quickly enough in the shallow soil, but the hot sun soon scorched them and they withered and died, for they had so little root. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns choked out the tender blades. But some fell on good soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as he had planted. (TLB, Matthew 13:1-8)

    Jesus' disciples were often just as baffled by His parables as the huge crowds of people who came to hear Him preach. Later, when he was alone with His disciples, Jesus explained the Parable of the Sower to them in plain language:

    "Now here is the explanation of the story I told about the farmer planting grain: The hard path where some of the seeds fell represents the heart of a person who hears the Good News about the Kingdom and doesn't understand it; then Satan comes and snatches away the seeds from his heart. The shallow, rocky soil represents the heart of a man who hears the message and receives it with real joy, but he doesn't have much depth in his life, and the seeds don't root very deeply, and after a while when trouble comes, or persecution begins because of his beliefs, his enthusiasm fades, and he drops out. The ground covered with thistles represents a man who hears the message, but the cares of this life and his longing for money choke out God's Word, and he does less and less for God. The good ground represents the heart of a man who listens to the message and understands it and goes out and brings thirty, sixty, or even a hundred others into the Kingdom." (TLB, Matthew 13:18-23)

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Boaz's Avatar
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    You are correct jmort . His teaching was a totally new concept never before given . New Covenant teaching .
    No turning back , No turning back !

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  10. #10
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    Luk 10:30-37
    In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
    A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
    So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
    But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
    He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
    The next day he took out two denarii[fn] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
    “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
    The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    We have parables teaching us many responsibilities. You may sow the seed, but I've found I have better returns if the soil is prepared first. Let me not forget I may be the only Jesus someone sees today.

  11. #11
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    The O/P started a thread about sharing our faith, aka witnessing, and this passage about Jesus' religious contemporaries misses the mark. If you don't plant and water, it matters not what "good" works you do. We were given specific instruction on what to do. Tell everyone about the Good News of Jesus Christ. Too often posts are not even on the margin, they completely miss the mark.
    Last edited by jmort; 08-01-2017 at 06:07 PM.

  12. #12
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    Excellent post and some good commentary afterward. Doing as God wills us to, and dealing with others in an effort to get them to understand what it really is that Christ offers them, seems to have nearly always been a difficult thing for us willful humans to do. In my experience, the best way to deal with unbelievers is with humor and without the slightest trace of signs we think we know something they don't. It's really all about how we explain the situation to them. So many "amateur evangelists," and I do NOT use that term derogatorily, but hopefully as an instructive, only know to quote the word, but that never seems to work unless we can reveal the meanings BEHIND those words. And that's a point that many, many Christians miss, that diminishes the results they get.

    When we approach unbelievers with "fire and brimstone" type speech, we turn almost all of them away from the very thing we SAY we're trying to LEAD them to! Look at how the disciples talked to people. They were just straightforward and honest, and loving in the manner they spoke with. THAT should be our model of evangelizing, rather than the "fire and brimstone" approach that has been so typical of more "modern" Christians. We've come to a point where we "can't see the forest for the trees," and we wonder why we can't get any better results than we have. It's not the receiver's fault we fail in prostletyzing. It's OURS!

    I don't know about you, but if someone tries to FORCE me to think or believe or act in a certain way, that's about the surest way to ensure I WON'T do it! If however, someone approaches me with humor and some semblance of concern and "love," then I will almost surely listen, and think about what they say. This is about as simple a concept regarding human behavior as there is!

    And we have to know enough to answer their questions. "Just believe, darn it!" is NOT a good response. This means we have to learn more than we probably think is necessary to keep our own salvation. But isn't it always the way, that when we learn MORE than the absolute minimum needed, THAT is when we find ourselves most appreciative of what we have??? If it's not that way for you, you're a very unusual person, in my experience. When we've put ourselves out to learn the whys, the background, the "hidden meanings" of things (the things that don't immediately jump out at you and reveal themselves), we come to APPRECIATE the Word SO much more! And then, we can ALSO do a MUCH better job of sharing our faith with others who have yet to come to faith.

    People generally regard folks who rant and rave and shout as "madmen," even if they're not mad in the least, and are merely stating their case in a "mighty" way. But Christ said, "Ye shall know them by their works," and if our works aren't successful, that's a pretty darn good indication that we need to re-think our approach, rather than just keep on trying to shove the Word down folks' throats. Force just simply cannot and does not work! Care, humor and knowledge do, and add in a self assured confidence in what you say, a sense of earnestness and genuinely positive hope for them, and .... guess what? They respond MUCH differently than when approached with forcefulness! I have yet to see the milder approach not work better, and I've seen plenty of both approaches. Even a dumb country boy like me can see what works, and what doesn't!

    And one other thing: We didn't come to belief overnight. Why should we expect others to do it???? It took years of our going to church and sunday schools, and hearing the Word time and time again, for US to come to Christ. Why should, and how CAN we, expect others to instantly be converted by our efforts? Changing one's world view and philosophy does NOT come instantly or without great consideration, usually. So why do many of us feel we've "failed" when someone doesn't instantly convert right there on the spot when we give them our little spiel? It's foolish to expect that, and their failure to convert on the spot does NOT mean we haven't made headway.

    We just live in a world where we've come to EXPECT instant gratification in all that we do. But real life seldom works that way, and most especially with regards to the "big things" in life, like belief/disbelief. A calm, friendly, confident and knowledgeable approach will almost always bring us MUCH better results, and also, then nobody can think of us as "madmen," which only serves to reinforce their disbelief, which is diametrically OPPOSITE of what we SAY our intent is! Christ always spoke with respect to others. How can we, and why shouldn't we, do the same in our own efforts? If your message is warm and inviting, it'll be received MUCH better and much more often than if we try to MAKE someone accept Christ! Even Christ himself wouldn't do that!

    Bringing others to Christ is our most crucial assigned mission in this life, once we've accepted salvation for ourselves. And the first place to begin is in the family unit itself. So many today find argument the "standard fare" at home. This is tragic. Just look around and you can see what that results in! It affects the whole of society, and diminishes all of us.

    Bringing others to Christ, and most especially our families, is SO crucial to a well regulated nation and people, that it's amazing so many can't or won't see that today! All around us, it's our human wills, and the ego - what's good for ME - that seems to reign, and this goes even for some churches! We have one here near me that is led by a woman who is a college professor, and whose whole philosophy seems to be "if it feels good, do it." And she's got a good sized congregation, too!

    Christ never told folks things in a haughty, superior manner. Why should we? Especially when it's so clearly counter-productive?

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