The Evangelism Group

Equipping The Future

Success or Failure

As I boarded the small airplane on my way back home, I had the luck of being in seat “1B.” I wondered whether I would have a seatmate or have the whole section to myself, and I did not have to wait long until a nice young lady indicated that she would be occupying the seat next to me. I began to think of all the things I could say and the questions I could use to stir the conversation toward spiritual matters. After all, I had just finished reading a great book on apologetics and questioning evangelism—newly dubbed “conversational evangelism,” and was ready to engage. Sadly, the young lady began perusing her secular magazines and even when I tried asking interesting questions the conversation floundered.

After our small talk the stewardess brought beverages around and I settled in for some quality work time. I planned on typing up notes for a paper deadline and in the midst of getting everything situated I spilled some ice out of my cup. So I not only witnessed a conversation fissile, but I had now spilled some ice on my new-found, not-so-friendly seatmate’s feet. Luckily, the ice seemed to have landed on the floor of the airplane.

Toward the end of the flight as we started our final approach my new acquaintance discovered, much to my dismay, that apparently one piece of ice found its way into her open purse. I felt about three inches tall and apologized profusely; offering to get the stewardess’ personal supply of napkins if needed. The young lady brushed off the enormity of the situation, sharing that it was not a “big deal,” which obviously did not make me feel any better. I felt absolutely miserable with the results of my honest efforts at displaying proper airplane etiquette, and now to a much lesser degree, any evangelism opportunities that I had totally botched.

The reason I share this incident stems from our tendency as Christians to see evangelism as either success or failure. Success when gospel presentations culminate in prayers of salvation, and failure with anything less. But perhaps, as with my disastrous airplane flight, I merely needed to model Christianity at this stage in my seatmate’s spiritual journey. In the end God has called each of us to scatter seeds of faith, hope, and God’s love: allowing Him to take care of anything else that might be needed. Understanding the gospel obviously helps Christians share their faith when opportunities arise, but oftentimes demonstrating God’s love may be the most “successful” witness we can provide.

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Devotions | Leave a comment

The Bread of Life

Have you ever been hungry but didn’t really know what you wanted to eat? A gnawing in your stomach told you it was time for something to happen but you just couldn’t put your finger on what exactly you wanted to indulge in at the moment. I recently had a friend from high school (yes, that was a LONG time ago) give me a call to visit about spiritual matters. In the flow of the conversation he shared how something was missing he just couldn’t put his finger on it. That “it” was the need for a divine encounter with Jesus Christ.

Just like we get hungry and have to find nourishment to sustain our physical bodies, there is also a spiritual side to life. Every single one of  us has a special place reserved for God alone, which means that he alone can fill that void. After all, he made us after his likeness the Scriptures tell us. The great French mathematician, philosopher, and physicist Blaise Pascal argued that humans have an internal emptiness they try to fill with all kinds of things and relationships, but the only One who can truly fill that emptiness is God.

The great thing about being God’s creation lies in the fact that our creator cares about us: our struggles, our failures, and even our successes. As a matter of fact, God loved us so much that he allowed He son, Jesus Christ, to pay a debt for all the wrongs that have ever been done and all the wrongs that can ever be done in the future. Jesus shares with us in John 6:35, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'” That’s pretty encouraging to know that when we come to Jesus Christ, our spiritual hunger and thirst will be satisfied.

When we’re physically hungry we automatically know that we need to eat by the physical signs we feel. Sadly, we often don’t realize the spiritual dearth we’re in until things get really out of hand. Today, why don’t you take a moment to ask God how healthy your spiritual life is. If you don’t really have a relationship with God, it’s not too late and it’s not too hard. All you have to do is ask God’s son, Jesus Christ, to come into your life, forgive you of those things that have not been pleasing to the Lord, and to take leadership and lordship of your life. It’s just that simple. And if you really mean it, then you can say just like the apostle Paul did in 2 Corinthians 5:17,  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” So let’s eat!

March 7, 2010 Posted by | Devotions | Leave a comment

   

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