A WORD ON ‘PERSONAL-EVANGELISM’ AND ‘SOUL-WINNING’
JUNE 19, 2019 / MIKEJESHURUN
A WORD ON ‘PERSONAL-EVANGELISM’ AND ‘SOUL-WINNING’
Had the priceless privilege of preaching the Gospel this evening to a young Mohammedan who is a sinner like the rest of us. I do not preach the Gospel to EVERYONE I run into like I used to do when I was a young convert. When I was newly saved man I was so ‘on-fire’ that I would preach to the cab driver, the bell boy, the lady behind the hotel desk, the housekeeper and if I didn’t find anyone else you’d probably catch me preaching to the mannequins on display. I just HAD TO tell folks about Jesus!
I still believe that I have to tell folks about Jesus and I do, but over the years the Lord has taught me to use a little DISCERNMENT. He has taught me that there is such a thing as ‘Giving that which…
Believers should not experience anxiety, doubt or fear. They are not in our DNA.
~ Lisa Blair
To say life can be difficult is a misnomer, life is difficult. The world is turning at an accelerated pace. Our minds are trying to keep up and society has placed immeasurable weight upon us. We tend to wake up feeling the pressure of the day, already feeling overwhelmed, but that is not the destiny of believers. Paul wrote in Psalm 49:19, and I am reflecting upon two versions NIV and NLT,
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19 NIV
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalms 94:19 NLT
I am sharing both because one expresses ‘anxiety’ and the other ‘doubt’. God provided us with a exchange system, exchanging His joy, renewed hope, and cheer for your anxiety, doubt, and fear.
God did not give us the continence to be fearful, anxious or doubtful. These are not part of our DNA.
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV reports,
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
If God did not give us fear, He did not give us anxiety or doubt. They are the birth children of sin. Christ died on the Cross to free is of sin. We still possess our sin nature, but we are no longer bound by it. Anxiety and doubt are shackles we can remove through prayer.
When we wake up in the morning feeling anxious or doubtful, the first thing we must do, yes – must do, is to ask the Lord to forgive our weaknesses and ask for the strength to break free and replace the fear with His power, love and a sound mind. A sound mind is not weakened or conflicted by anxiety, doubt or fear. Believers should not experience anxiety, doubt, or fear they are not in our DNA, work to prove God right, not wrong, stand strong.
If we cannot silence our thoughts, we cannot hear God. He won’t compete for our attention.
Our lives are busy, we run to and fro trying not to miss a step. Our minds race, we never experience being still. One of my earlier posts shared that we can either learn to be still or as I once told my employees and students, we can suffer mandatory volunteerism. God gave me multiple opportunities but I did not take Him seriously. I gave one excuse after another. Finally, like any good Father, He took command and placed me in time out. He centered me in a place to be still, retirement, and told me to be still and listen to His quiet, still, voice.
God cannot lead us if we don’t take time to listen and converse with Him. He cannot converse with us if our minds don’t shutdown and release the static. You know, this type of static.
Stillness is the platform for establishing our relationship with our Lord. The scripture Psalm 46:10 reads, ‘Be Still and know that I am God’. There it is plan and simple, yet, so difficult to comprehend in a world were silence no longer exists.
This poem shares the concept of silence and how impactful conversations with God are on our lives.
Take time everyday for the next two weeks and learn to converse with God. Listen to what He has to say about your life and the steps that will lead you down your destiny pathway. You will be renewed and no longer bound by self-talk, social media, and purposeless thoughts. You will experience love greater than you can imagine, peace greater that you thought possible, and a sense of who you are in Christ.
Video – Kickstart A Conversation With God. YouVersion. Bible.com
Perfect Peace is yours. It’s a gift from God. Perfect peace is what we strive for, a calm greater than our understanding, a warmth like a mother’s womb, a knowing of intimacy greater than any experience we’ve ever had. Keep your eye on God and pray in quiet to hear His voice and feel His presence.
There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.
~ Lisa Blair
God gives us His grace. His mercy is how He provides our request for help. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary (pp. 341) puts it this way:
Mercy is the act of God. Grace describes God’s attitude toward the lawbreaker and the rebel; mercy is His attitude toward those who are in distress.
God’s purpose for extending His grace and mercy upon us is to provide a means of salvation. God’s grace must always precede mercy. Only the forgiven can be blessed with God’s mercy.
Mercy is through the everlasting covenant God made with David, particularly pardoning mercy, and mercies that are refreshed everyday. We must approach God boldly without any fear or doubt. Mercy is ours each day. When in prayer, remind God of the covenant and ask for daily mercies. Mercy is like a daily vitamin, your body must be replenished each day, just as your being is through daily mercies.
The commentary from Barnes Notes, BibleHub.com, reads, “we may obtain mercy – this is what comes first. We need pardon – as the first thing when we come to God. We are guilty and self-condemned – our first cry should be for mercy.” Those who understand their need for forgiveness are best prepared to obtain God’s favor.
Finding grace, is finding favor, “strength, help, counsel, direction, support, for the various duties and trials of life. Even when pardoned, we need grace to keep us from sin and to aid us in the day of temptation..”
As Christians, we have the privilege of boldly coming before the throne, “we are sinful and need mercy; we are feeble, and need grace to help us. There is not a day of our lives in which we do not need pardon; not an hour in which we do not need grace.”
Easy way to remember – There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.
Mercy is for past sins; grace for future work, trials, and resistance to temptation. (Vincent’s Word Studies, biblehub.com)
Godis a Trinity. There is only one God, but in the unity, there are three eternal, distinct yet equal beings.
~ C.C. RYRIE Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible. 1984
“He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:2-5 NKJV
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are always with us. In the beginning He, Jesus, was with God, long before they created the earth and all there is in it. Long before Christ came to earth to free us of our sins and demonstrate our walk. Long before God breathed life into us. Long before we came out of our mother’s womb. In Him, Jesus Christ was and is life and the light of men. This light shines down on us and because Christ was crucified, bore our sins, rose, and returned to heaven on the third day leaving His spirit to dwell in each of us; his light dwells in us, not just around us. The Holy Spirit completes the Trinity and as a result believer’s have been delivered from sin and its consequences through Salvation.
So go forth this day in the light. Be the bellwether of good cheer. Be kind, thoughtful, trustworthy, honest, respectful and in control. Do not allow the woes of the day affect you and beat you down. Speak to all things saying, “this is the day the Lord has made, I am glad and will rejoice in it.” Psalms 118:24 (paraphrased)
In closing, I want to impress that it is important to teach our children what the scriptures mean and how they impact their lives day-to-day. It is never to early to begin digesting the Word and applying it to our lives. Those who spend time teaching their children the Word are preparing Young Christian Warriors to become mature adults sharing the light in an uncertain world.
Worldly terms do not always express the same meaning when used biblically. Fear is one such term.
When we were young, we were taught to fear the things that could harm us. Children’s stories were often set around monsters in the night, alien attacks, and sea creatures. Our parents and teachers taught us strangers were to be feared to ensure we were not kidnapped or harmed. Our nation’s leaders spoke of international enemies, I grew up in the Cold War when our leader’s told us our enemies were hell-bent on destroying our nation, and so we feared them too. Nationalists around the world are identifying people to fear, fear the Blacks, the Jews, fear Muslims, Mexicans, South Americans, and anyone that is not White. Our understanding and the context of the word fear created feelings triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined (Mayo Clinic). Psychology Today reports that ‘fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger, it has strong roots in human evolution. If people didn’t feel fear, they couldn’t protect themselves from legitimate threats.’ In an article entitled, Very Well Mind, fear is identified as a primal human emotion, that has physiological and emotional responses. So, as a child, I connotated fear with something unpleasant and unwelcome, causing emotional pain, something to run from, not to.
The word ’fear’ can be a misleading word. I know that this word created a sense of discomfort for me. I recall thinking why should I be afraid of a loving God? It did not make sense. Our God is a good, a loving and protective God. We can call upon in good times and bad. He calms us in times of trepidation. He is our Father. As I grew older and matured as a Christian, and studied biblical dictionaries and read commentaries, I discovered that the word was not misleading but was a contextual term. It’s definition differed depending upon whether we seek clarity through the worlds dictionaries or biblical dictionaries.
I, like many of you, attended Sunday School, and when the teachers’ shared, we should fear the Lord, I misunderstood and took the word to mean the type of fear we learned about every day, worldly fear which equated to danger. As children would say, scary fear. I’ve since learned that worldly fear was designed to separate us from God. How can we love a God that we were told to fear and mistrust? The truth is, we were born into a spiritual war. Our parents thought that by warning us and intensifying our fear, they were keeping us safe as we grew up in a world of uncertainty. Satan created this dynamic to separate us from God. I fell prey on many levels early in life not seeing God as a loving Father and disavowing Him because He was intent upon destroying us (as seen in the Old Testament stories), and then as a parent failing to teach my children the distinction between worldly fear and Godly fear.
Now that we know what worldly fear means, let’s look at Godly fear. The fear of the Lord is defined as respect, awe, and submission. Godly fear becomes reverential in nature. I believe that this type of fear does not live in our consciousness until we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is not until we break through the veil that separates the natural world from the spiritual world that we can understand the word, fear, has two meanings. Our awareness manifests when we become a member of God’s family and begin to realize the magnitude of His being. As we become aware, our hearts and soul begin to reap wisdom. Wisdom is the foundational base on which we build our relationship with the Lord. There is one caveat, if you do not accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, then there is no salvation, no relationship, and hence worldly fear will cause you to remain afraid of the Lord. You will see him as a tyrant who, as in the Old Testament, smites those who disobey Him. I believe Solomon wrote in Proverbs, 4:7 NKJV,
Gill (BibleHub.com) explains ‘getting wisdom’ as gaining a greater degree of knowledge of Christ.
Eugene H. Merrill (BibleStudyTools.com) explained it like this: Fear of God also lies at the heart of successful living in the world. Wisdom literature makes it clear that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a fear equated with the “knowledge of the Holy One” ( Prov 9: 10; 1: 7; Psalm 111:10 ). To fear God is to know him and to know him is to fear him. Such healthy fear enables one to praise God ( Psalm 22: 23; Rev 14:7 ); to enjoy benefits and blessings at his hand ( Psalm 34:9 ; Psalms 103:11 Psalms 103:13 Psalms 103:17 ); to rest in peace and security ( Psalm 112:7-8 ); and to experience length of days ( Prov 10:27 ; 19:23 ). But fear of God also produces fear of wrath and judgment in those who do not know him or who refuse to serve him. There are, thus, two sides of the fear of the Lord — that which produces awe, reverence, and obedience, and that which causes one to cower in dread and terror in anticipation of his displeasure.
As adults, it is our responsibility to teach those around us the context of words as defined in Biblical dictionaries. Imagine how different your life may have been had you been told the difference between the two languages, and how to establish your life on the foundational base of wisdom. This is not to say that we should have regrets, we live and we learn. However, this knowledge should speak to our hearts explaining how we can spread the Good News.
The word ’fear’ Can be a misleading word. I know that this word created a sense of discomfort for me. I recall thinking why should I be afraid of a loving God? It did not make sense. The following romped through my head: our God is a good God, a loving God. We can call upon in good times and bad. He calms us in times of trepidation. He is our Father. As I grew older and matured as a Christian, studied biblical dictionaries and read commentaries, I discovered that the word was not misleading but was a contextual term. Its definition differed depending upon whether we seek clarity through the worlds dictionaries or biblical dictionaries.
Biblical dictionaries define fear as respect, awe and submission. Fear precedes our awareness of the magnitude of His being. And, once aware, it brings reverence, knowledge, and wisdom.
Wisdom is the foundational base on which we build our relationship with the Lord.
Images – Google Images
The term Fear is ContextualizedReferences – Biblehub.com; Biblestudytools.com; Vine’s Expository Dictionary
I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.