Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Following Paul’s Example

Paul sets a great example of how we are to evangelize or share the gospel.  He has been rejected and suffered once in Thessalonica yet he returns to this place again.  He enters filled with courage to do the work which God has called him to.  No fear rests in Paul because he knows God is in his corner.  How many times do we allow that first rejection to be our last attempt to share our faith with someone?

Paul comes with pure motives.  He is not seeking to make a name for himself or to become rich.  Paul is there to share the gospel and to bring glory to God alone.  His natural bent as an encourager and nurturer also draws him back.  So often Paul sought to help others along their journey of faith.  How many people do owe know who we could treat as Paul treats the Thessalonians?

Lastly, Paul comes to build relationships.  He seeks to build upon the relationship he established during his first visit.  As the Thessalonians are build up and strengthened by Paul’s time with them, so too is Paul built up and encouraged.  How many people do we have basic relationships with that could be brought to the next level as we share our faith story with them?

May we learn to follow Paul’s example of evangelism – courageously answering our call, responding only in ways that glorify God, and seeking to build lasting relationships that allows for both persons to grow.

Scripture reference: 1 Thessalonians 2: 1-8

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Sharing the News

Stephen was the first of many to die for his faith in Jesus Christ.  Many more have died in the name of Jesus over the centuries.  Some will die today, some will die tomorrow, and so on.  It even happens on a rare occasion here in America. There are Christians out there willing to die for their faith today.

Relatively speaking, we live in a country where it is pretty safe to share our faith.  Certainly in the public arena the worst things we face are rejection, scorn, and maybe a helping of ridicule.  In some work environments the subject of faith is ‘taboo’ and to talk about our faith may risk our job.  In some settings we may find ourselves ostracized or unwelcome anymore because we chose to speak about our faith.

Yet despite the relative safety we generally don’t like sharing our faith.  Maybe we will share our faith in just the right setting with just the right person at just the right moment.  There are definitely these times and it is joyful to God when we take these opportunities.  But most of us are not an “anytime, anyplace, anyone” type of person when it comes to sharing our faith.  It is my prayer that my mighty God and amazing Savior fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit and empower me to share my faith with any and all that I meet to the end of my days.  Will you make this your prayer too?

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Come and See

In the Gospel lesson for today, John the Baptist sees Jesus and proclaims him the Lamb of God. As Jesus passes by two of John’s disciples follow Jesus. As they do Jesus asks them what they want but instead of answering they ask him where he is staying. His response isn’t an answer either, but an invitation: “Come and see.”

This is what Jesus says to us too: ” Come and see.” It is what we are called to say to others as well. We are called to evangelize – to share the good news. For many this is a scary word. But we need to realize that our call is not to sell Jesus or to convince someone they have to go “all in.” We must simply enter into people live’s and say, come and see.

It may be saying, “Hey, can I tell you about Jesus and what he has done for me?” Or it may be stepping into a need and loving your neighbor. It may simply be living your life as an example of what it means to be a Christian. Ultimately, it is about drawing people in so that they can come and see who Jesus is.

In the devotional I read this morning there was a great analogy. It spoke of our relationship with Jesus as a series of concentric circles. Each layer a bit closer to Jesus. When we invite others to ‘come and see’ we are asking them to step one circle closer, not to leap all the way to the middle. May our words, actions, and deeds today help people to come and see Jesus, to draw closer to the Savior of the world.