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Friday, August 24, 2007

Personal (lesson in) evangelism

Yesterday evening I had an incredible desire to pray about evangelism, so I began, "Lord, because you have given me so many people to talk to . . ." and I had to stop. Then (because we are a home-schooling family), I had a parent-teacher conference (read: "I said to myself") that went something like this:

"Didn't you mean to pray, 'Lord, please give me someone to share the gospel with?'"

"No," I said to myself, "I meant what I said. God has put so many people across my path that I have not shared the gospel with, I should pray for boldness and clarity to speak."

"But that is so profound," I answered myself in amazement. "Who ever heard of praying that way?"

God apparently has. I was caused to remember that obedience to the Great Commission is about "Going" to those who are already there and either do not know there is a Jesus who has made salvation possible, or do not know they need to repent and confess their sin and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.

If I prayed, "Give me someone to share the gospel with," I am assuming one of two things: either there are so many people around me who are truly converted that I cannot find a lost person with whom to speak; or, I am failing to believe God has sent me with His authority to speak. I settled on the fact that God has indeed already given me people to talk with--I just had to obey Him and go do it. And Satan was ready to thwart the gospel.

We got to the store and I got out with my tracts and my wife had already started talking to this guy who was just sitting in his car a couple of spaces over. I got around the car, she dismissed herself and went it, and I approached the man with a tract. I only got to speak with him a couple of minutes for his wife came out and they had to leave, but he took another tract and he smiled alot, then left.

I kept passing out tracts in the store until an incident occurred (for the sake of those involved, I will spare the details) that caused us to cut our shopping trip short for an emergency run back home. I was boiling hot, getting quite angry because I felt I was not able to have an effective ministry. God said, "really?" I forgot it was His work, not mine I was doing.

We were able to return to our shopping and visited another store (as the first was now closed) and I continued passing out tracts. I will just say I love going to the grocery store because the Security guard there knows that if I do my job, his job will be easier . . . think about it.

Evangelism is obedient and easy. Just get out and do it.

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