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Share - Day 5

Share - Day 5

Written by Greg Knarr

Matthew 28:18-20Jesus came and told His disciples, I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

In today’s world all we seem to DO is share.  You can’t get on social media without seeing people share what they had for dinner, where they went on vacation and their feelings on almost everything else.  Almost everything…   The things we are most likely to share are literally the things in this life that in the grand scheme of things mean the least. 

The Great Commission was Jesus’ last earthly message to his disciples.  He urged all of his disciples to go and to share.  If the disciples had our hesitancy to share, many books of the New Testament would have never been written.  Their witness, their experiences, and their testaments to how Christ changed their lives would have been lost forever.  Did they share out of a since of duty or perhaps obligation or did they share because the witnessed the true power of Jesus in their lives and the lives that Jesus touched?  That true sense of urgency to share the good news.  Those transformational stories of how Jesus works in the most hopeless of situations and brings peace and comfort are not only true but compelling.  Everyone of us has a story of how Christ has transformed our lives.  The sharing of those stories is the juice that brings people to Christ.  Why hide those?

I have the opportunity to speak on various tax issues all over the country.  I know it can be a really boring topic, but when I speak about the these topics I don’t quote facts and give so much of the why.  I show examples.  I give stories.  I show impact and results.  

“Facts tell stories sell”  

About a year ago I got in discussion on God with a coworker.  I’ll call him Ted.  Ted is an atheist.  So Ted asked me if I believed in God and started to want to argue facts.  You could tell Ted had practiced his arguments against God.  He wanted to point out areas that he didn’t think were true or to him sounded crazy.  Rather than argue facts, I simply shared what Jesus had done and continues to do in my life.  I SHARED my story.  Ted couldn’t argue the impact or result.  For me, that is uncomfortable.  It is something I had to step into. Sharing an experience like a great meal or an awesome vacation is easy.  Sharing how Jesus transformed your life is tough.  It is definitely not for sissies.  

Father, We thank you for the opportunities you give us to share Your word. We know as we share our unique stories and experiences that you are right their with us.  Please help us to be more mindful of our job to SHARE Your Gospel.  Give us strength, courage, and wisdom to bring more people to You.  We pray all of this on Your name. Amen.

Share - Day 3

Share - Day 3

Written by Arlene Dile

"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth." - 1 Timothy 2:1,3-4

The first line of this chapter says to pray for ALL people. In studying this it seems clear to me that the word ALL was significant. It is much bigger than just praying for others. Although we don't really want to, it pleases God when we pray and intercede for a person whom we know has injured another, either physically or mentally.

We want justice served ON them. God wants eternal life FOR them.

We had many testimonies in 2016 from brothers and sisters in our congregation. Every story was different yet similar in that in every testimony someone came along side them, prayed with them, and shared the gospel with them. This is an example of Go, Share and Serve.

When we pray for someone a change takes place in our heart for that person and God changes the heart of those we bring before Him in prayer.

Have you ever thought about having a spiritual backpack?  Let's imagine what might be in ours if we had one.

Here we go.

When God examined our“backpack” what would He find? Is it filled with rocks ready to throw at the unsaved? Are there rocks labeled “judgmental thoughts and remarks”? Is there a rock for someone we have given up on?

Want to clean out that backpack? What if we filled our backpack with rocks marked, “Jesus loves you”, or “I'm praying for you”? Maybe one marked, “I'm a sinner too; let me tell you about Jesus”. These rocks are not hurtful; they are padded with love. 

Here’s your chance, throw a “prayer” rock at someone- hit them hard!

What's in your backpack?

Share - Day 2

Share - Day 2

Written by Rachel Ferguson

After four years serving God as a missionary in Brazil, a well-meaning acquaintance asked me, “So how many people have you saved so far?” Completely unprepared for the question, I mumbled, “Zero” to both of our embarrassment. Laying on my bed that night, of course, I came up with many, many other answers. 

We all know that I, Rachel Ferguson, can save no one. It is just not in my skill set. God is the only one in the soul-saving business. But as a Christian, and especially as a missionary, sometimes the pressure and unspoken expectations make me forget this. 

“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16 

We are to share Jesus by our lives, by what we do and say. We are to be like lights: they shine. It is what they ARE. When I first went to Brazil, I didn’t speak any Portuguese, so I worked really hard on shining. I even practiced in front of the mirror. Smiling, nodding, and giving hugs was about all I could do, but I wanted to do it well. 

After over a decade of serving in Brazil, I still haven’t “saved” anyone. I have shared and shared and smiled and shined my biggest and brightest, but no good. I often forget the second half of the verse: “That everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” 

It doesn’t say “that they may be saved.” It doesn’t say “that you will feel successful.” It doesn’t even say “That everyone will praise your Heavenly Father in front of you.” Most of my shining won’t get a response to me. Because that isn’t the point. The point is whatever God wants to do in that person’s life, through seeing me being me: God’s child, walking with Him.

So what does shining look like, practically? They say Moses’ face shown so bright after he was with God that they made him put a veil on (Exodus 34:29). It is living life with God. It isn’t being perfect, and it certainly isn’t practicing your smile in the mirror. It isn’t forcing something or planning a list of good works. It is the life that happens when you make up your mind that nothing is going to be between you and God, ever. That whatever it takes—you and God are going to meet up in the morning, and are going to live life together all day, every day. 

I went to a wedding last year, and at the reception, there was music. No one was dancing, but there was space to, and so I pulled my husband’s hand and we danced. I remembered when I got married. I remembered how much I loved him. And I am not a good dancer, but my heart was full and I sat down breathless. One of my old students came up and said, “When I grow up, I want to be like you. I want to be like that.” 

I had shone like a light. They saw something they wanted in me: someone lost in love and happiness. I like to think that is what being a missionary is, living my life with Jesus and people seeing something they want in me. Maybe they will ask me about it. Maybe they won’t. But they praise my Heavenly Father. 

Share - Day 1

Share - Day 1

Written by Ruthann Armentrout

I Peter 3:15 (NIV) says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect,”  

God gives us opportunities everyday of our life to show His love.  The question is, do we share it or not?  God gives us many doors to choose.  If we choose not to open the door then He will use someone else to do His work and you will miss out on the blessings He has in store for you.

For example, God called me to go to Russia and minister to the children in the Russian orphanages.  I shared the gospel message with the children but no one asked Jesus into their heart at that time.  I felt maybe I hadn't completed God's task.  When I returned home my 8-year-old son asked me why I went so far away and left him at home.  I explained that these children had no parents to love them, but more importantly that they needed Christ's love that would last forever and they could receive the gift of eternal life. 

He held my hand and said that he wanted to ask Christ to be his savior.  God showed me it was Levi's time.  If I hadn't followed His call I wouldn't have shared the special moment with my son.  Levi is in college now, but before he graduated from high school we both returned to Russia together to share His love with orphans.

My challenge to you is to start your day with prayer.  Ask God how He will use you today.  Second, love people around you.  God will place others in your path that need to hear your story.  Last, when God puts it on your heart to share His love, take the risk and do it.  Just look for the blessings He has in store for you!