How did we treat God?

April 7, 2007

I just want to share the devotion that I read this morning. I thought point 4 was the most riveting description: “this is how we would treat Father God too if we could get to him.” 

April 7

“O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?”- Psa_4:2

An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long expected King.

1. They gave him a procession of honour, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who comes to overthrow man’s direst foes. Derisive shouts are his only acclamations, and cruel taunts his only paeans of praise.

2. They presented him with the wine of honour. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal’s stupefying death-draught, which he refused because he would preserve an uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, “I thirst,” they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King’s Son.

3. He was provided with a guard of honour, who showed their esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quaternion of brutal gamblers.

4. A throne of honour was found for him upon the bloody tree; no easier place of rest would rebel men yield to their liege Lord. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world’s feeling towards him; “There,” they seemed to say, “thou Son of God, this is the manner in which God himself should be treated, could we reach him.”

5. The title of honour was nominally “King of the Jews,” but that the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called him “King of thieves,” by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was thus in all things turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall yet gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end.

The importance of hearing Jesus for ourselves in salvation

March 19, 2007

John 4:39-42 (ESV) Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

At the moment in Church we are hearing some fine preaching though the book of John. I only wish we had a website with the sermons on it so that I could share it with you in full. One point from yesterday’s message struck me quite strongly. It was in regard to the woman’s transformed life and subsequent witness. Here was a woman loaded down with sin, shame and social rejection now mindless of any of that. She had drunk of the living water of Christ through hearing and believing his words. She then goes straight into town and raises many people to come and hear Jesus for themselves. Some believed in Jesus just through her account of what happened to her at the well – her evidence and personal transformation (perhaps she always hid herself in shame and rejection) was just so striking to them.

It was, however, only when the people of the village heard Jesus for themselves that they really knew that Jesus was the Saviour of the world. It is essential that a person hears Jesus speaking themselves. Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit, sent by Christ to testify about him.

1 John 5:5-12 (ESV) Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify:the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

In evangelising, we need to be just like that Samaritan woman. Lets run to as many people as we can to tell them of what Jesus has done on the cross. The Holy Spirit may use our efforts and testify through them.

In the daily grind of life it is not normal to expect to feel the tremendous emotion that the woman felt on that day; let us not be compelled by emotion (then we would never be consistent witnesses because feelings change like the wind) but instead compelled by the living hope and joy that we have in Christ!

In using the law first and then presenting the good news, don’t be afraid to share your ‘testimony’ too. “Jesus showed me how sinful and deserving of wrath I am through my transgression of the law of God, but how loving and glorious he is when he died on a cross for my sin.” Perhaps we could even ask people the question: “What do you think, could Jesus be the only hope for the world?”

Attack of the flies!

March 10, 2007

Yesterday after school some high school kids from another school (different uniform) skated by my classroom. I went out in a happy tone to talk to them about the gospel. One was a Christian and the other wasn’t. I had a good opportunity to use some tracts and then take them through the good test and then explain the gospel.

In the middle of all this the weirdest thing happened – a mob of tiny flies swarmed all over the young man. It would have to be at least 50-100 flies. He did a good job listening to me but was obviously distracted as he tried to swat them all away. I don’t normally consider things in a ‘super spiritual’ way, but I couldn’t help but see the enemy attempting to stop this encounter.

Anyway, we got though our discussion and yes – I pointed him toward and eternal perspective: “None of us know how long we have here and there is nothing more important than knowing where you will go when you die.”

Using the key of eternal perception in tract handouts

March 9, 2007

I have come to see how little I use eternal perception in handing out tracts. When there is time for a longer conversation about the gospel or a preaching opportunity I always include it. I’ve just got stuck in the mode of “Hi, did you get one of these? Its a gospel tract.” I think I can improve by sharing with the person getting the tract something like “Hi, did you get one of these? Its a gospel tract. There is nothing more important than your eternal destination, please read this carefully!”

That is a very quick and efficient way of bringing to mind in people an eternal perception. Other alternatives might be”

  • None of us know how much time we have on earth. Look into what happens when you die
  • Do you know if you died today if you would go to heaven or hell?
  • You will be confronted with the eternal realities of heaven and hell when you die, know your destination.
  • Its so important that you examine the reality of your eternal destination. You can discover if it will be heaven or hell.

I realise that I can improve my tract handouts by adding a short statement to prick people’s minds about heaven and hell. The following link is about a man who did this simple thing to 10 people every day for several years. As you listen, be inspired by God’s faithfulness in using a simple witness.

The very latest breakthrough in modern evangelism…:

January 2, 2007

This in from a leading news report:

“The Church has been totally missing the point of evangelism! Now a leading group of scholars have unlocked the secrets that the Church has neglected since bible times. They are calling it… The Way of the Masochist!

Wow, and I thought doing The Way of the Master was tough. I have been doing it all wrong. Now I have discovered the very latest method in evangelism.

Just joking really; I guess anything is OK to pull in a crowd. What I am concerned about, however, is what their gospel message might be. Jesus will give you excitement? Jesus will give you strenght to do mighty things?

You know you’ve got slack when……

January 2, 2007

SlackThis morning, when having breakfast with my family, right out of the blue my almost 2yo daughter asked, “Where’s Way of the Master gone?”

My wife and I thought it was very funny, she is getting very smart and doesn’t miss a trick. It was, however, a wake up call to me too. I have been thinking for a while that I have not been using my holidays to the fullest of my ability to witness but I have just been enjoying relaxing at home. I’ts time for me to get back out there. While I’m typing this I’m listening to an episode. I want to go and do some witnessing today. I’ll let you know how I go this evening.

6 y.o. witness encounter

December 16, 2006

Kids can say silly things sometimes. Yesterday I was talking with a 6yo and his Mother and we were talking about what he wanted for Christmas and he said. “I want a clothes line so that I can hang myself up in the sun till I die.”

This was a pretty strange thing to hear him say and his mother told him off for it. I decided to ask him what he thought happened when he’d die. He said that if he was good he would go to Heaven or if he was bad he would go to Hell.

I was surprised that he had heard about Hell and I wanted to correct him on the way that people get to Heaven. I said, “How good does someone have to be to get in to Heaven”?

He didn’t have a real answer. I took him through the analogy that if you broke the law the judge will have to sentence you on that offence, no matter what other nice or good things you have done. What needs to happen is for someone else to come along an pay your fine so that your case can be dismissed. I then went on to explain what Jesus did on the cross to pay for our crimes against God.

This was the first time that I have attempted to explain the gospel to someone so young and he seemed to get it. I tried to simplify my language. It was good that the Mother was there too because she got to hear a clear explanation of the gospel at the same time