Friday, August 26, 2016

Sharing Christ

Sharing Christ with Others
Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:27-38
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. (Mt. 9:36 NASB)
Have you ever struggled to turn a conversation to spiritual things? I look upon every meeting as though it were an appointment set up by God. To me, the easiest way to connect with people is to get them on the subject of travel. Here’s an example:
     I met a friend at Walmart and he said, “I’m bushed. I just spent a week at an International Conference in North Carolina.” I responded, “I know what you mean. I just came back from prison.” His questioning look gave me the opportunity to tell him about our mission trip to Angola State prison in Zachary, La. Of course, there was more to the conversation, but you get the idea. If you have done Christian service assignments there is always an opportunity to share your spiritual service with others. Just get the ball rolling and let the Holy Spirit direct the conversation and you’ll be amazed how doors open to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
     The biggest hurdle that I have found in sharing Christ is the fear of rejection. What if someone shuts the door in your face? What if they totally reject what you are saying? Be polite! Thank them for allowing you to bring up the subject of Christ. Do not be discouraged. The Holy Spirit knows when a person is ready to listen to the gospel. Trust in his timing. Try to end the conversation on an amiable note. There may be other times and opportunities down the road to speak to that person again.
     Jesus used lots of different ways to get the attention of people. On the seashore he sat in a boat and taught them about his relationship to God. On a hillside he proved who he was by using the multiplication five loaves and two sardines. At a gravesite he used life giving powers. At a wedding he used six water pots of water. On the road to Emmaus he used the Old Testament Scriptures. In the Temple he used a whip. On one occasion he put a coin in a fish’s mouth, and on another occasion the hem of his garment got a woman’s attention. He even used a sycamore tree to get Zaccheus’s attention. In the final analysis, what do all these different ways and means tell us? Simply this, there is no one set method of sharing Christ with others.
     Whenever you go out into your mission field, ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your thoughts and conversations with those you meet. Every person you encounter is an appointment waiting to happen. Be prepared to give a reason to every man for your faith in Christ.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to be like the Apostle Paul who said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation…” (Rom. 1:16a)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Passing on Blessings

Passing on Blessings
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 4:9-14
But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. (Dt. 4:9 NLT)
A few years ago I was challenged by a friend to pass on the blessings bestowed on my life by God’s grace to others. The verse quoted above affirmed that that was what God wanted me to do. After much prayer, I decided this was sound advice and picked up the pen. I began by sending notes of encouragement to friends at church. After awhile God motivated me to write a monthly letter to each of my children. I called them Abraham’s Musings. Each month for a period of a year I shared with them what God was doing in my life, and passed on his blessings to them.
     Inspired by the response to this venture, I spent considerable time writing my autobiography. I entitled the book God’s Unfolding Plan. In it I explained how I came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the various twists and turns I experienced in finding the meaning to life. God blessed this effort, and not only did I receive healing for past unresolved family issues, especially with my father, but others who read the story testified to similar results.
     This writing experience was followed by writing life experience stories which were printed in such publications as Country Magazine, Good Old Days, Looking Back, and Reminisce Extra. Writing has had a therapeutic value in my life, and I hope in the lives of those who read the stories.
     Like Martin Luther King, I had a dream! My dream was to share the word of God with individuals in an effort to draw them closer to Christ. In order to fulfill this dream, I began to write Bible based devotions that tied in with personal experiences.. I endeavored to share with others the challenges, obstacles, twists and turns, and the portions of Scripture that God used to help me overcome. My first devotional book entitled A-Z Daily Devotional Journal was published in 2010 and a second volume entitled Let Jesus Start Your Day will come off the press in a few weeks. 
     I find that recalling experiences from the past (sixty years) and sharing them with others keeps me closer to the Lord. As I read and study God’s word, memories flood my mind as to how God helped me overcome the obstacles and struggles of life. Hopefully I can translate those victories into words that will help someone else who may be struggling with their faith and walk.
     You too can pass on God’s blessings to others. Give it a try.

Prayer: Dear Lord, continue to pour out your blessings, and help us share them with others.