Born Again! 

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him. ‘Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:1-3

Brethren rejoice with the angels and saints meeting in Anaheim! Ron Lewis was born again, obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ through baptism in Jesus name Saturday February 25th in the four o’clock hour! See pictures below.

Ron visited the Anaheim assembly of the church for the first time February 12th 2017. Being a former Catholic, but recently unable to continue meeting with them due to access issues caused by limited mobility, he decided to give us a visit. Actually, ten years earlier, while still attending the Catholic church with his wife, he saw our meeting house sign and wondered who we were. Ten years later, after the death of his wife and the onset of mobility issues, he decided to pay us a visit. We are so glad he did!

During his first attendance with us on a Sunday morning, we conversed quite a bit getting to know one another. In that conversation I asked Ron how he came to visit us and if he believed he was saved and if how. He shared his story of Catholic conversion. I asked questions about his beliefs about Jesus, repentance and baptism. We talked about the purpose and form of baptism found in the Bible. Two things that were new to him. I encouraged him to consider being baptized biblically. He said he wanted to think about it. Ron remained after services and joined us for a monthly feast with the saints meeting in La Verne, CA hosted at our meeting house. Everyone got to know Ron a little bit and he them. 

Upon Ron’s second visit I brought the topic of obedience to the gospel again, to which Ron requested I visit him at his nearby apartment later in the week to study the topic. We studied a couple of hours two days in a row that week and Ron decided he wanted to obey the gospel by being baptized! He was not able to do it that day or those immediately following, so we set our sights on the coming Saturday. 

Duane and Janice Shelton, William Kheirandish, Holly and Zoe Yost, David and Sandra Norris and myself were present, with me doing the baptism and David assisting. It was a beautiful day! There is nothing quite as marvelous as someone’s rebirth, though one’s physical birth certainly compares. 

What do you do with visitors? Do you know what brought them to your assembly? Have you any visitors who have been coming for awhile? Do you know their faith story? Has anyone personally given them an invitation to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ? 

How about people in your assembly who have visited so many times that you hardly see them as visitors anymore? What do you know about their faith story? Have they been personally invited to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ?

If you have people in your assembly or any part of your life, whom you are ashamed to ask about their faith and invite to obey the gospel so long after having knowing them, apologize for it and ask the next opportunity you get. It is the most loving, caring thing you can do for their soul. If they die having been faithful to the assembly, but not having obeyed the gospel, they died outside of Christ and are destined for the wrath of God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). 

Ron was asked about his faith and invited to obey the gospel upon his first visit to the Anaheim Sunday morning assembly of saints. By his third visit he came as a new brother in Christ – born again! 

Keep thinking souls!

 

Opportunities Abound!

Opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ abound. Just this morning in less than thirty minutes of reading friend’s Facebook posts, I was made aware of three encounters brethren had with the lost! These encounters occurred at a church meeting, a fast food restaurant and a hotel lobby desk. At least two (restaurant and hotel desk) were the result of strangers breaking the ice by engaging Christians in conversation, which the Christians turned into spiritual conversation. The third (church meeting) was the result of a foreign college student’s visits during which she heard the gospel invitation and answered it by following Jesus in baptism for the forgiveness of her sins (Acts 2:36-38, Romans 6)!

Also just last night while attempting to provide a ride to a new convert and new addition to the Anaheim church for a midweek meeting, another opportunity presented itself. The friend of this new brother was visiting him and at first introduction voiced disinterest in spiritual conversation, but before the conversation ended, was expressing thanks and interest in looking into spiritual things further (more on this in a post to follow this one). 

I highly suspect there have been many more opportunities, among even just those I know, to share the will of God and saving message of Jesus with the lost this past week than I have been made aware of. There are surely many unreported and certainly unbroadcast evangelistic encounters brethren have had with the lost any given week. Encounters that evidence that the fields of souls are still white for harvest!

Brethren, opportunities abound for the chance to share the saving message of Jesus with the lost. The initial message of hope and forgiveness in Jesus can be shared in a very short conversation. The facts needed to bring someone to an informed decision of obedience to Christ for salvation can be shared with the addition of relatively little more time. 

Look with me for the many opportunities that present themselves or can be found with a little effort and be committed to making the most of them! God guide and equip us in our efforts to His glory!

The People Factor

Engaging the work of an evangelist, I find myself with plenty of work that I can do from my home (i.e. devoted prayer, personal Bible study, Bible reading, lesson preparation, various forms of correspondence with brethren and the lost, extra Biblical reading, planning and organizing the work, blogging, etc.). You add in two hours of exercise with showering, an hour breakfast, lunch and dinner with the family, daily chores, etc.) and you have a full day, little of which has to do with being around lost people. 

Add in delivering Bible lessons, visiting various assemblies of the saints and the drive time it takes to do so, discipling the saved, recreating with brethren, family time, etc. and there is even less time around the unsaved. 

All these uses of time, as beneficial and necessary as they are, sometimes present a real challenge to sharing the saving message of Jesus with the lost. Now it should be noted that some of the work and recreation mentioned, if done with the right perspective, lends itself to multiplying the potential for spreading the gospel to the lost by better equipping others to go out (Ephesians 4:11-16). However at the same time it must also be acknowledged that the fewer lost people we encounter, the fewer opportunities there are to invite them to know Jesus as their Lord.

It seems that there is no big revelation in all of this, though recently this equation – interaction with fewer lost people + fewer gospel invitations = fewer people being saved – hit home to me (again), and reawakened me. That much of my activity from day to day can keep me from opportunity with the lost begs reflection on my part. As one who loves the Lord, shares His desire for none to perish (2 Peter 3:9) and as a beneficiary and possessor of the saving message of Jesus, I need to seek opportunity with the lost.

Eight life situations, lifestyle choices and personal attitudes come to mind that also might limit Christian’s exposure to the unsaved. I will not share their specifics here, because this post is more about the situation of not being around the lost itself than the various causes of it. 

When it comes right down to it, if we truly share God’s desire for none to perish but for all to come to repentance, we must find ways to be among the lost, be committed finding a way to share the gospel and/or support others to do the same. The more intentional and involved we are in meeting this need, the greater blessing we will find in its fulfillment!

I have made it a personal goal this year to increase my influence among the lost by striving for opportunity to share the gospel invitation with someone weekly. Minimally this has the potential to result in fifty-two invitations for the unsaved to be saved. I highly suspect pursuit of this goal will result in more invitations than the minimal. I have not kept a strict record of the gospel invitations I offered directly to individuals in 2016, but I would suspect it was not more than fifteen. 

Wow, as I write this, that seems a very small number! Much smaller than is acceptable for me. Out of those fifteen invitations or so one person was found to already be a Christian and five others accepted and obeyed the gospel to be saved! The potential for at least fifty-two invitations this year excites me! Your prayers for my meeting this goal would be greatly appreciated. 

By gospel invitation I do not mean only mentioning Jesus or that I’m a Christian or inviting people to join me in meeting with the saints, or even studying the Bible with me, as good as these are. By gospel invitation I mean sharing the saving message of Jesus coming to earth, living sinlessly, dying on a cross and shedding His blood there to accomplish the only avenue of forgiveness of sins, being buried for three days, rising from the dead, ascending back to heaven in a glorified state to reign with His Father, and offering all who believe these things and follow Jesus in baptism, forgiveness of sins and eternal life! This is the gospel invitation and power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Romans 6). 

How about you, do you want people to be saved? How much are you around unsaved people? How might you increase your exposure? 

Have you prepared yourself to share the gospel? What do you need to do to get better prepared? How much do you encourage your brethren to share the gospel? How can you encourage your brethren more or better?

Petition God to send out workers into His harvest and be prepared to be part of God’s answer to your prayer (Matthew 9:38). 

Jeff Yost’s Evangelist Report September – December 2016

Hello fellow saints! I trust this finds each of you thriving in your walk with our Lord Jesus.
The work in California marches on, reaching into the lives of the lost and shining the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since August 2016, Anaheim brethren have seen the Lord grow His church in number by three – Sergio and Juan and Marilyn! Sad to say, only minimal contact has continued with Juan and Marilyn after their conversion. At this writing they do not return correspondence. Unsure of the reasons for their pulling away from us, we ask that you pray for their growth as Christians. On a brighter note, Sergio continues with us, studying with David Norris and I once a week and meeting with the saints Sundays and Thursdays. Please pray for Sergio’s continued growth in the faith.

Cesar who obeyed the gospel June of 2016 continues with the Anaheim brethren in first day and midweek meetings. He also remains in a series of discipling Bible studies hosted by various Anaheim members. Please pray for his continued faithfulness and growth.

Anaheim’s online Bible studies continue to attract new students regularly. Four Anaheim brethren conduct these studies, each taking turns adopting students as they sign up. To date we’ve only had personal contact with one student. Others study for awhile and then drop off for awhile and then complete another lesson or two. For Anaheim study helpers, online studies are a labor of patient endurance in sowing and watering from afar. We hope some day to know some of our students as brethren. Your prayers for our efforts are appreciated.

As of September of this past year, our family became residents of California. Residency required that we have our car smog checked. Our pickup was exempt due to its age and being a diesel. This check presented an opportunity to initiate two Bible studies, one of which resulted in the addition of Sergio (mentioned above) to the Kingdom of God! The other Bible study is with a man named Eddie and is more of a study about the Bible – its reliability and origin. Prayers are appreciated.

October of 2016 took the Anaheim congregation’s outreach efforts to a city park adjacent to the meeting house for a devotional (singing, scripture reading with comments and prayer). Canvasing for the effort did not result in any outside attendees from the neighborhood, but did initiate a study that took place a week later. It was this effort that brought us Juan and Marilyn. Besides contact with Juan and Marilyn our devotional brought the Anaheim church together in a cooperate outreach which attendees found edifying. Our next park devotional outreach is scheduled for March 2017. We look forward to planting and watering some more and perhaps being able to harvest some of the resulting fruit. Your prayers for this effort are appreciated.

In December, the same Burger King, where Fred Flory and I met now sister Marylou Aguilara in 2014, produced an opportunity to share the gospel with two more people – Lawrence and Matthew. Both men are enrolled in a substance abuse ministry limiting their avenues for contact. Conversation revealed that Lawrence had obeyed the gospel previously, but Matthew had not. Matthew was invited to put on Christ in baptism for the forgiveness of his sins that hour, but hesitated, saying he wanted to consider it further before making a decision. I encouraged him that today is the day of salvation and today if he hears His voice, not to harden his heart. We parted company having exchanged contact information. I hope to meet with these two men again in the near future to further encourage them in the Lord. Your prayers for this future contact are appreciated.

Contact with other southern California congregations in the area has come through attending Long Beach’s Thanksgiving weekend meeting, LaVerne’s monthly visit to Anaheim for a meal, Norwalk hosting of the monthly song fest, a couple of drop ins to studies at the Anaheim West, Newland Street and State College Blvd. church’s of Christ near our rental house. I also participated in a soul winners worshop at Vermont avenue church of Christ in Los Angeles.

Thank you for your interest, prayers and support of the Lord’s work here in Southern California! Your partnership with us in this work means so much to our family and the saints here.

Keep the faith and share the gospel brethren!

Jeff Yost

P.S. Keep an eye out on Facebook for this report as a computer game in the near future. Yes, a computer game! Zoe is creating a computer game themed around this report using a program called Bloxels Builders. Only Bloxels Builders users will be able to actually play the game, but we hope to video our game play and share the video with you all on Facebook and perhaps on YouTube in the near future. Below are a few pictures of the first two panels of the game. The game begins reading the Bible and leaving one’s house to share the gospel (panel 1  below). The first challenge is destroying doubts about sharing the gospel (second and third panels below). Plans for the rest are 1. a stop by a smog check facility to battle polution and invite the owner to consider the gospel 2. a stroll through the park passing out flyers, singing, Bible reading and praying 3. stopping at a fast food restraunt to gobble up some food and share the gospel 4. and finally…well I wouldn’t want to give it all away just yet. All along the way being encouraged by Bible verses to share the gospel and battling doubts in doing so.

Part of the first and second pannels of the game. Players begin in a house reading from the Bible (black book with white cross on table) a passage encouraging them to share the gospel with the lost (left). Leaving the house they enter a field of doubts about sharing the gospel. 

Part of the second pannel of the game. In the field of doubts players look to the Bible (black book with a white cross on it) to find further encouragement to share the gospel. They also open the treasure chest which equips them with a jet pack enabling them to fly into the air and destroy all the doubts about sharing the gospel flying about. 

Answered Prayers

Last Sunday night I requested prayer for finding opportunity to share the gospel with the lost at least every week of this year. The following Monday morning I took a bike ride from our house to the Burger King close to the church’s meeting house. On the way I prayed the ideas of the song, “Lead Me To Some Soul Today.”

During the hour I was at Burger King a man by the name of Mike approached my table and asked me to buy him something to eat. I asked him what his situation was and discussed with him particulars about what he shared. I learned he was 33yrs old, homeless roaming from friend to friend’s and his parent’s house. He did not finish school, did not currently have a job and was not looking for one. When I asked if he believed in God he hee hawed around about it and did not really give an answer. He said he did not have any inclination toward religion, stating that he wanted to live life his own way.  When I asked what he thought would happen in at his death he did not have an answer. I asked if he’d been to any funerals. He said he had. I asked what one common phrase he’d heard at every funeral. He said, “They are in a better place.” I asked where that place was. He said he supposed Heaven. I asked if he wanted to be in a better place when he died. He answered yes. I suggested to him that Heaven with its reward or Hell with its punishment is every person’s destiny after death. I asked which he’d prefer. He said Heaven. I asked how he thought he could go there. He did not have an answer. I asked if I could read a passage to him which he allowed. I read 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 to him. We discussed what it meant to know God, focussing our discussion on who Jesus was and what He has done for us in light of our sins (the gospel). I forgot to ask if he believed in what I had just shared about Jesus. Big oversight on my part. Instead I asked how he could obey the gospel (i.e. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection). He was unsure. I shared with him the ideas in Romans 6 which we discussed them briefly. I suggested that he could be saved and begin the abundant life with Christ that very hour. Mike thanked me for the discussion and went and bought some food with the money he already had and some change I gave him from my pocket.

Mike sat across the dinning room from me and ate his meal. As I left, I dropped by his table to share my contact information with him and encourage him to answer God’s call to salvation and abundant life in Jesus. I also informed him that if he desired to discuss the topic further in the future, to give me a call.

This was the beginning of an answer to prayer, the completion of which I anticipate will be at Jesus return if He should return this year or my death should I die this year or the end of this year. God is faithful and prayer effective!

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;” Colossians 4:2,3

My prayer for you is that God open your eyes to what is likely many opportunities in your life for sharing the gospel with the lost. Also that He give you the courage, strength and wisdom to make the most of them!

Keep thinking souls bethren!

Syrian Refugee

Some months ago a brother from the Corona church and I corresponded on Facebook Messenger about opportunities to share the gospel that had presented themselves to us. The following quotes are his side of our correspondence. The first quote is an overview of the opportunity and results. The second quote is a recounting of the story in more detail. 

“Hi Jeff! I am studying with a young lady who is a refugee from Syria. She is married (at least for now) with two beautiful daughters. She located to Corona near our church building and was able to walk to our assemblies. She has always considered herself to be a Christian and was baptized in a Christian-like church in Syria. She married an Egyptian man and, as a requirement for their marriage, was baptized in a coptic church in Egypt. We began studying the one baptism of the Bible – the baptism into Christ – and her eyes were opened to truths that had never before been presented to her. We will meet again on Wednesday evening and, Lord willing, she will obey the gospel once and for all. Please keep her and her daughters in your prayers as her husband has initiated divorce proceedings. Thanks for asking!”

“I am glad to report that last evening she did obey the gospel. She is grateful to know that she never has to be baptized again, having obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which she has become committed (Rom. 6:17-18).

We met several months ago when she first started attending. Upon meeting her I simply asked about her background; nationality, family, spiritual. I wanted to know her and show her that I was interested in her salvation and spiritual growth. She was confident of her previous two baptisms, but said that she would perhaps be baptized in the United States as well. At that time she did not want to engage in a one-on-one study, so she has just assembled with us for several months. Hearing the gospel over that time, and the invitations, she shared her thoughts that she might need to be baptized “in our church.” That’s when our study began and she came to know the one, true baptism into Christ. She presented all the common questions associated with the essentiality of baptism, but also brought an open heart to understand the answers. Her’s is a truly fascinating story. Let me say how grateful I am for this country allowing this refugee from Syria to find not only peace from her war-torn home, but the peace that passes understanding, true peace that is only found in Jesus!

Press on brother!”

Keep thinking souls! 

Would You Like Scriptures With That?

When visiting a fast food restaurant I used to here some phrase like, “Would you like fries and a drink with that.” With the advent of meal deals in which fries and a drink are most often included the question has changed to something more like, “Is that all for you?” or “Would you like anything else with that?”

Recently I received an email from a Southern California brother who visited a local iconic burger joint that includes scriptures in every meal, essentially adding an unspoken phrase to their service – “Would you like scriptures with that?” His email follows:

“After our recent trip to Oak Glen, we stopped at a nearby In-N-Out Burger location and discovered materials for a Bible Study on the packaging of the food items. 
Below is a link to an article explaining how to conduct such a study. 

I have taken some highlights from the website for your joy and edification. 

Thanks, 

-Robert 

Here is the article and links…”

Here I break from quoting Robert’s email in order to point out that I am opting to include only the highlights from the website and not the site itself. I do so because I do not wish to promote a website on my blog whose author and doctrine I know little about. Robert’s email continues: 

“…In one of our favorite fast-food restaurants, a Los Angeles cultural icon, there is a unique surprise under the drink cups and hidden in the bottom edges of the hamburger wrappers and french-fry trays-a Bible verse. This can be a low key, wondrous opportunity to spread the Gospel while enjoying a fun meal. Imagine bringing a non-Christian friend to have a meal; what a great discussion starter! Now you have a place to bring a youth group when you have new students while not worrying about it being to overt to offend. All you do is pick up your cup and say, I wonder why this is here and what does it say and mean? Look it up, and say it. 

You see, its founders-the Snyder family in 1948-were Christians and wanted to honor God with their business; what a great way to do that. Here are the main Bible passages: 

Where are the In-N-Out Bible Verses?

– Hamburger and Cheeseburger Wrappers:Revelation 3:20

– Double-Double Hamburger Wrapper: Nahum 1:7

– French-Fry Tray:Proverbs 24:16

– Beverage Cups: John 3:16

– Milkshake Cups: Proverbs 3:5

– Water Cups: John 14:6

– Merchandising License Plate and Keychain: 1 Corinthians 13:13

…All these passages point us to Christ, that our God has steadfast love for us and is here, even when people make difficulties and barriers against us. When we feel distressed and confused, when we wonder if this is worth it-if this is all there is in life, God is here-always. And this is what He is saying.”

Another company that does something similar with scripture on their products is Aldi’s grocery store. Inside the cover of their egg cartons Psalm 118:24 is quoted and the reference cited. I do not know if scripture is included on other items too.

 These companies use their access to thousands and maybe even millions of customers across the country to spread the word of God! How cool is that! And not only do these companies share the Word, but with this practice they also provide their customers another means of sharing the wisdom and love of God with fellow patrons! 

I’m not sure if I shared this next bit in another post or not, but once when I was waiting in a checkout line at an Aldi’s, I engaged in a conversation with one of my fellow patrons. The details of the conversation are to faded for me to be able to share now. However, I recall mentioning and showing the Psalm on my egg carton to the other person.

Ways to share the saving message of Jesus with those around us abound, as do opportunities to do so. Maybe brainstorm all the ways you could share the message of Jesus in your realm of influence and chose a few at a time to try – ex. scriptures on your checks, short spiritual messages on the bills you mail in or with tips you leave the wait staff at restaurants, a relevant scripture on your trash can, a message on a ball cap or T-shirt, a button you wear, a personalized license plate, framed scriptures attractively hung on the walls of your homes interior, vinyl windo stickers with a Biblical message on your car windows, tracts you hand to others, a verbal encouragement or invitation to study the Bible or meet with the church, meeting people’s physical needs and mentioning God’s provision in it, leaving people with a “God bless you,” or “Go with God,” etc, etc, etc. 

Remember always that the goal of our interactions and instruction toward others is to bring them to faith and strengthen their faith in God and Jesus Christ His only Son and world’s only Savior (1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 10:31-11:1; Acts 4:12).

Keep thinking souls brethren! 

P.S. You are invited to email me your personal experiences in sharing Jesus with others, to be used in future posts. Email your experiences to honor4God@gmail.com

Mulchin’

I took a trip across town to get some free mulch sitting in a Craig’s List poster’s driveway. 

When I arrived someone had beat me to it and was buisy loading a trailer full. A trailer big enough to take it all.

Though disapointed I parked just past the driveway and grabbed a shovel out of my pickup bed. As I walked up to the guy loading the mulch I said, “Your help has arrived.” To which the man responded in some positive way I do not now recall. 

After a bit of discussion with the man offering to give me the rest of the mulch, I suggested we just load the rest on his trailer since it would all fit. As we loaded his trailer, I learned that his name was Mike, that he was a native Californian, that he was a retired firefighter, that he had a friend suffering brain cancer and that he was not a religious man nor interested in discussing religious things. Near the end of the mulch pile the man who owned the house named Boe showed up and began to sweep up what remained. 

As I said goodbye including a, “God bless you,” Mike asked me for a card, suggesting that he’d let me know about other sources of mulch in my area. I thought this a bit odd since we’d already discussed this and exchanged some information on it already. At any rate I pulled out my card and shared one with Mike and Boe. I explained that on the front of the card was an online Bible study, and written on the back was my contact information, meeting house address and meeting times. I also explained that I was available for personal Bible studies. They both said thank you. I offered another farewell and God bless you.

On my way home I reflected on the fact that I had neglected to pray before or during interacting wirh these two men. Might I have found more fruitful conversation had I thought to pray? Maybe, maybe not. 

One thing is for sure, giving Mike some thirty minutes of free help surely gave him opportunity to reflect on the generosity, kindness and servant heart of the Christianity he made no room for in his life. 

I wonder if he might have asked me for my card in order to reflect a bit more on the service rendered him in the name of Christ that day. I wonder how God might follow up this interaction with Mike and Boe in the future. 

Though I did not get the mulch I was there to get, nor did I take the opportunity to say as much as I would have liked to about Jesus, the trip was not wasted. Two men were exposed to the hands and feet of Jesus! 

Let’s keep serving people for their soul’s sake. Trusting God to use us to His glory!

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then,  while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:9,10

Keep serving people’s souls. 

Craig’s List Soil

In a previous post titled “Giving and Receiving” I suggested that Craig’s List and other internet based buying and selling services can provide avenues of sharing the saving message of Jesus with others.

Following is a real life example of such sowing coming from the Anaheim church meeting at 1759 B. Orange Ave:

Potential buyer:
“Hi. I’m interested in the TV. But I’ve got a couple of questions: Does it have HDMI? Does it have a stand? Are you near the 91 freeway? Thanks!
http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/ele/5848873794.html”

Seller:
“The TV does NOT have an HDMI. The TV does NOT have a stand. We had it mounted on a swivel arm on the wall, but that has been sold seperately. We live about a mile and a half or so from the 91 freeway. If the TV suits your needs but not quite we are open to offers.
– Seller’s name –
Participate in God’s plan for your life:
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 (Obey gospel), 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (The gospel), Romans 6:1-11 (Obeying the gospel), Colossians 2:8-13 (Christ’s work), 2 Peter 1:18-22 (The plea that saves), Mark 16:15,16 (Believe and be baptized), Acts 2:36-41(Repent and be baptized), Acts 8:30-39 (Confess Christ before baptism), 1 Peter 2:9-12 Fulfill your purpose”

Potential Buyer:
“Hello again. Thank you kindly for the TV info. Without a stand I have no way of mounting it straight up. But I will look around for a bargain stand or mounting bracket this weekend at the swap meet. If I find something I’ll contact you if the TV is still available.
Also thank you for the bible info. Nice to know someone cares.”

Seller:
“Great on all accounts. I will inform you if the TV sells before you get back with me. Feel free to text or call if you like -seller’s phone number – 

The Lord cares deeply for your soul and so do I. Are you confident of your salvation (1 Jhn. 5:13)? Do you have a church home (Acts 2:47)? I am available for personal Bible studies and the saints I meet with at 1759 B. welcome you this Sunday at 10am-12PM and then again at 5PM.
Go with God friend.
– Seller’s name –
Participate in God’s plan for your life:
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 (Obey gospel), 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (The gospel), Romans 6:1-11 (Obeying the gospel), Colossians 2:8-13 (Christ’s work), 2 Peter 1:18-22 (The plea that saves), Mark 16:15,16 (Believe and be baptized), Acts 2:36-41(Repent and be baptized), Acts 8:30-39 (Confess Christ before baptism), 1 Peter 2:9-12 Fulfill your purpose”

Is there any real significance to such an interchange? Will it result in helping the buyers soul be saved? Only God knows, unless of course the buyer responds positively again inviting further correspondence about faith.

One thing is certain, the seller reports that they were certainly encouraged by the buyer’s response to continue sharing sowing the seed of the Kingdom electronically.

I don’t know if it is discernable from the way the quotes are arranged or not, but the scriptures shared were not even included as a part of the main body of the seller’s emails. Instead they were attached as a subscript, coming after the seller’s sign off and signature.

How can you add the message of salvation in Jesus to what you already do? Who knows, some soul who reads or hears what you share may just be aided enough by it to become a fellow saint in the kingdom of God!

Think souls by sharing the word of God with others.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

P.S. You are invited to share your personal evangelistic encounters or attempted encounters with me to be posted here. Email you entry submissions to me at Honor4God@gmail.com. Who knows, God may use what you share to move some brother or sister to action that results in souls being saved.

Electric Chair!

Recently Holly and I bought four counter height chairs through Craig’s list. The purchase had nothing to do with the death penalty or the instruments of its inforcement as the title might suggest. However, the interchange that occurred during their pick up, did involve life and death issues. 

The conversation that follows is part of the interchange that took place at the time I acquired the chairs. I share it here with hopes that an example can encourage you to have spiritual conversations with people you brush up against day to day. In the interchange that follows, I am the Buyer:

Seller and Buyer: Greetings and small talk about the chairs, while loading. 

After loading…

Seller: “God bless you.”

Buyer: I’m glad you said that. Our congregation has an online study (as I handed him a busisness card).”

Seller: “So you are a believer?”

Buyer: “Absolutely!”

Seller: Offered some sort of affirmation

Buyer: “My daughter also says, ‘God bless you.’ I used to say it more but now I usually say, ‘Go with God.” I began to think that “God bless you” might not communicate all I wanted it to.”

Seller: “Yea, I guess people might not know what you mean when you say ‘God bless you.’ They may wonder which God.”

Buyer: “Right.”

Seller: “Jesus did say come after me, so ‘Go with God’ would be good to say.”

Buyer: “Right. The online study covers seeing the Bible as God’s word, how to be saved and how to live for God in one’s family.” 

Seller: “Sounds good.”

Buyer: “Alright, God bless you.”

Seller: “You too.”

Buyer: Just before climbing into his vehicle to leave, “Oh, do you guys have a church home?”

Seller: “We go to Cottonwood but it is big.”

Buyer: “I meet with a loving group of twenty to twentyfive. The location and meeting times are written on the back of the card I gave you. You are invited to meet with us.”

Seller: “Ok, thank you.”

Buyer: “Sure, take care.” 

At this point I climbed into my vehicle and drove off. On the way home I got to thinking that I should have remained and felt out if they would have been interested in a personal Bible study. Upon arriving home, I texted them the following message, thinking that though it would not be as good as an invitation in person, it may still have a good effect. 

Buyer (text): Thanks again for the table and chairs. I made it home without running into rain! It was wonderful meeting more believers. On my way home I began to regret not spending more time conversing with you. You are such a pleasant couple. I asked if you had a church home and invited you to meet with us, but neglected to ask if there was something you were looking for in a church home. I shared that I enjoyed having personal Bible studies with people, but neglected to ask if you’d be interested in getting together for one. There is a study I like to share with people that reaffirms one’s salvation and invites those not yet saved to be saved. I feel it is also an effective study for Christians to have in their toolbox for sharing Jesus with others. Would you guys be interested in getting together for a personal Bible study with me? I am horrible with names and yours have slipped from my memory already. Could you please share them again. Thanks. Also, our midweek study is tonight at the address I shared with you on my card. We are studying 1 Peter and would be honored to have you meet with us. I hope I have not come on too strong. I texted instead of calling so as to be a bit less forward. God with God.”

Let’s do a bit of analysis of the interchange. 

I could have been the one to inject spiritual thought into the conversation first instead of the seller, but who initiates seems less important than making the most of the opportunity once it presents itself. You don’t have to be an initiator to have opportunity to talk about Jesus with others. Being an initiator will likely result in more opportunities, but opportunities exist for the non initiators among us too. 

My part of the conversation could have been more direct as it often is. I often try to ask a spiritual question like, “Do you think most people will go to Heaven?” or “Are confident that if you died right now or Jesus were to return, that you’d be saved?” followed by a passage of scripture that lends the reader to further reflection (i.e. Mat. 7:13,14, 1 Jhn. 5:13). And had my part been more direct, there might have been a more desirable result (i.e. A  personal Gospel study), but as it was it still lent itself to some spiritual reflection and a potentially a platform for further future interchange. There was an invitation for Bible study and worship and Christian fellowship.

The text. As I read it again in order to type it here, I realize that it was rather long for a text. However, long winded is who I am, it is how I communicate. Long or not, it was my best attempt that day, after the fact, to invite them know the Lord and become friends in Christ. 

Whether our attempts at sharing Jesus are always our best or not, whether they are the best we can attain to or not, whether we see immediate fruit or any fruit from them in those we speak to or not (God knows even if we do not), is not really the point. The fact that we are engaged in the work our Lord and Master has given us to do with a sincere love for Him and the souls of our fellow man, is what the point is (1 Tim. 1:5, 1 Pet. 2:9). I do not mean to say in any way that we should not strive to improve and grow in our effectiveness in pointing people to Jesus, only that we should do our best with what we have now (Col. 4:5).

Introduce people to your Lord today! Do your best and trust God to do the rest!

P.S. Please share your evangelistic encounters with me to be posted on this blog in an effort to help fellow Christians be encouraged to engage the lost among them. Email your submissions to me at Honor4God@gmail.com. We can leave out your name if you’d like, replacing it with only the congregation or region you are from. ALSO, if you are encouraged by these posts, please invite others to view them too.

Keep thinking souls!