Archive for the ‘Share your faith’ category

“Why Should I Become a Christian?”

June 17, 2016

After the man had received some practical help from us, I said with a smile:”don’t forget to thank God in your prayers tonight!”

He responded in a positive way so we chatted further about God and Jesus. He actually raised the question of repentance and we discussed what repentance and faith in God meant.

I gave him a booklet called “What Is  a Real Christian?” and he read a couple of pages. He then said:”the question should be “WHY should I become a Christian?”

I gave him God’s view of sin: all sin – even theft of something from a friend – is primarily a sin against God. So God is the one you need to repent towards. Without repentance (a turning away from all known sin in your life) you will have to give an account of your sin on Judgment Day – and Jesus is the Judge. Becoming a Christian wipes the slate clean because your trust in Jesus and his ability to forgive your sin makes you a new person, hence “born again”. He had heard of “born again Christian” so I explained why we need to become born again, using the illustration of the TWO BUSES.

bus going to hell   In this illustration all of life happens on the two buses. Bus #1 is the one we are all born on. Its destination is Hell and Satan or the Devil is the driver. The Bible tells us Hell was made for the Devil and his angels (actually demons). However, if we remain on Bus#1 we are headed for Satan’s destination, whether we realise it or not. We therefore need to get off Bus #1 and on to Bus #2. Bus#2 is driven by Jesus and His destination is Heaven. All mankind is under the power of sin and only Jesus can change our sin nature. This process is known as being “born again”. When we are born again (recognise our need of the Saviour Jesus as the only one who can forgive our sin and set us free from it) we are transferred onto Bus #2 whose destination is Heaven.

He took the booklet away and said he’d read it.

 

 

 

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Reluctant Communist Sits Down For Prayer

May 25, 2016

hammer and sickle    As he came up to us he said:”I’m a Communist”. He was from an East European country but wouldn’t tell us which one. We explained that we were Christians offering to pray for healing. His next comment was “I’m like (doubting) Thomas” We persuaded him to have a seat and almost immediately I felt the presence of God on us. The lady I was with sensed the same.  I could feel the Father’s love for this man and I gave him a few words that I believe were from God, showing this man God the Father’s heart for him.

He had pain in the lower back so we laid hands on him, but he noticed no immediate difference. We prayed again and this time he felt the area that was painful diminish in size. He kept saying he had to go for an appointment. Before he went he gave me his mobile phone number and asked to be informed when we would be out on the streets again, so he could come and see us. We gave him a “Why Jesus? booklet to take away.

God Knows How Old You Are, Even If You Are Homeless

April 8, 2016

homeless manOn the way into voluntary work I was praying that God would use me and that I would have love and compassion for those I would meet. I also prayed that He might work through me.Ten Minutes before we closed a homeless man came in. I gave him tea and some biscuits and he said he really could feel the energy flowing into him as a result of getting something inside his stomach. We chatted about where he slept at night and I gave him a list of places where he could get food during the day. Some churches and church based organisations do free food, also a local church provides very cheap food for people on the margins. Also, I noticed we had been given some vouchers for a restaurant in town that provided the holder with a full meal at no cost. I gave him one and he really appreciated it.

He said he wasn’t an addict, and I believed him. He was concerned about how sweaty he was and how he smelled of urine. Also his clothes were pretty grubby and he couldn’t afford money for a launderette. We had little clothing available,  but we managed to find a tee shirt in his size which he gladly accepted.

He said to me:”how old do you think I am?” I answered: “61”. he said: “You’ve been looking at my paperwork!” I said: “No, I haven’t seen any of your paperwork” I went on: “but God knows how old you are, and lots of other things about you.” I chatted about how personal God was and he was quite amenable to talk about God things.  He was a little surprised when I told him that the pass mark for Heaven was 100%. I explained why it was 100% and how it was possible for me and him to get the full 100%. He readily accepted that Jesus got the 100% and that when we follow him as disciples we qualify for 100% on the basis of what He did, not on our own goodness. I explained how the Bible calls our  own goodness “filthy rags” and the need to confess all known sin as it holds us back from God and Heaven.

Before he left he thanked me profusely and, amazingly, commented how gentle and acceptable my approach had been as I chatted about God things to him.  He blessed me and thanked me for all he had received from us. I wished him well.

Out On The Streets again Today

December 5, 2015

Million Pound note image   A group of us from Church went into town sharing the good news today. I took some Million Pound notes with me as a conversation opener. In fact, while waiting for the bus to town I was chatting to a woman at the bus stop and gave her one. I said: “When you get home, give it to your husband and tell him you got this out of his bank account!” Some of the team also took one.

We also had envelopes with a (real) £5 note inside to give out with a little “This one’s on us!” leaflet inside. We gave them out outside coffee shops to those about to go in. Some people were a little suspicious about being blessed with a free gift, but they gladly accepted the money when they opened up! We told them we were from Clearspring Church, as it makes a surprising change for a church to give YOU money. As we all know, Churches usually WANT your money!

We also came across a homeless guy so we got him some food and drink from a nearby cafe. He knew the places around town that did free food, so we headed off. I had a long conversation with an 18 year old guy who is sitting A Level exams this year. He attended a local Catholic Church. He’d heard of “born again Christians” but didn’t really understand it. I took him through what Jesus said to Nicodemus in John’s Gospel Chapter 3. He said he was more scientifically minded, and found some things in the Bible hard to believe. I asked if he knew the pass mark for Heaven and he didn’t. He was amazed when I said “100%”, but when I explained how the imputed righteousness of Christ becomes ours as disciples, he began to see what I meant. The righteousness of Jesus becomes ours when we are born again of God’s spirit. “No-one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again” – the words of Jesus in the Bible, John’s gospel Chapter 3 verse 3. I gave him my card as we left, and invited him to get in touch.

All in all, a good morning in town sharing Jesus and His love.

reverse of Million Pound note

Million Pound note reverse

I Asked God To Use Me – And He Did

November 20, 2015

God Please Use Me  On the way into work I again asked God to use me, that it might be His Spirit at work – “thy will be done” – and not me striving in my own strength to accomplish things.

During my volunteer duty, in the background I heard a client say they had a leg problem. It turned out to be a lad of about 18, who had suffered problems with his left knee for about 4 years. The medics had not been able to cure his condition to date. I told him I’d seen lots of knee problems healed, and asked if he wanted me to pray for him. He was happy to give it a go, so I told him Jesus was the one who healed. I asked if he knew about Jesus of the Bible. He said he had been a Christian when younger, but had drifted away.

I laid hands on the knee, saying:”Father I thank you for Jesus. Jesus I thank you that you are the one who heals, and that you love this man and are drawing him back to yourself.” I spoke out healing, commanding the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and nerves to be healed in Jesus’ name. I spoke life and strength to the knee in Jesus’ name. Afterwards I asked him how the knee was. He checked it out and reported: “No change, it’s exactly the same.”

From experience I’ve learned that you keep on pressing in until results start coming. This of course is dependent on the person being agreeable to you continuing. I illustrated this to the guy: “suppose you had an infection, went to the doctor and he gave you tablets to take, two a day for fourteen days. If you took two the first day and threw the rest away, that would be silly, wouldn’t it?” He agreed that would be pointless. I said: “praying for healing is similar; you keep on going with the treatment then you will see results”.

I prayed again, in a similar vein as before. This time I was aware of the Holy Spirit flowing in me in a fairly powerful way. I mention this because many times I pray and see people healed but feel nothing myself while it’s going on. I asked him for an update. He said he could feel something moving down his leg, plus a tingling feeling. I told him that was God at work. I could feel the power flowing for a couple of minutes and he could too. I then asked him to check it out. He walked up and down and reported a significant improvement. I laid hands on him one more time. He reckoned the leg was a good 40% better at the end.

lost sheep found by Jesus  I then told him the parable of Jesus where the shepherd left the 99 sheep on the hillside to go after the one that was lost. I said: “you’re the lost sheep, and God knew you’d be coming here today, so he planned this encounter to draw you back to Himself” He agreed that seemed quite a likely possibility. I gave him my card and asked him to let me know how he got on. I also gave him the gospel tract “No Satisfaction”.

 

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

August 3, 2015

man in horror saying oh no, not evangelism!

cartoon on sharing your faith

It ‘s the nightmare scenario of quite a few Christians. What if someone asks me about my faith??? How do I get the conversation started and what do I say??

If you’ve been born again by the Spirit of God, then you have a story to tell. There is no-one like you and there never will be again. You are a unique “God creation” and your personal story is both special and powerful.

The website New Christian UK has already created a helpful page on the web that will lead you through the steps in sharing your faith and the gospel message. This page is free to reproduce for non-profit use, so let’s look at the advice it gives:

What Is  Witnessing?
a). An overflow. b). One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. c). “To witness is so to present Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit that men and women shall put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their saviour and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of the Church” (Archbishop William Temple).

Why Should We Do It?

a). It brings glory to God – John 15:8. b). We are commanded to do it – Matthew 4:19. c). People are lost without Jesus – I John 5: 11-12. d). The love of Christ constrains us – 2 Corinthians 5: 14. This love is expressed, not by the emotions, but by THE WILL. We should never wait for our emotions to make us feel like witnessing.

Why Might We Not Do It?

a). Embarrassment – if I talk about what I believe I will feel silly. b). Fear of rejection – I might be rubbished and rejected. c). Inadequacy – I’m afraid I won’t know the answers to people’s questions and I will lose out, let God down and wish I’d never started the conversation.

It’s OK – Our Inhibitions Are Biblical!

a). Even the Apostle Paul shares our experience of feeling foolish – I Corinthians 4:10. b). Jesus’ own neighbours take offence at him and reject him – Mark 6: 1-6. c). Jesus promised the disciples that if they trust God, the Holy Spirit will speak through them when they are tongue-tied.

We Need To Remember…..

It’s possible to have faith without having all the answers. If we can have faith while still having problem areas, so can other people! Most people’s faith is like a set of balance scales. Faith comes when the reasons for believing outweigh the problems. Like the blind man in John 9:25 we can say: ” I don’t know, but this I do know…..” You can always offer to come back to someone with an answer if you don’t know it off the cuff.

We Need To Pray For People And Opportunities     hand lifted up in prayer

God loves those He made more than you do and doesn’t want any to perish. Someone once said “Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance but laying hold of God’s willingness.” We can therefore pray boldly and with assurance that God is with us in our witnessing. Having prayed, expect to see the opportunities that God will provide.

Make Sure There Is No Unconfessed Sin In Your Life

Repentance applies to Christians as much as to unbelievers. I need to take time before God to address those actions, attitudes and behaviour patterns in my own life that offend God. I cannot expect God to bless my witnessing or any other activities if I am knowingly disobedient to Him in some area of my life. Look at the promise in I John I:9.

white dove hovering  We Need To Go Out In The Power Of The Holy Spirit   

When you came to Christ you were sealed with His Spirit. To be effective witnesses, overcoming the hindrances of the flesh mentioned above, we need to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit. If we feel lacking in this area, we need to appropriate by faith the fulness of the Holy Spirit which is ours by right, by virtue of what Jesus’ accomplished through his death and resurrection. Jesus promised “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem; and in all Judea and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Look also at the parable of the Friend at Midnight in Luke 11: 5-13, in particular the promise in verse 13. Finally, I John 5: 14-15 says :”This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we ask of Him”. It is God’s will that we witness to Jesus, not in our strength alone, but drawing on the Lord’s resources to enable us.

WRITING YOUR TESTIMONY

Before You Start

Ask God to guide you in your preparation. Be honest in your statements and don’t exaggerate either the positive or the negative aspects of your story. Don’t criticise other people or denominations or make any other negative remarks in your story. God has lifted YOU up, so don’t bring anyone else down. Don’t use any religious jargon. Aim eventually to have two versions of your story; a two minute one and a ten minute one. You can than adapt to the circumstances, according to which version is appropriate for the occasion. Make sure both versions are concise and to the point! When you have written your story, practice reading it over in front of a sympathetic friend who can give you positive feedback.

First Part – My Life Before I Became A Christian

Some people have a sudden conversion experience. For others, it can happen over a period of time without a clear pinpointed date.Whichever way your conversion occurred, try and recall here what your life was like before. What attitudes did you display? What were your behaviour and feelings about life?

Second Part – How I Came To Realise I Needed Jesus

Include here what made you turn to Jesus. Did you have a need that Jesus met? Were you at the end of your tether and couldn’t go on? Was the process a long or a short one? Make it clear in your story that becoming a Christian was entering into a relationship with Christ, not just subscribing to some set of principles or way of living

Third Part – How I Became A Christian

Explain exactly what brought you to the point where you gave your life over to Jesus. What specific step did you take to become a Christian? Was it a sudden transformation or was it a long process?

Last Part – What Being A Christian Means Now

What difference has becoming a Christian made to your life? What are the highlights? Has there been a price to pay in relationships? Based on your experience to date, explain why you would encourage others to become a Christian too.

SHARING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE     note with important message

Is there a simple gospel message that you could get started with? Again the website New Christian UK has a useful page on this, as follows:

1. The Bible tells us all men and women are separated from God because of their sin  (Book of Romans Chapter 3 verse 23).  Therefore you are separated from Him.

2. There is a judgment to come when Jesus Christ will be the Judge of all, separating good and bad people. (Book of Acts Chapter 17 verse 31)

3. God wants to be friends with you so that you will no longer be separated from Him because of your sin.(Book of Romans Chapter 6 verse 23)

4. Jesus came from Heaven to solve this separation problem and to offer you forgiveness for your sins. (John’s Gospel Chapter 14 verse 6)

5. Although Jesus was innocent of all sin, God allowed Jesus to die on the cross for your sins, in your place, thereby solving the separation problem. Jesus became a scapegoat, taking the rap for you. (Book of Romans Chapter 5 verse 8)

6. After his death, Jesus rose from the dead and is now alive forever. His resurrection from the dead means you can put your trust in him as God’s answer to your separation problem.
(Colossians Chapter 1 verses 21-22)

7. Jesus is a friend of sinners. Therefore he is YOUR friend.
(Mark’s Gospel Chapter 2 verses 13-17)

8. Jesus is now offering you forgiveness for all your sins and a place in God’s kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.
(John’s Gospel Chapter 14 verse 6)

9. If you want to accept his offer, tell him so. He will not reject you.
(Book of Romans Chapter 10 verse 13)

For in-depth study of the gospel used in evangelism, check out the British website What Is The Gospel?

In another post I’ll look at some questions you might get asked as you share your faith.      questions questions graphic image