BibleFood "classic" Devotional [slightly updated]
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and YE SHALL BE WITNESSES unto ME both in JERUSALEM, and in all JUDAEA, and in SAMARIA, and unto the UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH." - Acts 1:8
Over the years I have ministered to the lost and hurting through various means. Some periods in my life were more full of sharing Christ, other times just seemed as dry as could be. I have cried out to God to help me get back to sharing the Gospel with the lost and hurting more.
I believe God led me into a form of evangelism that I had not used often enough or effectively in the past. That is what I'll call "Lifestyle Evangelism." What I mean by that [which is different than some people's definition] is that we don't just share Christ on our weekly "witnessing outreach," where maybe every Friday night we flood the streets and pass out tracts, or every Saturday we go door to door witnessing, etc. [don't even see this much anymore in 2014]. In NO way are we not to do those things if God has put us in such an outreach, but don't think that's your only time to witness. There are still all the other days of the week to witness for God. We are truly ALL on a mission from God to be available 24 hours a day to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
I don't consider myself an evangelist - I really don't. But I do believe I am on a mission from God to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. About 10 years ago I took a job that was not easy for me. ALL I would hear in my heart was "You are a missionary to your fellow employees." As long as I kept my focus on that I was fine, but when I started to just think of my job as a job, that is when I ran into problems (just being honest)!
Also, the LORD was moving me on to a new mission field [billiard industry, see my site at: www.christianpoolplayers.com], which involved what I consider a mission trip to work with a billiards/pool ministry (www.gospeltrickshot.com). It was a glorious time of taking an INTEREST in the lost and hurting people around me, and it was a great time of ministry. But that was only for a week!
So, did I come home and just stop sharing about the lost and hurting? Absolutely not!
I was called on a mission from God BEFORE I went to Las Vegas, while I was there, and now back in my homeland (Atlanta, Georgia)! THE MISSION STAYS THE SAME!!!
Acts 1:8 says, "...YE SHALL BE WITNESSES unto ME both in JERUSALEM, and in all JUDAEA, and in SAMARIA, and unto the UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH."
We are to be God's WITNESS of the Good News of Jesus Christ in our Jerusalem, then in whatever may be our Judaea, and our Samaria, and then to end all debates, God says, "...UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH." I guess that leaves NO place for us to not be His witnesses!!!
Does that mean we have to run up to everyone we meet and ask them do they know Jesus? Personally, I don't think so. But let me tell you when you look at EVERY place you go as your MISSION FIELD, i.e., your job, going to the grocery store, coaching kids in sports, filling up the car at the gas station, and where ever else your day brings you - I'll tell you it's exciting.
Do I share Christ everywhere I go? No! But I try to stay alert to God opening a door to minister with Christ to someone. I believe the more alert we are in Christ and available. the more opportunities the LORD will put us in.
I'm sure I have missed many opportunities to share Christ, but Praise God I'm learning to be alert and available as His minister (servant) on a 24/7 basis.
This devotion is NOT to get you into a guilt trip or bondage. I've known some who would try to put you in that state. Just be available to God 24/7 and believe for opportunities. I'm telling you they'll happen!!!
I also want to close with what I'll call
"Friendship Evangelism," which is what God has used me most often in for the last year or so.
Without EVER compromising, I have built relationships with family, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers to give me opportunity to sow seeds (big or small) into people's lives over a period of time. In Las Vegas it was over a few days or a week. Here in Atlanta, GA, and on the Internet (in some cases) it is brief, and in other cases it has been over a year or more. But they are being built, and in God's timetable He will open opportunities to share Christ with them more and more. In some cases they will be even coming to YOU to have you tell them more about Jesus. This is NOT loving the WORLD (I John 2:15-17). But loving THOSE IN THE WORLD, until we see them come from this dark world to being a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20).
Take this devotion as an encouragement, and allow God to open the opportunities, just be alert and available :-)