Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES

images1.jpgGiving testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ is perhaps one of the highest priveleges given to any person. How disappointing that it takes about 130 Southern Baptists one year to win one person to Christ. I’m not really picking on the Southern Baptists. They have been the standard bearer for decades in evangelism among protestant denominations. Evangelism across the board has become less of an imperative in these days of post-modernism, where everyone’s belief is valued as equal to another’s no matter how ‘whacky’ the belief system may be. It is one thing to respect another person’s belief system, but it is an entirely different matter to place equal value on something that is not of equal value. But…I digress.

My purpose for writing today is to give praise to God for ‘evangelism in simplicity’. Our oldest son, Chad, shared something the other day that reminded me that true evangelism may not be a massive program of visitation on Tuesday night each week or a large crusade at the local stadium in the summer. Rather, it may be little more than one person, who is commited to Jesus sharing him with another, who is not. Our son and his family were on spring break from school last week and decided to get out of town for a few days rest. They drove north about 4 hours to spend some time with some dear friends. Their visit was a good one with times of talking, laughing, eating, and playing. Upon returning home Chad told us that his daughter (AND OUR GRANDDAUGHTER), Hayley (age 10) informed them that her friend, whom they had just visited had been saved. He said, ‘What do you mean’? She said, ‘Mattie was saved’. Upon further questioning about the situation Chad related the following information. It seems that Hayley and Mattie, who is a first grader, were in Mattie’s room playing with dolls, when Mattie suddenly told Hayley that she had been having bad dreams. Hayley asked her if she had prayed to Jesus. Mattie asked what she meant by that and Hayley asked if she had asked Jesus to help her. Mattie again asked what she meant. Hayley said, ‘Have you asked Jesus into your heart’? Mattie said she had not. Hayley asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. Mattie said she did. Hayley then led Mattie in the ‘sinner’s prayer’, having her repeat it phrase-by-phrase. After leading her friend to Christ Hayley told Mattie that she could now ask Jesus to help her with her bad dreams and he would send angels to help her and protect her.

Well, needless to say, Hayley’s grandparents are wonderfully proud of her. But I have been thinking about this event for a couple of days. The greater portion of Christians has no idea how to lead someone to Christ or are too embarrassed to try. Hayley loves her Lord so much and knows that he is always with her. She knows He has helped her through some difficulties and fears. To let her little friend in on such help was as natural as…well…sitting in a bedroom floor and playing with dolls. Jesus said, “…whosoever shall humble himself as this litttle child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2). Maybe the Southern Baptists (and all Christians) should take a page from Hayley’s book on being a witness for Christ.

March 20th, 2008 Posted by | Witnessing | one comment

The Most Wonderful Man in the World!

     three-crosses.jpgHow would you like to be known as the most wonderful man in the world? Alas, that lot fell to me some time ago.  No! Really!  For many years now it has been my habit to try to acknowledge Christ in some way as I go through my day.  Just a word of praise, nothing major you understand.  Actually, my wife does a better job of it than I do but I practice it as the Lord helps me.  Lifestyle evangelism, not ‘cold calling’ is more the Biblical model.  To truly win someone to Christ one will have to invest time and effort  in the lives of others.  As a rule, people must know you care for them before they will care that you know them. 

     One of the bright spots in my life came as quite a surprise to me one day.  It had been my habit to get my gasoline at one particular station.  Each time I would go in to pay for my gas I would give some acknowlegment to God, a word of praise or thanksgiving.  I did this week after week and year after year with no visible results.  Then one day after pumping my gas, I went in to pay as ususal and gave some word of gratitude for the beautiful day.  The man who was waiting on me said, “Do you see that guy standing out there?”  I said, “Yes, I do”.  The gentleman he was referring to was another employee of the station and had gone out front to assist another customer.  The first attendant then said,  “He thinks you are the most wonderful man in the world.”  I’m sure my mouth flew open in amazement because he then said, “He says you always have something good to say and greet him with respect and encouragement.” 

     I had no idea my witness was affecting anyone much.  I had had no indication previously that my feeble effort was doing any good at all.  Now, let me say that I know full well that I am NOT “the most wonderful man in the world”.  But it really doesn’t matter whether I am or not.  What really matters is that man thinks I am.  In reality I am so full of blemishes and ‘warts’ that it is only by God’s glorious grace I could encourage anyone.  See, it is not about me.  It is about Jesus.  My little witness for Christ over the years made an impression on a man.  He saw a frail, faulty man, who was living in the same broken, shattered world he was, but, who was finding something to be thankful for and someone to whom to be thankful. 

     John chapter 4 contains the beautiful account of Jesus’ encounter with the one we call ‘the woman at the well’.  This experience is perhaps the best instruction in personal evangelism a disciple could ever get.  There is so much to glean from in this passage but for our purposes today I want to draw attention to the the 36th- the 38th verses.  Jesus said,

 “…the sower and the reaper rejoice together…One sows and another reaps…I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor…”

     I have no way of knowing how many people sowed into that man’s life before me or how many shared Life with him after me.  What I do know is that just inside the gate of heaven will be a line of witnesses, who will go by the title, “the most wonderful person in the world“.  No matter how far you have travelled on your pilgrim journey.  No matter how insignificant you may feel and no matter how many times you may wonder, if your life really matters or not.  Take heart.  Keep encouraging the folks around you.  If you do, I believe you will also  be “the most wonderful person in the world”.                           

    

August 19th, 2007 Posted by | Witnessing | 2 comments

Salt and Light 2

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…The previous sharing gave the Biblical challenge for being salt and light in a post-modern culture. The following is a true account of how the Lord helped Kathi and me to flavor our life in a positive way for our neighbors:

In a community where we lived there was a young couple who purchased the home next door to ours. The young woman’s father was a good man whose desire was to help his daughter and her family get settled in to their new place. On several occasions this gentleman spoke with me about what he intended to do to make sure all things were right with the property. One of the things on his list was to have a survey done on the property lines. He told me, if the neighbor’s fence directly behind me was on his line, he would be sure it was moved or their would be a law suit.

Several days later I noticed the surveyor with his transit sighting the lines. The next day my new friend came to me and he looked very concerned. He said the survey showed that his fence was so many feet on my property. He apologized and said for me to decide what I wanted for the property and let him know. As soon as he spoke I knew what I wanted for the property but felt I should check with Kathi first, since she is part owner also. I told her the story and she said, “What do you think about charging him $1.00?” I said, “That is exactly the amount I had in mind.”

The next day I saw my friend working in the yard next door and so I stopped what I was doing and struck up a conversation with him. I could tell he was uneasy so I said, “Oh, by the way, I checked with Kathi about the sale of the land and we thought maybe $1.00 would be sufficient, if you think that is ok.” He looked at me and said, “Oh that is more than alright.” He left rather abruptly, but then the next day I saw him again. He apologized for leaving so quickly but he said he was so taken aback by what we had done that he was in tears. You see, this man is not a Christian. He has made statements, letting me know of the hypocrisy he has seen in those who claim to be Christian and their behavior has hurt him so much that he wants little to do with them. He said, to me, however, what you and your wife have done will cause me to put your names on the top of the list when I think of Preachers.

The next day I was in the yard again and here came the man’s wife and their daughter toward me with tears streaming down their cheeks. They said some very kind words. My response…”This is how Jesus wants his people to be…” The property is not really ours. It belongs to our Lord. I thought it possible that Jesus could have allowed us to buy this home just to have the opportunity to be SALT AND LIGHT to a man who has been disappointed by professing Christians all his life. Maybe he knows now that there are some of us who live for more than the things of this world. We live, hopefully, to bring his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

August 7th, 2007 Posted by | Witnessing | 3 comments

Salt and Light

salt-and-light.jpg The challenge of our Lord to be salt and light in a world plagued by insipidity and darkness is still at the forefront of true disciples today. Springing forth from each generation of Christians is an endless sea of ideas and methods to reach a lost and dying world. Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles the Christian witness must face in a post-modern culture is that the average person does not know he is lost and cares very little, if he is. Kathi and I observed just days ago that our immediate neighbors all around us are people who have nothing to do with the Church. There lives are filled with working, family and fun. The latter seeming to be the most vital. Little thought is given to purpose in life or what occurs after death. Life for so many in our western culture is about experiencing as much they can as fast as they can with as many people as they can and acquiring as much of it as they can. The Christian witness is then left with the perplexing assignment of finding ways of reaching such a culture.

Being salt and light, however, is still in vogue 2000 years after Jesus spoke the words on a hillside in Gallilee. This is true because it involves an eternity-old concept of relationship, which God desires from and among his people. Salt is that element which both flavors and preserves in life. Light describes the realm where God dwells and is that which displaces darkness. As our relationship with our Lord develops, our neighbors feel better when they are around us. Their lives seem more secure to them because they live near someone who knows where ‘true north’ is. Every time they are around us they seem to have more hope and see a future with more possibilities. They know the things for which we stand, not because we are always telling them but because we live our standards and do not compromise our ethics. And we do all that without a self-righteous attitude that sets us above them.

We must remember that Christians are people, who have accepted the grace of God. We are sinners, who know we have offended a holy God and deserve nothing in this life or the next. Because we have been forgiven of our offenses, and have found the way to life eternal we now possess the spiritual roadmap for others to follow. The map to glory certainly involves our knowledge of the Bible but with that in mind let us not use the Bible as a club to beat down people, who care little what we think anyway. Let us be salt…let us live life fully. May life around us be filled with joy. May the world observe us in our sorrows and trials and as they observe may they see that through our tears and frustrations we live by a faith that works. Furthermore, may the shadows in our life reveal the light that guides our steps and may the footprints we leave lead our neighbors to believe in the One who is salt and light in us.

August 7th, 2007 Posted by | Witnessing | comments