Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Friday, May 8, 2015

To Be His Witness

Spiritual Lessons

To Be His Witness

Image result for holding bible

Recently a Maid Arise reader asked that I post on witnessing. This has been something on my mind of late as I have gone out with my brothers to do more of this, as well as having our missions conference last week and also recently joining my local pregnancy center; all of which giving the gospel have been a key issue.

Image result for The ten commandmentsThe Law and the Sinner

I was pretty sure he'd just shrug me off and leave like many dozens before him. But I had that familiar tug on my heart to say something. I quickly left my conversation with a friend and approached him.
Hi, did you get one of these?” I offered a pamphlet on the sin of abortion.
He abruptly turned toward me and frowned. “Oh don't...don't give that to me, I don't want to talk to you.”
Normally I don't pressure, but I stopped and lowered my hand and simply asked: “Why?”
He was an intellectual. An agnostic. He'd heard about Jesus all his life. Once upon a time he was a Christian but now he knew better. I had to smile to myself. How easily the unbelievers correlate Christ to those who take a stand for life. Little did he know, it was his own life that was on the forefront of my mind just then.
You know..." he began, "there are necessary evils in this world. Abortion is necessary because the world is becoming over-populated. For example! During WWII when the Americans figured out the Germans secret code of communication, the American military felt it couldn't break every code or the Germans would catch on to the fact we had broken their code. American men died because of it. It was a necessary evil.”

The pamphlet I held mentioned how America had also once deemed slavery a necessary evil. But I decided a different route as I prayed for wisdom.
I understand what you're saying, but there is a difference. These men willingly sacrificed their lives when they joined the military. Babies are innocent victims without a choice. They didn't sign up for anything. But Eric, do you know that I'm not only out here in behalf of the voiceless. I'm not only here for the babies lives, but for these people's lives as well.” I motioned toward the crowd that walked the sidewalk, passing us by.
Eric didn't look surprised. He stared at me, but he was quiet.
Eric, do you know where you'll go when you die?”
Mmm, probably nowhere.” He shrugged. He was obviously unconcerned.
So, have you ever stolen anything?”
Lusted after a woman?”
Then by your own admission, you're a thief, a liar, and an adulterer at heart.”
In other words human.”
Yes. God says all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God – even to fall short makes us a sinner and we will go to Hell as a sinner. Even though Jesus can be a lover and a best friend He also is a righteous judge. Doesn't this concern you?”
Absolutely not.”
How come?”
I don't believe in God.”
Well, if you're right you have nothing to be concerned of...”
But, if I'm right you are going to Hell.”
I could tell he stopped to process that thought before answering – 
“But I'd have to believe that for it to be true.”
No, if you walked into the street and didn't believe in cars, but a car pulled out and hit you, you would still be run into whether you believed cars existed or not.”
But a car is something I can see – I know it's real.”
God is just as real, just as real as the air we breath but can't see. I know, because I talk to him every day. Would you at least consider what I have to tell you? Eric you admitted you are a sinner, I know where you are headed. If you died right now you would go to Hell. That is the reason I'm seeking you out. I wish I could convince you...I hope you'll think about it tonight when you go to bed.”
By the end of that half hour conversation he had dropped his arrogant attitude and quietly listened. He realized he had a need, now he only had to make the choice. I still pray for this man to this day.

The more I share Christ with others the more I am convinced that this sin-sick world has no idea of their need. They not only disbelieve that they are already condemned, but they are certain that they are honestly “not that bad”. I've talked to homosexuals, satanists, and murderers, and they all think they are good enough to get to heaven. The world is condemned, dying, and they don't know. Before we can ever begin to share their only hope (Jesus) they must be shown their need.  

Compassion and You.

Image result for crowds  The more I witness the more I am sincerely saddened by the masses of people who harden their heart, purposefully hating their only hope. I've had women shriek at me and curse and threaten me, simply because I held a sign that said there is forgiveness for sin through Jesus Christ. I've been flipped off, called foul things and reproached. But I have learned that it actually isn't me they are offended with. It's the message. It's the person Jesus Christ who is a rock of offense. (Romans 9:33). It used to be so exhausting and disturbing to have them attack me. It still is draining and sometimes unnerving, but recently I stand and my heart goes out to each person that passes me. I realize that the majority of the crowd is headed for Hell. And Satan has them duped that they are good people. That they are even Christians. They don't hate me...when they attack me it's because they hate Jesus Christ. And what a tragedy! He not only created them, He also is the only way, He is the truth, He is life...and they are rejecting their hope and only Savior. They lash out because they are lost and weary and wounded. There is no defense needed on my part. I don't have to be angry or hurt at their response. “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
Jesus touched many hearts and ministered to many crowds. He still desires to. But through us. He personally strove after hearts in Palestine. Now He plans to cover the rest of the earth through us. We are to go to all nations. We are to continue on in what He began. He has allowed Himself to need us. God, throughout time has waited on human action. Of course He is the power, we are nothing without Him, but the power needs a channel. The world waits, and only on willing men, for God has already provided His son.

If we truly believed in a literal Hell. If we could grasp that the majority of the world is headed there – our neighbors, our family, our community, our state, our country our world-- If we had Jesus' heart for mankind and were moved with His compassion, we would go. We would swallow every fear. We would give every anxiety to Christ and with concern for the condemned we would say something.

"What was there to attract the Lord Jesus to these crowds?  Their need, you answer.  Yes, no doubt, their terrible need did move Him with compassion, to the hurting point.  But was there more than this? Something He said one time has made me think there was something more, a pathetic, tremendous more, that took hold of His heart. Could it be that He saw some lingering trace of the Father's face in these faces? His eyes were very keen. He had seeing eyes. And these men have all been made in the Father's image. Has that image ever been wholly lost? Terribly blurred and scarred by sin, yes; but wholly lost? Do you think so? I think not.
...Was it though the Father's face cried out to Him out of these poor beaten faces? I think so. Their need is His need; their cry, His. It's Jesus coming to us in these crowds. …You may not be sent to some distant field...Your personal place may be at home. But the crowd, the need, is everywhere; at home, in the social circle, and among the men driven by...this prosperous land of ours. ...The Spirit will guide. He has a passion for men in their need.”   S.D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Following the Christ

The M&M Syndrome and Believers
Image result for the good samaritanThere was a certain man who was stripped of all he had, beaten and left to die. By chance a priest and a Levite came by, and though able, decided to pass him by without helping him. What excuses they used we can only imagine. But the Samaritan saw the bloody helpless man and did everything within his ability to help him. He had compassion. He healed. He paid for his inn. He loved his neighbor. Love acts. (Psalm 102:19-20)
Who lie bloody, condemned and dying in our day? Every unsaved soul. (Also the voiceless who are appointed unto destruction Proverbs 31:8 – the murdered unborn). There is no excuse good enough to keep us silent. And yet so many Christians “pass by” and do nothing. The two greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor. Christians are failing miserably.
From this story we learn compassion.  Following the Samaritan's example is a given. But there's a little more to the story. Who in the story do we hold in contempt? The priest and the Levite.  We have to ask ourselves who's example we follow in our day to day life.

 If not ourselves, we know many priests and Levites, in our life.  Sometimes our brothers and sister's lack of interest in souls can dishearten those of us who have desired to shirk common Christian apathy. The lack of fellow soldiers is discouraging. And this is when the M&M syndrome can come to plague us.
Right after explaining the two greatest commandments to the lawyer in Luke 10, Jesus goes to Mary and Martha and Lazarus home. Martha becomes upset with Mary because Mary isn't "doing."
Image result for mary and marthaBoth the lawyer and Martha had one thing needful. Something Mary had found. Love. True Love.
We shouldn't become upset with our siblings in Christ if they leave us to “serve alone”. Martha stomped right up to Jesus and boldly asked Him to bid Mary to serve with her.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Every Christian inspired with His love should actively be obeying Christ and sharing Him with the lost. They should stop and minister to their bloody helpless neighbors. But it is not our place to condemn those who won't. Becoming bitter with our apathetic brothers and sisters is not the answer. In Love we can pray and encourage and even stir their hearts, but we must beware of the Mary and Martha Syndrome and not be found wanting. We obey. That's our responsibility. With compassion and Love we tell the world of their need, show them the Truth and Life, and let Him prick consciences around us.


For some helpful resources on evangelism please click the links below:

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  1. This was really good Toni. "Of course He is the power, we are nothing without Him, but the power needs a channel. The world waits, and only on willing men, for God has already provided His son." Wow, so true. Really appreciated that thought. And I also really appreciated the quote by S.D. Gordon. To see Christ in those people. What an amazing thought. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

    1. Yes! I really loved the quote about the power needing a channel. It's so true. Thanks for the comment Nay.

  2. This was very good, Toni. Thank you for sharing it. I appreciated the last part about not falling into the "M&M syndrome" which is so easily done.

    1. Thanks Jana for taking the time to read this. Glad it was helpful. Love you.

  3. Thanks for doing this one Toni, a very big encouragement to me to read. The few times I have done evangelistic type things they are a huge eye opener to me each time I do them. You never really truly know what it's like till you've done it. I have been encouraged by doing it and very much discouraged by doing it. The more I do it the more I learn. It is truly amazing how God uses you when you have a willing heart and stand for what is right.
    Thank you for doing this post, it was a blessing!


    1. You're welcome Tashie. Glad it was an encouragement. It's true that every time you go out you learn something new. And you're right, being God's channel can be both encouraging and discouraging. It's always good to remember that we don't always get to see the fruit. Sometimes we are just the planters, or waterers.

  4. Thanks Toni. This is truly a blessing. I love the conversation you took the time to write out. It is amazing when people can see that you love THEM and are concerned for THEM because they don't find it anywhere else in the world. It is only Christ's love that is unselfish. It truly believe that's what made Eric stop and listen... he must have seen that you cared. I also so appreciated the quote by S.D. Gordon. It's an amazing thought! Love it.

    1. Thanks Liss for your comment. Always love when someone takes the time to point out a specific part of the post that blessed them. Means a lot to me. Thanks for your encouragement.

  5. I love reading about actual experiences like this, Toni, and commend you for your heart and courage to reach out to this man...I know it was not easy to do. I become overwhelmed when I think about the large number of souls in our world who are floundering, lost, confused, mis-directed, deceived, prideful and arrogant against God. What can I do about it? Prayer is powerful and can reach to the ends of the universe, but I am learning that just being open to being a "channel" to one person that God puts in our lives is good. I was particularly struck by this in the Gordon quote: "Could it be that He saw some lingering trace of the Father's face in these faces? His eyes were very keen. He had seeing eyes. And these men have all been made in the Father's image. Has that image ever been wholly lost? Terribly blurred and scarred by sin, yes; but wholly lost? Do you think so? I think not." I pray that I can have the eyes of Jesus and remember this whenever I start to feel critical or judgemental or even fearful or repulsed by people around me. Thank you for writing this, Toni! I am so proud of you!

  6. Thank you so much Auntie Donna for sharing your thoughts.. It is such an encouragement to read how you were encouraged by it. You are so right! When people act repulsively, when they hate you or even when it seems justifiable to be critical of them, it is so convicting to suddenly see them as Jesus does, and humbling to love them as Jesus loves them. I have never experienced a greater, overwhelming, love for someone than when Jesus shows me how.