- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Howard Books; First Edition edition (August 21, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416543953
- ISBN-13: 978-1416543954
A Great Book. If you have anything in your life that is addictive, you need to read this book. If you have friends and or loved ones who have an addiction, this is a book that you need to read. You may just be the catalyst for their change. This book will help people break the chains of their hurts, hang-ups and habits.
You can’t do it alone, God is your number one resource and after that, you Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. What ever you do, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have found yourself in an addiction of any kind and I mean any kind. You can reach out to me and I will do all that I possibly can to help. The only shame is in not asking for help.
Have an addiction or know someone who does, read this book!
There is so much happening ministry wise right now that it is getting hard for me to keep up. Maybe that is the point, it is not for me to keep up, God is doing the upkeep while I get close to Him.
There are reports of people getting saved and several being baptized. I had the awesome privilege of praying with someone yesterday who wanted Jesus to be Lord of their life, wow. I don’t really know where to begin, God is so near I can smell His aroma right now.
This is day 21 and I believe I have been the absolute strongest today that I have been the entire time. I have just felt very physically healthy. I pray that people with come to understand that God calls us to do something (fasting) that He will sustain us. God may not call you to do a 40 day fast but He called all of us to fast. Matthew 6 is just one example of this. So many people tell me that I am killing myself. I went to my family doctor and asked his advise before ever taking on this spiritual discipline. There is really no way to make you understand just how great I feel right now without you actually doing it for yourself.
The hardest time for a fast is the first 3 days and most people never make it past that point because it can be very uncomfortable. It is usually when we give up that we are just on the verge of success. I know that God called me to this or I would have never attempted such a fast. I am losing weight rapidly, now minus 26 pounds. I am going to have to buy some skinny clothes soon. Some of the weight will come back rather quickly once I begin to eat again so no need to worry. I have had people say that the size I am right now is perfect, don’t lose anymore. The problem is, I didn’t do this to lose weight, it just happens to be a nice side effect of a fast.
I have taken on this fast for spiritual reasons. To humble myself before our Lord and to grow closer to Him and folks it is happening. I am praying specifically for 3000 people to be saved and baptized in Holston Conference on or before Pentecost Sunday May 23rd, 2010. I believe with all of my faith and I serve a BIG God that Holston will accomplish this through God’s Vision for us. We are called to make disciples and we have to lead them to Christ before we can start that process. God is at work, peoples lives are being changed, my life is being changed.
Misty and I have decided that at the end of this 40 days we will fast together on a regular basis for our children and grandchildren. Fasting needs to be one of those spiritual disciplines that we do on a regular basis, like praying and giving. By the way, here is a great way to look at this. we give 10 percent of our income as a starting point. We give 10 percent of our time as a starting point. What if we give 10 percent of each year to the Lord in Fasting. That is just over 36 days per year, anything over that would be a gift, wow. Suppose you fasted one day each week, 52 days. What if you did a 4 day fast once each month, 48 days. What if we did a 21 day Daniel fast once a quarter, 84 days. I believe with all of my being that this is of God and He will hear us when we humble ourselves and we in turn will hear from Him, wow.
By the way at day 21 today I helped our oldest son Michael and my dad unload a pickup load of wood and had no strength or energy problems. I spent the afternoon playing outside with Samuel and the evening playing with our kids and grandkids. God is sustaining me and by the way, I am receiving communion every time it is offered and God is giving me Spiritual Energy through these times, there is no doubt in my mind. On average we receive communion one time each month at 1st Hillsville and now that I am fasting it seems each week I am in a place where Communion is being Celebrated. Coincidence or God? I know it is God. He is at work.
Men, Mark your calendars and let me know if you would love to go. This is going to be an Awesome event and I am praying for a large group of men. High School Teens, you are invited as well. Lets show up for Hillsville.
Here is one awesome kid. Christopher is our grandson who will soon turn 3 years old. I love the movies Home Alone and Home Alone II and this picture of the hair reminds me of the tall slim guy in the movie who grabs the sink that is hooked to electricity.
We love this little man.
Hello my Brothers, Sisters, Friends, and Family.
It has now been a little over (2) week’s and I wanted to keep you updated on this 40 day journey that I have embarked on.
I am still at a point that I am not “hungry”, yes I could eat, and yes there is things I would like to eat, but I have not came to a place that says I must eat.
Mentally (on food). I really have almost came to a point that the habit of not eating is feeling normal. I do cook meals (which I miss taste testing to make sure things are prepared correctly), but I really am not thinking much of it. Really it has became very normal not to eat. I sit with friends and family while they eat and there is not a special feeling that I need to or that I am missing out on anything. I really anticipated a much deeper struggle with food, but I have not encountered it.
Mentally in thought and perspective; I started this journey for really a couple of reasons and those (2) original points were 1. God spoke to me about doing this. 2. To be a support to my friend whom was trying this 40 day journey. I added to this a couple of my own thoughts (I believe). A thought/perspective that I came to was I would find out if I am Peter or not. As I have said most of my life that I would not have abandoned Jesus I would have had to die with Jesus. I started this journey without any research or idea of what struggle I might endure and since then I have came to an understanding that God has created us in a way that starvation would be rather physically painless. So I have found my answer. Yes I am just stubborn enough that I would die for Jesus, and starving would rather be the easy way as my fat will fuel me until it runs out, and then my muscle will fuel me until it runs out, and then when there is no more stored energy to keep everything going I would be gone more then likely while sleeping. So I have found the answer that I would die for Jesus. I have came to the understanding that the question is not whether someone would die for Jesus, but rather will we live for Jesus. Oh and that is such a different question, and it evokes every aspect of our lives, and that includes what, how, and when we eat. You see that is what Peter ended up doing, he lived for Jesus, and that living has carried the Church to you and I. Now the question remains will we live and carry the Church to the world?
Physically I have had many changes. As of last night when I weighed I have lost 22 pounds . It is unbelievable how well I am sleeping. My mental energy level is soaring. My blood pressure is still steadily doing better. It has been 2 weeks and over-all my arms, knee’s, and back, are doing very well. I feel so much better it is very shocking. I have found the lack of muscle stamina. Long story short I was placing some Railroad Cross-ties at the end of my drive and as the project went on I just completely ran out of fuel. After I was finished that afternoon on working outside I did not think I had the energy to walk inside. I remember thinking that it will be a struggle tonight, and in the morning. I was wrong, I took a shower, felt better, and got up the next day well rested and ready to go. So my strength is weakening with stamina, but I have not seen the laps in muscle memory. I do think that someone has shared a cold with me, and I will find out in a day or two if my body fights it off as normal or if I really catch it.
Spiritually. I feel very opened and encouraged in direction of my Calling and direction that I am leading in the church. I have had some very interesting thought on this ”Fast” and I am at an understanding that Jesus did not suffer during the 40 days, but rather embarked on a different journey.
I have came to a clarity that the ”Fast” from food is in no way as significant as how I teach and receive food from here on.
As an example; if it is worthy of killing one of God’s creations to give me food (and really does not matter if that is creatures or plant-life either is killed) then it is worthy of my thankfulness to acknowledge, enjoy, and be thankful for the gift. In other words I have spent too much time “just eating” instead of including my worship of God in the gift of receiving the meal.
You may or may not know what I am talking about but I spend over 2/3rds of the time just eating to eat and that has became overwhelmingly clear.
What I could and should do in eating is making that gift that God has already blessed by providing it for me a time of reflection, fellowship, and worship as the meal that I eat is a gift worthy of acceptance and praise.
So why just eat, make it worth while.
I do not know about you, but I know I spend too many meals in a rush to get through them and continue doing my work or what ever I was doing.
To be honest I spend too many meals at my desk, or in the car driving, so I can do work.
That is crazy and it is also not giving a proper reflection of my thanks for god providing for me.
I have found in reflection that if I am rushing through a meal it is because of poor planning on my part. If we are going to eat then we should schedule it with every other aspect of our day, and if we are not going to eat then we should also schedule it as an intentional “Fast”.
I remember in a school leading into being a pastor one of the things we were told was time management, schedule meals, schedule exercise, schedule study, schedule devotion time, schedule worship prep time, schedule sermon research and writing time, schedule family time, and schedule visitation time. And reality is that some how we get all mixed up in this whirlwind of a mindset that the preacher must be kept hopping. Oh, how poor of an example we give when we allow our lives to be dictated by foolishness. That is not what Jesus did, Jesus set aside time to carry out the day, Jesus dictated the schedule of the day, and there was times that Jesus said clearly the He would not come or be there, Jesus also sent others to carry out work/ministry.
This week my thought is that I continue this journey not because my “Fasting” will make a difference in the “Fast” alone, rather it is what I carry from this journey that makes the difference. [Reality check is that unless what we do inspires or teaches others, unless what we do makes a change or a difference, then it is just another insignificant something that we do, but if the smallest thing we do reflects even the slightest glimpse of whom we live for then we are helping change the world.]
All and all everything is going very well. The journey is down to only a little less then 4 weeks left. I will keep you all in my prayers and I hope you will keep me in yours.
I am discerning how many ways that I just live instead of living for Jesus, will you join me in that reflection this week?
Peace in Christ,
Day 20 minus 26 pounds and still feeling great. Today was an awesome day as one youth allowed me to pray with them because she wanted to ask Christ to be Lord of her life and she is praying about baptism. It was a very busy day, in the office at 8am and didn’t return home until 8:30pm. It was a great day but too many hours for someone who is fasting. Pray for me I have to do the same thing next week.
Nothing new to report otherwise.
Persecuted, but they witnessed. stoned, but they witnessed. beaten, but they witnessed. imprisoned, but they witnessed.” Harry Denman about 24 hours ago via web
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8: 31 about 24 hours ago via web
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11 about 24 hours ago via web
preparing for Youth Lay Speaker Training @ Out Of The Box Tomorrow 2:30 to 6:30 then Sunday Night Live 8:04 AM Mar 13th via web
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 5:22 AM Mar 13th via web
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. John 6:27 5:21 AM Mar 13th via web
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:38 5:12 AM Mar 13th via web
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35 5:11 AM Mar 13th via web
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4:34 5:11 AM Mar 13th via web
Prayer is not a one-way conversation – it is talking and listening 5:05 AM Mar 13th via web
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. [a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of someone possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication [b] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all [c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ‘ [d]? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
The Death of Lazarus
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when people walk at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus [e]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles [f] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the Festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint [g] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. [h]” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, [i] but you will not always have me.”
9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” [k]
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.” [l]
16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Jesus Predicts His Death
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up [m] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Those who walk in the dark do not know where they are going. 36 Put your trust in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews
37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” [n]
39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.” [o]
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human glory more than the glory of God.
44 Then Jesus cried out, “Those who believe in me do not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When they look at me, they see the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
47 “As for those who hear my words but do not keep them, I do not judge them. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for those who reject me and do not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Day 21 – March 15, 2010
Evangelize the Evangelist
“Our supreme task will be to ‘Evangelize the Evangelist.’ We must give ourselves to evangelizing
the membership of the local church. Our church members need an experience of Christ until they
have a concern for every un-churched person in the community. Evangelism must not be a special
effort in the local church, but it must become the main business of each church member.”
(Prophetic Evangelist: The Living Legacy of Harry Denman, 1993)
All it would take to evangelize the world in a generation would be to awaken the Church of the Twentyfirst
Century to the mindset of the First Century Church. In those beginning days, the followers of the
Lord understood the concept of telling the story. They recognized that the mission belonged to each of
them. They were not specialized or secularized. They had not mastered the fine art of hiring someone to
do their witnessing for them.
We need to regain our passion. We need to hear the call again. It is not the call to ordained ministry that
most effectively moves the Church forward, though we recognize that call as beautiful and essential. The
call we need to hear again is the individual believer’s call to be filled with the Spirit of God to the extent
that witnessing becomes natural.
Acts 1:8 does not say that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us we will be given power to witness. It says
that we will be given power and that we will be witnesses. There is a subtle difference there, but it is a
vital one. Witnessing is not what we do. A witness is who we become. It is not a job, a task or a hobby. It
is personal transformation.
Imagine how the world would change if every believer engaged all the resources at their disposal to the
communication of the Gospel. If we moved far beyond “giving so that others could go” to the use of
every computer, cell phone, page of print, and social venue legally available to us for the purpose of the
living out of the Gospel of Life. How long would it be before the last people group was reached?
Acts 1:8 (New Living Translation)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling
people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Submitted by: Rev. RuthAnne Henley
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