8 Tips For Sharing The Gospel

10560919_604986566278066_1581486046_n1. Be prepared to share! The Gospel means “Good News” What’s the good news? How can you make what happened 2000 years ago relevant today? Well even if you feel you have no imagination to spiff up a story, the Gospel is good news all by itself! The man who came from heaven to earth for 33 years, ministered for 3 and then died, was raised from the dead and then ascended back to heaven is the gospel in a nutshell. During his time of ministry, he shared many things through parables (stories) that people could relate to. He often answered questions with questions. He made you think! Similar to the prophets of old, this man came and clearly stated what the Lord said to a “stiff-necked” people that refused to believe even in the face of some pretty spectacular miracles. This man, Jesus, knows how to help you get the story right and share it in love even to those who’d rather not hear it.

2. Have a heart to share! Be very clear about why you want to share the gospel. If you feel it’s your Christian duty then you’re not ready to share. Pray and ask for a heart for the lost, to see them as the Lord sees them. He said it was not his will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

3. Listen before you speak! Often we can be so enthusiastic about wanting to share that we leave the Holy Spirit behind! Take time to pray in EVERY encounter before you share and allow the Holy Spirit to direct you.

4. Don’t be nervous! Many of us have wondered, “Are we going to mess up? Will we get Nervous Wreckthis right?” Again, that’s why steps one to three are so important. If you have done these three prerequisites, the rest will fall into place. We may not always feel like we know what we’re doing but trust that the Lord does!

5. What’s YOUR story? I found a great article by Pastor Randy Mason, from Liberty Baptist Church in Marhalltown, Iowa to help me out on this one!
The Apostle Peter addresses this very subject in 1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” “Sanctify” means to prepare, to purify by preparation. At the time that Peter wrote this there was great persecution and hostility to the Gospel. That same attitude is beginning to pervade our culture in the United States as well. Peter says you better prepare yourselves and equip yourselves to be able to give a defense of the Gospel in these times of hostility and persecution.

The word “Lord” means one true living God. Being a Christian does not mean that Christianity is the best option among many religions. Christianity is based on the Biblical premise that Jesus alone is Lord and the only exclusive way to a relationship with God. There are some 22 major religions and some 200 minor or less known religions throughout the world, but according to the Bible only Christianity, only Christ will bring you to a right relationship with God. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) The word “always” means perpetually, constantly being ready to share Jesus Christ with those around you. We are to be spiritual minutemen and women. Ready at a moment’s notice when God gives us an open door to share the hope that is within us. Being “ready” means to be armed. Paul talks about this in Ephesians chapter six:
“…wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God…”
We must equip ourselves with all the spiritual armament if we are to be successful in presenting a defense of the hope that is within us. To give an “answer” is translated from the Greek word apologia from where we get the word apologetics, which is a defense of the Gospel. It means to present in a reasonable and coherent fashion why you have the hope within you and we are to do it with gentleness and reverence. We are to do it with humility toward men and not fearing men, but do it with a reverence and worship toward God. Apologetics of the Gospel is not something just a pastor does, but here in first Peter the Word of God is making it clear that giving a defense of the Gospel or making a presentation of the Gospel is something that every believer has a responsibility to do.

check-list6. Follow up with lots of prayer! Winning souls is not about putting notches on your spiritual belt or checking “witnessing” off on your list of things to do. The Lord may not have you to speak to thousands but simply to a few. Water and nurture those interactions with follow up prayer and touchbases if possible.
I’ve met folks in the airport that I had great conversations with about the Lord that I have not seen nor heard from since. I wish I had at least started keeping a journal of these encounters so that I could continue to pray for them by name and remember the circumstances around our meeting. It’s an exciting thought to me that someone out there that I may have met me 10 years ago in a restaurant or movie theater line is STILL praying for me! I used to have a “book of remembrance” where I simply wrote down the names of the people I was praying for. I’d lift up the book to the Lord and simply pray “Lord I lift these requests up to you and ask that you do exceeding, abundantly above all that I could ask or think” then I’d wait quietly for the Holy Spirit to prompt me to pray about anything specifically. That was it! Never forget the effective and fervent prayer of the righteous avails much! Keep ‘em lifted!

7. Thank God for what He is doing! Even if it seems like you are not seeing results. (People giving their lives to Christ) how long did the Lord wait for you? Be encouraged by the wisdom of Paul, some plant, some water, but at the end of the day, God gives the increase. I like to say, God doesn’t do “A” without doing “B” we may not always be a witness to the end result but we can trust that the Lord knows how to work all things together for good so that nothing is wasted.

8. Where do I sign up? Be committed to sharing the Gospel as a lifestyle not a sideline hobby. The more you share, the more you want to. It’s an indescribable joy to talk to others about Christ. I remember the first time I did street evangelism with my late husband Keith. I was very hesitant, afraid that people would think we were being pushy and trying to “shove religion down their throat” My husband chose two alcohol guzzling men sitting on crates behind a liquor store to share the gospel with first. I cringed, I was certain these guys had zero interest in what we had to say. Keith parked our van close to their outside “bar stools” and got out. He told me to join him if I felt comfortable. Like that’s gonna happen! Is what I thought but I smiled weakly and nodded as I rolled the window down so I could hear the conversation.

My husband strolled over and greeted them jovially; which was his nature. They looked up, clearly surprised. One man, I’m going to call him “Moe” protectively moved the brown bagged bottle they were sharing a little closer to his side. I thought that was hilarious and sent up some reinforcement prayers for my husband. The other man, we’ll call him “Joe” simply eyed my husband with interest and took another sip from his red plastic cup. Keith chatted with them for a while and then plainly explained his purpose for speaking with them; to share the gospel. Joe cocked his head to the side and asked, “Why?”  “Why?!” My eyes flew to my husband. Did he anticipate that question? Keith cocked his own head to the side and smiled. “Cause we care!” He said with a laugh. No drawn out speech, just a simple statement: We care! Apparently, that did it for Joe. He sat his red plastic cup down and bowed his head in prayer with my husband. Moe, stood to the side observing everything with a look of amazement on his face. When Keith and Joe finished praying, my husband turned to Moe and stretched out his hand in invitation. Moe backed away shaking his head. He grabbed the bottle and his cup and disappeared around the building. Joe watched him retreat for a minute and then turned to Keith with a grin. “He’ll come around.” Joe said “I’ll talk to him later.”  What?! Joe was already preparing to evangelize?!
My husband waved for me to get out the van. He introduced me to Joe and we sat down and talked for another 30 minutes or so. We shared some resources; where he could go to get a shower, get a meal and be around other believers who would help him in this new journey. Joe was genuinely interested an asked us to write the information down. When we left Joe, I felt completely different from when we had first pulled up. I couldn’t wait to talk to the next person! This feeling of elation stayed with me for several days. I couldn’t get over how exciting witnessing could be. Of course, there were some who blatantly told us they weren’t interested. Like the woman on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI who said with a sneer. “You messing up my high!” We always respected a person’s decision not to hear what we had to say but we’d still offer prayer. Surprisingly, there were people who didn’t want to hear the gospel but took us up on our offer for prayer! (Remember, nothing is wasted with God!)

I hope these tips have been a blessing to you as you pray about being a witness for the Lord and a light to shine where ever you are!
Blessings!
Edwina

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Left Hand! Best Hand!

 left-hand

I watched my mother as she sat crossed legged on her bed with a stenographer pad on her lap. Her hand moved smoothly across the paper; intermittently stopping to dot an “I” or cross a “T”.  She was writing a letter to her mother who lived in North Carolina. Letters to her mom were usually long since this was her way of sharing all the happenings of our family. In the sixties, long distance calls were saved for urgent messages and special occasions; so my mom wrote often.  As I observed her writing, I marveled as she filled page after page in her fluid cursive script before signing off with a flourish: Greeba D Foster.

In my 7-year-old mind, this was the most magical and amazing thing in the world. Cursive writing!  I tried to imagine the day I’d be able to  not only duplicate all those swirls and curly “Q’s”  but read it as well.  I fretted over ever learning this delightful ability since I was struggling in school to hold the pencil the “right” way in my left hand just to make regular letters. I did manage to pass first grade with an “A” in penmanship but cursive writing was still a long ways off.  By third grade I still was not able to read or write the hieroglyphics of cursive writing.  I remember thinking: “There’s no way they’re going to let me pass to 4th grade if I don’t know how to cursive write.”  In the meantime I was still facing some challenges in my left-handed world from sitting in desks that were designed for right-handed students.  What I ultimately learned about cursive writing in a left-hand word was this:

The thrill of finally mastering this art form (With a BIC pen!) was not the way I held the writing tool nor the kind of desk I sat in; it was the way I slanted the paper!

Here’s to left-handed cursive writers everywhere!

No More Guilt!

eraseworkingmomguiltI had coffee with the Lord this morning. As I sipped mine, I reflected on the choices I had made the day before and my biggest regret was that I hadn’t spent any time with Him. I thought about it, but got distracted and did something different. Which made my time with the Lord this morning a little less joyful because I spent a lot of that time apologizing. Is this what God wants?  I don’t think so, do you?

Guilt becomes a barrier that prevents warm interaction between your Creator and you.

God is light. When I spend time with Him, I am in the light also. His light is warming and comforting like a big bowl of mashed potatoes swimming in butter! His light heals like a soft blanket. Spending quality time with my Lord gives me direction for the day and guidance for my life. Why would I want to miss the best part of my day?

Because we don’t want to feel guilty or ashamed.

We usually shy away from things that don’t make us feel good. We count up our poor choices and assume that God gets some kind of a crazy pleasure in telling us how bad we are.

He doesn’t.

What our Father God does is open our eyes to help us see ourselves as He sees us and the first thing He sees is love and love, the bible says, makes us not ashamed.

Think about it. When we embrace God’s love and forgiveness, instead of shame and guilt, we’re more likely to go out and make better choices. Guilt and shame leads us to sabotaging our efforts and making the same poor choices again. It becomes a very discouraging cycle.

Here’s some good news…

We can change the cycle! Today, make a different choice. It doesn’t have to be something spectacular.

As you think about the changes you’d like to see in your life, what’s some small thing you can do that points you in the right direction?

Don’t measure this “small something” by how far it gets you down the road. Feel good that you’ve done something that gets you on the right road, going in the right direction! Ultimately, you will get where you need to go.

Here’s something else you need to know…

You’re not alone on that road! God is there with you. Walk with the Lord today. Do you need forgiveness for something you’ve done? OK, let’s fix that now….

Father we come before you now thanking you that when we ask for forgiveness, you give it… Every time!   Here’s what I’m asking you to forgive me of __________________

Lord thank you for forgiving me and I’m especially grateful that you’re not going to give this another thought so why should I? I am forgiven! Amen!

Alright! Are you smiling? Are you feeling better? You should be. You just touched the Father’s heart. He loves it when His kids come to Him.

Today is the day that the Lord has made… I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it. Join me!

An Eternal Transaction!

Recently, I swiped my red Target card to pay for a purchase so that I could get my 5% discount. Surprisingly, the POS terminal stated my purchase could not be completed . For the moment, the sales transaction was suspended. What?!  Was my first reaction but immediately on the heels of that I remembered the debit card attached to my Target card had not been updated. The Sales Associate was awesome and took the extra time to get me squared away AND  still get my discount!  This morning’s Jesus Calling devotion, brought that memory to mind. The Lord says that His love is an eternal transaction; nothing and no one can reverse it!  I don’t get to enjoy his love today and have to wonder about it tomorrow.  His love doesn’t expire nor is it attached to anything that will cause it not to work (like my debit card). Most of all, it’s not connected to performance. Crossing T’s and dotting I’s don’t win any brownie points with the Lord. Instead of that, God encourages us to bring our performance anxiety to Him and receive in its place His Unfailing Love!

I heard that! Somebody just said, “Why would God love me?”

Simply answer.  You belong to Him! He loves you because you are His. Period.  That love is what invites you to come to Him and have relationship. Not based on what you’ve done or can do but based purely on what He has already done to secure the relationship. He sent His son to die so that we could LIVE!  We get to have life with Him now AND when our time on earth is done. It’s an ETERNAL TRANSACTION and that’s better than any discount! Take time today to get “squared away” with the Lord. You don’t have to be in suspended animation mode trying to figure things out alone.

Here’s the Reality Check:  He’s waiting on you.

For  more encouragement check out the story link below

Main

“Who Am I? A Story of Self Discovery”

 

CHOICES!

Good Housekeeping Quote

Good Housekeeping Quote

There was a time I thought I was a person who didn’t like choices. I didn’t like having too many things to choose from. Simple options were all I needed: Vanilla or chocolate? The white or the black? Peanut butter and Jelly or Baloney?

Simple.

But life offers so much more than a few selections or possibilities. What to choose becomes more challenging and the outcomes more diverse. I wish I knew what the “Right” answer or choice should be but the “Right” answer seems multi-faceted and potentially there could be more than one “Right” choice.

How do I get back to simple?

I turn to God and His Word. The choices become easier to make in the light of His Word. I may not know what the 800th step will reveal but I know the step right in front of me has been ordered by God and it’s mine to take… if I choose to do so.

So…. How do I make that choice?

I first ask myself: “Why do I really want to make this choice? What do I stand to gain or lose? I consider that.

Next, If the Lord gave me a “do over” would I make this choice again or would I hesitate? Why or why not?”

At this point, I might be tempted to “go with the flow” it’s just easier. But I’ve been given a choice and a chance to make a decision that will impact the rest of my life. I’m going to think about this some more.

Finally, I, on purpose, make a decision that is not based on anyone else’s emotions, beliefs or attitudes but my own (Cause I have to live with this choice) and I make the best decision I can with God’s help. I know He won’t twist my arm but He will put His “two cents worth” in if I’m willing to hear it.

Then the choice is up to me.

9/11 – When Words Are Not Enough

Scott Willens, who joined the United States Army three days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, pauses while reflecting by the South Pool on friends he has lost while on deployment during anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2012 in New York, New York, USA. POOL/Justin Lane/EPA

Scott Willens, who joined the United States Army three days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, pauses while reflecting by the South Pool on friends he has lost while on deployment during anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2012 in New York, New York, USA. POOL/Justin Lane/EPA

My fingers are poised over my computer keyboard, eyes closed, head bowed and I wait. Taking a deep breath, I slowly exhale as I open my eyes and stare at the blank page in front of me and try to wrap my mind around what could I possibly say about this day that would make a difference?

So much has already been said. News reports, articles, books, documentaries, and pictures, pictures, pictures… visual imagery that rock you to the core and tear at your soul as you consider the lives that were impacted on that day.

I Googled 9/11 and discovered that as horrific as the day itself was, the aftermath of the impact of this day stretched years beyond the actual event. Health challenges, for examples, of survivors who inhaled the toxic fumes and airborne debris from the collapse of the buildings are ongoing and even affected the health of babies who were in their mother’s wombs.

So, what can I say?

As a child and on into young adulthood, I always felt that there was a reason or explanation that could be shared that would explain most things. If someone was confused about something, that simply meant they hadn’t heard the right explanation yet. That naïve thought was shattered on 9/11. There is no explanation or reasoning that will soothe away the anguish of this day. No matter how long you sit and try to make sense of it all, no light bulbs come on, no revelatory sparks of insight prevail, just a numbness that remains after the initial emotions of anger have been spent.

I take another deep breath and pray.

I pray that the peace that passes all understanding will cover the hearts and minds of those who have struggled with the impact of this day.

I pray for comfort for those who lost loved ones and struggle with “Why?”

I pray that emotions that have been scrubbed raw and abraded by this day will be healed.

I pray that we as a nation will not neglect to “close the barn doors before the cow gets out” and that whatever national security measures are needed to protect the citizens of this country will be enforced. And although we take great care now to ensure that another 9/11 would never happen again, at the end of the day, Psalm 127:1 speaks loud and clear…

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain

Therefore, my greatest prayer is for the Lord to do exceeding, abundant above all that I could ever ask or think for the United States of America; that we will truly be one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

Excerpt from “Reality Checks” by Edwina Frazier (c) 2015

Follow me on Twitter @Realchecks

Let it go….

Baloney Sandwich

One of the highlights of my childrearing days was being able to take all six of my kids on a church sponsored bus trip to Disneyland. I didn’t have a job at the time. I was still in college working towards my degree, living in public housing and receiving welfare.  In the natural, things weren’t shaping up for me to provide my kids with the opportunity to go. I made up my mind though, I would raise the money!

With the help of my sister, we sold chicken “snack packs” from the house. For $2 you got 4 chicken wings, a slice of bread, a soda and a slice of cake! At that price we racked up and the money came in not only to pay for the bus tickets but the hotel and entrance into the park. However, I didn’t have enough money to carry with me for food for the entire trip.  I figured we could get by if I took some boloney sandwiches with us to eat on the bus.  When it was time to come home, I planned to find a store and buy some more baloney.  The small amount of money I had would be to purchase food at the park and the hotel.

We were off!  Whenever the bus stopped for folks to get off to buy food, my kids and I stayed on the bus and enjoyed our baloney sandwiches. They were so excited about going to Disneyland, they didn’t care about what they were eating. Things were going well until dinner time. The bus stopped at a restaurant and everybody was getting off. As my Aunt Janie passed by me and  my crew she said, “Come on baby! We’re all going to have dinner together.”  I shook my head. “We’re good,” I assured her. “We’ll wait until you guys come back.”  She eyed me sternly, “I don’t want you to stay on the bus.”   One of the deacons came up behind her and picked up my youngest child. I felt myself begin to panic. I reached out and nearly snatched my daughter from the deacon’s arms.  “We’re good!” I said a little more firmly. “We’ll eat on the bus!” My aunt bent and whispered in my ear. “Don’t worry! We’ll pay for dinner.”  Hot tears were threatening to fall. Why couldn’t they just leave us alone on the bus? We were fine with our sandwiches and we weren’t complaining. Heaving a deep sigh, my aunt left the bus along with the others.

I watched from the window as my aunt spoke with her son-in-law, Oliver, who helped to organize the trip. She seemed a little upset.  After a few moments of heated discussion, Oliver started walking back towards the bus. “Great!” I groaned. “Now what was he going to say?”  Oliver boarded the bus with a grin. I eyed him with suspicion. What had Aunt Janie said to him?  Stooping near me, he spoke softly,

We’re going in here to enjoy some steak. The kids can get some burgers. Do you really want to hold on to that baloney sandwich?” 

I wanted to fuss, but instead I laughed at the craziness of it all!

Why was I so intent on  following my plan to eat baloney when a steak opportunity was being opened up for me?  Pride? Stubbornness? Control?  I guess all 3 were playing a role at that moment but I decided not let them keep me and  my kids from enjoying a good meal.

I hope you got a chuckle from that but more importantly, I hope you recognized yourself, if like me, you’re putting yourself in a position to potentially miss out on a blessing God has prepared just for you!  Remember, your BEST plans can’t beat what the Lord has in store for you.  Can I Get An Amen?!

From the “Can I Get An Amen?!” Story Collection by Edwina Frazier (c) 2016