Our Chapel Ministry
Walking Your Faith Devotionally
Walking Your Faith Devotionally
John 4:4 "But He needed to go through Samaria." NKJV
Loved Ones in Christ, In John 4, we see our Lord travel through Samaria.This may not mean much to us, but in that time, the hatred between Jews and Samaritans was legendary. Despite the cultural issues around Him, Jesus continues His journey through Samaria because there was a 'need'. What could be so important that Jesus had to go through Samaria? Why would Jesus walk through hostile territory? Simple. There was a woman in Samaria who was burdened with sin and shame, and Jesus had the answer to her problem. Friends, this should be our hearts desire - to be like Jesus. We should be willing to face possible hardship in order to reach others with the Gospel and God's Living Water.
Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. NKJV
The action of sharing our faith is not an option for those who claim Jesus as Lord. We are commanded in Matthew 28 to 'GO' and there is no exception found in that verse. The ultimate goal of any believer is to deliver His Word, and as we do, we will see this world changed one soul at a time. Pray today that God would bring someone to you who you can share His Love with. It may seem like an overwhelming task, but as you step out in obedience, God will take you where you need to go to share with someone who needs to hear.
Walking your faith? Sharing your faith is not an option, it is a command. Shalom!
ABBA, Father God, Thank You for forgiveness and grace. Father, help me to not only admire Your Goodness, but to share it with a world in need. Grant me opportunities to share with my family, friends and others around me today. Grant me Your words and guide me by Your Spirit. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory. Amen.
Think deeply... Live differently,
Chaplain Thom.Stackhouse, OCM
Consider This... EVANGELISM
What needs to be conveyed to unbelievers in order that they might understand and embrace salvation?
Many of the modern trends in evangelism have tended to take a minimalist approach to the question. Unfortunately, the legitimate desire to express the heart of the gospel clearly has given way to a less wholesome endeavor. It is a campaign to distill the essentials of the message to the barest possible terms.
The glorious gospel of Christ—that which Paul called “the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16)—includes all the truth about Christ. But American evangelicalism tends to regard the gospel as a “plan of salvation.” We have reduced the message to a list of facts stated in the fewest possible words—and getting fewer all the time: “Six Steps to Peace with God”; “Five Things God Wants You to Know”; “Four Spiritual Laws”; “Three Truths You Can’t Live Without”; “Two Ways to Live”; or “One Way to Heaven.” (This is not a critique of these specific presentations, but is merely an observation that we seem eager to produce and use “plans of salvation” that enumerate and consolidate the gospel message.)
Another trend, equally dangerous, is to reduce evangelism to a memorized script. Often, evangelism training consists of having Christians memorize a series of questions, anticipating that each question will fall into one of a few categories that has a pre-planned response.
But the gospel is not a message that can be standardized, abridged, shrink-wrapped, and then offered as a generic remedy for every kind of sinner. Ignorant sinners need to be instructed about who God is and why He has the right to demand their obedience. Self-righteous sinners need to have their sin exposed by the demands of God’s law. Careless sinners need to be confronted with the reality of God’s impending judgment. Fearful sinners need to hear that God in His mercy has provided a way of deliverance. All sinners must understand how utterly holy God is. They must comprehend the basic truths of Christ’s sacrificial death and the triumph of His resurrection. They need to be confronted with God’s demand that they turn from their sin to embrace Christ as Lord and Savior.
Furthermore, in all the instances where Jesus and the apostles evangelized - whether they were ministering to individuals or crowds—there are no two incidents where they presented the message in precisely the same terminology. They knew that salvation is a sovereign work of God. Their role was to preach truth; the Holy Spirit would apply it individually to the hearts of His elect. (Isaiah 55:11)
The form of the message will vary in each case. But the content must always drive home the reality of God’s holiness and the sinner’s helpless condition. Then it points sinners to Christ as a sovereign but merciful Lord who has purchased full atonement for all who will turn to Him in faith.
Christians today are often cautioned about the danger of saying too much to the lost; even offering empty promises "on behalf of God". Certain spiritual issues are labeled taboo when speaking to the unconverted: God’s law, Christ’s lordship, repentance, surrender, obedience, judgment, and hell. Such things are not to be mentioned, lest we “add something to the offer of God’s free gift.”
Worse still, there are some who take this reductionist evangelism to its furthest extreme. Wrongly applying the Reformed doctrine of sola fide (faith alone), they make faith the only permissible topic when speaking to non-Christians about their duty before God. Then they render faith utterly meaningless by stripping it of everything but its notional aspects. This, some believe, preserves the purity of the gospel. But what it has actually done is undercut the power of the message of salvation.
It has also populated the church with false converts whose faith is counterfeit and whose hope hangs on a bogus promise. Numbly saying they “accept Christ as Savior,” they brazenly reject His rightful claim as Lord. Paying Him glib lip service, they utterly scorn Him with their hearts (Mark 7:6). Casually affirming Him with their mouths, they deliberately deny Him with their deeds (Titus 1:16). Addressing Him superficially as “Lord, Lord,” they stubbornly decline to do His bidding (Luke 6:46). Such people fit the tragic description of the “many” in Matthew 7:22-23 who will one day be stunned to hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Sad words to hear for those who, heretofore, considered themselves "SAVED" without a doubt.