Archive for January, 2014

Reliance

Posted: January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Many times it is easy to slip into a self-reliant attitude when it comes to sharing our faith; it’s defiantly something I struggle with.  We learn facts, memorize scripture, practice, and strategize, but we must not forget the importance of prayer and relying on God. It’s important to understand what is and is not our role when it comes to evangelism.

Our role as the Church is to be God’s messengers that voice the gospel to the world. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, says that he is “set apart for the gospel of God” and serves God in “the preaching of the gospel of His Son,” (Romans 1:1,9). Paul understood his role to preach the gospel to the lost and did so faithfully. Like Paul, we are God’s witnesses who must voice the gospel of Christ to the world. Otherwise, how will they be saved, for, “how will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). We know that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ,” (Romans 10:17). We must tell the world of the grace offered to all.

It is important to note, however, that we are incapable of saving anyone. We preach the gospel, but God is the one who works in their lives and moves in their hearts. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, no one would ever believe. For “we were dead in our trespasses, [and He] made us alive together with Christ,” (Ephesians 2:5). God is the one that causes the dead to live “according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” (Titus 3:5-6). Because of this, we must fervently pray for the Lord to move in a mighty way in the lives of the lost, for if we preach without the help of the Holy Spirit, we preach in vain.

We see in acts that the church, which was growing daily, was “continually devoting themselves… to prayer,” (Acts 2:42). They understood the importance of prayer, realizing that they needed God to do anything. Peter and John realize their need for God to strengthen them and so they prayed, “grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness,” (Acts 4:29-31). We can see that they were relying on God for boldness and for Him to move as they spoke. Paul says that his “heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is for their salvation” (Romans 10:1). There is nothing that we can do to regenerate a sinful heart, but is the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore, we must rely on God and pray like crazy for the salvation of others.

I would like to encourage you all to be reliant on God to save and do your part in being faithful to preach the gospel to the lost. As you go throughout this week, start everyday by praying for the lost and asking God to show you opportunities to speak up and to work in the hearts of those that you talk with.

Upcoming Events:

Jan. 28 – John Lennox @ 8pm in Russell House Ballroom

Feb 7 – 1st Go and Tell @3:30 meet at 631 Harden

Being about our Father’s Work

Posted: January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

Welcome to 2014 everyone! The dawn of the New Year brings even more fantastic opportunities to be disciples for Christ. I am extremely excited for 2014 and this upcoming semester. The Lord is doing great things in and through the Shandon College Ministry and the USC campus and will continue to do so this next year. I pray that as we move into this new semester that we all will decide to be a part of the work God is doing.

Before we can decide anything, we must first understand our purpose in God’s plan. In short, why are we here? Why don’t we just go straight to heaven after we profess faith in Christ? Clearly, God has kept us here for a reason. Is it that God just wants us to enjoy life, have fun, get married, have kids, and make money? No! It is not bad to do or have these things in life, but they are not the ultimate reason why we are here. We are here on earth to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Within that we get the great honor of being his witnesses to the world. God is sovereign and omnipotent; He does not need us to spread the gospel of his Son. Out of His grace, He chooses to use us to make His name famous throughout all the nations. We don’t have to bring the gospel to the nations we get to!

Jesus states in Acts 1:8, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” We know from what Jesus said that we are not alone in our witnessing. Far from it! We have the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit, who blesses and empowers us with Spiritual Gifts that give us a solid foundation to be His witness. With a backing in the Holy Spirit, we are set up for victory in Christ when we go out and witness to the world. Not only will this empowerment embolden us to reach the lost, but it will allow us to forge a stronger and closer communion with God than we could otherwise.

Last year at Passion, Francis Chan said something that stuck with me and has proven to be true over and over again in my life. He said, “If you really want to experience God, then go and make disciples.” When we are on the mission for Christ, we get to experience God in a mighty way; His power, might, peace, joy, love, and truth surround us and become a present reality in our lives. God wants us to experience Him and live in His joy and therefore allows us to be used by Him.

Sometimes the thought of giving everything to God is an intimidating one. Our lives are filled with responsibilities and pleasures that would have to be given up in heedless pursuit of God. These fears can be assuaged by looking to the apostle Paul, a man who literally gave up everything to be used by God. Yet, he says that he counts all those things “as loss for the sake of Christ” and “rejoices in [his] sufferings,” (Philippians 3:8 and Colossians 1:24). Paul saw his suffering and sacrifice as joy because of Christ. He was filled with the joy and peace of Christ experiencing Him in a mighty way. To Paul Christ was worth it: He was his treasure, his joy, and his life.

I pray and urge every one of you not to miss out on what God has for this next semester. Don’t get so distracted by things of the world that you miss out on what God is doing. I promise you will regret it. God is moving, will you be a part of it? My prayer is that we would surrender our lives to God, to be used my Him in many ways to reach others for Christ.

Upcoming Events:

January 26 – College lunch at Shandon

–       great invite opportunity!

January 28 – John Lennox Lecture “Can Religion and Science Co-Exist?”

–       @ 8pm Russell House Ballroom

–       great invite and equipping opportunity!