Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Legion Dispossessed Author: John Newton

1 Legion was my name, by nature
Satan rag'd within my breast;
Never misery was grater,
Never sinner more possess'd:
Mischievous to all around me,
To myself the greatest foe;
Thus I was when Jesus found me,
Fill'd with madness, sin, and woe.

2 Yet in this forlorn condition
When he came to set me free;
I reply'd to my physician,
"What have I to do with thee?"
But he would not be prevented,
Rescu'd me against my will;
Had he staid 'till I consented,
I had been a captive still.

3 "Satan, tho' thou fain would'st have it,
Know this soul is none of thine;
I have shed my blood to save it,
Now I challenge it for mine;
Tho' it long has thee resembled,
Henceforth it shall me obey;"
Thus he spoke, while Satan trembled,
Gnash'd his teeth, and fled away.

4 Thus my frantic soul he healed,
Bid my sins and sorrows cease;
"Take (said he) my pardon sealed,
I have sav'd thee, go in peace:
Rather take me, Lord to heaven,
Now thy love and grace I know;
Since thou hast my sins forgiven,
Why should I remain below.

5 "Love (he said) will sweeten labours,
Thou hast something yet to do:
Go and tell your friends and neighbours,
What my love has done for you:
Live to manifest my glory;
Wait for heav'n a little space:
Sinners, when they hear thy story,
Will repent and seek my face."
Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803

Thursday, June 21, 2012

8 Ways to share what Christ has done

These practical instructions are just that: instructions. This is not a formula. It is a way of preparing your heart and organizing your life for gospel impact in the life of others.

1. Prepare to Share

Pray, read the Word, study, and get instruction with the intention of sharing it with another. We often read, study, and pray with ourselves in view. That’s appropriate of course, but if it stops there, we fall short of the mission of Christ. When you read, pray, and study with others in view you’ll begin to see how the truth connects with those around you. You can become prayerful for them and relate to them in a way that accords with truth and love.

2. Get Involved

Go to where the people are. Find a way to put yourself in the middle of the action. Volunteer, serve, practice hospitality, introduce yourself to the barista. There’s innumerable ways of making this step, so be intentional in the steps you decide to take. You can’t get involved in everything. But with those things that you are involved with, make it count.

3. Be Attentive

Look for and walk through the open doors God gives. Many times we don’t see the open doors, because we’re not paying attention. Many times we don’t walk through the open doors we see, because we’re afraid. When you are afraid to share Christ, you have yourself in view and not Christ. When your fear keeps you from sharing Christ with someone, you are more in love with yourself than the one who needs Christ. Repent, push through the awkwardness, and trust God.

4. Get Close

Evangelism and discipleship are most effective when it’s a personal relationship. Disciple making is a way of living, not a solitary practice. Share your life with someone else and show Christ to be the centerpiece. Break down your self-protecting barriers, and go deeper than you’re comfortable. Strive to be a person that is easy to get close to. Live the love of Christ before them–toward them.

5. Share Christ

You are to share Christ in words and deeds, and often deeds before words. Consider the best way to love the person that is before you, so that Christ may be known to and experienced by the person you are with. A question you might ask: how might the person before me need to hear and experience the love of Christ? A lot more should be said here, but this is a start.

6. Wait on the Lord

Be patient and persistent. We often approach sharing Christ with another with particular expectations. We think, often subconsciously, “If I do this, this should happen, and it should happen within this time frame.” When it doesn’t happen that way (and it usually doesn’t), we can get discouraged and give up. Remember, you’re the messenger and nothing more. Fruit will come in God’s time and God’s way. Keep the course. God is always at work, even and sometimes especially when you can’t see it.

7. Celebrate

When God works, celebrate it. If it’s a small open door with a neighbor or a good friend that comes to know Christ, celebrate the work of God in others. Make known what Christ is doing, and give him the glory for the way He is showing up in the life of others.

8. Repeat

Don’t stop. Go back and prepare some more, get a little more involved, heighten attentiveness, get closer still, share Christ more, keep waiting on God, and celebrate.

Who are you going to share Christ with this week?

Monday, June 18, 2012

"My Old Man"

My old man!

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

"that you put off, concerning your former conduct,

the old man which is corrupt according to its deceitful

lusts" Ephesians 4:22

I plainly see that neither my old man nor my new man

can be mended. The one is too bad--the other too good.

There is no patching or painting the old man to advantage;

it will still be "corrupt, according to its deceitful lusts."

The new man needs neither patching nor painting, for it is

"created in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephes. 4:24)

What is "born of the flesh is flesh"--and will act after its nature.

What is "born of the Spirit is spirit"--and will aspire to its source!