Take 5 (July 25-29, 2016)

Take5

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Bill Tanzey • Associate Pastor of Community Ministries

5 Approaches for Living the Good News This week, we’ll look at how we can be witnesses for Christ.

Monday: Through Our Attitudes

Galatians 2:20

Augustine said that we are to preach a sermon every day, using words if necessary. Everyone’s strongest testimony is not their words, but their daily lives. How you and I respond to this world and the people in it will demonstrate the difference that Christ has made in us.

In today’s passage, we hear how the self-righteous and self-centered Saul “died.” Christ ended Paul’s enthronement of the self. Instead, Paul yielded the throne of his life to another–to Christ. Paul’s life evidenced that change, and his peers saw Christ in him.

Pray that those around you will see Christ in you.

Tuesday: Through Our Actions

1 Corinthians 9:22-23

Jesus was the Master at the art of never meeting a stranger. He touched the lives of all He contacted–the “down-and-out,” the “up-and-out,” Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles and sinners. As a follower of Jesus, Paul chose to voluntarily restrain his freedoms in order to reach unbelievers with the Gospel. His aim was to present Christ to them, and in so doing, he was willing to adjust his preferences and personal favorites.

Kindness will open doors (Ephesians 4:32), resulting in reaping the harvest of winning others to His glory. That goal is far more important than our preferred customs or procedures. Be flexible, pray and look for ways God will bring others to your life so that His name is lifted up through your actions.

Always remember: You aren’t promoting a style–you’re presenting a Savior. 

Wednesday: Through Our Words

John 4:20

Keep away from technicalities. Gently decline becoming involved in petty debate.

The Samaritan woman wanted to quibble about religious territory and traditions. Jesus knew it wasn’t her head that was troubling her, it was her heart. She needed Christ before she needed a church, a Redeemer before she needed a ritual. Jesus didn’t go down religious rabbit trails and when we are sharing the Gospel, neither should we.

They could have argued “religion” for hours in the hot sun. Yet, Jesus chose His Words in a manner that kept her on the main path to salvation.

Choose your words carefully.

Thursday: Through Our Subordination

John 5:24

You and I can’t save anyone. We’re called to share, not save. We are to be subordinate to the Holy Spirit throughout the entire process. Salvation is in the hands of our sovereign God.

When I share Christ by connecting God’s Word, I know that the pressure is off me. Let the Words speak. Here’s an example: “Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life…” (John 5:24) These are the Words of the Son of God. Allow them to be your authority as you share the Gospel. If you introduce them to the Savior, He will oversee it all.

Read John 4:1-30 and note how Christ kept focused on what was truly important.

Friday: Through Our Tact

James 1:5

In sharing Christ, we are to be sensitive to others’ feelings. Shouting them into a decision for Christ is pointless and may harm more than help. We are to have a spirit of discernment that isn’t offensive or pushy. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously…” 

Be natural and courteous. Truly listen to the person. (It’s amazing how people will open their hearts to a good listener.) Good messengers are good listeners first. Think through your questions and stay away from trite, tactless claims and condemnations. Oh, and by the way, enjoy sharing the Gospel–your friendly smile might be the only one that person receives that day.

Ask God to allow the joy of your salvation to be seen by others.