Biblical Messages

Lessons from St. Patrick

Other than drinking green beer and going to parades, what’s the big deal about St. Patrick’s Day?  Traditionally, it’s a day for the Irish, and the Irish-for-a-day, to have a party.  But what did Patrick stand for?  What can followers of Jesus learn from him about their walk with the Lord?  Watch this video to find out.  Scriptures are Matthew 28.16-20 and Matthew 5.43-48.

In the message, I show a video that you can watch here.

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Encouragement From The Word

Gentle influence

One of the delights of being on a pilgrimage that includes some people you don’t know is that you have the opportunity to get to know them while travelling. So one day, when someone I didn’t know was sitting across the aisle on the bus from me, I said, “Tell me a story.”

Among the things this young woman told me was how she got involved in the congregation in which she participates. Much to my delight, it was through the gentle influence of a mutual friend.

This friend would care for her children, and would invite the kids to sing Bible songs and learn Bible stories while in her care. And as time went on, and it seemed appropriate, she would make soft invitations – to church events, to fill Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, to come to Christmas services, then Easter services, and then, well, she got involved whole-hog!

A whole family came to know Jesus because of the kind words and simple invitations of a Christian who cared.

Think of the gentle influence you may have…and think of the people over whom you might have it!

…if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way” (1 Peter 3.15b-16a, NLT).

Encouragement From The Word

Return on investment

Because we get most of our bills sent electronically, and not many people share handwritten correspondence anymore, except on special occasions, we find that we don’t need to retrieve our mail from the post office more than once or twice a week.

Lately, though, our mailbox has been fuller than usual.  My wife is getting a lot of unsolicited mail – asking for money, of course – from unusual sources.

Yesterday, there was  a letter for her from an organization, and when she got home, she looked at it and said, “Someone is selling their mailing list.”

This happens to everybody who has a fixed address, though perhaps less often than usual, because direct mail campaigns seem to be less effective than they once were.

It got me thinking, though.  Because of privacy laws, fewer and fewer organizations are free to sell their mailing lists, but when they do, other groups will buy them because they hope, and maybe even expect, that they will recoup their investment through new donors. In other words, the cost involved in gaining more names will be exceeded by the results they will get from sending a campaign to those names.

When we share our faith, there is no money exchanged – I don’t think, anyway! – but there is a ‘return on investment’ side to it.  For many of us, talking about our relationship with God has a cost: uncomfortabliity.  Many of us find ourselves outside our comfort zones when we talk about Jesus with others. That’s why we don’t do it.

But consider the return on that investment: if we share our faith with others, and even one person says ‘yes’ to Jesus, what is gained from that act far exceeds the uncomfortability we may have had in sharing.

Think about that the next time you have the opportunity to open a door of faith for another person.  What you’re feeling is nothing when compared with the changed eternity for that person who may come to the Lord as a result.

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5.20, NLT).

Biblical Messages

Word of Mouth

If we don’t tell people about Jesus, how will they know?  That’s the thrust of this message, in which we look at why we don’t share our faith, and why we should.  You can watch or listen below to this message, based on John 4.39-42.  (The video shown near the beginning of the message can be viewed separately here.)

 

Encouragement From The Word

If you don’t tell them, how will they know?

If you walked by someone’s home and saw flames shooting up through the roof, what would be the first thing you’d do? You’d call 911, and pound on the door until you made sure that people inside knew about the fire and could get out safely.

If you’re a follower of Jesus and you meet someone who is not, what’s your normal reaction? Most people’s response would be to be polite and say nothing.

Theologian Michael Green said, many years ago, that too often, Christians are like people going through customs at the airport: nothing to declare.

You and I have something to declare – something of eternal importance.

If you’re a follower of Jesus who believes the Bible is true, then every person you know who is not a follower of Jesus is the equivalent of a house on fire. We have a responsibility to find creative ways to encourage them to follow Jesus, because eternity rests in the balance. We’ve got the best news in the world to share.

If you don’t tell them, how will they know?

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son” (John 3.16-18, NLT).

Biblical Messages

Encountering the Word

One of the things we learn from Jesus in his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well is that he was good at finding ways to introduce spiritual conversations.  In this message, based on John 4.10-15, we learn that if we want to help people put Jesus first, we need to know their thirst.  Watch or listen below:

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Biblical Messages

Think like a missionary

In celebration of 60 years of God’s faithfulness at St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton, we invited friends of the congregation from years gone by, and many came!  I shared this message, “Think like a missionary”, from Matthew 22, 28 and 13.  Watch on Facebook Live, or listen at the link below.

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