Today I had the privilege of baptizing a young lady named Jasmin into Christ for the remission of her sins. She is the third person we’ve baptized in the past few days. I am convinced that there is no greater joy in this life than seeing someone become a child of God. Allow me to tell you a little of Jasmin’s story.
One of our dear ladies, Dorothy was having a yard sale some time back. Whenever anyone came to her yard sale she offered them a free Bible! What a tremendous idea!! What if every Christian family who has a yard sale gave free Bibles to everyone who comes by? But I digress:) Jasmin lives a couple of blocks away from Dorothy and she was taking a walk that morning. Jasmin was raised in the Catholic church and she stated that she had been questioning her teaching. She had even written some poems about what she felt was missing in her religion. As she walked that morning she prayed that God would help her find someone who could help her with her questions. She was surprised when she walked up to the yard sale and was offered a Bible. When she quickly responded, “Yes,” Dorothy asked her if she would like to have a Bible study? Jasmin said she would love to study. Over the next several weeks the two ladies studied the Word of God together. Dorothy said that sometimes the studies lasted three hours at a time. Jasmin was an eager learner. After the baptism today we prayed together. After we prayed, Jasmin said, “I am so glad I met Dorothy, or I would still be lost.” A few thoughts have come to mind as I have thanked God for our new sister in the Lord.
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO APPROACH PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW JESUS. Free Bibles at a Yard Sale…What a tremendous way to get the Good News to people who we may not know. It almost makes me think differently about Yard Sales. I said, “almost.”:) A dear sister who recently passed away always carried church business cards with her. She left them in restaurants, gave them to people at the grocery store, and even while in the hospital gave them to the hospital workers. She invited some of them to come to worship with her. Another sister I know conducts Bible studies every week at her business. She has had the opportunity to study with co-workers on numerous occasions. We need to be creative in the ways we approach people with the Gospel message. Perhaps you could share ways that you share the Word with those who are not Christians?
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PROFESSIONAL TO LEAD SOMEONE TO JESUS. In our day of professional vocation (even in ministry) we sometimes get the idea that only church leaders or paid staff members can teach the Gospel. We could not be more mistaken. The Gospel will be spread best when every child of God sees the importance of telling others. None of the ladies mentioned above are “professionals,” however they all have a passion for sharing the Good News. Why not make a commitment to find a way to teach someone about Jesus before the end of 2010. If everyone who reads this article would convert one person there would be thousands of new Christians this year!
PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING. There are people in our area of influence who are searching for Jesus. We just have to keep looking. They are in our neighborhoods, in our schools, at our work, on our team, in the mall, on the golf course, at the park, and all around us. There are many Jasmin’s who are sincerely looking for answers to life’s questions. We don’t have to be hard-nosed, mean-spirited, or arrogant. We just need to listen and look around us.
There are many among us who would have never approached this young lady about a Bible study. Some, because they don’t believe it will work. Some refuse to tell others about Jesus because they are not willing to take the time. Some because they have convinced themselves that those who are “churched,” (part of a religious group) are already saved and should be left alone. Jasmin said, “If I had not met Dorothy, I would still be lost.” How interesting that she realized she was lost and needed to obey Christ, but some of God’s people can’t get that??
THE GOSPEL STILL SAVES. The Apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation…” (Romans 1:16) It is not our educational acumen, it is not our ingenuity, it is not our planning, our ideas, our work that is the power of salvation. It is the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus. Like Paul we need to be “eager” at all times to teach it (Romans 1:15). If we could develop the attitude portrayed in Galatians 6:14 we might be more willing to share the message, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The message of salvation is clear and simple. When we believe that, and when we are willing to share it with others, we will see tremendous results.
Father, we give you thanks for Christians who are willing to share the Good News with others. We thank you for opening doors of opportunity for us to spread the Word. Dear God, we are thankful for people like Jasmin who are searching for answers, and we are thankful for people like Dorothy who are willing to take the time to lead someone else to You. Help us, dear Lord to search for opportunities and to be creative in how we approach others.
A PERSONAL NOTE:
When we began this blog way back on September 1 of 2009 we had two primary purposes in mind. There was no way we could have envisioned the large number of readers we would have, or the wonderful support we have received from so many. This has been a wonderful and an humbling venture. One of our primary purposes was to post articles that might be of encouragement to Christians around the world who are looking for more ways to grow in their walk with the Lord. My prayer with each post is that they will encourage, and never discourage, that they will always edify, and never tear down. If they help, then we are reaching at least part of our goal.
Another thought was to give preachers (especially younger preachers) and other church leaders ideas and information that might be of assistance in the work we are trying to do for the Lord (not because I think I know a great deal about this work, or because I think I have arrived at a point where I can “tell” others how it is to be done). I am a fellow struggler and I have been blessed to learn from so many others, young and old!
One of the ideas was to highlight a Veteran Preacher, to tell something about his life that might encourage, and to place an image of one of his actual sermons on the blog. We have done this on a number of occasions under the heading, “Preacher’s Notes.” This not only honors some men who are worthy, it also helps those who are younger with some great pointers. We have a number of “Preacher’s Notes” postings in the works and they will be published in the coming weeks. If you are a preacher (or if you are not a preacher, but know some preachers) and you know some preacher that might be interested in receiving these updates please supply me with their email address and we will put them on the list.
IPHONE/IPAD APP. Within the next few days the Lewisville church will be introducing a new I-phone Application. To my knowledge there are only a couple of other churches among churches of Christ who have developed I-phone apps. A few months back I spoke with our Web team about the possibility. One of our guys ran across an I-phone app from the Wilburton church in Oklahoma. I happened to know the preacher (Scott Eliot) who was there when the app was developed. I called Scott and he informed me that Tyler Brassfield who was their campus minister had developed the app.
I spoke with Tyler and he said he would be glad to help us. We (our web team and I) supplied him with the information and he got to work. Tyler has developed a beautiful, functional I-phone App for us that is now at Apple for review. It should be available within the next few days. I asked Tyler if he minded me telling others about his work? He said he would be glad to work with others. I mentioned it to my brother, Dale, and of course he quickly contacted Tyler and the Spring Meadows church will also have an app within a few days. Tyler does an outstanding job and he is very reasonable compared to others we found. If you are interested in learning more about his work you can find it on this website at: www.316apps.com. You can also email Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just tell him Jeff sent you:) I thought some of you might be interested to learn about this. If you have any questions I will be glad to try to answer them.