I thought I would share with you in this blog some thoughts on sharing Christ this Easter. Unfortunately many Christians become so caught up in what Easter is not that they forget that it is one of the easiest times of the year to share Christ. Remember, it is not your local merchant‚Äôs responsibility to keep Christ the focal point of Easter. It is not the school, the government nor the market place‚Äôs responsibility. It is our responsibility as Christians. As God the Holy Spirit reminds us in Ephesians 5:16, ‚Äúmaking the most of your time, because the days are evil.‚ÄĚ Right now, we have the blessing of a tremendous amount of freedom to share Christ, coupled with a population that is willing to listen. This may not always be the case--so we should use this Easter as a precious opportunity to share Christ.
Laying The Groundwork - First things first, make sure it is one of the great blessings of their lives is that they know a Christian. An example of this is a recent event brought about by God in which I was able to lay the groundwork to take an evangelistic Easter basket to this gentleman next week.
The downstairs AC unit was not working, and had not been working for about a week. The AC man said the freon might be low but, if that were the case, it was most likely due to a leak. I told him that I did not want to just nurse it along. We may be selling our house and downsizing. I told him that I knew it was common practice to just fill up a leaking unit, knowing it will take six months to a year to drain out, but that I was a Christian and that I wanted to be a blessing to the person who bought the house (if and when we decide to sell.) He was very moved and shared with me that he did not know how many times the owner of a house had told him, "We may be selling this, so just fill it up and let the new buyer discover it and take care of it after the sale." Based on that, I shared briefly with him why I did not lie, steal or deal falsely (Leviticus 19:11.) We continued to talk as he checked out the unit. It turned out that the men who installed tile had inadvertently pulled the AC breaker switch on the downstairs unit when they turned off the electricity in the kitchen. They had restored the kitchen breakers to the ‚Äúon‚ÄĚ position but not the downstairs AC. It was a simple task to just flip the breaker switch. I shared with him Ephesians 2:10, and that, perhaps, God brought this about for a ministry purpose. He told me that he was a Christian and needed to start going back to church with his sister and her family. I held his hand and prayed for him and gave him a New Testament. I also said that he would be hearing from me again. The repairs might have been two to three thousand dollars and I was sorely tempted to take the fleshly route. By God's grace, I did not--and was able to minister to a wayward brother.
The reason I share this, is that it is important to lay the groundwork for witnessing at Easter, by being a public Christian both in word and deed, before those to whom you will witness. Matthew 5:16 states "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.‚ÄĚ This, however, is just the first step. It is blatantly dishonest to do good works and not share the gospel with those to whom you are doing the good works. The only reason you want to do good works, the only reason you can do good works, the only purpose for those good works is to bring glory to Jesus and bring men and women to salvation. Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.‚ÄĚ If you do good works and do not give a witness, you open the door for satan to give credit elsewhere. I shared this with my son and he, in turn, gave the testimony that, when he began witnessing to people at work, they almost unanimously replied, ‚ÄúWe thought you were a Mormon!‚ÄĚ How many of those to whom you dishonestly do good works, without witnessing about Jesus, come to the conclusion that you belong to a satanic cult or that you don‚Äôt have to be a Christian to live the Christian life.
In Luke 14:16 - 24 Jesus tells a parable of messengers sent out to invite people to a dinner feast. The invitees were, however, too busy to come. This is a parable of those sent with the gospel who faithfully go, yet do not find those willing to slow down and listen. But what of another problem--what of a people too busy to go out and invite those to dinner who would be willing to come? Easter is coming up. I am now planning my "attack" in terms of sharing the gospel and inviting people to church. I will use the same approach as I do during Christmas--putting together Easter gift baskets of New Testaments, tracts and evangelistic books for merchants and service people with whom I do business. I am also putting together my Easter boxes for missionaries and military servicemen and women.
We live in an upside-down age. It is an age when people are willing to hear but Christians are either too busy to put together a plan to share the gospel or they have lost confidence in sharing Christ with unbelievers. It is an age when people are willing to hear but Christians want to substitute acts of kindness for the proclamation of the gospel of Christ. Let me encourage you this week to put together your step-by-step plan to share the gospel of the risen Savior with merchants, family and those in your sphere of influence. It takes planning. You are planning a family vacation, you are planning a cruise, you are planning a new installation at work, you are planning a new sales campaign at work, you are planning home or office renovations, you are planning, planning, planning - in the midst of all this planning be sure and have a plan to share the gospel of Christ. To whom will you say, ‚ÄúWould you like to pray now to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?‚ÄĚ
- Begin with your Christian ‚Äúswear words‚ÄĚ As I move in the world, my mind is constantly filled with profanity, crudeness and lewdness. I decided to combat this with my own vocabulary: ‚ÄúPraise the Lord‚ÄĚ; ‚ÄúThank You Jesus‚ÄĚ and more. When people say ‚ÄúHave a good day,‚ÄĚ I reply, ‚ÄúThe Bible says, ‚ÄėThis is the day the Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it,‚Äô so, thank you and thank you Jesus.‚ÄĚ When I say ‚ÄúHave a blessed day‚ÄĚ and people say ‚ÄúBoy, I need that!‚ÄĚ, then I say, ‚ÄúCan I pray for you right now?‚ÄĚ and then I do it, in Jesus‚Äô name. If they are under 30, I have begun saying, ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt forget to go to church with your mother this Easter and take her to dinner.‚ÄĚ
- What does an evangelistic Easter basket look like? (We make English, Spanish and Bi-lingual versions of these baskets.) It will be a small, inexpensive, decorative basket that you can find at most hobby or large multi-purpose stores that sell Easter supplies. We usually buy ours at the Dollar Store. Each one will contain 1.) New Testament 2.) Gospel Tract 3.) Candy or other items. I usually go to the Christian book store and buy evangelistic books such as More Than A Carpenter by McDowell or Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Strobel. These can be gotten in bulk paperback. Now begin to deliver these. So the question is, who do you give them to? I have a list below of people to whom we give them: - Merchants you frequent - Professionals (your lawyer, accountant, investment counselor, etc.) - Teachers - Don‚Äôt forget the ‚Äúinvisible people‚ÄĚ in your lives. These are repairmen and service people whom you take for granted and don‚Äôt even look at or speak to. I try always to greet and let these people know they are not invisible to me. They include but are not limited to: security guards, waitresses, trash collectors, lawn or service people, repairmen, deliverymen and more. - Military recruiting station, which can be found in most neighborhood shopping centers - Keep baskets on a table at the front door. Deliverymen and service personnel have come to expect water or coke and a Bible or Christian book when they come to our house. At Christmas and Easter, they are excited to get their evangelistic packets. - Last but not least, on the way to church Easter Sunday, stop by the coffee shop, the pharmacy and other locations you frequent, where people are working on Easter Sunday. Make sure that, even though they have to work on Easter Sunday, they are blessed by one who knows the true meaning of this day.
I pray that this blog will help you think creatively about sharing Christ this Easter. For Bible studies, devotional materials and small group studies, you can follow this link to our website and scroll down to the section on Easter http://gciweb.org/2011/07/holidays-resources/
By His mercy, II Corinthians 4:1 Rev. John S. Mahon Grace Community International
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