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I recently read a small book that has given me hope for evangelism and discipleship in America. The book – God Guides, by Mary Geegh – chronicles her experiences as a missionary to India from 1924 to 1962. While on the mission field, she learned how to have the power of the Holy Spirit in her daily life and in her evangelistic outreach to Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and fellow Christians.

A visiting missionary told her, “The first step is to ‘wait’… ‘be still’… ‘listen’. Then be definite about your sins – daily; with notebook and pencil write down the thing the Holy Spirit speaks to your mind; determine to obey. Then share with others who come to you for help how the power of Christ changes you.”

Mary disciplined herself to this practice, and applied it to every problem she faced. She taught others the same way: to hear from the God Who Speaks. I will leave it to you to get the book and read her stories and the many lessons she learned. My purpose here is to share an epiphany and the hope it has given me for the church in America. I suspect this applies more broadly, and would love to hear from my international readers about this subject.

Mary Geegh’s approach to evangelism was based on a very simple statement made by Jesus during one of His more profound and mysterious messages (perhaps this is why it has been overlooked).

It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.  John 6:45

I feel the need to encourage you to resist the temptation to dismiss what you are about to read. You may do so for two reasons: it may seem too simple to be important, and/or it may not fit your doctrine or mindset for ministry. There is no danger in giving serious consideration to something that makes us uncomfortable. I too had to press through my initial reservations. If Jesus had not said it Himself, I would have difficulty accepting that:

People hear and learn from the Father before they come to Jesus!

Some may say, “Of course, the Father (or Holy Spirit) must draw them.” This is true; Jesus speaks of it in the previous verse. However, what many have failed to understand (myself included) is the method of that drawing; it is not some mysterious tugging at our heart.

The Father draws the unsaved by speaking to them, and teaching them!!

Individuals with a dead spirit and a heart of stone, without the Holy Spirit within them, and who worship other gods, hear and are taught by the Father… as a preliminary step to them coming to Jesus Christ. This is not a strange interpretation of the verse. The verse would have to be strangely interpreted to say anything else.

Please note: I am not suggesting a replacement for belief in Jesus, repentance, and baptism. The matter at hand is God’s method for drawing people to the Savior and our responsibility to that part of the salvation process. Is this not Biblical prescription? Why is it not being taught and practiced? What are we missing? Read the rest of this entry »

todd-whiteI recently viewed an encouraging movie put out by Todd White, called Lifestyle Christianity. This is not a plug for the movie (though I do recommend it); nor an endorsement of Todd White, per se.

This article is an observation – perhaps a revelation – from the life of Todd White, as portrayed in the movie.

TW is known for his evangelistic healing ministry. At least that is how I know of him. However, TW is not so much about healing people as he is about doing what God will do with someone that is radically obedient, and continually responsive, to God.

TW is simply going where he is sent, to do what he has been given to do. The difference in his life and mine (or yours?) is not His evangelistic approach, or the opportunities he has to heal people – as cool as that may be.

The thing that impressed me most is TW’s simple passionate desire to connect people with God. In the process, he lets his light shine before men in ways that glorify his Father in heaven.

Here is the revelation: We must be careful not to box God into a particular manifestation and method.  Connecting people with God can happen, supernaturally, in an unlimited number of ways and places. Read the rest of this entry »

I was not surprised the day I became a part of my company’s reduction in force. The Lord had prepared me. I was expecting it. The surprise came when I finally realized that God wasn’t moving me on to something I thought was better. Among other things, I learned that His purpose for my life was not so much about me.

The nation of Israel was not surprised that the Messiah had come. They had been anticipating His arrival for hundreds of years. Their surprise was in the fact that it was not so much about them. God had a bigger plan.

One of the tragedies of a self-centered story is the loss of perspective. It is scary to think what I would have lost if God had settled for my plan; and it is sobering to recognize that I did not have a clue how much less I was fighting for Him to give me.

Much of the Western Church is in much the same danger; and we don’t have much more of a clue.

Suppose you had an employee that thought, believed and lived like your business was solely for his purposes, what would you do? Isn’t he right to think your business is for him? After all, you hired him, you are paying him a salary, and you are providing him with benefits. It’s about him; right?

Of course it’s not! Every wise business owner would fire such an employee (short of that employee having a significant attitude adjustment).

What if your employees thought you and your company should be subject to the interests of the community; that you should give your products away, regardless of the affect it has on your bottom line? Well, that would be socialism; and a strong sign that something has gone drastically wrong!!

Last set of questions: Does a good and wise business owner (or king) allow the story of his business (or kingdom) to be primarily about any other individual or group? Is it wrong for him to insist that the kingdom be centered on him and his purposes?

It’s not that we are lacking for clues. Jesus spoke often of the dangers: the rich young ruler, the prodigal son and the wicked, lazy servant, to name just a few. All were looking at the story from a self-centered perspective.

It is ironic that the most obvious thing can be the very thing we get wrong. So, let me ask you: Who is the Bible really about? Who is the writer, the producer and the director? Who is the main character?

Of course, you will say, the story is about God. It is about what He wants and what He is doing. I cannot imagine any Christian would disagree. Certainly, no one would say, “The story is about me.” Right?

But is that not the way we live our lives, here in the Western Church?

Click here for more.

Bible with Cross ShadowThere are times in my study of Scripture when I have to remind myself that all of God’s children are stewards of His mysteries; not so much in regards to my responsibility, but to remind myself that we all have access. The Master has entrusted us with His possessions. We have eyes to see and ears to hear; that we might understand the mysteries of God (Matthew 13:16-17).

Furthermore, we have the mind of Christ, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. This should greatly encourage us that searching out the matter will be a profitable endeavor – even with the most challenging passages. We must always reject the temptation to pass over even one passage in the word of God. It is treasure for all that will diligently pursue the truth.

Now, I have said this before, and it bears repeating: Mysteries are often discovered in our searching out passages that seem to conflict with one another. Here, we have a great example.

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Matthew 7:6

This is interesting. Jesus anticipated that His followers would be tempted to give and cast holy and precious things to the wrong people. In the vernacular of His day, “dogs” was a label for the Gentiles – those people who were not Jews. “Swine” was used to describe the most unclean things and people; things and people that were to be strictly avoided.

If we didn’t know better, we would think that Jesus is instructing us to give and cast holy and precious things only to the believer. On the surface, this seems to countermand His commission to disciple all the nations (Matthew 28:19)? So, let’s dig a little deeper. Read the rest of this entry »


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