Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Making the Most of Every Opportunity

There is an article in called Natural Evangelism by Edward Fudge.  He talks about the fears we all have about sharing the message of God's  forgiveness of mistakes and sins and bad decisions and his offer of life after physical death. The author then gives some spot-on verses to guide our evangelism efforts.  It's a great read, linked above for you to check out.

For some reason, every sermon, bible study and devotional we have been hearing lately has been pointing to this very subject.  How do we present the gospel in a way that sounds like good news?  How do we keep from taking the legalistic, self-righteous approach toward people who don't even know or believe the Word of God yet? 
This week we have had many opportunities with contacts in our clinics, I pray we are making the most of them.

We had a woman come on Saturday who tested positive for HIV after showing several signs of full-blown AIDS.  Her husband died six years ago, but not before she had an affair with another man and got pregnant.  We needed to explain to her how HIV is spread and the possibility of her son having it too, not to mention the other man. 

A man with anxiety and gastritis came in, and after asking him routine questions about alcohol and tobacco, he mentioned that he participates in Mayan ceremonies at times, drinking included.  But interestingly, says he became a Christian 20 years ago but quit going to church because other church members said he had to leave his current wife and go back to his ex-wife who abandoned him and their children.  He still maintains both women and their children, but only lives with the second woman.  And now he is not welcome in the church.

A young couple comes in wanting STD testing because the wife had an affair with her husband's brother, who apparently had signs of venereal disease.  They needed counseling as much as medical attention and talked about the possibility that someone had put a curse over the wife to make her act this way.  They felt helpless and wanted to help their marriage get back on track and have decided to look into Christianity for guidance.

Each situation is an opportunity to share God's love, forgiveness and restoration with people at the end of their rope.  We can be approachable, share God's plan for reconciliation and renewal, or ruin the moment with self-righteous judgment. Our work is to share the gospel, not change people's lifestyles or habits.  Only the Holy Spirit has that ability.

 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6

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