Kind Act Leads to Christ

Kind Act Leads to Christ

It all started in an Iowa storm. Matthew and Courtney Anderson were driving by one of those ubiquitous Fourth of July firecracker tents. A sudden squall violently lifted the firecracker tent off the ground. The vendors were seemingly helpless and began cutting the tent’s holding cords.

Matt and Courtney bounded out of their vehicle and pitched in to help. Together with the vendors they salvaged what the wind and rainstorm did not destroy.

The storm passed, but left the vendors homeless with rain damaged merchandise. (Tents cannot be locked so the sellers sleep in the tents for security.)

Now what were Josh, Debra and Ariana to do? Realizing their plight, Matt and Courtney paid for a night at the nearby Super 8 Motel.

I don’t know what all was shared that Saturday evening. What I do know is the firecracker vendors walked in during the middle of the church meeting Sunday morning. They were welcomed and one of the men said, “You are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

After the meeting, church people sat with Josh and Debra as they wept profusely. Josh used up the first box of Kleenexes and began to use the second.

Eventually, one of the men proffered the question, “Have you ever given your life to Jesus Christ?” Through tears, Josh answered negatively. “I don’t believe in Christ,” he admitted.

Much conversation ensued. Josh heard the good news: “Jesus Christ died for your sins. He rose from the dead.” Josh heard the good news several times. Something began to dawn on him. Finally, as best he could, he submitted his will to Christ as Savior.

After prompting, Josh began to pray. I advised him about Jesus’ words in John 10: 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I asked him to ask God what to do next and to listen for the whisper of the Spirit. After bowing his head and praying, he said, “I think God is telling me to move back to Oregon where I have roots and family. “

Dinner at HyVee Restaurant followed. During lunch, his daughter, Ariana, showed interest in Jesus. She asked questions. “What does it mean to ‘open the door’ to Jesus?”

She “opened the door to Jesus.” That’s when the above picture was snapped as Josh and Debra affectionately hugged her. Who knew

The Church of the Living Water provided two nights of lodging at the Super 8 Motel. Meals were offered.

Amazing what God’s love–one act of kindness–will do. God bless Josh, Debra and Ariana. God bless Matthew and Courtney.

One reason this website exists is to honor those who lead men, women and young people to Christ. We encourage Chicken Evangelism–Share Christ before you Chicken Out!

When you tell your experience of witnessing, it will encourage others. Do you know of an incident where a kind act leads to Christ?

Salvation by Annoyance–

 

Salvation by Annoyance–

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, “How do you expect to get into Heaven?”

The boy thought it over and said, “Well, I’ll run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, ‘For Heaven’s sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!'”

 

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Difference Between Evangelists and Apostles?

What is the Difference Between an Evangelist and an Apostle?

Steve Fatow offers a clear distinction. Learn about chicken evangelism here.

Learn more about modern day apostles here.

Steve Fatow: How Does an Apostle Differ from an Evangelist?
Steve Fatow: How Does an Apostle Differ from an Evangelist?

Conversion Via LinkedIn

Here is Kari Anderson’s account of good results with Chicken Evangelism. (New story submission from website.)

I led someone to Christ!

I recently was able to lead someone toward Jesus through LinkedIn messages. Here is a copy of my conversation exactly as it happened. I’ve changed the man’s name to protect his privacy. He was from India.

Ashish: Hello ma’am

Kari: Hello

Ashish: How are you? I hope you are doing well

Kari: 👍

Ashish: Ma’am actually i am just Graduate from NIFT, India as a jewellery designer. And right now i am searching the job as a jewellery designer only. It would be a great help from you if u help me regarding this, I would like to work overseas too.

Kari: Neat, good for you. I’m not in a position to hire anyone. Sorry about that, but I will pray that God provide a job for you! God please provide a designer job for Ashish! Amen!

Ashish: Haha. Thanks a lot ma’am.

Kari: 😊

Ashish: 👍

Kari: God is good. He answers prayer!

Ashish: Yup. I know right.

Kari: For sure. Are you a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Ashish: Yes ma’am. I do believe God.

Kari: 👍

Ashish: And i Am a believer of Lord Krishna. He is the God from Hindu Mythology. But as i know god is only one with different names.

Kari: Ahhh, but Jesus said He was the only way to heaven. Something to think about. Jesus is the only way to heaven to God.

Ashish: So i do believe god.

Kari: Yes, but maybe not the right god.

Ashish:I would love to achieve heaven under Jesus

Kari: It’s possible. You only need to believe that He was God’s Messiah, sent from God and accept Him into your life. It’s not difficult. You only need to trust in Him and ask Him into your life.

Ashish: 👍

Kari: 😊

Ashish: Yeah

Kari: So you want to trust in Jesus? [Publisher’s note: These LinkedIn exchanges took place over a period of about one week. Kari was praying for this man during that time.]

Ashish: I will now for sure. Yes i do trust Jesus.

Kari: Well, that’s good. Do you have a Holy Bible?

Ashish: No I do have GITA. [the Hindu “bible”]

Kari: I can send you a Holy Bible if you want one.

Ashish: Yes please

Kari: Give me your address and I can send it. I’m happy to do it. If you promise to read it. Right?

Ashish: I promise to read it from bottom of my heart

Kari: Okay Ashish: (Address withheld for privacy)

Kari: Okay, I copied the address down. I will send it soon. I need to go now but I’m happy that you have decided to trust in Jesus. He is wonderful and will help you understand and know God better. God bless you! Let me know when the Bible arrives. Thanks for the chat. God bless you!!

Ashish: Thanks

Kari: 😊

Kari: Your Holy Bible is sent! Please let me know when it arrives! Thanks for letting me share with you.  Ashish: Thanks so much, Kari.

 

(A few days later.)

Ashish: Hi.

Kari: Hi, I got a message from the postal system in India and gave them the needed information, so your book [the Bible] should now be in customs!

Ashish: Okay. Thank you.

Publisher’s note: My wife Kari has contacts in many nations because of her business as a pearl broker. She is able to tell what she has seen and heard regarding Jesus Christ with many from foreign countries.

Please tell your own story of how you have enabled someone to come closer to Christ in person or have aided a conversion via LinkedIn or another form of social media.

Priorities… Priorities… Priorities

 

 

 

Know Your Purpose and Priorities

 

The classified section of the Quay County Sun newspaper in June of 1978 contained this ad: “Farmer with 160 irrigated acres wants marriage-minded woman with tractor. When replying, please show picture of tractor.”

What is Your Purpose in Life? Have you set priorities to get there?

What are God’s priorities for us sin 2019?

Biblical Priority # One

Put God first. Make things of Eternal Significance number one.

In Luke 10:42 and following we find Jesus’ perspective on priorities.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.

She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;

but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

Life offers multiple opportunities. What are we choosing? Life demands choices: Mary chose the better part. Are we pleasing God or people? Paul said, “If I’m still trying to please people, I’m not pleasing God. “Sometimes, we can’t do both.

Some things are eternally significant: time with Jesus in the Bible. Time with God in prayer. Getting filled with the Holy Spirit. Evangelism. Worship.

I’m so glad God caught us up in Chicken Evangelism. (Share Christ before you chicken out.) Nearly 100% of Jesus’ outreach was with one-off, random contacts with strangers. To be like Jesus, we will share the free gift of salvation with people in the first minutes we meet. What a joy to begin the discipleship process with strangers!

Biblical Priority # Two

Make things of earthly significance number two.

What are some things of temporal significance? This does not mean they are not important. It only means they are less significant and we need to grant them less time. Some of these are family, leisure, movies, TV, recreation, health, eating, texting, the internet, etc.

One survey in the 1990’s showed the following about USA priorities:

Sleep………………23 years……….32.9%

Work……………..16 years………..22.8%

TV…………………..8 years………..11.4%

Eating……………….6 years………..8.6%

Travel……………….6 years………..8.6%

Leisure…………..4.5 years………..6.5%

Illness……………….4 years………..5.7%

Dressing……………2 years………..2.8%

Things of God….0.5 years………..0.7%

Total…………….70 years…………100%

Sleep and work are givens. Hard to change much there. Notice the third most important category. 8 years out of a lifetime spent with TV. If the survey were taken today, how much time would be spent on cell phones? Or the internet?

Contrast this with the last category: 0.7% of our time spent with the things of God.

Whether we admit it or not, the amount of time we spend with something shows how important it is to us. It tells us our priorities.

As we turn the page on the calendar to 2019, let’s stop and think. What is your lifetime purpose? What has God placed you on earth for? It would be terrible to go through life and not fulfill God’s purpose.

What is your God-given purpose? And what priorities have you set to get there? Think about it.

Rarely do we make life changes in a flash. Take some time. Kari and I recently went one night to a motel to re-orient ourselves. Very helpful. Take some time now. Give some thought. Talk it over with God.

Priorities

Priorities

What is your God-given purpose? And what priorities have you set to get there? Mary chose the good part.

Think about it.

 

5 INSIGHTS ABOUT THE UNCHURCHED THAT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU

5 insights about Unchurched that May Surprise You

5 insights about Unchurched that May Surprise You

 

By Thom S. Rainer president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter (@ThomRainer) and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer. This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on Dec. 12, 2016.

They aren’t antagonistic. They welcome a conversation with believers. They aren’t staying out of church for the reasons you may think.

They are the unchurched. And because many church leaders and members have such misperceptions about them, churches often fail to reach them, or even attempt to reach them.

In one of the most comprehensive studies ever done on the unchurched, LifeWay Research, in partnership with the Billy Graham Center, surveyed 2,000 unchurched Americans. They defined “unchurched” as someone who has not attended a worship service in the last six months.

One-third of the respondents were nonwhite. Genders were almost equally represented (53 percent male), and almost half have a high school diploma or less.

I want to unpack this massive research more in the future. For now, let’s look at five surprising insights about the unchurched.

1. Most have some church background.

Contrary to some perceptions, the great majority of unchurched have a church background. Almost two-thirds of them (62 percent) went to church regularly as a child.

2. Most quit church because they got out of the habit of going.

For certain, a number of them did leave churches for negative reasons, but that is not true of the majority.

3. One-third have plans to go to church in the future.

Please read that statement carefully. One of 3 unchurched Americans are actually planning to return to church. Is your church actively inviting them?

4. The unchurched are very open to a gospel conversation.

Nearly half (47 percent) would interact freely in such a conversation. Another third (31 percent) would listen actively without participating.

Pause for a moment. Look at those numbers. Almost 8 of 10 unchurched Americans would welcome a gospel conversation. Another 12 percent would discuss it with some discomfort, and only 11 percent would change the subject as soon as possible. We can’t use the poor excuse that the unchurched really aren’t interested in gospel conversations. In reality, church members are more likely not to be interested in initiating gospel conversations.

5. If you invite them, they will come.

About a year ago, I received requests to provide a framework for churches to invite people to church. We called it “Invite Your One.” We are now getting responses from churches that have initiated this ministry, and we are blown away at what God is doing. Among the unchurched, 55 percent said they would attend church if invited by a family member. And 51 percent said they would attend church if invited by a friend or neighbor. These numbers are staggering. The opportunities are incredible.

I have been involved in church research and practice for four decades, a testament to both my passion and elderly status. These data confirm my anecdotal observations that there has never been a more opportune time to connect with the lost and unchurched.

It’s truly an incredible opportunity. But I wonder how many churches will seize this God-given moment.

Read more from Thom Rainer »

Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter (@ThomRainer) and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer. This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on Dec. 12, 2016.

Larry Miller’s Salvation Testimony

Here’s Larry Miller’s salvation testimony.

I notice people. Luis Palau taught me to pray, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyelids.” A conversation like this is not unusual for me. An adventure awaits every first encounter. And since I snapped his picture, I decided to publish Larry Miller’s salvation testimony.

Larry Miller was sitting on a bench at Walmart. Since I had to wait also, I sidled up to the bench beside him. I told him I was waiting for an oil change.

He didn’t say much at first, but I after conversing a moment or two I told him God had healed me of cancer. That got his attention. We had something in common besides a wait at Walmart. He related that he had prostate cancer in the past and now felt better than he ever.

He and his wife prayed a lot before he underwent radiation. It sounded like he was a believer in Jesus Christ, so I asked him “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

That question tripped his trigger. Now I could not get him to stop talking. He told me that it happened about 15 years ago. He had earlier seen his mother suffer and die from cancer. When he saw how much his mother suffered he did not want any part of that. He knew he had to change his life.

He was going to a Quaker church at the time. He decided to sit down and have a talk with the pastor.

During the talk with the pastor he received his Savior Jesus Christ.

He said that conversation about 15 years ago changed his life. He emphasized that he lost a lot of friends because of that decision. “I thought they were my friends, but they weren’t really friends.  They were not really my friends, they were just drinking buddies. Now I got a bunch of new friends. And my life is different. When you receive Christ, your life changes,” Larry asserted.

About this time Larry’s wife arrived. Wait over.

With Larry’s permission I took a picture of him and his wife. “I’m not ashamed of Jesus Christ,” he announced.

“Have you ever led anyone to salvation through Jesus Christ?” I asked. “I’ve tried to.  If we believe it, we’ve got to tell it!

Larry and I shook hands as he wished me a good day. “Praise God, God bless you,” he said as he was going out the Walmart door.

Salvation Like Ketchup–57 Ways to Salvation

Salvation Like Ketchup--57 Ways to Salvation

Salvation Like Ketchup–57 Ways to Salvation

 

Before you label me a heretic, let me be plain: The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

Many “openings” with Jesus, however are recorded in the Bible. Probably more than 57. So I say, salvation is like ketchup, 57 ways to salvation. And remember, all the ways start and end with Jesus.

The Scriptures show numerous ways to become “saved.” We’ll get to the implications of this in a moment. But for starters, God is Bigger than we know. Bigger than our traditions, Bigger than our experience. He is a God filled with wonder and mystery. Get ready for some surprises.

Let’s examine the Bible together. Each should be read in context.

1 John 5:13 Believe in the name of the Son of God
1 John 4:15 Confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 4:16-17 Know and believe God’s love for us
1 John 4:7 Love one another with God’s love
Ephesians 2:8-10 Saved by grace through faith
Galatians 3:6 Believe God (as did Abraham)
John 3:36 Believe and obey the Son
John 1:12-13 Receive [Jesus]
John 1:41 Find the Messiah (as did Andrew)
John 1:43 Follow Jesus (as did Philip)
John 2:23, 4:48, 11:45 Beholding Jesus’ signs leads to belief in Him
John 3:3 Be born again (or born anew)
John 3:6 Be born of water and the Spirit
John 4:10-14 Drink of Jesus’ living water
John 4:42 Hear and know that Jesus is the Savior of the world
John 5:24 Hear Jesus’ word and believe Him who sent Him
John 6:35-37 Come to Jesus
John 6:51 Eat the Bread of Life (Jesus)
John 6:54 Eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood
John 8:51 Keep Jesus’ word
John 9:35-38 Believe in the Son of Man
John 10:9 Enter through the door (Jesus)
John 7:27-28 Hear Jesus voice and follow Him
John 11:25-27 Live and believe in Jesus
John 12:36 Believe in the light in order to become sons of light
John 14:6 Accept Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life
Matthew 26:27-28 Heart participation in the New Covenant
Luke 23:39-43 Request Jesus remember him when He comes in His kingdom
1 Peter 1:3 Born again according to God’s great mercy
1 Peter 1:23 Born again through the imperishable seed, the preached word of God
1 Peter 1:9 Salvation obtained as an outcome of personal faith
1 Peter 3:21 Baptism now saves you (An appeal to God for a good conscience)
Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
Acts 3:19 Repent and return
Acts 8:12 Believe the good news about the kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ
Acts 8:35-37 Believe with all heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
Acts 13:38-39 Forgiveness of sins through Jesus; believers are freed from all things
James 1:18 By the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth
James 2:24 by works*
Revelation 3:20 Hear Jesus’ voice and open the door
Romans 3:24, 28 A gift by grace through faith
Romans 6:23 Free gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
Romans 10:9-10 Confess Jesus is Lord and believe in heart God raised Him from the dead
Romans 10:13 Call on the name of the Lord
Luke 18:10-14 By calling on God’s mercy
Luke 24-13-35 An Eucharistic “eye-opening” experience with Jesus
Matthew 27:54 Saw the earthquake and other crucifixion events (as did the centurion and those with him)

In addition, Jesus told stories designed to lead people into salvation:
Seed sown in good soil (Matt 13:23ff), leaven (Mat 12:33), treasure (12:44), pearls (12:45), dragnet (Matt 12:47ff).

*I have purposely not commented on the verses in order to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. I will comment on James 2:24, however because this verse has caused confusion in some minds.

In English some words have more than one meaning. Think “love.” Love can mean romantic love or it can mean something like, “I love ice cream.” Every English speaker understands the difference.

The same in Greek, the language of the New Testament. Paul uses the word dikaiosune meaning “to declare a sinner righteous in God’s sight.” James uses the same word with a different meaning. In the book of James the meaning is “to vindicate” or “to verify righteousness.” Paul uses the word for the event of justification; James uses the word to prove or verify the justification that has already taken place. Paul uses the word referring to the event of Genesis 15; James uses the word as proof of faith (the sacrifice of Isaac), an event that happened about 30 years later (Genesis 22).

The reader can add other Scriptures showing additional salvation truths and experiences. This compilation shows, at the very least, a remarkable variety of salvation experiences and the ways people “get saved.” That’s why I say, Salvation Like Ketchup–57 Ways to Salvation.

Acknowledging the various Biblical expressions (“openings”) of salvation encounters with Jesus prepares us for revival. Unity is important for God’s next great move on earth. We need to become broad enough to accept various forms of saving encounters with Christ. Baptists and other evangelicals have a common approach to salvation that differs from Lutherans and other confessional denominations. Faith in Jesus Christ is the sole denominator. Are you broad enough — Biblical enough — to accept the fact that many people are genuinely saved, yet have a different faith encounter with Christ?

A second implication of “Salvation is like Ketchup–57 Varieties to Salvation” is simply this: it will keep us humble. Let the truth sink in. Let it settle.  This understanding will cut away criticism. Judgment will be released.  “Salvation is like Ketchup–57 Varieties to Salvation” allows God to become very intimate in the hour(s) of salvation. He tenderly visits each individual in each situation to gently grasp the heart of each person. Salvation is “knowing” the only true God and Jesus Christ who send Him (John 17:3).

Another implication of the “Salvation is like Ketchup–57 Varieties to Salvation” is practical and liberating. It will help the church to witness more freely. There are no cookie-cutter relationships. No formulas. On earth, Jesus used an exciting array of approaches. He still does today. Become like Jesus and allow others to do the same. There’s liberty in evangelism! You use your way to witness, I use mine and, the third guy uses his. Witness with love and you can’t go wrong! 57 varieties, and they’re all good when they lead a man to eternal salvation!

Does Chicken Evangelism Work?

Does Chicken Evangelism Work?

Does Chicken Evangelism Work?

Publisher’s note: Does chicken evangelism work? Read the following letter from Benjamin in the Czech Republic and decide for yourself. The letter is reprinted just the way Benjamin wrote it with only minor redactions. Chicken evangelism means “share Christ before you chicken out.”

Good day,

I’am going well through.

I’am working at ecological junkyard which is both hardwork both service for mankind. That also provides some better income as well. There are two christians from east russian-like culture to cooperate with. So it’s funny because I’am the only czech guy ever able to go well with them. Their mentality is friendly but explosive so I got lots of opportunities to challange my christian’s social life’s. Tolerance and friendship became huge issues to practice and even to teach by the way.

I had a few highlights as a God’s servant.  Those days my prayers asks for longevity and unconditioned love. As God leads really well through daily life. Anyway for sake of Your support and ferilizatipn of my life by God’s will and testment [testimony], I would share what is even better to hide.

I have saved one guy from heavy drugs addiction, helped him to achive work both education final exams. I shared a room and food with him for a month when he had no roof over head. So far he is living with family he wasn’t able to stand, he is having friends now and as we see each other sometimes I got testment’s words [reprimands] from him few times when I wasn’t faithfull.

I’am staying with [my] family as they like so, at least for now. [My] Brothers are becoming a strong men. And about gift of tonques it’s awesome, I would say godlike procedure.

Have a good time, share the love.

brother in faith,

Benjamin

By the way I got no church to visit those days [ . . . ] but as I can’t stop it [change the situation], there is God’s kingdom rising on my faith. We built up huge faith’s society with my friends.

I would like no sins I’am handling that friendship with the God’s love so it’s clear for joy and happines.

Publishers’s concluding notes: Does chicken evangelism work to make disciples? Not always. But here is an example of a time when it does work. When Jesus Christ enters a man through faith, He works from inside. He promises, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” Hebrews 12:5).

I led someone to Christ! Submitted by Linda

I led someone to Christ! (New story submission from website)

 

Publisher’s note for “I led someone to Christ.” Thanks to you, Linda, for telling your story. This is a great example of Chicken Evangelism. Linda is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. And by the way, the photo above is not of Linda and the one whe led to Christ.

While on a retreat at a local Christian Conference Center the Lord allowed me to pray for a member of their kitchen staff. I homed in on her because the Spirit of the Lord revealed to me that she was carrying a heaviness in her spirit and in her sadness she was just going through the motions. She related to us how three family members very close to her had died in less than a years time and that she had not recovered from these losses.

The lady agreed to let me and two of my companions pray for her. I then asked her if she would like to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, to which she also agreed. Leading her through the sinner’s prayer after having quoted to Her Romans 10: 8-10 gave me great joy as the heaviness seemed to lift from her countenance.  I quickly understood that another soul had joined the ranks of the redeemed of the Lord!