learning how to share the Good News

It is easy for me to share my life with other people, but for some reason, when it comes to sharing the Good News about Jesus with others, my brain seems to freeze up and I can’t seem to share freely.  One of the things that I learned at NTBI was how to share these truths with others.  Basically, there are three crucial issues in sharing the Gospel.

First of all, there needs to be an awareness that mankind (as a whole, there is no exception) has a problem.  We are sinful beings who are separated from God.
in that

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23
As it is written, ” None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God.”
 Romans 3:10

Secondly, how wonderful to know that we can share with others God’s solution for our need.  He sent His Son to make payment for our sins.

But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
 Romans 5:8
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God
is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23
So, what is a person to do in order to accept God’s solution to their problem?  Exercise saving faith.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16
For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH.  And this is not
your own doing; it is the GIFT of God, not a result of works, 
so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9
What exactly is saving faith?  It is claiming (by personal choice) and relying EXCLUSIVELY upon Christ’s work on the cross-His death, His burial and then His resurrection-to be sufficient payment for my sin.  This kind of faith will always produce in me character qualities and actions that reflect our desire to let Him stand in our place before God.
How I desperately want to be the kind of person who will not only live in a way that reflects Jesus, but also someone that has the boldness and words to explain to someone else how to have the same kind of relationship with God?

five things I can do to make worship a priority

“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way,
He came to a village where a woman named
Martha opened her home to Him.  She had a sister 
called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what
He said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations
that had to be made. She came to Him and asked,
‘Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me 
to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!’
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset
about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. 
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42
 
  1. Plan for it.  Put spending time in God’s Word into my schedule.  Cease my busyness in order to create this time.
  2. Get up early enough to make it a quiet time, where my heart can focus wholly on God.  (in other words, when the kiddos are sleeping or even napping in the afternoon, if morning isn’t your best time)
  3. Create a worshipful atmosphere in the house-inspirational art or Scripture verses on the wall, playing worship music
  4. Set goals for Scripture memorization.
  5. Engage myself wholly in prayer.  Start a prayer journal to keep a record of the ways in which God is answering prayers and speaking to my heart.

{written in 2001: Last night, I wasn’t feeling well and so I took some ibuprofen and planned on reading in bed until I fell asleep.  I was planning on reading a fiction book, but was prompted to spend time in my Bible study and simply reading the Scriptures.  It was a wonderful time and I found that I have an intense desire to read the words of Jesus.  I found myself imagining that  Jesus was speaking to me in Luke 10:41.  “Nicki, Nicki, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few are necessary.  Really, only one…choose the good part, which will not be taken away from you!”}

Scripture memorization

Reading about the importance of memorizing Scripture and actually doing it are two different things.  Here is one of the ways that I have attempted to put this into practice in our home and in my life.

Saturday, June 23, 2001

From childhood, we should be teaching our children the Scriptures which will give them the wisdom that can lead to salvation.  (2 Timothy 3:15)  It is one of my responsibilities as a mother.

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the Word of God.” Romans 10:17

Although I read on a daily basis, I haven’t been memorizing.  I will start putting a memory verse up for our entire family to work on, one verse at a time.  We can work on it at every meal.  (Chris thought it was a good idea.)  Hopefully, as the children get older, we can memorize longer passages together!

healing

It is good to write that my heart is healing.

It is resting even deeper in the love and sovereignty of God.

This morning, as I am laying here, I look outside and see the sun shining and the trees with their little green buds.  A cool breeze is blowing, and I hear birds singing and wind chimes ringing.

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Snapseed(5)We continue to check days off the calendar.  Further and further from what was before, and moving one day closer to eternity. Chris has continued to put in applications at dozens of different places in Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, and Arkansas.  But what God has given him right now is a part-time position at Charter Communications.  It is only a three month position, but it is filling our days and allowing us to pay the bills, so we are content with that.  He has been able to continue his lessons for his Biblical counseling certificate, and I am thankful that he has had the time for that.

The boys are continuing to like this school, and I cannot even express how happy that makes me.  Alex received the first place award in his cooking class for an ice cream contest, making horchata ice cream with coffee caramel sauce.  His class does catering for the school and community, and he really likes that.

William enjoys doing air-soft with friends that also live here at the training center.  He usually plays soccer with the students here every week.  We just learned that both of the boys will be able to get their temps and start driving, so they are excited about that.  (Yikes-can’t believe that time is here already!)

Max is as friendly and talkative as ever.  He has been reading more lately, which makes this mama’s heart happy.  And whenever he gets a chance to go “air-softing” with friends from here on campus, he takes that opportunity.  Miles also enjoys going out and doing air-soft, and he has started to enjoy running.

All four of the boys have been taking turns making a meal once a week, and it is fun to see what kind of meals they choose to make and the satisfaction of feeding their family.  We continue to have good family discussions as we work through the emotions that have surfaced over the past few months.  It is a good thing to be able to talk about these things and how they relate to God, and our beliefs about Him.

My sister came home last week from Papua New Guinea, where she served as a missionary for a year.  Aside from the fact that I love being with her, laughing and talking, it is so good to hear her stories of God’s faithfulness and to see the way that God has led her step by step as she seeks to follow Him.  I cannot wait to see where He is leading her to serve next!

As far as God leading Chris and I, we are beginning to get a sense of what He may have in mind.  Just the way that He has closed doors, and reminded us of our gifts and experiences and passions, we are sensing that maybe our life from this point forward is going to be different than it was in the past.  A different career, a different place, a different lifestyle…we aren’t quite sure of the destination, but I think we are facing the right direction now.   We have ideas and hopes and dreams, but there are some pretty significant roadblocks that would need to be removed, and of course, we know that He can and will remove those in accordance with His plan for us.  I would sincerely love your prayers as we seek His intended area of ministry for us.

My heart is finally catching up with what my mind knows to be true.  And yes, there are days that there is pain and tears, but being able to go to the source of that and remind myself of the truth, I can cry and give it to Him, rather than cry and hold onto the pain.  He is sovereign and He is trustworthy and He is pouring out His goodness on me.  Resting in just those few of the beautiful truths about Him, my heart is centering on Him.  Because of His grace-His sacrifice on the cross, knowing there was no way that we could pay the penalty for our sin, we can find peace in Him.  And that’s a promise that offers healing.

“To all those who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 1:7