Archive for July, 2009

23
Jul

ALMOST PERSUADED

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in WORK OF AN EVANGELIST

British scientist Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) vigorously supported the theory of evolution, which earned him the nickname “Darwin’s bulldog”. As an agnostic, he believed religion was a harmful superstition.

On day Huxley asked a deeply committed Christian, “What does your faith mean to you?” Knowing Huxley’s skepticism, the man paused and then replied, “You are very educated, and you can dispute anything I say.”

Huxley urged him to explain why he was a Christian. So from his heart the man told what Jesus meant to him. Huxley, deeply moved, didn’t argue. Wistfully he said, “I’d give my right hand for your faith in Jesus.”

People are waiting for someone to give them something real to believe in. They’ll believe in ghosts and they’ll believe in extraterrestrials, why should we think they won’t believe in God. We ought to stop talking to people about church and begin telling them what He has done for us. Your heartfelt testimony ought to convict people.

When Paul gave his testimony before King Agrippa, the king replied, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28 (KJV)).

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22
Jul

MOODY’S EXAMPLE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in WORK OF AN EVANGELIST

While Chicago evangelist D. L. Moody was attending a convention in Indianapolis on mass evangelism, he did more than just talk about it. He asked a friend, who was a gifted musician, to meet him on a street corner at 6:00 one evening. The man stood on a box and sang a song. When a crowd gathered, Moody spoke briefly and then invited the people to follow him to the nearby convention hall.

Soon the auditorium was filled with spiritually hungry people, and he preached to them. When the convention attendees began to arrive, Moody stopped preaching and said, “Now we must close, as the brethren of the convention want to discuss the topic, ‘How to Reach the Masses.'”

Jesus sent his disciples out to preach the good news, not just talk about it among themselves. The Great Commission begins with the word, “Go!”

Select a person in your life who needs to hear about Jesus and go to them. Jesus is counting on you.

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21
Jul

BIG NEWS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in WORK OF AN EVANGELIST

In December 1903, after many attempts, the Wright brothers were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground. Thrilled, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.”

Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.” He totally missed the big news – man had flown!

Perhaps we need a continual reminder of the good news of Jesus Christ. Its not that He’s coming back again, or that He provides wonderfully for His people, or that we’ll one day spend eternity with Him in heaven, but that the price for our sin has been paid for. We are no longer separated from the God of the Universe. That’s the big good news. Go tell someone.

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20
Jul

EVANGELISM

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in WORK OF AN EVANGELIST

This week I thought it would be good to blog about evangelism. We are all called to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5), even though those with the gift of evangelism are few.

The word ‘evangelism’ is scary. Consider a new definition offered by Steven C. Bonsey in his article ‘A Shy Person’s Guide to the Practice of Evangelism’:

“Let’s pretend that you are someone who might be willing, in theory, at some point, possibly, to consider maybe doing something, that, while not ‘evangelism-type’ evangelism, still could be in some way construed as a sort of sharing of hope. Kind of.”

A little bit of double-talk perhaps, but it gets the point across that people are afraid of the word. The root word is ‘angel’= messenger. It simply means the act of telling someone the good news of Jesus Christ. How do you define ‘evangelism’?

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18
Jul

PLEASANT WORDS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Gift of Encouragement

I’ve never been very athletic. I did play Little League baseball as a kid and played a little friendly baseball after my service experience, but I was never in demand on anybody’s team. And I wasn’t much of a coach for my boys’ athletic pursuits.

Our daughter, Jenny, was a cheerleader and we tried to be at all her games. It was amazing how critical parents and observers were toward their sons trying their best in basketball and football. “Come on, Michael, wake up! What’s the matter with you?”

What an encouragement it was when our son, Nathan, decided to go out for cross country. We attended most of his track meets, but he arose to the occasion with those long distance runs. He, wired like his Dad, learned how to take it easy and pace himself. I would maneuver to key places along the run to cheer him on. He never knew where I’d be, but always knew I was there.

In those years of attending cross country races, I never heard a discouraging word. Even last-place runners get cheers, not jeers. “Go, Nathan, You can do it!” Cross Country just might be the most positive sport out there.

Pleasant words are…sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

The Christian life is a long-distance run. Its not who starts the race, but who finishes. As fellow believers discipline themselves to run the race, they need encouragement. They need “pleasant words” that bring “sweetness to the soul”.

What are some pleasant words you have received lately?

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17
Jul

BUILDER OR WRECKER?

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Gift of Encouragement

I watched them tearing a building down…
A gang of men in a busy town,
With ho-heave and lusty yell.
They swung a beam and a side wall fell;
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled
And the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed!
Just common labor is all I need;
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do!”
And I thought to myself as I went away
“Which of these roles have I tried to play?”
Am I a Builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deed to well made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a Wrecker, who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing it down?
-Mr. Anonymous

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16
Jul

CHICKEN PECKIN’

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Gift of Encouragement

John P. DiMarzio observed the following lesson: “During my early farming days I decided to invest my holdings in poultry. So I started with one hundred cheap chicks ($6.00). Periodically I noticed that one of the chicks would get an open sore. As time went by the sore grew larger, and eventually the chick died from the wound.

Trying to find the cause, I watched the chickens more closely; the outcome was quite revealing. When one chick would get a small scratch, another would peck at it. Then the others would follow suit, and before long it seemed that all the chickens were pecking the one chick’s sore. Each time the victim was pecked the sore grew, and more chickens pecked it. Finally, the innocent chicken, who really needed protection from his peers, died.

Now which chicken was the real assassin? Was it the one who made the first peck at the open wound? Or was it the one who made peck #99 or peck #100? Possibly it was the one that made the final peck before the chick’s demise. In any case, the chick died.

By and by more chickens died of pecking. When winter came, there weren’t enough chickens to huddle together and protect each other. They all died. Those cruel cannibalistic chickens! They didn’t realize as they killed each other that they doomed themselves; in a sense they had signed their own death warrants.

The other day I noticed a brother’s flaw; so I pecked at it. I told others, and they followed suit. As the flaw grew in size through our pecking, many others joined in. Instead of giving our brother a band-aid to cover the wound, we exposed it for the world to see. My brother died.

Who was the assassin? By and by there was more pecking, and more brothers died. Eventually I got cold and needed my brothers’ comfort. They were gone; I died.

Oh, those cruel cannibalistic chickens!”

But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:15).

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