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Category Archives: Evangelism

Passing On The Passion…To Serve Jesus With a Joyful Heart

Joy in Serving Jesus

Joy in Serving Jesus

Serving Jesus with a joyful heart is one of my greatest passions in life. I have come to realize though, that having a joyful heart is not always a given. There are times when serving Jesus can bring much pain, criticism, and ultimate rejection. Of course, this is exactly what Jesus experienced while living among us, as he demonstrated his sacrificial love toward all mankind. The following passage of Scripture is a vital reminder of this.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Praise His Holy Name.

For me, this puts everything into perspective. Jesus, being fully man and fully God, contemplated the pain and suffering he would experience long before he went to the cross. And yet, the love Jesus has for the Father, and for sinful man, gave Him the power to persevere under the most severe circumstances (death on the cross), in order to redeem the human race from eternal death and hell.

When I begin to consider the scorn and severe suffering Jesus endured for me, my temporary trials and testing of my faith grow dim in comparison.

I believe God helps us to persevere in our faith as we serve Him with a joyful heart in our everyday activities. For instance, our church is preparing for Vacation Bible School. And as the children’s ministries director, I decided that we needed to distribute flyers in our area, inviting children to our VBS. Prior to this effort, a good number of our church family gathered together to work on decorations and props for our event. Included in this group, was my 9-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Afterwards I encouraged everyone to take some VBS flyers to hand out in their neighborhoods.

The following week, I received a text from Ella’s mom, (my daughter, Janée), telling me that Ella had went door-to-door in their neighborhood, delivering the VBS flyers. Joy filled my heart. This past weekend I planned to meet some people at the church to distribute the flyers in our church neighborhood. My daughter, her husband, Seth, and their two youngest children showed up at the church and off we went to distribute VBS flyers.

Do you know how blessed I am, in realizing that my daughter and her family are living out the same passion that I have…..to serve Jesus with a joyful heart. We don’t have to look too far, to experience joy in serving Jesus. God is good…..all the time!

Parents and Grandparents, you can realize this joy as well. Faithfully serve Jesus daily, during the good times and not so good. Our children and grandchildren are watching!

Recommended to Men — A new blog site for dads written by my son-in-law, Seth.  http://www.daretodad.blogspot.com

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Christ Lifted Up…Sand Dollar Faith

SAND DOLLARJeff and I recently had the opportunity to spend 9 days at Anna Maria Island, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Being in full-time pastoral ministry, we were more than ready to get away, to relax and spend quality time with each other and the Lord. During our stay in a nice condo, provided free of charge to pastors, I located two books on the shelf and began reading them. Both were on the subject of sharing one’s faith in Jesus.

Realizing my personal evangelism had waned over the past year or so, my mind and heart were easily penetrable with the timely message of these books. Reading afresh and anew this Scripture: “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32,” Jerry Whiles, the author of The Faithful Witness emphasized lifting up Jesus every day, in every encounter, as the Holy Spirit directs. First and foremost, the author stated that we are to pray (early in the morning, before beginning our day), for opportunities to share our faith with people who God will bring across our path during that day.

To make a long story short, I sensed the Holy Spirit guiding me to pray this prayer and to begin watching for opportunities–starting at the beach.

That morning, Jeff and I began searching for seashells on miracle-made sandbars, which enabled us to find some nice size shells. As Jeff proceeded up the shoreline, a young woman approached me and said, “Wow, you found some really nice shells.” As I looked up, I noticed that she was wearing a ball cap. I then responded “Yes” and we began chatting about our stay at Anna Maria Island. She quickly told me that she had just finished 5 rounds of chemotherapy treatments in Georgia where she lived, and that when she returned home, she would be facing surgery and radiation treatments. While standing next to her, I knew we were not alone–as the Holy Spirit wrapped His arms around us. Lisa opened her hand and showed me a small sand dollar that she had found. Quickened to lift up Jesus, I said, “Oh, I believe there’s some type of story that goes along with the sand dollar,” and she quickly replied, “Yes, I believe it has something to do with Jesus.” I told her that I thought she was right, and then asked her if she knew Jesus. She said with such love in her eyes, “Oh, yes, I couldn’t go through this without Him.” She went on to tell me that she and her husband (who was standing nearby), were part of a loving and supportive church family. As we said our goodbyes, I gave Lisa some of my shells and told her to hold onto them as a reminder that she had met a friend in Jesus on Anna Maria Island beach who would be praying for her.

I thank God for the opportunity to meet Lisa on the beach. She truly lifted Jesus to me that day, and through our encounter, strengthened my faith.

I forgot to mention that shortly after I met Lisa, I found my own sand dollar and I’m keeping it as a reminder to share my faith in Jesus daily, and to pray for Lisa.

After returning home from our trip, I did a little research on the meaning of John 12:32. I found and read a sermon delivered on July 5, 1857, by Rev. C.H. Spurgeon, titled “Christ Lifted Up.” It is a somber reminder that Jesus uses the word “lifted up” to express the manner of his death. For Jesus to be “lifted up” or exalted, to draw all men unto Himself, He had to be crucified on a cross. The following is a paragraph excerpted from Spurgeon’s sermon.

“Christ was glorified on the cross, we say, first, because love as always glorious. If I might prefer any glory, I should ask to be beloved by men. Surely, the greatest glory that a man can have among his fellows is not that of mere admiration, when they stare at him as he passes through the street, and throng the avenues to behold him as he rideth in his triumph; the greatest fame, the greatest glory of a patriot is the love of his country–to feel that young men and maidens, old men and sires, are prepared to fall at his feet in love, to give up all they have to serve him who has served them. Now, Christ won more love by the cross than he did ever win elsewhere. O Lord Jesus, thou wouldst never have been so much loved since thou hast stooped to death. Not cherubim and seraphim, and angels clad in light, ever could have loved with hearts so warm as thy redeemed above, or even thy redeemed below. Thou didst win love more abundantly by the nail than by thy scepter. Thine open side brought thee no emptiness of love, for thy people love thee with all their hearts. Christ won glory by his cross. He was never so lifted up as when he was cast down; and the Christian will bear witness, that though he loves his Master anywhere, yet nothing moves his heart to rapture and vehemence of love, like the story of the crucifixion and the agonies of Calvary.”

Lifting up Christ is more than using His name in prayer (although very important); it really requires a (personal) daily surrender to the Holy sinless One, who died a sinner’s death on Calvary. His name is JESUS.

Forgive me Father, for not faithfully lifting up your son’s life-giving name to those who need you so desperately. Help me to be ever mindful of those you bring across my path each day.

Door of Opportunity, DeVern Fromke, Author

The Faithful Witness, Jerry Wiles, Author

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 1: 45 pm - in Evangelism

 

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