"Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." Psalm 105:4
Lifelines Outreach shares the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and by making disciples in the greater Nashville area.
Sometimes the church will abandon evangelism strategies because they do not think that they will work anymore. That is why the article on the back page fascinated me so much. I do not think that it is the strategy but the number of Gospel conversations that are possible through the strategy. The Apostle Paul said that we are ministers of reconciliation with the word of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5. He was referring to the fact that each Christian is a minister of reconciliation with the word of reconciliation. The Holy Spirit living inside always wants to reveal Jesus to men and women who are lost in their sins. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and He is still doing that today as believers share the Gospel. Paul told Timothy that God wishes all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). The Gospel has not failed to be powerful in lost people’s lives. They are not hearing or seeing it enough from believers in the way that they live it out in their lives. I remember a statement in William Faye’s book, “Share Jesus Without Fear” he said, “A lost person must hear the Gospel 7.6 times before they will receive it by faith.” I do not know where he got these statistics, but I do know that if you share the Gospel enough times people come to Jesus.
I met a young man named Travis in front of Set Free Church in Madison. We were sitting at the prayer stand talking to people as they walked by us. We always begin by offering them a cold drink and ask them if God can answer them a prayer for their greatest need in their life, what would that be? Usually this will lead us into a Gospel conversation and a call for them to believe and receive Jesus. Travis, in spite of having a drug habit, prayed to receive Jesus. We talked about him being baptized on Sunday. Travis said he would show up and be baptized. Well, on Sunday, Travis did not show. The devil always gets to new believers quickly to condemn them for their sin and convince them that they are not a Christian. The next week I ran into Travis at a feeding program called Elevate at First Baptist Church Madison. I just knew that God had put us together again. I ended up taking him home to his apartment in Madison where he is currently living with his mother. Once again, he promised to show up and be baptized on Sunday. Travis was again a no-show. I had been praying for him ever since he had made his decision for Christ that he would follow through. Tim Shaner, who is the pastor at Set Free Church, has also followed up with Travis several times. Travis finally showed up at church the third week after he had made a decision for Christ. He was not baptized that day, but he did end up going to a ranch that is part of Set Free Church in Dickson, Tennessee for substance abuse recovery. He has been faithful and continued in the program and is being taught the Bible each day. I believe in the future that Travis will be baptized and have a good chance of following Jesus the rest of his life. Sometimes it’s just a process for the Gospel to take root in someone’s life and begin growing and bearing fruit. That is why you can never give up after the first time. Also, many people may have a part in a person coming to Jesus. My heart hurts for this young man and I have also made an emotional investment in his life. I continue to pray. I know that God is working out his plan for Travis. I continue to check on him at the ranch to see how he is progressing. God is working!
Al is a middle aged man that lives at Greentree Apartments. They call him Al Bundy because he looks like the actor who plays that character in the sitcom, Married With Children. Al’s roommate, three weeks ago, overdosed on drugs and died. Al is blaming himself. He felt like he could do more. Al also has lung cancer and is coming face to face with death and his own mortality. These things have awakened his desire to know about Jesus. He is very close to making a decision for Christ as the Holy Spirit works in his life. Take time to pray for Al and Travis as they move toward God in their relationship with Jesus. Thank you for your prayers and financial support which allows me to keep doing what I am doing. Remember to read your Bible and to pray every day!-Richard Gay
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