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The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith: Evangelizing Jesus Style

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 30, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith: Evangelizing Jesus Style

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 30, 2021 3:00 am

This Giving Tuesday, transform lives and support evangelism in your world through Harvest Ministries. Just click here or go to harvest.org/support.

Imagine coming upon a burning car with someone trapped inside. And you help them get free. Or imagine seeing a toddler heading toward a busy street just as momma turns her head. And you scoop him up just in the nick of time. It’s a good day when you save someone from peril!

Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we save someone from eternal peril when we help them come to Christ. And when that happens, it’s a very good day! Practical help today with evangelism.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. Imagine coming upon a burning car with someone trapped inside, and you help them get free. Or imagine seeing a toddler heading toward a busy street just as mama turns her head, and you scoop them up just in the nick of time. It's a good day when you save someone from peril. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we save someone from eternal peril when we help them come to Christ.

And when that happens, it's a very good day. Practical help today with evangelism. The title of my message is The Refreshing Power of Telling Others About Jesus.

Why don't we pray? Father, we know that you love the world so much that you gave your only begotten Son. We know you're not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. And we also know, Lord, you've called us to go and preach the gospel to all the world.

And we know you reach people through people. So as we look at what your Word says about sharing our faith, speak to us we pray. In Jesus' name we ask it.

Amen. We're going to look at John chapter 4 together. A very familiar story of Jesus and the woman at the well. And here we see Jesus as the master communicator. Yes He was God walking among us. Yes He was the Savior of the world. He was the Messiah. But He also was the greatest evangelist of all time. And He models for us how to engage people with His message. So let's see how Jesus did it in John chapter 4. Turn there with me if you would. John chapter 4 verse 3 we read, Jesus left Judea and departed again to Galilee but He needed to go through Samaria. You might want to underline that phrase.

It is very important. He needed to go through Samaria. And He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Therefore Jesus was tired from his journey and he stopped by a well. It was around the sixth hour.

That would be 12 o'clock noon. And a woman of Samaria came to draw water. And Jesus said to her, give me a drink. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to him, how is it that you being a Jew would ask for a drink from me a Samaritan woman?

For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. And Jesus answered and said to her, if you knew the gift of God and who it is that says to you, give me a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water. This is a perfect example of how to build a bridge to a person. Now this wasn't a moral woman as the story reveals. She had been married and divorced five times since she was living with some guy at the moment. This is a woman who was ostracized from the rest of the community. She would not have been an educated woman. She didn't know what the Bible said.

And so she was living this life that was in opposition to what the Bible teaches. But Jesus does not start with that. He appeals first to her spiritual thirst. So often we want to go right to the lifestyle of the person we are talking to. And I think in effect get the cart before the horse. We do need to get to that and I will talk about that in a moment.

Because I believe in telling the truth to people. However Jesus starts by building a bridge. Jesus starts by appealing to her spiritual thirst.

He reaches out to her. Bringing me to some points now that you might want to write down. The first point is simply this. If you want to evangelize Jesus style, that is what I am going to call this. Jesus style.

Because that is what it was. If you want to evangelize Jesus style it begins with the burden. Again verse 4, He needed to go through Samaria. As a matter of fact He did not need to go through Samaria.

It was actually way out of the way. He was leaving His country. He was going effectively to another country that was populated by people that were known to be the enemies of Israel. So Jesus leaves His comfort zone if you will.

Jesus leaves His people. Goes to this other place not just to a woman who was a Samaritan but in a moral woman who was a Samaritan. So when you want to share your faith effectively it starts with a God given concern.

You have to care about the soul of a person who is not yet a believer. Jesus overcame any kind of prejudice. Remember we talked about Jonah. And Jonah it was hard for him because he didn't want to go to the Ninevites. He didn't want them to believe.

And he went the other direction. But he ultimately obeyed God and we had this huge spiritual awakening of 300,000 people. My friend Craig Groeschel puts it this way. This is the mission statement of his church. Quote, We will do anything short of sin to reach people for Christ.

I like that statement. We will do anything short of sin to reach people for Christ. Craig is effectively saying look we will do anything. We will go way out of our way to reach people that don't yet know the Lord. Second point if you want to evangelize Jesus style you need to use tact. I already touched on this earlier. Paul used tact there on Mars Hill.

We should do the same thing. Isaac Newton said quote, Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy end quote. And that is a very great way to say it. Here is a classic example of someone being tactful in the Bible. His name was Philip. By the way he is the only man identified as an evangelist. Philip the evangelist. So Philip was having some great meetings. People were coming to Christ. Miracles were being performed. And an angel of the Lord says to Philip go to the desert.

That is it. Go to the desert. He could have said no thank you. I will stay right here. But no he goes to the desert. I wonder if Philip is thinking what am I going to preach to lizards.

What am I going to do in the desert. Exactly. So he is just literally standing in the desert waiting for directions and then he sees like this caravan coming his way. It was a large caravan. As it got closer he could see these were important people. In fact what he was seeing was a man from Ethiopia that served under the queen. He was like a foreign dignitary.

If it was happening today they would stretch limo with the little flags of his country on the car with the secret service guys running on each side. So here comes a foreign dignitary but he is in a chariot not a stretch limo. And this man from Ethiopia is reading from Isaiah 53. Now he didn't have a Bible. They had a scroll. The very fact that he had a scroll says a lot about how important he was because everything was written by hand in those days.

There were no printing presses yet. He is reading the scroll of Isaiah which was given to him. Apparently this important dignitary from Ethiopia went to Jerusalem searching for God. He didn't find God but they gave him a scroll of Isaiah. So he is reading from Isaiah. As a sheep is led before her shearers and is quiet so he opened not his mouth. He is literally reading aloud from the scroll. Philip is standing there saying, Ok Lord I think I know what I am supposed to do next. So the guy is cruising by. There is Philip.

Hey how is it going? And Philip just standing in the middle of a desert waiting for you actually. Philip says to him, Do you understand what you are reading?

The man from Ethiopia says, How can I unless someone shows me the way? And he invited Philip into his chariot. Philip steps into the man's chariot and we read that Philip explained to him what that text means. By the way Isaiah 53 talking about a lamb before her shearers being quiet so he opened not his mouth is speaking of the death of Jesus who was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. So Philip explained the meaning of Isaiah 53. And I love the way this story ends. We read that the man from Ethiopia went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8 39. But here is the important thing. When Philip saw this man reading from Isaiah 53 he says, Do you understand what you are reading? And the man said, How can I unless someone shows me the way?

This is what people are looking for. They are not going to say to you, Show me the way to come to Jesus in most cases. They are waiting for you to initiate the conversation. They are waiting for you to talk to them about God. When I was a kid I was searching for God. Now if you would have asked me, Greg are you searching for God?

I probably would have said, No. But I am searching for truth. But in reality I was searching for God. I tried to find truth through alcohol imparting. I knew that was not the answer. I tried to find it through drug use. I smoked a lot of weed and took LSD and all of that. And I knew that was not the answer.

I was searching. And I remember I would hang around in Newport Beach at night and lean against a wall there and there would be Christians walking around handing out religious literature. And they would look at me and walk right by me. Occasionally they would give me something to read but they wouldn't engage me. And I remember thinking as a 17 year old kid, why won't you talk to me? Because they bought this façade. This image I put out of where it looked like I was saying I don't care.

But I did care. People hide behind façades but they really are waiting for someone to enter their world and show them the way. Will you be that person?

You know people like this or you're gonna see someone like this before the day is over. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We hear from listeners all over.

Some who listen to a new beginning, Pastor Greg's podcasts, and even to the recent SoCal Harvest. It's amazing that he has to go through the same thing but yet his son is a pastor now but my grandson is a prodigal. So could you please hold him up in prayer? I'll never forget watching that. It was beautiful.

I watched the whole thing and it came in so clear. And I want to let you know how much I appreciate you Pastor Greg Laurie. Thank you so much. God bless you.

Thank you. Be assured that when you request prayer we'll make sure to pray for your need. If you have a story of how one of Pastor Greg's outreaches has touched your life, would you call and share it with us? Call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well we're getting some solid help in sharing the gospel Jesus style. First by following the example of Philip the evangelist.

Pastor Greg takes us further in our study of John 4. So just as Philip entered the world of the Ethiopian, so Jesus enters the world of the woman at the well. He says, if you drink of this water you'll thirst again. He's using the well as a metaphor for life. You'll be thirsty if you drink of this water again. You could write that over many wells of life if you will. You could write it over the well of materialism. If you drink of this water you'll thirst again. You could write it over the well of fame. If you drink of this water you'll thirst again.

You could write it over the well of so many things. Even religion. If you drink of this water you'll thirst again. Now the woman isn't fully getting what Jesus is saying. And now she starts to effectively argue with Him.

Bringing me to my next point. To share the gospel Jesus style we must adapt to the situation. John 14, 15 the woman said to Him, sir give me this water that I may not thirst nor come here to draw. She is being sarcastic. Oh yeah you have water to drink.

Oh sir give me this water that you are talking about. Jesus effectively calls her out. He says in John 4, 16, why don't you call your husband to come here. She says, well I have no husband. Jesus says true that.

No He didn't say true that but He said that's true. You've had five husbands and you're living with some dude right now. She's like whoa how did He know that. She says sir I perceive that you are a prophet. See there will come a moment when you're engaging someone you appeal to their spiritual thirst but they might ask you a question like well look I'm living with my boyfriend or girlfriend or you know I'm doing drugs. What I have to give that up to follow Jesus. You might say well I don't want to say you know yes that might turn them away.

No you need to tell them the truth. Yes you need to give that up to follow Jesus Christ. You see sin is keeping you from God.

Now I don't start with those issues but I'm not going to avoid them when I get to them. They need to know that sin separates them from God but the solution is a relationship with Jesus. The problem is sin.

The solution is Jesus. And so Jesus engages her and tells her what she needs to do. Acts 3 19 says, repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out and times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. See we need to tell people they're sinners and that they need a Savior.

Listen to this. The Bible says if you confess your sins He's faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. So it comes down to this. If you fess up to your mess up Jesus will clean your mess up.

Next point. If you want to do evangelism Jesus style you don't deal with everyone in the same way. See Jesus dealt in a certain way with the woman at the well and then He dealt in an entirely different way with Nicodemus. Nicodemus is in John 3. The woman at the well is John 4. Nicodemus is a religious devout man. John 4 is about an irreligious sinful woman.

But the answer was the same for both. They both needed Jesus. With the woman at the well Jesus engages her. Draws her in. Confronts her about her sin and tells her the truth. With Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night Jesus effectively cut to the chase.

Nicodemus is the same teacher. We know you're a great man. No one could do the things that you do unless God is with them. Effectively Jesus says, listen buddy let's just get to the bottom line. You need to be born again.

So the point is we adapt to the person we are speaking to. Sometimes when I am sharing the gospel I start by chumming. You know what chumming is?

It is getting some bait and things in the water to get the fish biting. So instead of just going in with a full gospel press I might just kind of allude to it. Talking to a nonbeliever and I might just mention, oh I was just reading in the Bible about that very thing you just mentioned. Or wow God answered a prayer for me recently.

I was talking to a young lady the other day and she was not a believer and she told me she was going in to get surgery. And I said, would you mind if I prayed for you. And she said, please. And I prayed for her. And I prayed for her in the name of Jesus. See it is pretty rare you are going to find even a nonbeliever saying to you, I don't want you to pray for me. Because they acknowledge probably that there is a God out there.

So it is a good way to get a conversation started. I have a friend. His name is Steve Wohlberg. He is a pastor of Court Church in Los Angeles. So Steve is very effective at sharing the gospel.

Not only in the pulpit but out of the pulpit as well. I have been with him on many occasions. Sometimes we will write Harleys together and wherever you are you can be sure it is only a matter of time until Steve asks this question. And I will even do it in his voice because he has a very interesting way of speaking. He will say, has anyone ever told you that there is a God in heaven who loves you? Now I have been with him when we have been in line in a coffee shop with ten people behind us and he tells that to the barista. I have been with him in restaurants where he says it to a server.

I have been with him where he says it to random people on the street. And there is a lot of reactions to that statement. Again has anyone ever told you that there is a God in heaven who loves you? Some people say no.

What is your order? Others say they don't even know what to say. And sometimes people will respond. So we are in a Mexican restaurant. There is me and Steve and as I recall two other pastors.

We are all writing Harleys. We are getting ready to order our tacos. And the guy, the pastors are having a theological discussion about something as pastors do. And I am sitting there kind of listening to another conversation and then Steve turns to the server and says, has anyone ever told you that God loves you? So I just watch like prayed Lord open this man's heart. This guy was like genuinely touched. He says, no.

No one has ever told me that. Steve says, well there is a God in heaven who loves you. And he starts sharing the gospel.

The pastors are still having their theological discussion oblivious to what is happening. And Steve is literally leading the server to the Lord. The server prays. These pastors still didn't notice. The server goes away. I turn to the pastors and I said, did you just see what happened? Steve just led that server to the Lord. And this reminds me of the church a little bit. You know we are having our discussions, our political debates. What do you think about this?

Kind of it is time to lift up our eyes and look. The harvest is great but the laborers are few. You know you think one day I would like to go in the mission field and cross the sea to tell people about Jesus.

Hey why don't you start by crossing the street. There are opportunities in front of you each and every day. We need to be looking for them. Good encouragement from Pastor Greg Laurie. Today's message here on A New Beginning is called The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith Part 2. And there is more to come. And for even more help check out Pastor Greg's online evangelism course at harvest.org. It's called Tell Someone listed under the resource tab. It's absolutely free.

Get equipped again at harvest.org. Well we are making available a fascinating new book called The Jesus Music. Pastor Greg you wrote a book called The Jesus Revolution talking about the Jesus movement. How much is Jesus music linked to the Jesus movement?

Yeah Dave I would say it's very linked. It was, well they say the music of the 60s was a soundtrack of a generation and that's true. And the Jesus music which would be late 60s on to the 70s and really to the present day is also a soundtrack of a generation but it's a Jesus generation. And it's very important music and it's very important music because it was born out of revival. It was revival music in its early stages. It's worth noting that in the beginning we called it Jesus music and later it became an industry known as contemporary Christian music but it really started with just songs about Jesus.

And I had a front row seat. We were attending Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in 1970 which was the epicenter of the Southern California Jesus movement and all these bands were forming before our eyes. Every week it was like a new band. There was bands with things like love sung of course, gentle faith, joy, country faith, mustard seed faith, lots of faith back in those days. But what was really unique was these were songs that were written to speak to people. They were songs that expressed this newfound faith that these musicians had found after coming to Christ. And so it was very exciting to see and then it became a whole industry. And now there's contemporary Christian music stations of course and huge events and concerts that happen all around the world. But it started very simply and it started in revival. And we have a brand new book that sort of tracks the history of Jesus music back in the late 60s early 70s.

Yes we do. It's called The Jesus Music written by Marshall Terrell and by the way there's a documentary film put out by the Irwin brothers and Kingdom Productions by the same name. An amazing film. But this book The Jesus Music written by Marshall Terrell tells you the story and I was able to have some input in the writing of this book because I was there. I wrote the introduction to the book as well and as a matter of fact some of you may recognize Marshall's name because we have written three books together. One of them is Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon.

The another is Steve McQueen The Salvation of an American Icon and of course Billy Graham The Man I Knew. So Marshall is a great writer. He's a good researcher and this is going to take you back to the beginning of this music to the present day. There's a lot of stories you'll read and a lot of things you will learn and I'm sure you did not know about some of your famous artists out there and have touched your lives in so many ways.

Yeah it's such an interesting book. You'll love it even if you're a relative newcomer to Jesus music. Again it's the new book called The Jesus Music and we'd be glad to send a copy your way to thank you for your partnership with us and making these studies available each day. It's only through listener support that that's possible so thanks so much for your generosity and today is our last day to mention this resource so get in touch right away. Write us at A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time more biblical counsel on sharing our faith effectively from Pastor Greg's series called Refresh. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions, and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-16 03:50:05 / 2023-07-16 03:59:39 / 10

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