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The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part 2 | Sharing with Those Around You

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part 2 | Sharing with Those Around You

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 6, 2024 3:00 am

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 ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. People hide behind facades, but they really are waiting for someone to enter their world and show them the way. Will you be that person? Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the important role we can have in someone coming to Christ.

But it's up to us to make the first move. They're not going to say to you, show me the way to come to Jesus. In most cases, they're waiting for you to initiate the conversation.

They're waiting for you to talk to them about God. 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's 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, 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 and 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 have a 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 his shearers and is quiet so he opened not his mouth. He is literally reading aloud from the scroll. Philip is standing there saying, okay 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 and partying. 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. Are you going to see someone like this before the day is over? Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Whenever you send us an email, letter or post a comment on social media, we read every word. Pastor Greg, thank you for being persistent in your teaching which helped bring me back to the Lord. I have been a prodigal son but now I've been saved today and now I'm saved forever. I really enjoy reading the New Believers Bible. It's helping me understand my new faith as a Christian.

It's also preparing me to know how to read the Bible. Thank you Pastor Greg very much. If you've had your life changed because of Harvest Ministries, would you let Pastor Greg know? Call him at 1-866-871-1144.

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 material 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. Would 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. I 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? 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, The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part Two.

And there is more to come. And we want to make sure to extend that same invitation to you if you've never made a decision to come to the Lord. You can make your peace with God and know that your sins are forgiven and that you will go to heaven when this life is over. Pastor Greg someone can enter into that kind of relationship today, can't they?

They can and it's so simple and I think because it's so simple people think oh it can't be that easy. Well look Jesus did all the heavy lifting. He carried the cross for you. He died on that cross that he carried.

This isn't about what you do it's about what he's done. But here's what the Bible says, whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. You say well okay how do I do that? You do it through prayer. And if you pray this prayer after me I believe God will hear it and answer it and Christ will come to live inside of you. So if you want Jesus to come into your life and forgive you of your sin, if you want to know that you'll go to heaven when you die, if you want to fill that big hole in your heart, pray these words if you would. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin.

I am sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Be my Savior and my Lord. Be my God and my friend.

Be my God and my friend. Thanks for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Listen if you just prayed that prayer I want you to know that God has heard you and has answered it. The Bible says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. That you may know it's yours now God has given it to you because it's the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Congratulations and welcome to the family of God. Yeah that's right and listen would you let us help you get started living this new life. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible.

It's in an easy to understand translation with so many helps specifically for those who are new to the faith. We'll send it free of charge so get in touch for your copy of the New Believers Bible. Call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. Again 1-800-821-3300.

Or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well we're so happy to have Jim Wallace in the studio with us. Jay Warner Wallace author and a good friend of ours.

He's a cold case detective and he's written a brand new book called The Truth in True Crime and Jim a couple of the sentences from chapter five really caught my attention. Someone who looked like Santa Claus oddly enough had been killed and you write Santa Claus was killed over money sex or the pursuit of power. It's as simple as that. There are only three reasons anyone commits a crime any crime including murder. Well first what a great opening to a novel that would be you know Santa Claus was killed over money sex or pursuit of power. But that fact is something most of us don't know. You an experienced homicide investigator say there are only three motives to crime. Yeah there's three motives behind any stupid misbehavior. Let's put it that way of which murder is one. But this is true for all of us who are trying to protect ourselves from any level of misbehavior.

If we're a pastor or we are a leader of a business or if you're just a spouse a parent the things that will cause us to stumble are always the same things. There's motives for every crime, motive for every misbehavior every sin and it is financial greed, sexual lust relationships and this huge umbrella which accounts for about 70% of all other misbehavior which is the pursuit of power. And so when I get at a crime scene I'm not looking at and think oh there's a thousand reasons why this woman might be killed. No there's only three. You just find me somebody who has one of those three motives and we're good to go.

So I just have to look in those three areas. Now those I discovered those by working murders but they're in scripture and there's a great passage where it talks about you know the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and it's really talking about these three motives. I just didn't discover that until years after I became a Christian. So but the reality of it is is that the Bible describes the world the way it really is and it describes us the way we really are and that's what you discover working true crime cases is that every time in some of these cases I describe in the book I was on a Christian when I was investigating him but as I kind of walked through and said okay Santa Claus for example a guy who was a homeless guy who was living in our city and you might and he had he possessed nothing of value. He was living sleeping every night in a porta potty at a construction site yet somebody was motivated by power. He had disrespected he thought he felt he had been disrespected by Santa Claus and by money because this guy had slipped into his region where he was canning where he was collecting cans and he told him to get out of my area. He was basically impacting his ability to to earn money by collecting cans and recycling. So it was again it was power and money. Did this guy resemble Santa Claus?

Yeah he looked just like him okay so all the locals knew him that way I don't think they really even knew his name. Wow. And he was one to stab this guy to kill this guy to kill this guy because he felt like he had been threatened into it.

Here's what I have learned if if you scratch just one of those three itches you will eventually scratch the other two. Wow. So you have to kind of rein all of these three aspects in and so what I've tried to do is collect all of the data in modern research from sociologists, counselors, all these different people who are researching these ideas like what is it that causes us to flourish and what do we need to be careful about and if you look at those things what you're going to discover is a list of 15 attributes of human flourishing that are affirmed by secular studies but are actually ancient. So this book is a true crime book but it does make a case for scripture because it shows you that scripture has always described us exactly as we are. Yeah exactly right all that is in the world the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father but it's of the world and then John tells us so don't love the world these are the things that are in the world and the best antidote to not love the world is to love the Lord your God with all of your heart soul and mind and so Jim Wallace has written about this in his brand new book The Truth in True Crime and it's our gift to you this month for your gift of any size to help us continue to dispense God's wisdom to you all on a regular basis.

Yeah that's right and we so much appreciate your investment in the work we do here it couldn't come at a better time. Would you let us hear from you today and then be sure to let us thank you with a copy of the new book The Truth in True Crime just call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time more biblical counsel on sharing our faith effectively for a Pastor Greg series called Refresh. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-06 05:35:18 / 2024-05-06 05:46:23 / 11

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