March Letter 2016

March Letter 2016

Dear Faith Partner:

 

pastors peoples Have you ever thought about how important it is for you to share your faith with others? I believe the greatest assignment every born again believer has in common is to share our faith in Jesus Christ. There is a world of people around us, on our jobs, in our neighborhoods, working at the stores we frequent, even in our homes that are lost, confused, void of real life, afraid and even dying. Do you know the greatest tragedy, they do not know Christ.

We are to be a light (guiding light) showing the way out of darkness through our lives and by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has not called us to be a church for church people only. We are to be a church for the hurting, lost, unbelievers – all people of all nationalities, and cultures. We are to be on a mission for God, finding the lost sheep and sharing Him with them. Do you understand that each of us are so valuable that Jesus doesn’t want any of us to be lost?  Read Luke 15:1-7 to see this clearly.

Jesus loves the sinner, the lost, as much as He loves you and me.  He expects us to willingly and faithfully share the Word that freed us with others so they too can live free. The Apostle Paul said in II Corinthians 4:3-5 (NCV), “If the Good News that we preach is hidden (if we aren’t sharing it), it is hidden only to those who are lost.  The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God.  We do not preach about ourselves, but we preach that Jesus Christ is Lord and that we are your servants for Jesus.” In other words, we are mandated by God, to share our faith, by sharing Christ with others in our home, on our jobs, in our neighborhood, schools, grocery stores, department stores, parks, gymnasium, etc.,

As believers, we are Christ’s representatives in the earth, Jesus revealing Himself through us for the purpose of reaching those who do not know Him. Mark 16:15 (NCV) “Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.” The Apostle Paul said, Acts 20:24 (NCV) “I don’t care about my own life. The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me—to tell people the Good News about God’s grace.” Again through Paul, II Corinthians 5:20 (NCV),So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God.” Just in these few Scriptures we see sharing our faith is NOT an option in obedience it is required.

I know sharing our faith today is NOT as easy as it was years ago, because of a changing society which includes the attack of Christianity. However, people still need the LORD JESUS. Remember, you can’t make a difference unless you are different.  Although society is changing we should not blend in with unbelievers to a point that there is no longer a difference; that’s a form of compromise. Let me also say here, if you are going to make a difference, you cannot compromise the truth; altering or ignoring portions of God’s Word so not to offend or challenge others. As you prepare to share with others know you can have influence, without compromise. We can still stand for truth and it be attractive! Jesus said, in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” A compromised truth cannot and will not free anyone. Further when sharing the truth remember what Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV) reveals, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. “

So how do you share your faith? How do you explain your relationship with Jesus and why you go to church every week, even a couple times a week?  According to 1 Peter 3:15 we are to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  Here are three simple steps.

First of all connect with people. Connect before you correct. Jesus was the great connector; sinners loved being around Him. People do not care what you know; they want to know that you care! We need to love people, share with them and minister to their needs. When you love people it opens up a door for them to hear and receive from you. Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was and was willing to find out. People what to see who you are and when they look they should see an example of the Son of Man who came to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10

Once the connection has been made you will have the opportunity to share your story with people. Always look for an opportunity to share your story (your faith). Evangelism is not telling people they need to change; it is about letting them see a change. It is about telling people and letting them see the difference Christ has made in your life. Matthew 5:13-16 “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Acts 1:8 (NLT) tells us “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere.”

Finally, invite them to a place where they can experience God. Going to church does not make you a Christian. It’s your relationship with Him that does. It is not where you are that makes you a Christian, it’s who you know. Christianity is not about a church, it’s about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Religion is not the way, relationship is! This is part of the message you must share in word and deed.

Here recently, I asked the congregation for some reasons people hesitate in sharing the Gospel and the first response was fear.  Let me tell you, that is not unusual, even the Apostle Paul experienced the same and this is what he said, “You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did–Jesus crucified. I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate–I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it–and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (MSG)

We must present the true God to people; the God who is approachable and wants to be reached. Acts 17:27 (NIV) “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” We must present the God who wants every person to know that He loves them. Romans 5:8 (NLT) “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” We must share with the world the God we see in Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”  This is the God people need… this is our God.

Janice and I want to encourage each person reading this letter to share your faith everyday; not with the purpose of growing your congregation, but to grow the Kingdom of God.  We are grateful for your commitment and faithfulness to this ministry.  It is our honor to work alongside of you in service to our Lord and Savior.  

 

Your Partner and Friend,

RBP-Signature1-275x40

Richard B. Peoples, Sr.  

 

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