Ricochet Evangelism

lone_Ranger_and_Tonto

When we are sharing the Gospel or defending the reason for our hope, we may not be sharing it with the person we are sharing it with. I mean, of course, we are – but that’s not all.

It may be bouncing off them and hitting someone else. Lee Strobel calls this Ricochet Evangelism.

“I have learned that sometimes my real audience is not the person I’m talking to, but the people who are listening in, eavesdropping on the conversation. You may not even know that anyone else was listening. Years later, you discover that the Holy Spirit had a different audience in mind for your efforts.” (Gregory Koukl, Tactics 2009, pg. 164-165)

It makes me think of those old Westerns like The Lone Ranger. He and Tonto are hiding behind a rock during a shootout. Bullets are ricocheting all over the place. Often times it is a bystander that is hit.

I say this because sometimes it can be discouraging when there seems to be no harvest or that the soil is forever rocky. Be encouraged that there may be ears listening of which you are not even aware.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Gal. 6:9

Don’t lose heart. Continue sharing the Good News of Christ. You never know for whom that particular message is really intended.

Life with Jesus Is Not All Rainbows & Butterflies

rainbows and butterflies

Jesus is a straight-shooter who gets right to the heart of the matter.

Jesus never told His followers that life would be all rainbows & butterflies. He never buttered up a crowd with (what Tozer calls) “rosy promises of modern salesmanship.” Far from it! He warns them that the world is going to turn on them. The world is going to hate them! (John 15:18-19)

He told them not to be surprised when the world acts like the world, expect it! Today we should expect the same thing. (See 1 John 2:15 and Rom. 8:17 & 12:2)

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Jesus says WE WILL HAVE TRIBULATION.

  • Trouble is implied.
  • Persecution is assumed.
  • Distress is definitely coming.

Be honest when sharing the Gospel: Hey, this is going to require serious life-change. Life will get much harder. He is the God of NEW; new birth, tongues, wine, songs, heart, spirit, covenant, name, creation, commandment, heaven, and earth! (Bonnke)

If we paint an utopian picture of what being a Christian looks like (e.g., all your problems will vanish, your business will prosper, and you’ll be happy all day long) then we are not being intellectually honest.

If a new convert believes this what will they do when the storms of life blow in and wreak havoc? “The first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them.” (Tozer)

“We MUST go through MANY hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” – Acts 14:22 (Emphasis mine.)

That much is true. However, this much is true as well:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” – Rom. 8:37

The silver lining is that although the world despises us, we “are of good cheer” (tharseó, literally: “radiate warm confidence”) in Jesus who has overcome the world. “Overcome” = níkē, (yes, like the shoe) – which means “victory, implied as in battle.”

We will face the same brutal wind that blew on Jesus, but He walks with us through the gales.

Praise be to God!

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Ref:

be of good cheer = http://biblehub.com/greek/2293.htm

overcome = http://biblehub.com/greek/3528.htm

Bonnke, Reinhardt. Holy Spirit: Are We Flammable or Fireproof?: Christ For All Nations CFAN, 2017.
 

Stuck in a Rut

stuck in a rut

In weightlifting there is the term, “plateauing.” You begin working out. You see big gains. Noticeable changes. You get leaner & stronger. The numbers fly up on what you can lift and the reps you can do. Then, it levels out. The numbers are harder to get higher. The changes aren’t quite as noticeable.

Things get rote. Things get boring. And you get stuck.

We have a saying here in West Virginia; “stuck in a rut.” Old country roads get worn down into deep groves. Its pretty easy to get hung up in them. That’s what happens when you go down the same road over and over again; ruts happen.

Have you plateaued in your faith? Have you leveled out? Are you getting discouraged?

Are you stuck in a rut in your faith? Have we worn down the road until their are deep ruts getting folks hung up? How can we expect to get somewhere new if we are not willing to leave where we are?

Perhaps your focus has been off. If your focus is on anything other than Jesus, than things get drastically askew quickly. If your focus is on the building, the service, the pastor, the couple in front of you, the game on later that night, the game you went to last night, the groceries you have to get tomorrow, the final you have to take next week, that girl you desperately want to notice you, that boy you desperately want to talk to you, that house that needs cleaned, that dress you really couldn’t afford…

If your focus is on any of these things – then yeah, its going to be easy for you to plateau & get stuck in a rut.

REFOCUS. REALIGN. REDEDICATE.

It is all about Jesus. The rest is peripheral. The rest is non-essential. The rest is the rest. Begin with Jesus. Praise His name. Remember His sacrifice. Lift Him high. Cast your cares on Him. Bow to Him. Kiss His feet. Hear His voice. Take His yoke. Sing to Him. Pray to Him. Laugh with Him. Follow Him.

Focus on Him and you’ll be out of that rut and helping others who are also hung up.

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