Preparing for Strategic Opportunities with God
Let’s imagine for a moment that I told you that you had the opportunity tomorrow to speak personally with the President of the United States. For 15 minutes you would have a personal, 1-1 opportunity, without cameras present, to speak any concern, share any thoughts, communicate any ideas to him. Here’s my question. Would you spend any time today preparing for that 15-minute strategic opportunity? You bet you would. You’d think it over, you’d ask others, and you’d prepare. You’d be ready!
Why then is it any different with our strategic opportunities for God? We have been placed in strategic relationships with others. Our twin towers of purpose are “Knowing God and sharing Him with others”. So, we need to be ready for those strategic opportunities when we can share God with others. Let’s spend the next few minutes preparing you for your strategic moments to share.
The Essence of Evangelism
Evangelism is like a courtroom drama.
1. The picture
God has never expected us to cram His Truth down anyone's throat. We are simply His mouthpieces as He works in the hearts of others and He develops in them an interest in asking certain questions.
A witness is someone who tells what they have either seen, heard or otherwise sensed about a certain person or situation.
It is not the job of the witness to convince the jury of the guilt or innocence of the defendant.That's left up to the lawyers. Sometimes we get the impression (and guess who gives it to us) that we are responsible to convince someone that they should receive Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth. But why would Satan want us to think we have to be convincers? I think it is to paralyze us with the fear of failure. That heavy of a burden will keep us from ever getting involved in verbalizing our faith. But we are not convincers. We are merely witnesses.
God is the Judge. Your world is the jury. You are the witness. Satan is the prosecuting attorney, the Holy Spirit is the defense attorney, and Jesus is the defendant. You are Jesus’ witness to the jury of your world. Friends, this is a powerful image that I want you to have implanted in your minds and hearts.
Remember that we have no choice but to be witnesses. Sometimes we say that we are going to go out and witness. That kind of terminology has led to wrong ideas about sharing our faith with others. We do not go out to witness. We always are witnesses. Wherever we go, whomever we're with, whatever we do, we are always in the process of witnessing.
Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
We are witnesses to “Our World”.
We have no choice in whether we will be witnesses or not. The choice you have is what type of witness you'll be, good or bad.
2. The preparation
God will use whoever is available. And the more we understand about His Word, the better able He will be to call on us at anytime. If we only know a little bit, He can only use us to tell a little bit. If we know more, He can use us to testify in more and varied settings.The blind man didn't know much. He hadn't had the time yet to learn about Jesus. But he did tell what he knew.
John 9:25, "Whether he (Jesus) is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see."
That was the extent of his testimony, because that was the extent of his experience with Christ. And no matter how little doctrine you understand you will always have the story of your experience with Christ. What has He done in your life? It's a powerful part of any evangelistic conversation.
Who you know is more important than what you know.
Many Christians have never taken the time to think through their testimony. One of the wonderful steps you can take is to prepare yourself as a witness. In essence, to review your “testimony” that you will give in the “court” of “Your World”
Your Testimony as a Witness
Every testimony has three aspects.
(a) Your prior situation.
What caused you to see that you had a need for Jesus Christ? Was it an event, a tragedy, a church program?
(b) Your conversion experience.
Where did you pray to receive Christ as Savior? When? With whom?
(c) The benefits of your salvation.
What one or two things do you believe are the greatest things about being a Christian?
But in addition to our story, we have at our disposal the powerful tool of the Word of God. That's where we develop the ability to respond to the needs of those around us, regardless of the specific need.
II Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
And that includes evangelism!
I Peter 3:15, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
You never know who will ask. You never know what they will ask. And you never know when you're talking to a dying man.
3. The power
John 14:26, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
The promise that we will be given the words with which to testify is connected with the understanding that He has already taught us those things through His Word. That's why our understanding it is vital.
Carson Valley Christian Center (CVC) exists because we want to “Impact Our World for Christ”. You have been strategically placed because there are 8-12 people that He wants you to be a witness in the courtroom drama of their relationship with God. Who are those 8-12 people? Can you identify where you have been strategically placed?
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