I asked my good brother, Jon, what he thought of the term “mature Christian” and what he thinks makes a mature Christian or not. He wrote me a pretty awesome response and I thought I’d share because who knows… Maybe this will be a blessing to someone.
"Hiyo. Ha, that’s a very interesting…
Anonymous asked: I can't bring myself to 'share' he gospel with anyone
I know how you feel. I was in my flat the other day and my flatmates asked me what the sermon was about at my church earlier that day. I gave them some vague description that didn’t really go into detail when it was actually a brilliant exposition of the Gospel! Why? I just couldn’t bring myself to present the gospel to them.
Why do we do that? I reckon there are two main reasons why we don’t share the gospel with people.
- We don’t want to. That could be because we’re worried about their reaction, afraid that you’ll mess it up and put them off, ashamed of what people associate Christianity with, we don’t understand their need for the gospel, it’s awkward, anxious about what they might think about you, we think it’s someone else’s job.
- We don’t know how to. We can be really motivated, passionate and bold in wanting to share the gospel, but we don’t because we don’t know how. We might feel inadequate at answering tough questions, we don’t know how to explain the gospel, we don’t know how to bring it up in a conversation, we don’t know how to approach people about it.
I don’t know which ones are most relevant to you, and I won’t assume I know, but ask yourself why it is that you can’t bring yourself to do it. When you realise what’s stopping you - whether that’s fear, a theological objection, or whatever - then you can begin to address the root of it. What we do know, however, is that God has commanded that everyone who follows His Son should share the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15, Romans 10:14-17, 1 Peter 3:14-15, Matthew 9:37-38). And we know that it is an important part of our spiritual growth (Philemon 6). Therefore anything that’s holding you or I back is a lie!
Ultimately, we need to continually filled with the Holy Spirit again and again. He equips us to be able to evangelism, He gives us God’s heart for evangelism, and He gives us boldness to evangelise. He’s the best evangelist because He’s the only one who can open hearts! ”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Since I don’t know your heart, here’s a few things that have helped me (and after these things I’ll post some links to better things by wiser people that have helped me!)
- Know your identity in Christ. If you are worried about messing it up, what people will think of you, or you’re ashamed of what Christianity is associated with, focus on your identity in Christ. You are loved, accepted, and treasured. You are a son or daughter of God, a temple of the Holy Spirit, righteous in God’s eyes, justified, and you are guaranteed eternal life. On the last Day, when Christ returns, if you are a Christian then you will be resurrected to eternal life. That has been guaranteed by His resurrection. On that day, how much will the comments that your friends make matter? Compared to the love that the Father has for you, how important is it that your work colleague thinks well of you?
- Jesus said you won’t always be accepted by others. He said that some people might hate you because they hate Him (John 15:18-20)! You won’t always fit in with your friends, you won’t always feel like you belong with them, that’s just the reality of being a Christian. You are a citizen of heaven, you’re in the world but not of the world. Many will laugh at the gospel, many will argue, many will be interested, but do it for those who will be saved.
- God is more interested in your faithfulness to His command to share the gospel than whether you convince anyone of its truth. Evangelism is your part, not converting people. Only God can change someone’s heart through the power of the Spirit.
- The Gospel has power. You will be surprised. Last year I heard the worst delivery of a gospel presentation at an evangelism event and many people became Christians - God is more powerful. A woman who heard less than a few minutes of the summary at the end of the preach because she was late to the event was baptised a few days after.
- Everyone has at least one thing preventing them from wanting to become a Christian. Try to find out what that is by getting to know them. Maybe it’s a bad experience with church, they feel guilty, suffering in their life, a scientific objection, they don’t want to give up their lifestyle? Once you’ve found out what it is, try and taylor your gospel sharing to that objection. Jesus did this; he spoke to the rich young ruler about what it means to be ‘good’, he spoke to the woman at the well about satisfaction in Him, he spoke to Nicodemus about his need to be born again.
- Lead each tough question back to the gospel. If it’s about suffering, how does the resurrection point to a future hope without suffering? If it’s about God’s love, how did God show His love for us on the cross? If it’s about morality, what does the Bible say about our need for grace? If it’s about why you’re a Christian, how did you first hear and believe the gospel? If it’s about how you know that God exists or that Christianity is true, how does it all rest on the resurrection and what evidence is there for the resurrection?
Here’s some stuff that’s helped me and equipped me for evangelism. You may not have time to digest it all (especially at this busy time of year), but at least save these pages to come back to when you do have time!
- PJ Smyth: How the gospel moves from friend to friend - a missional lifestyle.
- PJ Smyth: How to share your testimony and how to answer objections to Christianity.
- PJ Smyth: How to share the gospel with someone.
- PJ Smyth: Why should I evangelise and how should I evangelise?
- Tony Reinke: How to give Jesus-centred answers to tough questions.
- Adrian Holloway: How to naturally share the gospel with someone.
- PJ Smyth: How The Gospel Moves From Friend To Friend FREE Booklet
I hope this has helped! God bless!
This is a random dude in the UK whose blog I am following. I’ve never met him, but his posts which are almost exclusively original content about his experience, which demonstrates what a disciple of Jesus Christ looks like.
So Percy did something really stupid this past week, which involved owing the loan shark money again (recall he charges 100% interest). Out of desperation, he came to us, and we could not do anything, since this would be breaking the Fifth Commandment. After he told the loan shark he couldn’t pay back, the loan shark forgave him of his debts and wished Percy a Merry Christmas.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
- Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
Matthew 12:22-33 is the famous passage about Jesus walking on water. Most people interpret this as “such miracle” “much cool” “wow” or “Jesus’ power transcends everything and we need to have faith.” However, I can see myself in the disciples sandals, I suppose more specifically Peter’s. The passage talks about how the disciples are in a boat on a lake. There is a storm raging so Halle Berry must be pissed. One of the biggest struggles Christians face is leaving their comfort zone. This requires living out their faith among secular peers, devoting time and effort to an invisible God which entails relinquishing control, and even sharing the gospel with strangers. Our lives are constantly plagued by challenges, obstacles and they often get quite messy. The default answer would be to stay inside the boat. Sure, the boat rocks a bit too; even our comfort zones are not always 100% comfortable, but outside that zone, there’s a storm so why leave? Yet, Jesus is out there in that storm. Many times, Jesus manifests himself the most through our storms. When we try to walk on the water by our own knowledge, our own understanding, we start sinking. But once we battle through that storm, with a Worthy goal in mind, we can get there. But are you ready to take that step? Are you ready to jump out of the boat knowing it can only be more difficult from that point on?
You call me out upon the waters
the great unknown where feet may fail…
In oceans deep my faith will stand…
When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace…
Let me walk upon the water
wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
in the presence of my Savior…
Two days ago, something extraordinary happened to my dear friend, Mr. Warm. It’s interesting to see how God directs our actions. All I want to say is:
HELLLLL YEAAAHHHHH NIGGAAAAAAAA
GET SOME O DAT FRIED CHIGGEN
AND CELEBRATE LIKE DA EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION CAME OUT
GO AN GET DAT MICKEY DEES
KNOCK ON YO NEIGHBORS DOOR
DANCE LIKE MLK CAME BACK FROM DA GRAVE
REJOICE LIKE YOU JUST SEEN HARRIET TUBMAN LEAD YO BROTHAS TO FREEDOM
PARTY LIKE DEY INVENTED TOILET PAPER FO DA FURST TYM
SHOWER IN DA SWEET TEA
DANCE LIKE DEY INVENTED KIMBAP AGAIN
courtesy of the Great, matthew Z. lin
After walking Sister G home last night, I was thinking, “huh, I don’t mind this at all. In fact, I feel a lot of joy walking her home each time I do.” I am normally very conscious of how I spend my energy, where I put my effort into. I will skip meals a lot or cook food simply to avoid walking to Craig St. or other food places. Sometimes, I don’t even go to class because it’s too far (it’s a 10 minute walk from one end of campus to the other). I stopped lifting largely because I don’t want to walk to Skibo gym, which is a five minute walk from me. So this gives you an idea of how unlikely it is for me to walk to the other side of campus with no perceived benefit. Yet I really did enjoy it and did not feel the least bit of inconvenience.
How does this relate to Jesus? Brothers and sisters are here for a reason. We support each other, encourage each other, and go out of the way to do each other favors. I believe God means for us to do it joyfully. Right from the beginning, in Genesis, God saw Adam alone and deemed it “not good”. He created a helper for him, and later He promised nations and tribes to prosper in number. He gave us fellowship and the concept of a church because it is good that we be with other brothers and sisters.
I hope everywhere around the world, Christians are spending time with each other. A Kingdom should look like this.
On Friday after work I walked by the Market Square area downtown where Light Up night was happening. The ice skating rink opened, there was music and festivities going on, and tons of pretty lights. A few years ago I would have hated being in such a high energy environment. But on that day, I thought to myself, “you know this would be so much better if I had a wife to enjoy this with.” In the Bible, the togetherness of a man and wife is heavily stressed. I myself would want to share all my special moments with her. I want us to remember the good times and the bad times; celebrate our triumphs together and support each other in times of difficulty and trial. Welp, I really need to get married.
At Luke’s house during the summer, Uncle Kenny described an effective and simple approach to intercession. Let’s say prayer isn’t an essential part of your life, yet you care about people and want to pray for them/said you would. How about at 3 pm every day, you pray for 3 people? It will take 3-5 minutes, will help keep your perspective on God during the day, and it’s easy. No need for a grand retreat to the mountain-top prayer. And it’s a subtle way to minister to those around you. The body transcends those we are close with. Two of the ones I prayed for yesterday aren’t even in the country. One is some dude I follow on tumblr who did nightclub evangelism and one is in Korea studying abroad.
I observed a pastor’s wife today during Bible Study who was totally beaming at her husband, laughing at all his jokes, saying amen with conviction, and never taking her eyes off him for a second except to read along with the Bible. They’ve been married for a long time and have full-grown kids. I hope we can all find this kind of support, the kind that lasts. Find the one who roots for you all the way.
God pls. pls God
The janitor just came by and cleaned up the tables around me. I said thank you and I genuinely meant it. I’m glad I showed him dignity and respect (honestly I think janitors deserve it for all the trash they put up with). I wonder what his life is like. What does he go through every day? What are some things that make him happy? What are some of the struggles he’s facing? Who is there to care for him? What goes on in his head? There is a clear divide between students and staff workers in general. Students ignore them for the most part. But what if students showed care for them? What if we all got to know each other better? A simple smile, thanks, or “how you doing” can possibly make their day.
Next time you see one, help them clean up the tables around you or volunteer to help carry things for them or even just open the door when they come by with their carts.
Just saw an article on r/kpop stating that a popular korean artist would be going nude in an upcoming mv. Last week, there was a music from another group which I also like featuring strippers. This just reminds me of how even though out of the major oriental countries Korea has the largest percentage Christian population, it is still incredibly broken. From what I gather (from legitimate sources), the culture is vain, materialistic and very image-based. Thank God for my brother Jimmy who is out there trying to show them Jesus. Look out for him because he’ll be doing awesome things for the kingdom. It saddens me that the state of the world has sunken into this, and unfortunately, I’m sort of a part of it…
I was never the kind of person who would get upset at other people’s achievements. When college decisions came around in high school, many people were bitter because they thought unqualified people got into schools they themselves got rejected from. I was really irritated the whole time because I thought “Why can’t you just be happy for them?” I never really understood that kind of attitude and it sickens me sometimes.
Recently, my twin who we’ll call Tobiko accepted an offer to work at Goldman Sachs full time. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for him. He’s always been an achiever and is one of the hardest workers, if not the hardest worker I know. He deserves it without question. However, given the previous paragraph, I do feel a bit of sadness deep down in my heart at the situation.
Tobiko came from a religious background and was in my cell group sophomore year of college. We shared together, studied the Bible together, and worked to edify each other. However, I always knew that he was never really into it, and from what I gather, put minimal effort into his Christian walk; he was just too busy he said. At this point, he’s fallen away completely and is very invested in the world.
From alumni who’ve been in college fellowships before, I’ve learned that the transition from college to work life is even more difficult than high school to college. A lot of really solid churchgoers end up stagnating. I think it would be highly unlikely that Tobiko takes control of his faith in the near future. I am happy for him because he’s on to great things, but I don’t know if they involve God. Best of luck man. I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to be there for you.
I need prayer for my lust issues. It’s been a growing problem in the past week.