Tag Archives: sharing His Word

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

Take It Outside

Read Acts 18:5–11

Frustration plagued Pastor Chuck. He preached evangelistic messages every Sunday, gave altar calls during the service, yet seldom saw new people come to the Lord. In fact, the baptismal tank had not been used in six months. People were not being saved in the church. The “good news” was not reaching the lost. Fortunately, the solution is simple.

Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized (Acts 18:7, 8).

Paul shared the message of salvation at the Jewish house of worship, but he often had better results outside the synagogue walls. Because of Paul’s outreach efforts, many people in Corinth found Christ and were baptized into the faith.

We can expect similar results. Since most of the harvest grows outside the church building, it’s best to look there first. Who knows—maybe the next candidate for baptism lives next door.

Prayer Suggestion: Ask God to help you witness to your neighbors.

—Charles Earl Harrel

“Pray that God would work actively in your local schools.”

God’s Word for Today © 2010 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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Prophets Still Needed

prophets of GodProphets Still Needed   

It was [Christ] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,  to prepare God’s people for works of service (Ephesians 4:11, 12).

Scripture: Ephesians 4:11–16
Song: “Chosen and Sent by the Father”

I grew accustomed to reading the witty sayings on a church sign over on Division Street. Sometimes they posted upcoming services or community news. One Friday, while driving home from work, I glanced over my shoulder to read the message for that day. Instead of a catchy quote, I found this announcement: “Prophet from Scotland preaching tonight—7 PM. Come hear God’s Word.”

I usually expect to hear ministers, teachers, and evangelists speaking from the pulpit. So when someone mentions prophet or apostle, I become a little skeptical. In retrospect, I can see that my perspective isn’t supported by today’s verse.

Old Testament believers needed prophets, and, according to Paul, we still need them today. The Holy Spirit engifted prophets to covey spiritual wisdom, point out iniquity, and edify the body of Christ with their words. Prophetic ministry helped the first century church grow and become an effective witness to a lost world.

Lord, since the laborers are few and the harvest great, please raise up people for the ministry, regardless of titles we give them. In Christ I pray. Amen.

“Prophets Still Needed” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2010 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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It Works

It WorksConies        

It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe (1 Corinthians 1:21, Kings James Version).

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:20–25
Song: “Rescue the Perishing”

The minister sensed my interest in becoming a minister myself. So he asked me to share a short, 15-minute message for the vesper hour. Vespers were held an hour before the regular evening service and were normally attended by only a handful of people. Since I had never preached before, my mentor showed much wisdom in scheduling this inexperienced teenager for the early service.

For my text I chose Proverbs 30:26, a verse about conies being “a feeble folk.” Having no idea what conies were, I substituted squirrels. It was a monumental mistake. Half way into my message, a man raised his hand and blurted out that conies were rabbit-looking woodchucks that lived in high rocky crags, not pine trees.

I could feel my preaching career coming to an abrupt end. Flustered, I stumbled through the rest of my message and ended with a lengthy prayer—giving people ample time to leave the sanctuary. Instead, they lined up to thank me. And I discovered an interesting thing about the foolishness of preaching that day—it works.

Lord, help me to prepare well when I have to speak. But do make up the difference between my foolishness and Your wisdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“It Works” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2010 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase current printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.