Snow Day Devo – Evangelism

Hey y’all-

             It’s another snow day in tropical Trimble County, so I thought I’d sit down and drop a line—and a few devotional thoughts. We’re not having youth group tonight at church (it’s too dangerous to run the buses with the roads so slick), so take this and use it as the opportunity to open the Word and ponder the truth of God’s revelation to us.

             I’m taking a class in Personal Evangelism this semester. It’s required, but I’m excited to be taking it. Why? Because I believe Christians are to live for Christ and tell others about Him. Unfortunately, I fear we too often try to live for Christ, but shy away from telling others the truth of their sin and their need for a Savior—and that the Savior and Redeemer of the world is knocking at the door of their hearts, if they would just open the door and welcome Him in (See Revelation 3:20).

             Why are we so shy if we have the glorious Gospel message of Jesus? Many reasons. Fear of rejection, ridicule, appearing stupid, questions we cannot answer, etc., etc. There are many reasons to not share your faith. However, there is a command from Jesus to share with others. To whom wilt thou listen, dear hearts? Yourself? Or the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)?

            The President of SBTS, Dr. Mohler, preached in chapel yesterday (get the message here) on Acts 1:1-8. The main thrust of his message was the command of Jesus to his followers to be witnesses of Jesus to the entire world. This command is an imperative that reaches across time and space to the modern-day Christian. There is no getting around, or by, or over, or under this charge from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a must.

            However, many Christians I know are just like me. We love the Lord Jesus. We pray to the Father. We expect the Holy Spirit to indwell us and help us. Yet, we ignore the command of Jesus to share. Is ignoring the message of Jesus the action of one who calls himself a Christ-follower? No, sadly, it is not. Hence, this little writing…

            What shall we do?

            Will Metzger writes in Tell the Truth, “The airplane of Christian witness has two wings: our lives (conduct) and our lips (conversation)” (Metzger, 2002, 25).  He realizes an airplane with one wing missing cannot fly. Neither can the life of a Christian that is missing one of the “wings” of their life—either their conduct or conversation.

            How does this work? Let’s think it through.

            How many of us know a person who is a good Christian? Lives right, loves the Lord, loves their neighbor, moral, giving, good, loving—yet they never speak of their faith to anyone—ever. They think, “I’ll live my testimony and show the love of Christ. That’s enough.”

           How many of us know people that claim to be Christian yet live lives that are far from the commands of Christ? They come to church, know the lingo, carry a Bible, but Monday through Saturday they live like a sinful pagan with no thought of Jesus. Do you know anyone like this? Is this you?

          Metzger is reminding us what Paul taught when He said to “repent and turn to God” (Acts 26:20). We are to marry our actions and our words into one message that proclaims the excellencies of Jesus Christ.

         Are we agreed that we need to live for Christ and tell others about Him? If so, then let’s figure out a plan. The best way to witness about Jesus to others is to just start….this is on-the-job training at its best. Just do it. Speak up. Tell. Proclaim.

        However, this may seem daunting at first. So, we will help you along this path. One introduction to evangelism will be our March 1st push to “be the church” in Trimble County. The youth group is planning a servant evangelism project for that morning that will enable and empower you to start sharing your faith. This will be fun, scary, exciting, frustrating, nerve-wracking, exhilarating, and obedient to Christ. It will be a good day.

        Pray about the planning and the people we will meet along the way. More details will come forward as they are firmed up.

        Thoughts?

        Uncle Jeff

Advertisements

Snow Day Devo

Hey y’all-

            Since there is no youth meeting tonight (due to snow, ice, danger, etc.), I thought I might drop a line via the blog with a devotional thought—something to ponder, study, and respond to….are you ready?

            One of my classes this semester is Personal Evangelism and there are 40 Bible verses/passages we have to memorize for a test (and for use in ministry). While looking through these verses, I decided to focus on one this morning, share it with you, and offer a few thoughts on its significance.

            In Acts 4:12, Luke writes, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” There are a ton of rocks to look under in this verse, so let’s start.

            First of all, let’s define a term—salvation. This is a Christian technical term that non-Christians may not understand. So, if I share this verse with a non-believer, they would have a fair question in saying, “What do you mean by salvation?” Well, Christians, youth, regular attendees of Bedford Baptist Youth Group…what do I mean?

     Better yet, what does God mean when He uses a term such as salvation in His Word to the world?

     I think Paul gives us a good look at the idea of salvation in his letter to the Ephesians when he writes,

In him [Jesus] you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory (Eph 1:13-14).

     Salvation is a belief in God’s promise through His Son, Jesus Christ, that we are forgiven of our sin and able to live in right relationship with God in this world and the world to come. This is a free gift that is initiated and given by God. We do not save ourselves. Trust me, if you could save yourself, then it would not be worth doing. (Personally, I know I jack-up so many things in my daily life [i.e. relationships, finances, cooking, etc.] that I would not trust my eternal soul to myself; rather, I gladly trust it to Jesus.)

     It is a realization of immediate (and a hope of everlasting) relationship with Jesus. There is a faith in the promises of God. In Ichabod Spencer’s A Pastor’s Sketches, he tells of meeting with a dying woman from his congregation. Written in the mid-1800’s, Spencer recounts how he went to her bedside and asked about her health. She responded she was dying. He asked if she was ready. She affirmed she was well prepared by saying, “Sir, God knows—I have taken him—at his word—and—I am not afraid—to die” (57).

     He writes, “ . . . that expression of her faith has been of great benefit to me. It has aided me in preaching, and in conversation with inquiring sinners very often. It gave me a more simple idea of faith than I ever had before. . . . Everybody could understand it: ‘God knows, I have taken him at his word’” (58).

     For further study on salvation, look to Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:1-10; Revelation 3:20; Isaiah 1:18, and, really, the whole story of the Bible is one of redemption.

     Now that we have talked of salvation let’s discuss the name by which men must be saved. Not, might be saved…but must be saved. There is no other name under heaven, except the name of Jesus Christ by which men can be saved. It is not possible. This is what one would call the exclusivity of Jesus Christ.

     This is a part of the Christian message that irks those of other faiths or of a more liberal bent who wish for many doors into heaven. However, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me” (John14:6). This truth is really clear. Jesus lays it down and you can pick it up or ignore it, but you cannot be angry with the Christ-follower who tells the message as Christ preached it.

     Now, I could spend the next few minutes typing up a list of other faiths that do not believe in Jesus. But, I shan’t. Rather, I challenge those who claim to follow Christ to do so. Read His Word. Study His teachings. Do what He says. And lovingly tell those who do not follow Christ (you know who they are) that Jesus is the only way.

Enjoy the snow.

Uncle Jeff

     PS – I linked earlier to a band website for No Other Name. This is a gospel group I’m friends with from Nashville. They’re great. Check them out. Hit their website. Buy their CDs. They love Jesus…trust me….they do.

Bedford Baptist Repair Affair

  Hey y’all-

  The youth of Bedford Baptist participated in the Trimble County Repair Affair this past Saturday. We had 18 people helping total.

  We had breakfast and were ready to work.

 

BBC ready, willing, and able!

BBC ready, willing, and able!

  We started by splitting up. Some went to start on a handicapped ramp for a lady in town. The rest went to clean up a porch that had been demolished by a work crew. Why? ‘Cause they were building a new porch, of course.

  Check this dumpster!

 

Fill it up!

Fill it up!

  Some bad news: the girl in the red Louisville sweatshirt ended up getting injured later in the day. Her name is Domino and she fell into a concrete wall. The fall caused her to bite through her bottom lip and damage her teeth. End result? 19 stitches and a whole lot of pain. Pray for her recovery.

  Nice overalls, dude.

 

Denim is in for fall

Denim is in for fall

 Finally, we made it over to help with the ramp and met the Marshmallow people.

 

Take me to your leader

Take me to your leader

  More bad news: Alecia (the Marshamallow person on the right), her mom, and her sister had a car wreck later that night after Repair Affair. They are all okay, banged-up, but okay and need our prayers.

  The porch needed to be stabilized, so I crawled under there with the Marshmallow people and helped jack a new 2X6 into place for support. After that, the ramp was completed and attached. It was a long, good day.

  Here are a few more shots.

 

Ramp under construction

Ramp under construction

 

Finished....and ready for use.

Finished....and ready for use.

  These kids love helping and serving other people. I’m blessed to be their youth pastor.

  Take care,

  Uncle Jeff

Bedford Baptist Youth Clean-up

Hey y’all-

  We decided to help the community a bit and do some clean-up work after the recent wind damage from Hurricane Ike. We don’t like Ike, y’all!

  So, my neighbor Lois needed her yard picked up.

  Here’s Lois. That woman makes a mean peach cobbler and some incredible homemade bread. And I benefit greatly from her skills with a bread pan.

Lois relaxing

Lois relaxing

This is Michael taking out some agression on some poor, defenseless limbs….

Load it!

Load it!

  Bobby and his son Aaron get in the act. Hard workers…..kinda….. 

Workin' man blues...

Workin

  Chelsea caught by the all-seeing camera….
 
Hey girl, fancy shirt...

Hey girl, fancy shirt...

  Are y’all hiding or working?
 
Courtney, where you at?

Courtney, where you at?

Don, Akira, Cheyenne, Robert, Zach, Raven, and Chelsea hard at it….
 
Go get em....

Go get em....

  And Lois was still relaxing……
  We took our lesson tonight from Matthew 25 (and tried to keep it in context) “when you did it to the least of these you did it to Me.”
  Thoughts?
  Uncle Jeff

Baptist Builder Mission Trip – Final Post

Hey y’all- 

I wanted to take a minute and tell you a little bit more about our mission trip to Mayfield, Kentucky where we assisted the Oldham-Trimble Baptist Builders work on the new facility for Lighthouse Ministries.

  If you haven’t seen the picture of our crew, let me give you another one to look at:

Part of the crew at their lodging for the week

Part of the crew at their lodging for the week

 Add in another adult leader, Maria, a young man, Robbie, and myself and you have the Bedford Baptist Youth Team that came to help. The men working were a bit skeptical as we got off the bus that first day….they weren’t skeptical for long.

 

 

 

 

Granted, the expectations of a bunch of Baptist men (who are farmers, contractors, businessmen, retired, pastors, etc.) as they saw all of these girls get off of the bus were wayyy low. They should have expected more. I understand where these men were coming from because my expectations were pretty low, as well. I was just hoping these girls would work a little, be cooperative, and not embarrass me or the men who invited us along.

  The girls (and Robbie) did much more than that….they worked. Hard. Everyday. All day. No complaints. It was incredible. And I was one surprised and proud youth pastor.

 

The youth pastor hard at work.

The youth pastor hard at work.

 

 

This is our pastor, Brother Tom. He takes great pictures.

 

 This is Mr. Fischer. He’s 83 and could work most anyone under the table. Think you’re too old to serve the Lord with mission work? Mr. Fischer would kindly disagree.

Mr. Fischer

Mr. Fischer

 

So would Phil. He’s 80.

 

Phil

Phil

Watermelon tastes good when you’ve been working on a hot day in western Kentucky.

 

Mmmm...watermelon!

Mmmm...watermelon!

 

 

This is basically the finished product. We went to help get this building framed up and under roof. We were obedient and to God be the glory.

 

The Lighthouse under roof

The Lighthouse under roof

 

 

 

We had a great time.

If I had a hammer.....

If I had a hammer.....

 

 

Yes, we’re hammer shopping at Lowe’s.

 

We made new friends.

New friends....

New friends....

 

 

 

And we slept on the way home.

Sawing logs...

Sawing logs...

 

 

 

Uncle Jeff

Baptist Builders Mission Trip – First Post

Hey y’all-

  Last Monday morning, I loaded up 13 people, myself, a ton of luggage,a cooler of cold drinks, one guitar, and 13 pillows for the long ride to Mayfield, Kentucky. Why were we going? To help the Oldham-Trimble Baptist Builders construct a facility for the Lighthouse Ministries.

  What is Lighthouse Ministries? A safe place for women and children who need a safe place.

  We had a great time. We started work at 6 a.m. Ate breakfast at 8. Worked ’til lunch at 1 p.m. Worked all afternoon and ended around 6 each evening. Then, we ate and slept ’cause we were tired! Trust me, ‘ol Uncle Jeff ain’t no spring chicken and he was sho’ ’nuff tired.

  Here’s a picture of the crew we took from Bedford Baptist…

This is the crew from Bedford Baptist...it was sunny!

This is the crew from Bedford Baptist...it was sunny!

  Notice I was the only one smart enough to have my shades on….they got smarter as the week wore on.

  This is the first post. I’m still sleepy and giggly and excited from the time we had. It was awesome and God blessed in so many ways.

  Take care,

  Uncle Jeff

I’m back, Jack!

Hey y’all-

  I’m home from my missiont rip with the Oldham-Trimble Baptist Association Baptist Builders. I took the youth group to help work on a home for abused women and children. More details to follow later….

 

Uncle Jeff