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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Dear Colleagues,

PRINCIPLES OF EVANGALISM FROM THE LIFE OF JESUS

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Personally, winning people to Christ is about the most challenging thing in my life.  How do you approach someone? How long do you wait before you bring up the person of Christ?  One of the maddening things about Christs style of evangelism is that he never used the same approach twice. Each encounter was tailor-made. Jesus called us to be spiritual fishermen (Matt. 4:19 , 20). Perhaps there is something to be learned in the fact that fishermen use lures rather than dynamite to catch fish.

The account of Jesus winning the Samaritan woman to himself in John 4 furnishes us with important principles of evangelism. They include the following:

Dont wait until it is convenient to share Christ.  Two observations: (1) Jesus was tired from his journey, (2) In the Samaritan culture men did not converse in public with strange women: Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, Will you give me a drink?"  (Jn. 4:6, 7) (See Ecc. 11:4-6; 2 Tim. 4:2)

Obligate yourself to the person.  In this case, Jesus asked a favor. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, Will you give me a drink?" (Jn. 4:7)

Create curiosity by introducing a spiritual element into the conversation that addresses a need.  Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (Jn. 4:10)

Avoid argumentation by addressing the persons real need: In this womans case, she possessed a need for spiritual fulfillment.   Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  (Jn. 4:13, 14)

Reveal who Christ is when you detect spiritual interest.  The woman said, I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.  Then Jesus declared, I who speak to you am he." (Jn. 4:25, 26)

Ask God to give you a passion for his work. He said to them, I have food to eat that you know nothing about. Then his disciples said to each other, Could someone have brought him food? My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (Jn. 4:32-34)

Recognize that the harvest is over-ripe for evangelism/reaping.  Jesus: Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  (Jn. 4:35)

Understand that sowing and reaping is a joint effort, and mutual cause for rejoicing. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. (Jn. 4:36, 37)

Know that your reaping may be the result of others hard work of planting. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.  (Jn. 4:38) (See 1 Cor. 3:6,7)

PRAYER Lord, would you grant me the compassion to care enough for those outside of Christ to lovingly involve myself in their lives as an instrument of your grace. Would you grant me the privilege of participating with you in the  noble work of sowing and reaping. Amen.

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