26 08 2009

Day 15

Can you believe it?! We made it to the half-way point in our program. We began with the idea of helping anyone who is struggling, financially, to find ways of improving their situation for little or no money. We suggested that they follow our free program for 1 year (see Where to start?!). We introduced the concept of finding a friend, as a means of improving their social relationships with the idea that, helping those in need, can benefit the one that is helping, as well as the one in need.

Initially, we used the example of finding a penny and doubling that effort daily for 30 days. We, then, suggested relating pennies to people (ex. 1 penny = 1 person) for each new friend. As they progressed in making friends, we began to teach them to do what we were doing, by showing them how to follow God and living by His principles in order to accomplish their desire to improve their lives within 1 year.

Although, we have stated that it is not necessary to be a christian, or go to church, for these princples to work, we maintain that a proper relationship, with God, is important and is the best way to accomplish these goals. With that in mind, our focus now will be on “evangelism” (leading others to have a relationship with Christ) because, ultimately, this is the highest calling anyone can receive and everything we have discussed, so far, is designed for this purpose.

Many, in fact, most people think evangelism is difficult and should be left to the “PROFESSIONALS” but Jesus said for us to go into ALL the world and preach the “GOOD NEWS” to all creation and whoever believes, and is baptized, will be saved. He spoke these words to the 11 Disciples who witnessed Him ascending to Heaven (if you are wondering why we say 11, when the Bible says that there were 12, you should know that the Bible also says, Judas Iscariot [one of the twelve], betrayed Jesus and then, feeling guilt and shame, went and hung himself, leaving 11).

Back then they didn’t have TV, air travel or any of today’s mass evangelism capabilities; they had to rely on walking and talking. Upon first glance, this would seem to be a formidable task to perform, but Jesus promised to be with them to the end, performing signs and wonders.

The Bible tells us that God is not a respecter of persons, in other words, anything He has done, through and for any individual, is available to ALL who believe, so if those Disciples were able to bring thousands of people to Christ, so can the rest of us.

To put this in perspective, we believe that it is important for a new believer to spend as much time, as possible, reading God’s Word, and Praying, in order to build Faith and understanding of how to function as a Christian; but this does not mean that sharing the Gospel should be put on hold, quite the contrary.

The moment a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, and chooses to make Him the Lord of their life, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside their mortal body and begins to witness the Love of God to them and, He begins radiating that Love through them.

Even though a new believer has limited knowledge of Scripture, the Holy Spirit within knows everything and, Scripture tells us that, when we open our mouths to speak, He will fill our mouths with the Words that are needed for that moment. Only God is able to change a heart and, only He knows the right Words to say, all we need to do is, believe what He says and DO IT!

God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart and what it will take to make a change. Some people will hear the Truth and respond immediately, others require more coaxing but, do not despair because, everything happens in accordance with God’s timing.

NOTICE:- we did not say that everything happens for a reason! We make mention of this because we constantly hear people make the statement, “everything happens for a reason”. The truth is that they are misusing the English language. REASON denotes past tense, in other words, it refers to something that has already happened. So, to use this word in this sentence is like saying, “everything happens because it already happened” – say what?! that makes no sense. The word they meant to use is PURPOSE, because it denotes future tense and refers to things that will happen. Therefore, the phrase should actually read, “everything happens for a purpose”, which could be rephrased to say, “everything that happens, has a purpose and, happens to allow what should happen”.

Having cleared that up – the truth is that neither is correct. The ONLY TRUTH is that everything happens in accordance with God’s plan and in His timing and is designed to serve His purpose.

So, to line this up with our theme, in a way that should make it clear, we will consider that you are the first penny (person) and, as we have taught throughout this Blog, you go and find a friend. It is in everyone’s best interest that you listen for God’s prompting and follow His lead when speaking to this individual, and not put your 2 cents worth in because God knows what will work. Be prepared to spend time to give this person a chance to know you because, most people are skeptical at first.

It has been our experience that it can take 3 to 6 months to bring a person to the point of making a decision for Christ, so let’s say it takes 6 months, each time; at the end of a year, you would have 4 disciples, and after 2 years you would have 16, and following our teaching, if you continue at this pace, by the middle of the 7th year, you would have 32,767 disciples. If that figure doesn’t quite make sense, consider the following.

Doubling a penny 15 times has given us a total of $327.67 but in reality, if you count the pennies, which you do by simply multiplying by 100 or to make it easier, just move the decimal over 2 spaces to the right and this will give you a total of 32,767 pennies and, as we said before, pennies are representative of people. On the other hand, if it only takes 3 months each time, you would reach this figure in 3 1/4 years.

Personally, I would prefer to think that anyone listening to the Holy Spirit, while talking to people, is totally capable of making conversions in a month, which means you could reach this total in a year and 3 months.

So, now that we’ve made it half-way, what do you suppose our final figure will be? Well, I think it’s obvious that it will be considerably more than twice the current amount, considering we double every day.

Bottom line for us is, that anyone who really wants to take evangelism seriously, should consider the one-on-one mentoring concept because, it has been proven that, only 10 percent of people evangelized through mass evangelism actually continue following Christ and the rest suffer a thing similar to inoculation for disease in which a person is given a small amount of the disease and after a short time of recovery they become immune to the disease. The same thing, unfortunately, happens with the 90 percent that got excited at the call but somehow became disillusioned shortly thereafter.

Please don’t think we are comparing Christianity to a disease, nothing could be further from the Truth. The point here is that once people get a taste of something and are drawn away, they will either crave it more and thus seek for it or be left with a so-called “bad taste in their mouth” from it and never return.

We strongly believe that the most powerful method is letting people see God at work in your life. Someone coined a phrase a while back, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. Show them the Love of God and help them to see His Love for themselves, without thinking about the next conquest, because each person is important to God and, if you shun someone or rush through their transformation looking for the next conquest, you will lose them and chances are, they will never recover. Even if it takes longer than planned, it is very important to take the time needed to bring each person to the point where they are ready to help someone else find the way and then, be there for them to help them in case they have problems; and most of all, take time to pray with them.

We hope this has been helpful and next time, we should be bringing $327.68 to the table so we’ll see you on the flip side.





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