Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Net-Drawing Stories

There are a number of short little proverbs, parables, and sermons in the first five books of the New Testament. Each one takes less than two minutes to tell. They are great tools in the repertoire of a soul-winner. More than that they are broadly applicable and often serve as encouragement at the right time. Here are a few that are worth learning by heart in your own words and telling often.


Try learning and telling one a day for a month.


(Click on the stories with asterisks to read them as I might tell them.)

1 Treasure in Heaven Matt 6:19-24
2 The Narrow Door* Matt 7:13-14
3 A Hidden Treasure Matt 13:44
4 The Very Expensive Pearl Matt 13:45-46
5 A Fisherman’s Net* Matt 13:47-50
6 Two Sons* (not the prodigal son) Matt 21:28-32
7 The Shepherd’s Judgment Matt 25:31-34,41,46
8 Gain the World, Lose your Soul Mark 8:34-38
9 A Message for All People Mark 16:15-16
10 Trees and Their Fruit Luke 6:43-45 or Matt 7:15-20
11 Two Builders, Two Foundations Luke 6:46-49
12 Do This and Live* Luke 10:25-28
13 Fear Whom? Luke 12:2-9
14 A Rich Fool Luke 12:13-21
15 Repent or Perish* Luke 13:1-5
16 How to Host a Dinner Party* Luke 14:8-14
17 The Heavenly Banquet Luke 14:15-23
18 Counting the Cost Luke 14:25-33
19 The Lost Sheep Luke 15:3-7
20 Lost Money Luke 15:8-10
21 The Pharisee and the Tax Collector Luke 18:9-14
22 Heaven and Earth Will Pass Away Luke 21:33-36
23 A Criminal Executed with Jesus Luke 23:38-43
24 Born Again… of Spirit John 3:1-8
25 Bread of Life John 6:25-40
26 Listen to the Father* John 6:44-47
27 River of Life* John 7:37-39
28 The Door (The Gate) John 10:7-10
29 Resurrection John 11:21-27
30 Real Faith John 12:42-50
31 The Way, the Truth, and the Life John 14:1-11

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gospel Presentations of Jesus #9

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is also like a fishing net thrown into the sea. It collects fish of every kind. When it is full, the fishermen pull it up to the beach and sit down to sort out the fish. They put the good fish into baskets and throw the bad ones away.

That’s exactly how it will be at the end of time. The angels will come and sort the people. They will separate the wicked ones from the righteous ones. The wicked  ones will be thrown into the flaming furnace, where there will be crying and gnashing of teeth.”

“Did you understand?” Jesus asked.

-- Somewhere in Matthew 13

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Preach the Gospel To *Every* Creature?

Mark 16:15 contains the simple command of Jesus to preach the gospel to all people. Here is how that command is given in a number of translations.



Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.


Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world.


Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.


So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News.


Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.


Having gone into the world all together, proclaim the good news to all in the creation!




Now, consider all of the people you know, all the people you have met and talked to during your lifetime. Is there, among them, one single person with whom you have not shared the gospel? Can you think of how many people crossed your path just in this past month to whom you did not announce the good news?



What’s that you say?

There are a lot of them?

More than you can remember?

More than you can count?


Is that okay?


So, what do you plan to do about it: Feel guilty for a little while, then go get some coffee, or change the way you interact with people from here on out?


Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. -Mark 16:16

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Nameless People

The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. –John 10:3


How many people do you know, but not know their names? (At work, school, the supermarket, etc.) We are all mostly nameless to the society around us. But God comes to us personally, calling us by name. He calls us to do likewise by being His ambassador to the nameless around us. I can’t help but wonder how many more would be reached if only we learned their names?


Alan Knox touched on this idea in his latest blog entry Naming the Marginalized.

It’s one thing to care for “the sick,” but it’s something completely different to care for Tina. It’s one thing to care for “the homeless,” but it’s something completely different to care for Charvin. It’s one thing to care for “the widows,” but it’s something completely different to care for Peggy. It’s one thing to care for “single mothers,” but it’s something completely different to care for Shonna.

We can say that we care for “the marginalized,” but never get to the point where we actually no someone who is marginalized. We can even give money to help “the marginalized,” but in fact, we’re actually paying someone else to care for individuals for us.

It is only when we get to know the person, to hear their story, to learn about their struggles and pain and hopes and fears… it is only at that point that we will know who to love them and serve them. We love and serve people when we are no longer caring for “the marginalized,” but we are caring for Benny, Belle, May, Creston, Cathy, and Jimmy.

If you want to begin to see through the eyes of the marginalized … then begin by getting to know their individual names.


I suggest making a list of all the people you see and know, but don’t know. Make a list of the nameless people in your life. Then start learning their names and get to know them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More Lessons from a Missionary

On my other blog, http://smy2brazil.blogspot.com, I  began posting a series on the lessons I have learned from experience. Some of these things cross over to the American context well.


Here is the second installment.


More Lessons Learned: How to be a Missionary


Here is the original post.


Lessons Learned: How to be a Missionary

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