“As you go, spread this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Cure the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse those with skin diseases, and force demons out of people. Give these things without charging, since you received them without paying.”Matthew 10:7-8 GW
What did you do to receive the gift of eternal life? I’ll tell you. You believed the Good News. Faith is a gift from God that we receive. We do not earn our salvation, so we should share the Good News freely as well. It’s not something to be selfishly hoarded.
The Gospel is the best news ever. Simply stated, we are born into sin, disconnected from God. God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to live a sinless life and offer up His life as an atoning sacrifice so that we who believe in Him can inherit eternal life. He died on a cross, was buried and three days later was resurrected. He appeared to many for several days and then ascended into Heaven where He remains until the Gospel is preached to the whole world. Then the end will come and final judgment.
When we believe, we get born again of the Spirit of God. God becomes our Father and the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. Our life of faith begins, and God progressively molds us and makes us until we are conformed fully to the mature stature and character of Christ.
Evangelism, or sharing our faith with others, is the first step in becoming a disciple. There are many stories in the New Testament where someone discovers that Jesus is the Messiah and then they immediately go and tell their family, friends, even the whole city.
God moves in power. When the Gospel is preached, the Lord confirms His word with miracles, signs and wonders.
A friend and I were out visiting homeless camps today, sharing food, water, Gospel literature and praying with people. It reminded me of a short term mission trip I took to Nicaragua years ago. Desperate people in desperate conditions. Their only hope of getting their needs met was the love and kindness of God through strangers.
Walking the streets of Portland is like visiting a third world nation. We don’t have to go far to find people who need help. After hitting up one camp, we wandered around looking for more tents. We happened upon an improvised structure as a man on a bicycle approached. He gladly accepted our food and water but didn’t want to wait around in the cold to talk with us.
However, there were three men in the structure. One took the food and water in to the others. One came out and offered to pray with us. Then we started to pray for him. Another man popped out. He didn’t want to miss out on the goodness.
I shared part of my testimony, how I was once a homeless drug addict and alcoholic. I shared how I had been healed and delivered of my demons and was living a good life now. My friend led them in a prayer of rededicating their lives to God and breaking the spirit of addiction off of them. There was a genuine feeling of love and joy in the atmosphere. None of us seemed conscious of the frigid temperatures and howling wind. Something more important was taking place.
We met and helped quite a few people today, but these guys were the ones I felt like were hungriest for a touch from God. They even prayed for their families that they weren’t with. These folks on the streets really want to get back on their feet again. It breaks my heart because I know how hard it is to survive out there.
We only provided one meal and some encouragement, but we brightened their lives if only for a day. If their prayers were genuine, the Holy Spirit is working miracles on their behalf even now. It was such a joy to be the hands and feet and mouthpiece of God today. It certainly made me appreciate what little I have.
It costs next to nothing to help our unhoused neighbors. Just some time. A little walking. A little love. I pray that God is keeping them all warm tonight and that they remember that God loves them and He sent a couple reformed troublemakers to remind them.
Be part of the solution. Love your neighbors. Pray for them. Share the Good News and invite them to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. If they don’t survive another day, at least they’re safe forever in their Father’s house.
Lord, forgive us for being self-centered and selfish. Help us to see the lost, the hurting and the poor with Your eyes of love. Give us Your heart for them. And move us to act with compassion. In the Name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
“The one who receives you receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. The one who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and the one who receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person shall receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”Matthew 10:40-42 NASB2020