Tag Archives: amen

Never Talk to Strangers?

God wants us to share His good news with everyone

Written by Gary Schneider on 27/11/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: EvangelismGospelJesus


And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."

John 4:4-10

Though most of our personal evangelism probably happens in the context of some kind of relationship (friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, classmate, teammate, etc.) there are countless opportunities we have throughout our lives to engage complete strangers with the Good News, just like Jesus did with the Samaritan woman in John 4.

To miss those opportunities is to miss the hand of God in our everyday lives. I believe that He is constantly orchestrating moments where intentional Gospel conversations can take place.

The gospel has power

After the woman at the well went back to town to proclaim her newfound faith in Christ, He told his astounded disciples (a rabbi would never talk to a woman in this culture, let alone a Samaritan woman like Jesus did) this: “You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). In the same way we must wake up and look around to see the ripe harvest field around us every day… at the restaurant we frequent, in the grocery store we shop at, at the gym we work out in.

One of the biggest blessings this brings is a reminder of the power of the Gospel. Romans 1:16 tells us, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

There’s something inherently powerful about the message of Jesus, so much so that most of the evangelism you read about in the New Testament centers around Jesus and the disciples reaching complete strangers with the Good News. These are people they bumped into along the way. They were fishermen, tax collectors, everyday Harrys and Sherrys who needed that message of hope.

Those kinds of people are all around us today. In this high-stress, low-hope culture, people need the Gospel message now more than ever.

I know that we’re called to make disciples (not just converts) and I’m convinced that disciples can best be made in the context of a relationship, so I believe that a huge part of our evangelistic efforts should center around people we know and are getting to know. Because once they come to Christ we can help them grow in Christ so they can make more disciples.

A story of a changed heart

Several years ago I lived in northern Quebec, Canada for the purpose of learning the French language. During the very early stages of that difficult task, I met a fellow student named Raul who came from Colombia to learn French. God distinctly nudged me to share the Gospel with Raul. Over breakfast one day, I struggled and strained to share the basic truths of the Gospel with Raul. We had a very limited number of French words in common to communicate with as his native language was Spanish. With the help of a napkin, a pen, and the Holy Spirit, I could tell Raul was understanding the message.  My very first prayer ever in French was to lead Raul to Christ. After the prayer he reached into his wallet as if to pay me for the prayer.  I said, “no, no it’s not like that.” He was actually pulling a picture of Jesus out of his wallet.  He then said that all his life he has wanted to know the Jesus in his wallet. Now, Raul said, “this Jesus is not just in my wallet, now He’s in my heart.”

I would have totally missed that opportunity if only shared the Gospel with those I have a relationship with. The only reason I shared the message is because God put him on my heart.  Even with very limited vocabulary and ability to communicate, the Holy Spirit made the message understandable and Raul’s life was changed. We met every week for a year after that breakfast and he became a great friend and a reproducing disciple of Christ back in Colombia.

Let’s share Jesus with those we know. Let’s invest in them and introduce them to the Lord. But let’s lift up our eyes and look around at the harvest all around us all the time.  Divine appointments are waiting for YOU!


Pray this week:

Lord, forgive me for the opportunities I haven’t taken advantage of to share the good news of your Gospel with those I come in contact with. I pray that you will give me more of these opportunities, and that you’ll give me the correct words to say to share your love with those around me. Amen.


Why do you think you don’t share the gospel with those around you – even if they are your friends? What should you do to feel more comfortable sharing the good news with others?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Avoid Misusing the Bible

Go deeper in your walk with the Lord

Written by Dan Lee on 30/10/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: BibleReadingVerseStudying


Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Today, we start a two-part devotional on how to avoid misusing the Bible. But first, let’s start with a story about some blind men who encountered an elephant. One of the blind men wrapped his arms around the elephant’s leg and said, “An elephant is like a tree!” Another touched the elephant’s trunk and declared, “No, it’s like a large snake.” They touched the ear or the tail and said, “a fan” or, “a rope” – and so on. Each one came up with a different and incomplete conclusion about how the elephant looked like. 

It’s the same when we interpret the Bible. When we quote Bible verses without considering what the rest of the Bible says, we are just as foolish as those blind men. If we don’t consider verses in their context – at least the surrounding paragraph or chapter, we risk coming to completely wrong conclusions about what God’s word says. 

1. Be careful of taking the Bible out of context

That’s why Paul warns Timothy – and all who believe in Jesus and study His word – to “rightly handle the word of truth.”

Here are a couple verses that are often taken misused.

“By his wounds, you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24

Some people believe that Christians can claim physical healing because of this verse. But, if you read 1 Peter 2:24 in full, it reads, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” 

The first part of this verse tells us that it is our sins, our spiritual wounds, that have been healed by Jesus Christ. The verse refers to Isaiah 53:5:

“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds, we are healed.”

This verse refers to our “transgressions” and “iniquities” – in other words, our sins. There are seven other references in Isaiah 53 to sin, guilt, or transgression, but physical healing is never mentioned in the chapter. 

So the next time you read, “By his wounds you have been healed,” thank the Lord that your most deadly wound – your sin and resulting separation from God – HAS been healed, for all eternity. But don’t use it to claim physical healing for yourself or others.

2. Meditate on the Word and apply it to your life 

Now, let’s look at Matthew 7:1, where it says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

Even people who don’t believe in Jesus love to quote this verse! They, and sadly many Christians, think it means we should leave others alone and let them do whatever sinful act they want.

But if you continue reading, you find out that the problem is not with pointing out the faults of others. It is looking at their faults without acknowledging our own sin. 

Verse two says, “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” and it continues to verse three by saying, “ Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:2-3

Sadly, we tend to see the sins of others as huge, and our own as tiny (or not to see them at all). Jesus is saying, in effect, “Look in the mirror – look into your own heart and deal with the wickedness there, before you stand in judgment of someone else!”

Several Bible passages instruct us, to help our Christian brothers and sisters by gently pointing out where they are going wrong, especially in matters of serious sin. Take these verses as an example:

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)

In conclusion, don’t just look at fragments of God’s holy Word. Look at ALL of it. Commit yourself to read the Bible, one book at a time. Don’t build your whole Christian walk around one or two isolated verses. Strive to find the meaning of every verse in the context of the paragraph or chapter around it. If you do this in the power and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be well on the way to becoming “. . . a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2: 15


Pray this week:

Lord, I ask you to give me understanding and wisdom as I study your Word so that I follow your instruction and not mine. Amen. 


Is there anything in the Bible you have a difficult time understanding? Talk to a caring Christian friend! 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Are You Ready to Share Your Faith?

Don't let the moment pass you by.

Written by GodLife on 25/09/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Love, Witness, Sharing
…, pray also for us that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…

Colossians 4:3
Following the Spirit of God includes having conversations about Jesus. How do we go about having a conversation about spiritual matters with someone we do not know? When we bring up the subject, we are using a bridge to open that door. Have you ever missed an opportunity?

One summer at my teenage son’s ball game, I noticed a friend I had not seen since college. As we sat together and visited, I was urged in my spirit to bring up the subject of Christ and to present the Gospel to her, but fear of rejection kept me silent. Later that winter, she was involved in an unfortunate accident that resulted in the death of her and her daughter. 

Are you willing?
In Acts 8:26-40, Philip was instructed by an angel to go south on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza in the desert. As he traveled, the Spirit told Philip to approach an Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading. Philip obeyed and asked the Eunuch a question: “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Eunuch replied, “How can I, but that some man should guide me.” Philip was then invited to attempt to guide him. Philip was willing, following, trusting, and ready. He already knew the subject, and he didn’t go in his own power. Finally, he had a divine appointment. If God used Philip, it makes sense that Jesus would use you too and empower you.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:9)

In our daily interactions with strangers we should be willing to follow the Spirit, who will lead us into situations to share our faith. Are you willing? 

How can I do this? 
How can you move into a conversation about Jesus? A good start is by being helpful to others. Make their job easier and be appreciative. Be friendly. Reaching out to people in the service industry that help us or that check us out at the store can be very easy! But first we must pray.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Why not ask questions or make comments with a smile? For example: 

How can I pray for you today? Or If there was one thing I could pray for you, what would it be? 
I was wondering when you attend church, where do you attend? 
The Bible says a workman is worth his hire. You have done a great job. 
You are an answer to prayer (if they really were). I believe in prayer. What about you?
I can only find peace in one place when I am stressed out. 
Be ready and be on mission like Philip wanting all to be saved and none to be lost. Jesus prayed for us that the love the Father had for Him would be in us (John 17:26), and we must allow it to propel us out of ourselves and our fears to be spent on others. We must remember that hell and the wrath of God are real, and Jesus is the only way to escape. Love like Jesus. 

Dealing with Rejection
If your words are rejected – it’s not you who were rejected, but Christ (Luke 10:16). Either way, you have been obedient. The results of your efforts are up to the Lord! He alone gives the increase, but he tells us all to plant and to reap. Do not forget to thank the Lord for the opportunity to be used, pray for that person and thank Him for more to come. 

“And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear; hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23)

I encourage you to love others more than yourself and be obedient to the leading of the Spirit. Pray to be bold and to be filled with love for the souls of others.

Pray this week:
Lord, Please, guide me and use me. I will love, and I will go, and I will speak. Amen.

God loves you. Are you ready to love others? How can you do this?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member