Friday, October 14, 2016

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2016

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER

OCTOBER 2016

“THE  “E—WORD”

         Have you ever wondered what other folks think about you?  Dumb question, right?  I think most of us, even those who seem to “care less” about what others think of them, still wonder how others perceive them.  It’s human nature to crave acceptance from our peers, seek approval or, perhaps, just be considered “alright”.  What, however, if something comes to you “out of the blue”, shakes you up and causes you to reexamine how you are looked upon by others?
         Recently, I was attending a gathering of people I’d known for many years, and the subject of
pastors, myself included, came up.  One individual was very complimentary of the pastors in our
area, mentioning that one was an excellent Bible teacher, another had a very clear and concise way
of presenting the word of God and that I was prone to preaching the “E—word”.  Naturally, I was a
little perplexed—actually baffled—as to the exact meaning of the “E—word”.  I was familiar with several “words” starting with a particular letter of the alphabet and none of them were, in any way, flattering.
         I asked, “what exactly is the “E—word”?  I was informed that it meant “evangelism”.  I’ve been
called a lot of things in my life, not all flattering, but never an evangelist.  I was absolutely elated!  That statement was, truly, one of the best endorsements of my ministry I have ever received. 
         I would like to think that I’m a pretty fair Bible teacher, worship leader and, hopefully, pastor.
I am not now, nor have I ever considered myself an evangelist.  That particular moniker is reserved for the likes of D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday and, of course, Billy Graham.  What my friend at the gathering was referring to was my frequent sermons about the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His disciples (and us): “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone”. (Mark 16:15).  Those words are not limited to evangelists, pastors and sidewalk preachers. 
         Each and every born-again believer in Jesus Christ is charged by Him to be a “spreader” of the Good News that He came into the world to save sinners.  What a wonderful privilege it is to start a
conversation with someone, either known or unknown to us, and watch God turn the encounter into an opportunity to lead someone to His blessed Son, Jesus.  It happens every minute of every day all around the world and people who never had any contact with Jesus, are turned into “new creations in Christ” (II Corinthians 5:17).
         I wonder what would happen if everyone who reads this article, however they receive it (on line
or through the U.S. mail), went out and told just one person about Jesus and His love for them.  It’s
possible that as many as 1,000 people a month might receive Christ as their Savior.  That’s 12,000 new Christians a year.  Those are numbers even Billy Graham would be proud of!  It could happen.
         God is not limited by our myopic view of what’s possible.  He thinks and acts way outside the
scope of our understanding.  I do know this, however:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Gentile). For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  Another scripture tells us that:  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  (II Peter 3:9).
         I have written this article as a “love letter” to all of you who are reading it right now.  It’s a little reminder of how much God loves you and wants you to know Him, not only as the Creator of the entire universe, but also as the One who desires a close, personal and intimate relationship with you. It’s yours simply by inviting Jesus into your life and seeking His forgiveness for your sins. 
         I would also like to thank the person who added the “E—word” to my vocabulary and reminded me how important our personal testimonies, about what Jesus has done for us, are in spreading the Gospel message to folks struggling with their sin and seeking a way out.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6).


                                                                                                PASTOR ROD

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