Triumphal Procession

The apostle Paul worked tirelessly for the sake of the Good News Gospel. He endured hardship that most of us will never comprehend – all because of His love for Jesus Christ. But Paul was still human, and even someone of his caliber makes mistakes.

Paul reveals one of his mistakes in Chapter 2 of Second Corinthians. He says, “Now when I went to Troas to preach the Gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind…so I said good-bye to them and went on to Macedonia.”

Paul admits that the Lord opened a door for Him to share the Good News in Troas, but he didnt do it. Instead, he left. Paul disobeyed the Holy Spirits leading.

And yet, the great thing about this passage is what Paul writes next. “But thanks be to God,” he says, “who always leads us in triumphal procession and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”

God is so much bigger than the mistakes we make! Paul realized that, and its an important reminder for you and me as well. If you have disobeyed the Holy Spirit, simply confess it to the Lord. Ask for another opportunity, and for the boldness to do what Hes called you to do. God will use you again, in tremendous ways!

Hope for Change

Paul was a young guy I met in Maine a few years ago. He told me that he was really into drugs and drinking, and needed help. But, Paul said his biggest problem was that he didnt have any hope. “My family just keeps telling me Ill never amount to anything,” he said. Unfortunately, Paul believed them.

I asked Paul if he had heard of the Lord Jesus, the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ, and the new beginning He offers all of us. Paul said hed never opened a Bible, and didnt know much about the Lord. I was so glad to have the opportunity to share the Good News with him!

I quoted 2nd Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!” I told Paul, “When you give your life to Christ, you become a totally new person. Jesus forgives every sin youve ever committed. He helps you start over.” To my delight, Paul decided to surrender his life to Jesus! I knew God would change him dramatically!

There are people all around us, like Paul, with empty hearts — wondering if there is hope, and a way to start over. Its our privilege, and calling, to tell them about the hope and forgiveness thats only found in Jesus Christ.

People, People Everywhere

What kind of people live in your city? Ambitious people. Lonely people. People struggling financially. Young people in search of freedom. Displaced people out of touch with their families. The list goes on!

The point is: The harvest is ready. But where are the workers? In city after city around the world, I proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ before massive festival crowds. Through my preparatory work in each city, I have discovered that many Christians fail to see the importance of evangelism. What does that mean? It means that before we can bring the hope of Jesus to our cities, we must first recognize the urgent need!

In the Bible, Mark 16:15 reports Jesus telling His disciples to, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Guess what? That command is for you! Those words include your city. God has a plan. And YOU must respond to His call.

You may not have the opportunities to share your faith with thousands, but you can share Gods love in your city by reaching out to your neighbor. Will you do it today? Reach your city by reaching those in your community. Reach out and see what God can do through you.

Cities: Good or Bad?

When I say the word “city,” what picture comes to your mind? Some people think of lights and wonderful opportunities. Some people think of crime, smog and traffic. These people see city life as Henry David Thoreau once described, as “millions of people being lonesome together.” A sad picture indeed.

Regardless of how you view cities, arent you glad that Jesus desperately loves them? Remember in Matthew when Jesus is weeping over Jerusalem? He loves cities! And, one of the pictures of heaven is the “city of God.” God wouldnt use that picture if He didnt care about cities. No matter where people are, city or country, there will be sin. Even if the people in your life arent perfect and arent friendly, they still need the Lord.

My friend, do not ignore your city, or your street, today. The worlds cities need a revival caused by changed hearts that only the Gospel can activate! YOU may be the only person willing to share Gods Good News with your bus driver. With the person next to you on the Subway. With your taxi driver. YOU have a purpose in your city. Say “YES!” to reaching your world today for Jesus Christ!

The First Steps

Have you recently led someone to Jesus Christ? If so, congratulations! Nothing compares to the joy of helping to usher a soul into the family of God! And now you have the opportunity to help your friend grow in their new relationship with the Lord! One of the first steps you can take is to encourage your friend in their new faith. They may be struggling with some doubt, and wonder, “Am I really saved? Did Jesus really come into my heart? How do I know for sure?” Remind your friend of the truth from Gods Word. In John 10:28 Jesus tells us: “I give them eternal life, they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” New believers may also struggle with a sense of guilt from their past sins. If that happens, open the Bible to Romans 8:1 where Paul writes, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” And finally, remind your new brother or sister in Christ that Jesus lives in them. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” These verses will help a new believer. Gods Word can penetrate your friends heart, with the Lords promises