Sunday, February 12, 2012

Growing the heart and art of Evangelism (Paul's example)

Growing the heart and art of Evangelism (Paul's example)
S - Acts 19:8-10 (NASB)
8 And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

O - Paul really hit his stride in Ephesus.    He had entered increasingly false god cultures on his missionary journeys, and began to truly take gospel not to the jews but to the gentiles.   You see the earlier model was to go and teach in the synagogues wherever they traveled.  This made much sense, because of Paul's background as a devout Pharisee and great knowledge of the Jewish law, he could easily speak in the synagogues wherever he went; however, they all ended in the same way, some of the Jews would become angry and drive Paul out, not much unlike happened to Jesus.   In Ephesus Paul did something akin to Christ, but different from his missionary approach, he went away to a different location, the school of Tyrannus to teach.  In this case his ministry lasted two years, and the scripture describes that all who lived in Asia became aware of the word Paul was sharing.

A - The application for me is to recognize that responsible evangelism is always seeking to spread the word of God to places that it has not reached, and to places that will receive it.  Watching Paul grow as an evangelist as he traveled his missionary journey's is a great learning ground for me.   Paul did two provide things that I need to deeply consider for my self:
1.  He taught fervently until he was no longer welcome.  That means he brought truth to the places he went, but if the truth was now longer willing to be received, he would pack up and move on, wasting no time on the people whose hearts the Lord was not preparing to receive it.

2.  He moved increasingly into society and the culture rather than from Jewish religious centers.   It turned out that the people outside the synagogues where ready to receive the Gospel in large numbers.  With dedication I believe this to be responsible evangelism, one that takes the Gospel message, into the community, and delivers in a manner they can related to.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's message, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord you would continue to peel back the layers of what it is you are calling me to in this season, and for future seasons.  I pray Lord that you grow in me the heart and skill to bring your Good news to the communities you have placed me.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

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