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Christian Living evangelism

Fishing for Souls

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While my wife and I waited at a stop light the other day, an old pickup truck creaked up next to us. I noticed the bed was filled with a hodgepodge of items.

The most curious piece of cargo was a single fishing pole–leaning over the passenger side, just behind the cab. My eyes fixated on a gleamy three-pronged hook, as a few feet of fishing line floated over the street in the breeze. It was al-LURE-ing.🥸

“He isn’t gonna catch much,” I joked. The light turned green and the truck took off. “Now he’s trolling,” I said to my wife. “That should increase his odds.”

The fascinating sight of a guy “air fishing” (unknowingly, I assume) brought to mind the time when Jesus met two men who were fishing for REAL. Simon and his brother Andrew were casting their nets at the seaside when Jesus walked up and said, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” – Matthew 4:19 (NIV)

“What are you fishing for?” This was the Holy Spirit’s question of the day–after I encountered the asphalt angler. In other words, what do people see when they metaphorically pull up next to my life at a stop light?

Jesus is primarily visible through the lives of those who abide in Him. Otherwise, the world sees an empty hook. Fish will sometimes bite a shining empty three prong (please chime in, Gary Fultz), but they’ve got to be pretty hungry!

🎶”Will they see God for who He really is… in what they see in you and me?”🎶 These are the opening words to the chorus of a popular contemporary Christian song from the late 1980’s.

I once saw a young Christian woman who was super-irritated with the cashier at a local hardware store. Apparently the clerk counted her change back incorrectly. Loud enough for anyone in the store to hear, the sullen customer said, “Are you an idiot?!” I looked over, and that’s when I saw her tee-shirt; it said, “Jesus Saves and Heals.” #stinkbait

So what bait should we use to catch people like Jesus did? In this case, the lure is a healing one. It’s Christ Himself!

“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

Jesus – John 12:32 (NIV)

Ready to wet a divine line?

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Categories
Christian Blog evangelism

Why Cover That Up?

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As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I are big fans of the HGTV (Home and Garden Television) network. We’ve watched so many home renovation shows we should be experts by now–at least in theory!

The other night we were scratching our heads, along with Ben Napier from the show Hometown. Underneath some puke green colored kitchen linoleum he discovered solid oak floors! “Why would you cover that up?!” asked Big Ben with a bewildered look.

Jesus feels the same way about His followers covering up who they truly are. “You are the light of the world,” He said. “A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

Have you ever tried to dim the light of Christ within you? Regrettably, I have–in order to fit in–and it felt like covering up solid oak floors with puke colored linoleum.

The Hometown episode brought to mind a woman I know who collects and sells antiques. She has an amazing eye for finding old furniture that just needs some love. One time, she discovered a complete Ethan Allen dining room set painted lime green! Underneath the paint, she found (you guessed it) solid mahogany.

However, it’s a bit of a somber story for the Antique Lady, as the local’s call her. She explained that, once beautifully aged hardwood is painted over, you can NEVER restore the original finish. The untouched table and chairs–with their original patina–would have been worth twice as much if they had not been painted.

Jesus feels the same way about His followers decreasing their value to the world. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13)

Have you ever turned down the volume (so to speak) of the godliness within you? Unfortunately–in order to blend in–I have, and it felt like painting over vintage mahogany.

Now, as much as ever, may we bring out the God-flavors of the earth and let the love of Christ shine through our lives. Jesus is the Light of the World and we are expected to carry a torch. Our good deeds for the glory of God are a reflection of Him.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine.

Categories
Christian Living evangelism

Skateboarders Welcome

The young man was standing like a statue on the shoulder of a busy four lane highway. He appeared fixated on something at a church next to the road.

Driving closer, I saw the skateboard. “Oh, I bet he’s looking for a good parking lot to ride.”

But he took off –kicking his way down the emergency lane of a major thoroughfare.

When I passed him I noticed: no helmet, no pads and no reflective clothing. The cherry on top was a huge pair of headphones over his ears.

The kid was flirting with disaster.


How many people do we happen upon daily who are, at least spiritually speaking, skateboarding next to a highway? No helmet of salvation, no shield of faith (elbow and knee pads) and no reflective clothing (belt of truth). – Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV)

They stop and stare at churches, while huge headphones blast their favorite tunes.

What are they thinking?

“Is someone like me welcome here? Oh, there’s an “Absolutely No Skateboarding!” sign. I’d better keep kickin’ down the highway.”

In full disclosure, I saw no sign that said not to skateboard at the church. But such things have happened. God’s people could (and should) have a greater positive impact on the world.

But how?

A good first step is to offer a place where people who are flirting with disaster feel welcomed. Somehow we must convince folks that the church is safer than the shoulder of the highway. The power of the gospel can do this–prompt a person to leave the four lane for the narrow path.

But we must be the hands and feet of Christ; and this involves a willingness to get these hands and feet dirty.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Jesus – Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth.

Paul – Galatians 4:19 (MSG)

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