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Give the Gospel! It will benefit the lost and it will benefit you!

By March 23, 2020 No Comments

Give the Gospel!

It will benefit the lost and it will benefit you!

Enjoy this story brimming with powerful lessons to encourage you!

It was five years ago that a pastor friend of ours, Bryce, was asked to consider becoming a police chaplain. This was totally off his radar, but at an initial meeting when he learned that these brave men and women have twice the divorce rate, suicides and alcohol addictions as civilians, he went from “Maybe” to “I have to do this!” The lieutenant who helped him come to this conviction had been saved years previous while driving with a police chaplain and is now a dedicated Jesus-follower and deacon in his church. He and the chief of police said, “We need a pastor for the police officers!”

Lesson 1 – Our police officers and firefighters need a pastor!

It was 3 years of hard work ministering, giving the gospel and building relationships before Bryce saw any fruit. And, as is so often the case, the fruit came from an entirely unexpected place! In this community the fire department is under the police department’s umbrella. At an event, Bryce was speaking with the fire chief (we’ll call him Jack) who unexpectedly said, “I’m a little offended that you haven’t reached out to the fire department.” Please understand, Bryce had no knowledge that being a police chaplain also involved being a chaplain to the fire fighters. He readily agreed to begin helping the fire department; but his attempts yielded little, and he was a bit discouraged. However, he didn’t give up, and God dropped a divine appointment in his lap.

Lesson 2 – Don’t give up!

Over lunch with the Jack, Bryce learned that Jack’s father had died and he had been asked to speak at the funeral. Jack had no idea what to say. His words were, “I’m about as lost as you can be and still be saved.” Bryce helped him prepare for the funeral but seeing his spiritual need, he seized the opportunity to begin studying the Bible with Jack who believed he was saved but was quite certain that his girlfriend was not. In fact, she had absolutely no religious background. Bryce’s previous attempts to give her the gospel had not been well-received.

Lesson 3 – Be ready to seize opportunities to give the gospel.

In late 2019, The Exchange trained for the second time at Bryce’s church and he and his wife, Joy, sensed the Holy Spirit leading them to reach out to Jack’s girlfriend (we’ll call her Blair). For Exchangers, Blair was on their Find Five List. They were pleasantly surprised when they invited Blair to a Bible study on the character of God (The Exchange), she quickly agreed. She came fully prepared to lesson one with all the questions answered and a whole slew of her own questions! What they expected to be awkward turned out to be an easy, enjoyable conversation.

Lesson 4 – Gospel conversations work a lot better than Gospel monologues!

The second Bible study deals with God’s Just nature, and it is a little dark. Everyone wants a just God…that is, until we are guilty and deserve judgment. You may have guessed! Blair canceled. Bryce and Joy were concerned. But when Sunday rolled around, Blair was at church and apologized that her work conflict had caused her to cancel. She said, “I finished lesson 2, and I can’t wait to meet!” She had a legitimate reason for canceling!

Lesson 5 – Don’t assume the worst.

At the end of lesson 2 the question is asked, “Lessons 3 and 4 deal with what one has to do to “turn and live.” If you don’t want to wait until then to find out, feel free to ask your Bible study leader to show you from the Bible now.”  Pastor Bryce asked Blair, “Where are you in this process?” She replied, “It’s a no-brainer!” She was ready, but the problem was – she had never prayed. Byce wisely said, “Let me show you what I would pray if I were in your shoes.” He did just that, and then Blair prayed to place her faith in Jesus Christ alone. Pastor Bryce says, “We could literally see God squeezing her heart.”

When they finished praying, Bryce explained that this was the beginning of a relationship with God, and Blair’s words were, “I’m all in!” The four of them – Pastor Bryce and Joy, Blair and Jack are studying Living the Exchange.

Lesson 6 – Discipleship is a non-negotiable!

How often do we get so apprehensive about witnessing that the obstacles overwhelm us? We tend to expect the worst and, therefore, have a hard time taking that first step of faith. For many believers it’s super challenging to even imagine giving the gospel to someone whose lifestyle and background is completely different than ours. But when we do take steps of faith and see God work as He did in this story, not only are many people’s eternities changed from hell to heaven, but we are filled with hope. Bryce and Mary are eagerly looking for the next divine appointment.

Lesson 7 – Giving the gospel is good for the lost and good for the saved!

Lesson 1 – Our police officers and firefighters need a pastor!

Lesson 2 – Don’t give up!

Lesson 3 – Be ready to seize opportunities to give the gospel.

Lesson 4 – Gospel conversations work a lot better than Gospel monologues!

Lesson 5 – Don’t assume the worst.

Lesson 6 – Discipleship is a non-negotiable!

Lesson 7 – Giving the gospel is good for the lost and good for the saved!

(All names in this story have been changed.)

 

 

 

 

 

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