"An Inside Perspective"

November 2016

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In John, Chapter 6, we read an account of Jesus feeding the five thousand and the interesting means He opted to use. We are told in verse two that the multitudes followed Him because they "saw His signs." Even today, people come to Jesus for many reasons, and not all of them are noble.

The Lord, however, always sees the big picture, and here He used the earthly means of food to bring people to Himself, the very Bread of Heaven. Jesus is wisdom personified, and from Him I have learned many principles in the sharing of His Word. And in this text, we observe that one avenue Jesus implemented to reach a man's heart was through his belly.

In verse three, Jesus went up to the mountain with his disciples, and we notice in verse five, "a great company came unto Him." To test them, Jesus then asked Philip, "Where shall we buy bread that we may eat?" Philip replied with the eye of flesh, "Two-hundred penny-worth of bread is not sufficient for them." But Andrew remarked, with a mustard seed of faith, "There is a lad here that has five barley loaves." Andrew's faith saw that the Lord plus the lad equaled the needed food. Did you catch that? What a wonderful little principle. Beloved, "there is a lad."

I am an evangelist by calling. Double negatives aside, I cannot not share the gospel. It is on my heart and mind day and night. The sharing of the Word and the winning of souls consumes my very life. All that I do revolves around my calling. From the time I awake, until I lay my head to rest at night, sinners are on my heart. You see, the eye of faith is always scanning for the means that the Lord will use because it knows that always, "there is a lad."

Evangelists may exercise their calling in two main ways. First, you can personally share one-on-one with people. The method I employ is what I have coined “friendship evangelism.” In this process, I purposely engage people with an eye to becoming their friend. Eventually, through persistent love and prayer, I earn their trust. It can be very time consuming, but in your heart you must know that “there is a lad.” In love, I feed them the gospel because I (like the lad in John 6:9) have a few loaves of Bread to share.

Leading people to Christ is really only the beginning. Next, they will immediately need to be discipled; and then, through the process of time, they will become productive fruit-filled members of the Body of Christ.

Have you ever stopped to think of all that really goes into sharing the whole gospel? Have you forgotten that "there is a lad" the Lord will use, and it just might be you? Also, you must know the message accurately because you certainly cannot impart that which you do not possess. Are you able? Do you know "all the counsel of God" concerning the gospel? (Acts 20:27) Do you know in your heart, by faith, that "there is a lad" and indeed, in many circumstances it will be you? The Lord will use whomever He so chooses, whenever He so chooses – yes , even you!

Having the gift of gab has been the Holy Spirit's means for me to facilitate the gospel. I truly love people, and I am sincerely interested in them. Are you? I simply cannot stand the thought of them going to hell. By grace, I know I am “the lad” and therefore, I cannot not speak. God forbid I should hold my tongue and be found accountable on the Great Day!

You too can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that "there is a lad" and that you are he. We are human can-openers in the sense that we worm our way into people's hearts. When you do so in love, before you know it they will be telling you their whole life story with all the sordid details. As they share their woes, the Holy Spirit will use you as an instrument to apply the balm of Gilead. As a skilled surgeon, you can lovingly minister the living Word to their exposed wounds of sin, even challenging their very standing before a Holy God.

The second way I evangelize is through preaching and teaching, where I use a more “shotgun-type” approach. It may be in a congregational setting or just casually in the yard with a group of men. A shotgun (for those of you who may not know) has one shell with a plethora of small BB's. The idea being that one BB is going to hit home and slay the rabbit. Similarly, one nugget from the Word of God will surely slay the sinner and bring him home to God. Beloved, never give up nor compromise. Share the Word always, knowing in your heart that indeed...