Wednesday, February 28, 2007

QYST - Day 03 - Overcoming Fear

“Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech.” 2 CORINTHIANS 3:12
Do you find yourself fearful of sharing your faith? Well, you’re not alone... But what can you do to conquer your fear?

Someone once said, “Keep your fears to yourself. Share your courage with others.” While that is true when it comes to specific fears, it is a consolation to know that heroes do heroic deeds despite their fears. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the conquering of it. If a hero didn’t have fear to overcome, then his act of courage wouldn’t truly be an act of courage.

It is a consolation to know that almost every Christian has a battle with the “fear of man” when it comes to reaching out to the lost. Take the time to look at the fears of the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:1–4). He said that when he reached out to the Corinthians with the gospel, he did so not with “excellency of speech or of wisdom.”

He confided that he had “weakness” (he was not trusting in his own strength or ability) and “fear” (in Greek, phobos, “that which is caused by being scared”), resulting in “much trembling” (awareness of his insufficiency). Paul battled the fear of man.

If we want to rescue humanity from the fires of hell, we must take control of our own fears and reject the fears the enemy whispers to our hearts. Don’t let the lies of the enemy penetrate your mind any longer. Remember the command, “Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). There is power in the Word of God. When the light of the Word is spoken, the darkness of the enemy must vanish.

Make it a habit to quote God’s Word at fear: “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1,2).

We are not to fear man, but to fear God—the one who has power to cast into hell (Luke 12:5). This thought may help you get rid of the fear of man and replace it with the fear of God: He executes cowards, deserters, and traitors (see Hebrews 10:26,27; Revelation 21:8). His army is for men and women of faith. Our courage is fueled by our faith in God. If we lack courage, it’s only because we lack faith. If we lack faith, we insult the integrity of Almighty God.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

QYST - Day 02 - Hell's Best Kept Secret

Most of the devotions in this book will take you 20 minutes or less to do. However, this one will take a little over an hour to complete. For this one, you will need to go back online to listen to the free audio message taught by Ray Comfort called “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” Please don’t consider skipping this devotional, it is the most essential one in this entire journal. Without this foundational teaching, you really can’t continue on this 30 day journey.

While you’re listening to the online message, try to catch the answers to these questions:
1. What is it that the Bible says is "perfect, converting the soul"? (See Psalm 19:7.)
2. According to Romans 3:19,20, Romans 7:7, and Galatians 3:24, what are four functions of the Law?
3. What is the biblical definition of sin? (See 1 John 3:4, KJV.)
4. Who is the Law designed for? (See 1 Timothy 1:9-10)
5. What are some of the legitimate fruits of salvation?
6. Why isn’t it legitimate to use these fruits as a “draw card” for salvation?

Monday, February 26, 2007

QYST - Day 01 - Share Your Faith

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.
And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father,
and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21

In the Epistle of Paul to Philemon, he says how he continually prays for Philemon, saying that he has heard of the “love and faith” which he has, both toward the Lord and toward his brethren. Then Paul reveals a little understood principle that can change your life and deepen your walk with God in a way you never expected.

Listen to how the Amplified Bible translates Philemon 1:6:
“[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory].”

The implications are clear. If you want a more full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ . . . you can get it by sharing your faith. The Scriptures say that it actually produces that knowledge in you. Those who don't reach out to the lost aren't experiencing God on this deeper level. They've yet to discover the incredible fulfillment awaiting those who respond to Christ’s command. Matthew Henry said, “I would think it a greater happiness to gain one soul to Christ than mountains of silver and gold to myself.” Charles Spurgeon said, “To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in this world.”

Consider for a moment the words of Jesus to his disciples shortly after He spoke to the woman at the well: “But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know’” (John 4:32). What was this sustaining food of which Jesus spoke? He told them in His next sentence, “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (John 4:34). He had just done the will of the Father by sharing the words of everlasting life with the woman at the well. Doing that was to Jesus as if He had just eaten life-sustaining food. You can know that same fulfilling joy as you obey the command of the Lord Jesus, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). As you do so, watch the Philemon 1:6 principle begin to take effect in your life. Your understanding and appreciation of every good thing we have in the Lord will deepen. If that’s what you want, you've begun the right journey.

Tomorrow’s devotional will take longer than any of the others in this journal. That’s because tomorrow we’re going to explore the “how” of sharing your faith. How can we biblically, simply and effectively, share the life-giving words of the Gospel? Don’t skip tomorrow’s devotion because it takes a little longer to do. It is absolutely essential and foundational to the rest of your journey.

Quenching Your Spiritual Thirst

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

10 "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Take it to the marketplace

"I simply argue that the cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town's garbage heap; at a crossroad, so cosmopolitan they had to write his His title in Hebrew and Latin and the kind of a place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died for. And that is what He died about. That is where churchmen ought to be and what churchmen ought to be about."
- George Macleod

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Interview With the God of the Bible

I dreamed I had an interview with God.
“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.
“If you have the time,” I said.
God smiled.
“My time is eternity… what questions do you have in mind for me?”
“What surprises you most about human kind?”
God answered…
“Nothing surprises me. I am God. But I'll tell you this..."

"Mankind is quick to point out sin in others, but have trouble seeing their own sin.” Matthew 7:3-5
“They won't trade their eyes for a million dollars... but they trade their souls for love of their sin.” Mark 9:47
"Although they know me, they neither glorify me or give me thanks... they exchange the truth of God for a lie and worship created things rather than the Creator.” Romans 1:21-25
“They live as if they will never die… even though it is written for each man to die once and after that to face judgment.” Hebrew 9:27
God’s hand took mine… and we were silent for a while.
And then I asked, “As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?”
“To learn they cannot make anyone love them. The Lord's love is with those that fear Him.” Psalm 103:17
“To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. They need to compare themselves to God's perfect standard.” Matthew 5:48
“To learn to forgive others as I have forgiven them.” Matthew 6:12
“To learn that it only takes one lie to end up in a lake of fire, and it only takes one Name under heaven by which they can be forgiven.” Revelation 21:8 Acts 4:12
“To learn that a rich person is not who has the most, but who stores up treasures in heaven.” Matthew 6:19-20
“To learn that there are people who think that God is merciful, but God is also just and holy and perfect and cannot be around any sin.” Romans 1:18
“To learn that people can look at the bible and see it as foolishness, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
“To learn that it is not enough that they forgive one another, but they must also repent and trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their own sins.” Acts 20:21

“Thank you for your time,” I said humbly. “Is there anything else you’d like your children to know?”God smiled and said…
“Just know that I am here. Always.” Hebrews 13:8

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Work of the Holy Spirit

5 "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

A few things here. The Holy Spirit, called the Counselor here, is referred to as "he", because he is a person, not a force. Also, the theme of conviction of sin for not believing in Jesus is again brought up. Also, the prince of this world, Satan, now is condemned. In hell, the devil will not be tormenting people. He will be punished along with all the sinners by God.

12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

16 "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

John 16

1 "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.
Continuing the thought from the end of the last chapter, Jesus is making it clear that when you truly follow Him, you will be hated by the world, and even those in the so-called church. I find that I run into three types of people when I share my faith. Atheists, who, even though they might not be convinced by my argument, thank me for taking the time to explain what Christianity is. Christians, who are so excited about hearing the gospel articulated running out to go share their faith with people. And the third group is people in the church who are actually offended by hearing the gospel. They "put me out of the synagogue". The only explanation I can find here is that anyone who is in the church who does not like hearing about Jesus is because they neither know the Father or Jesus. Remember, Jesus warned us of this. So, don't get discouraged. Just get out there and faithfully share the gospel. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The World Hates the Disciples

18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

Sort of throws the "Happiness" gospel right out of the window. Jesus never told anyone about the "Wonderful Plan" He had for them. Take heart when people hate you for His sake.

22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'
Again, no path to the Father except through the Son. Anyone who tells you they love God, but not Jesus, has made a God in their own mind to suit their own desires.

26 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Have you shared your faith today? Have you told someone you care about that Jesus is coming back and is so just that He will find people guilty of their sins? Have you told them that God is so merciful that He is willing to pay that price for them?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back to Burbank

Last night, the usual suspects were out. We also had several new people come out who are going through the Basic Training Course. Sherri and Moreland, both from Shepherd of the Hills got their first taste of some open air preaching, Tony Miano style, and some one to one witness encounters.

We partnered up and each new person got to be involved in witnessing with at least three experienced people. The ones that I was involved in started out pretty rough, and one young lady told me that her father was a pastor and what I was telling her about God being mad at sin was absolutely false. She got so mad she asked me to leave. The next group I talked to had Omar as their leader and in good spirits he told me that he had no reason to believe what I was saying. I was feeling pretty roughed up so I paused for a moment to talk with Joey, and as I was doing so, Omar came over to apoligize and I told him he had no reason to. We agreed that I would pray for the Holy Spirit to break his pride that was holding him back from submitting to God. Please pray for Omar as well with me.

After that, we had some great conversations, almost too many to remember. With Tony preaching and the signs up in between speaking, we had a constant flow of people willing to take the good test and many people heard the gospel last night. I pray that some of the seeds we sewed find good soil. The best part was this morning after talking with the students who came out in obedience and stepped out of their comfort zone and finding out they were just as excited as I was to make sharing their faith a regular part of their life.

Friday, February 16, 2007

How to Find a Good Church

Almost 25 questions that will save you a lot of Sundays

Looking for a good church? Join the club. Church-shopping can be a long and painful process.
To shorten your search, call the pastor of the church before you visit and ask the following questions. This might save you a lot of Sundays.

  1. What is man's biggest problem, sin or self esteem? Seeker sensitive and felt-needs churches focus on man’s hurts and problems. The Bible says that man’s biggest problem is sin.
  2. What must a man do to inherit eternal life? Repent and trust is the Biblical answer. If the word “repent” is never used, say, “Thank you.”
  3. How do you deliver the salvation message? Ask the pastor to describe specifically what he says. Does he encourage people to simply say a prayer? Does he tell people to ask Jesus into their hearts? The salvation message should include: God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness, God’s response (hell), God’s kindness (Jesus on a cross), man’s response (repentance and faith).
  4. How hard is it to become a Christian? The “formula” is simple, doing it is not. It is not easy to believe.
  5. How often do you talk about sin, righteousness and judgment? Balance is key. This should not be the only emphasis, but it should be a regular emphasis.
  6. How seeker sensitive is your church? It is o.k. for a church to be “seeker aware” but seeker sensitive means that they lean toward seekers and not the saved.
  7. Who do you do church for, seekers or members? “Both” is not acceptable. Church should be done for members and the unsaved are welcome to attend.
  8. Do you dumb down your sermons? If he says yes, he is probably not trying to wean his members from milk to meat. Answers like, “We try to make our sermons accessible to everyone” are sermons that are not meaty.
  9. What is your mixture of topical vs. expository preaching? Topical preaching is fine, but if a pastor never or rarely preaches expositionally (verse by verse), then you are going to be learning from the pastor and not God’s Word.
  10. Do your sermons emphasize theology or are they just relevant? Everyone should say their sermons are relevant, what you are looking for is if they teach theology.
  11. Describe your youth programs. If fun and games is the major (and usually first) emphasis, you have a youth program that is trying to compete with MTV.
  12. Describe your evangelism programs. Don’t just accept, “We have an evangelism committee.” Dig. Are they serious about saving souls?
  13. What church growth model do you follow? Hopefully they don’t have one. Churches should be reaching out to the lost, but churches that are plugged into new church growth models tend to follow man’s modern ideas rather than the Bible.
  14. How much do you give to missions and the hungry? Again, this reveals the heart of the church. While most churches give to missions, many never consider the poor.
  15. Do you believe the Bible contains no errors or contradictions? No equivocation allowed here.
  16. Do you believe in a literal 6 day creation? Jesus did (Matt.19:4).
  17. Do you believe in a literal hell and eternal punishment? Jesus did (Matt.25).
  18. When you distribute the Lord's Supper, do you emphasize the need to examine yourself? Paul did (I Cor.11:27-32) Can a person who is living in a persistent lifestyle of sin inherit eternal life? Sinners can certainly be forgiven, but practicing sinners cannot inherit eternal life (I John3:8,9). Does your church exercise church discipline? Paul said we should (I Cor.5).
  19. Do Sunday school teachers, nursery, and youth volunteers fill out an application to answer questions about their core beliefs and salvation, or are all volunteers accepted because of a lack of volunteers?
  20. What are the essentials of the faith? Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Salvation through faith alone, the inerrancy of Scripture.
  21. Do you have a cross in your sanctuary? Many remove it because they fear it will turn off seekers. They should glory in the cross.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Vine and the Branches

What a coincidence that my 14th of February Valentines Day post deals with Love. John 15 talks about our command to love each other.
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
Notice the theme throughout the whole Bible? No other means of salvation but Jesus. It might sound intolerant, but it is what it is. Jesus didn't leave room for him to be just one of many options. Jesus makes it clear here as well that none of us can be good (bear fruit) without His help.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Poetic language to be sure, but make no mistake, if you are a follower of Jesus, you will bear fruit. If you do not bear fruit, you will be cast into the fire. This is the New Testament clearly saying that God will punish those who does not put their trust in Jesus Christ.

9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

You can re read this last paragraph. Each verse is so full of truth you might miss all of it with just one reading. Jesus is the epitome of Love and he is telling you the truth about God sending people to hell so you may be full of joy. What is that saying? Meditate on this for a while.

People (usually professing Christians) tell me all the time that to talk about God's judgment is "un-loving" when the very example Jesus gave is right here doing just that. Jesus didn't say, "Repeat this prayer", or "Ask me into your heart." He said, if you are truly my follower, you will bear fruit. If you do not bear fruit, my Father will cut you off and cast you into the fire.

Love. Judgement. Friend. Fire. Life layed down. Cut off. Clean. Pruned. In Christ. Obey. All of these words are in the Bible, in fact in this very chapter. A complete understanding of the gospel comes when you don't cut out the parts of God's word you don't like.

To love someone, to really love them, is to tell them the truth. Go tell someone you love today the truth. Happy Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Recall Notice

(Originally by Dudley Rutherford)
The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Subsequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some other symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental Component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:

1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E . (Believers' Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes. WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention! You may contact your maker any time by "kneemail."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Don't Judge Me!

"Judge not lest you be judged. You therefore have no right to judge me when it comes to my sins!"

The world often takes this verse out of context and uses it to accuse Christians of being "judgmental" when they speak of sin. In the context of the verse Jesus is telling His disciples not to judge one another, something the Bible condemns (Romans 14:10; James 4:11). In Luke 6:41,42 He speaks of seeing a speck in a brother’s eye. In John 7:24 He said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

If someone steals, lies, commits adultery or murder, etc., the Christian can make a (righteous) moral judgment and say that the actions were morally wrong, and that these sins will have eternal consequences. Chuck Colson said, "True tolerance is not a total lack of judgment. It’s knowing what should be tolerated—and refusing to tolerate that which shouldn’t."

(More at The Evidence Bible)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

Works do not justify us by any means. But they sure seem to be an evidence, or fruit, of our salvation. If you are saved, why wouldn't you obey Jesus? Why wouldn't you obey His commandments?

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"

23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Again, Jesus makes it clear that there is no such thing as a "Carnal" Christian. There is no way to reconcile a person who loves Jesus and a person who loves sin.

25 "All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
"Come now; let us leave.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Back in the Saddle

I have missed a couple of weeks out on our regular Friday night fishing expeditions. But, tonight, I got back out there. Tony, Joey, Haig, Jerry and a bunch of new people met up at the Valencia mall. I was a little apprehensive of stealth witnessing inside a mall, especially one with Westfield security. But, my fears were unfounded as it was a great fishing area. We barely broke up from opening prayer and Jerry and Haig had started a conversation with a young man. I asked a couple of kids standing around if they had seen a million dollar bill, and they said they saw one last week. They hadn't gone through the 'good person' test, so I went right into it. One young lady said she was scared to die, and was really interested to hear what Jesus had done for her. Wow, not five minutes into the night, we were all engaged in one to one witness encounters. Praise God.

We traded partners a little later and I went out with a young man, Brendon, who at 14 years old was willing to engage people with conversations about God's Law. Tonight's recording was me "throwing" Brendon into the waters. He wasn't sure how to start, so I walked up to a group of people and asked them if 'my friend Brendon here' had given them the million dollar question. I then sat back and watched him go. He sure was a lot more brave than I would have been at 14, and he did an awesome job. A little quick to the end, and then looked at me as if to say, "Um, what now?" So, I jumped in and went over it again with the people. I was coming up with some analogies that I hadn't ever used, but these kids seemed to have a lot of questions.

I noticed that in a group of people, usually one or two will be interested, while their friends try to get them to walk away. Each time, I notice the person who I am talking to asks their friends to wait, as they really want to finish the conversation. By talking to this one person, the whole group gets to hear the gospel presentation. Ironically, sometimes the one who is most engaged might not be the one with the softened heart. Sometimes a friend nearby is really the one that God is convicting of their sin, and they go home squirming over what they heard. I try to speak so everyone in the group can hear the whole thing. Then, I pray that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts so the gospel seed will sprout.

Later in the night, I saw a group of about twenty kids standing outside the food court. I walked into the middle of them with a wad of millions and started passing them out. Next thing you know, I was doing a mini 'open-air' right at the mall. They were completely glued to the spot, and most of them hung on my words as I explained to them their necessity for a Savior and what Jesus had done for them. It was quite a crowd and mall security came over and watched me for a while. They didn't say anything, as I really wasn't doing anything more than talking. By the time I finished I didn't see them their anymore. I want to make sure to have us rotate our locations regularly enough so that we don't draw too much security attention.

Well, like I said, I have missed a couple of weeks, and tonight I really wasn't feeling up to going out and sharing my faith, but I did it anyway. And, you know what, once I took my eyes off my own feelings and put them on Jesus, I felt much better. I came home feeling much better than how I felt leaving the house. God is able to bless your faithfulness. Please pray for the hundreds of kids who heard the gospel tonight at the Valencia Town Center. And, if you haven't been blessed by sharing your faith with a group of strangers, I pray that you know what that feels like soon. If you need help finding someone to go out with, please let me know, and I'll help you get paired up with someone who can help you step out in obedience and faith.