DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
1 Thessalonians : Chapter 2
1) You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2) We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3) For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4) On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5) You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6) We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7) Instead, we were like young children[a] among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8) so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9) Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10) You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11) For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
Evangelism – 9
Sammy Tippit: I want to welcome you back to our session of talking about how to share Christ with others. One of the greatest things you’ll ever do in sharing Christ with other people is to tell them what God has done for you. That’s an incredibly powerful tool that God has given. Your story is important not only to God, but it’s important to other people, and there will be people God will give you to share with.
I’m visiting with Wayne Jenkins, a friend of mine for many, many years and a guy I respect so much and what you’ve done sharing Christ with people around the world and in your own state and in your own community. Wayne, one of the problems I found when I was a pastor… Of course, most of my life has been as an evangelist, but when I was a pastor I discovered that most of the people in the church didn’t have meaningful relationships with people who weren’t Christians.
It’s a natural thing that happens. When you become a Christian, you have all of these relationships. Sometimes the people who will do the greatest job of sharing Christ are the brand new believers. As you grow in your faith, you develop strong relationships with other Christians, but then your circle begins to tighten up, and that circle becomes those people you know, you feel the same thing with.
That’s great, and that’s the way it should be, but we have to somehow break out of that and develop relationships with people, authentic, real, genuine relationships with people, and share Christ with them. Let’s talk about developing relationships with people who perhaps don’t think like we think, don’t feel what we feel, don’t know Christ. How do we go about doing that, and how do we keep that authentic and real and genuine?
Wayne Jenkins: I think Paul says it well in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 8, when he says he was delighted not only to share the gospel with them but to share his life with them. Building that relationship and sharing with them. I think there are several things that would help us. One is to be intentional. We have to be intentional about saying, “I’m going to find some people who I don’t have a relationship with, and I’m going to build a relationship with them.”
It may be that you’ve moved into a new neighborhood. It may be in the neighborhood you’ve been in for a while, but you don’t know your neighbors, but you’re going to work at doing that. Paul says, “I’ve become all things to all men whereby through some means I may reach some.” Paul was willing to do some things to do that.
I recall one pastor saying he entered a competition in a particular sport he liked, and he needed several people to work with him. His first thought was to get his staff and build a stronger bond in his staff. Then he said, “No, I’m not going to do that. I am going to reach out and find some people out here who like that sport, who would participate with me, who are lost, unbelievers.” That’s what he did. He said, “I had to put up with some stuff, sometimes some language, sometimes some things I didn’t like,” but in the process he was able to build a relationship with some unbelieving men and win some of them to Christ as a result of being intentional about it.
Sammy: I think this developing a relationship would be a lot easier than we think, because there are people all around us. When I started running and ran the Greek marathon, I found a camaraderie among runners. Of course, it has been a while. People can look at me and tell it has been a while since I’ve run, but I found this camaraderie among runners.
I discovered that it was very easy to share my testimony, because we had so much in common, and they would ask me questions, and for me to be honest, I had to tell them what Jesus did for me. If you just say, “Okay, Lord, I want you to use me to develop a relationship,” that’s what you’re talking about.
Wayne: Yeah, and that’s one of those things. It’s back to the prayer element, praying that God would open some doors for you to build a relationship with some of these people. You want to be intentional in your praying, intentional in your actions to build.
The second thing you’ve already brought up. When you were running, you were aware of the people around you. Who is it who’s around you? It could be a relative. It could be somebody you work with. It could be somebody you see on a regular basis all the time who you’ve just taken for granted. They’re there. They’re good people. You have to build that relationship with them and work at it.
Sammy: Go back to my running illustration. I was running with these guys, and you know, guys get to talking with each other. One of the guys says, “Hey man, I went out with these women and did this and did that.” Then he hits me and says, “Hey, Sammy, what about you?”
I said, “Well, I’ll tell you what. I used to do that, but you know what? One day something happened that changed everything.” “What happened?” Then I told him my testimony. That’s the kind of thing, that awareness. Again, you have to overcome the fear once you are aware. So be intentional. Be aware. What else?
Wayne: Be a friend. Look for ways to develop that relationship. Like this pastor who got a man on an activity. It may be that you take the person out to eat. It could be that there is a certain place… We found what we called our “fishing pond.” It was a restaurant where the same waiters and waitresses were there.
So we built a relationship with them because we went back to the same place to the same people all the time. We built that relationship, and we were able to share the gospel with them. So it’s finding ways to do acts of kindness, to invite them to places, to go do something for them, some way to nurture that relationship with them.
Sammy: Let me just say that people… I don’t care who they are. At some point in time, they’re going to get sick. They’re going to have problems. They’re going to go through struggles in their marriage. If you see those situations and you’re developing a relationship, reach out to that person. Sometimes it’s just a matter of saying, “Hey, do you need somebody to talk to? Feel free.” Sometimes it may be they need groceries. Help them with that, or whatever it might be. That’s what you’re talking about. Reaching out to them at that point of need. What else?
Wayne: The final thing is be a witness. If you stop at the other three… I’m intentional, I’ve become aware of these people around me, I’ve made a friend, but if you never get around to giving them the gospel, then you just made a friend, but you’ve not made a friend for Jesus, and that’s what we’re talking about, the difference.
It may be now that I’ve built this relationship I can ask Bill to come and go with me to Bible study or a small group, or it may be that I invite Bill to go to Sunday school or a worship service or a special kind of service. I can begin to work that way. It may be just like what you said. I get an opportunity God gave me to share my testimony with that person. But keep on using those things we have access to and those tools we have to now be a witness to that person and a constant exposure to the gospel.
Sammy: We talked earlier in one of our sessions about building a platform, and the platform is our life. This is a part of that platform. Is that right?
Wayne: That’s exactly right.
Sammy: One of the tragedies would be to build a platform and never use it. So we need to build that platform, where people know we care about them, we love them, we’re friends to them, and then within that context we begin to share Jesus. My guess is that most people listening right now have many people already in that sphere.
One of the things I would encourage you to do is to write out who it is you already know who you need to develop that relationship for Christ with, people you need to begin to reach out to, people you need to be intentional with. Just begin to make a list of those people, and just begin to pray for them, as we’ve talked about in our prayer sessions, and then you ask God to use you to reach into their hearts and their lives and begin to share Christ with them.
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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