“Keep on Keeping on”
The man who replaced me when I retired five years ago decided to move on to another ministry. To make a long story short, I returned to my previous position for three days a week during the search process for a new Director of the Counseling Ministry. I found it fascinating how many people looked at me with surprise because I went back to work. The Lord quickly prompted me to use their surprise to witness his wonderful grace.
The Amazing Providence of God
Lighting, even with a surge protector, took out my desktop computer. This afternoon I had a cancelation of a class, MLK Day. So, I used the time to shop for a computer. A young man, about 25 years old, waited on me. In the process, I told him what I do and for what purpose I mostly used a computer. This provided the opportunity to share with him how the Lord had already touched one couple and began moving them toward reconciliation. This presented a natural segway for me to invite him to service at our church. Since he was not pressed with another customer, I capitalized the time to give my testimony and, in the process, the gospel. I know where he works and will follow up.
How interesting. A man resigns. I am asked to fill the slot. In the first week, a counseling case turns to the right. Lighting takes out a computer. And shopping provides the occasion on a holiday when business is light, and my salesman has time to talk and listen. Providence, commitment to evangelism, opportunity, and use of skills honed over years of counseling and a young many respectfully and joyfully listened to the gospel.
Amazing Authority to God
Whether in the counseling center or the shopping setting, intentionally use God’s providentially working to enhance an evangelistic or counseling opportunity. I am reminded of Matthew 28:18-20. While going make disciples! Winning, baptizing, and discipling with the authority of heaven. The ambassador to a foreign nation goes with the authority of the President of the United States. That has to be a rather heady experience. We have the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King to whom every potentate does or will bow the knee.
The Amazing Experience of Leading Souls into Eternal Life
Another task that comes with this interim appointment is teaching the Lay Counselor Training Course on Wednesday nights. In the classroom next to our class is another training program teaching people how to do step one in that commission of Jesus, evangelism. Having completed the in-class training phase, they are now conducting fieldwork. They meet for prayer and are then dispersed by teams of two to places like the campus of the University of Alabama to engage folks and walk them through the gospel. Then they return to the classroom to report and share experiences. So far this semester, they have been seeing four or five conversions each week. It goes without saying that there is great excitement and lively praise seeping under the door and making its way into the closing minutes of our class.
The Amazing Joy in Seeing Christians Discover the Joy of the Lord Through Obedience
While the joy of evangelism occurs from time to time in the biblical counseling office, the joy that is regularly experienced comes from watching Christians find, sometimes for the first time, and many times a renewal, the joy of the Lord through learning how to implement the Word of God.
Many believers who come to counseling have never been taught the dynamics of forgiveness, for example. Their personal lives have spiraled into the pit of bitterness, and sometimes their marriage is on the brink of disillusionment. Then with knowledge and understanding invigorated by the power of the Holy Spirit, they forgive (even gross offenses like adulty or pornography addiction), and obedience births joy and reconciliation. This is the discipleship process one on one.
Keep on keeping on! Jesus’ command has that built engine. We are entrusted with the commission. As we are obedient, others become obedient to bow the knee, find eternal life, bow the need, repent and forgive, or whatever else is needed. In the process, the gospel spreads, the body of Christ is populated and harmonized, and the culture is impacted with righteousness.
So, my friends, evangelize and diciple!!!