A coin left at Walmart
V1 Righteousness by faith realized means unlimited friendship with God; this is the ultimate conclusion of the Gospel. Jesus Christ is the legal authority of our testimony
V2 He has welcomed us with open arms and reinforced the fact that our access into this grace-gift is guaranteed by faith. We stand fully established in grace while we boldly rejoice in all that God’s opinion communicates and anticipates for us.
V3 Our joyful boasting in him remains uninterrupted in times of trouble; we know that pressure reveals patience. Tribulation doesn’t have what it takes to nullify what hope knows we’ve got!
V4 Patience pproves legal tender; which buys more positive expectation.
V5 This kind of hope does not disappoint; the gift of the Holy Spirit completes our every expectation and ignites the love of God within us like an artesian well.
V6 God’s timing was absolutely perfect; humanity was at their weakest when Christ died their death.
V7 It is most unlikely that someone will die for another man, even if he is righteous; yet it is remotely possible that someone can brave such devotion that he would actually lay down his own life in an effort to save the life of an extraordinary good person.
V8 Herein is the extremity of God’s love gift: mankind was rotten to the core when Christ died their death.
V9 If God could love us that much when we were ungodly and guilty, how much more are we free to realize his love now that we are declared innocent by his blood?
V10 Our hostility and indifference towards God did not reduce his love for us; he saw equal value in us when he exchanged the life of his son for ours. Now that the act of reconciliation is complete, his life in us saves us from the gutter-most to the utter-most.
V11 Thus, our joyful boasting in God continues; Jesus Christ has made reconciliation a reality.
I was walking through Walmart last night (late) looking for a grill to prep for a Mothers Day cookout. My grill of eight years has finally corroded into uselessness. My brother in law (Zachary) was with, his goal was to find A/C refrigerant for his car. We were in the automotive section and I had found a stack of silver metal cans of refrigerant. I noticed something odd about one of the cans. Upon closer inspection there was a larger silver coin. On one side was a copy of the 10 Commandments and on the other was a salvation message. I posted a picture of it above.
Here is my blog…
How probable is it that the coin or tract hits its mark? Historically I have apprehensive about tracts. Most have a fire insurance mentality, turn or burn, get out of jail free feel. I first gave into God at a little back woods Pentacostal church in Wisconsin. I was probably in first grade. My parents brought my brother and me there to see “A Thief in the Night.” A movie portraying the rapture. At the end of the evening a little old gray haired lady pulled my brother and me up to the altar. I was young and brought up Lutheran to this point. Between the movie and the old lady urging and twisting my mind about the need for fire insurance I made a commitment.
I had no idea what I had done or what it meant, all I know is I had just had the HELL scared out of me, literally! But guess what it didn’t stick very well. My family started attending a home church. The pastor ran a bible book store that was actually the front half of the house and they lived in the back. There were just a handful of families and we met in their living room on Sundays. I was a kid and church didn’t mean too much to me. I was only in it for my fire insurance. I was scared of hell. My paradigm was to show up, don’t break the Sabbath. I would strive to be good and always fall short. My falling short brought guilt and self condemnation. I would then strive harder. It became a pattern. High school was the worst I felt bipolar or schizophrenic in my Christianity. I was one person in one group and another in other groups. I was always looking at my Christianity with a mentality of the coin pictured above.
The Law, the Ten Commandments, the weight of these drove me into guilt
For all have sinned and fallen short…
The wages of sin is death…
I was bound by the law and felt condemnation for not crucifying the flesh well enough.
The fire and brimstone message seems to bring out a temporary change but I want a real heart change. My conundrum, how to evangelize and make real change. Seriously if I was told a positive slant and learned of his grace and love and his heart towards me… I wonder how much less bandage and retooling I could have forgone. I have had the epiphany of his heart towards me and his love and grace poured out from before those three words in Genesis “In the beginning…” looking at Jesus as the pattern son, I don’t recall a mention of him pulling out a Chic Tract or the Four Spiritual Laws. I see him relational.
I’m asking your opinions and thoughts on witnessing. Let’s start a dialogue.
I couldn’t agree with you more…..I too was saved in a pentacostal church with fire and brimstone going to hell no matter what you do kind of pressures. I even had the pastor tell me I better be very careful to obey all the laws or I would make God mad and he would punish me and take my baby girl to teach me a lesson……I was apsolutely petrafied and went right to work to fix all my wrongness, and I even dilegently looked in every nook and cranny to find every last bit of wrongness because I loved my baby girl and waited 12 long years for her and she was a miracle!!! They said the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away…… To this very day as much as I know the real truth and the real love of God and all of the miracles He has performed in my life and other’s, and God has always been there for me and blessed me richly…… I still struggle with those pentacostal lies when I am going through trials.
I have found in my own walk that the very best and most effective evangelizing we can do is to live in love, walk in the fruits of the spirit and the wisdom of God, be peaceful spirited, non-judgemental and forgiving of all things – that’s when people look at you and say “I want what you have, tell me how to get what you have”…… that’s the open door to tell them all about Jesus!!! They are receptive when they see Jesus in us. Otherwise it is just talk and they cannot see any fruits. Im just sayin….. this has been my experience!! 🙂
Yup, I remember a Facebook pic of a group of christians at a gay pride event where the Christians were holding a sign with 2 words “we’re sorry” and that broke down more walls and opened more communication then Fred Phelps has ever dreamed.
yes, love, kindness, courtesy, and forgiveness cause people to melt!!! 🙂
I suppose there are testimonies out there of those who have been dramatically affected by a tract, but I’m not one of them, and I have never felt comfortable about using them. If we are with the tract and seeking to make a “connection” as we use it, then perhaps it can be a helpful tool. However, I have found that the best way to beat sin is to “Love God More”. My weaknesses drive me to love God more, which has always been the best path to me eventually overcoming! I think we should be aware that there is a danger to playing with sin, but if we really know Him, surely we will come to our senses and love Him more.
And the greatest of these is love
I too was raised with some legalistic teachings and was saved probably out of fear of hell, but what really turned my life around was when God showed me I was accepted by Him, that justified means accepted as right with Him..and that really just turned my world around. I was always trying to do the right thing to feel that He accepted me, and never feeling it was enough, and then He showed me He accepted me all along and it was through Christ’s work that I was proclaimed right with God forever, and that will never change because Christ’s work is finished forever! I would want to share Christ with people by focusing on what He has already done to present them right with God, that God accepts them already, that God doesn’t see any sin on them because Christ already took it away, that God sees them as His pure and innocent children just like any good Father would, and that Christ is already in them just waiting to start a wonderful dialogue and fellowship and mutual sharing of life with them! I remember back in the old days before I understood any of God’s grace and acceptance, I was sharing some about Christ with a Japanese friend. The one thing that really interested her was the idea of God’s unconditional love..she said she really wanted to know more about that. People are yearning for unconditional love and acceptance and to know that they are included/welcomed in God’s heart no matter how much they blow it!
Mirrors my thoughts