The Greatest Gift You Can Give this Christmas… (Worldwide Evangelistic Outreach)

Click here to listen in 100 languagesDuring this time of year, the thoughts of many people turn toward the matter of gift-giving and receiving. Collectively, we spend a good deal of money and time going from store to store to get the “perfect” gift for people we love or people we simply want to impress.

However, God gave the entire world the greatest gift it would ever receive when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world in the form of a baby in a manger. Many people at that time — and many people today — overlooked the utter importance of this wonderful gift. This gift, which arrived in the humble town of Bethlehem and was born to two ordinary Jews, was the means by which God intended to deliver the world from the pain, suffering, and death that came about because of sin.

Jesus Christ began His career as a humble preacher, and He only preached for three years, but His words and actions echo down to us today because they have earth-shaking significance. He is the Saviour of the world who died to deliver us from our sins and the punishment of sin. Millions have decided to believe in Him so that they can escape the eternal punishment of sin which is Hell and have an eternal Home in Heaven.

So, while you are thinking about what gifts you can give or what gifts you may receive, allow me to share with you what some of the world’s most noted individuals have said about Jesus Christ — the gift God gave to the world. As you listen, I encourage you to consider giving your life to Jesus Christ, for that will indeed be the greatest you can give to Him. Continue reading

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“With Talent On Loan from God…” — A Thanksgiving Celebration (Worldwide Evangelistic Outreach)

Click here to listen in 100 languages.

On this Thanksgiving, I thank God for the talents and gifts that He has bestowed upon my family and me and that is no doubt the reason why I love to see people do what they are truly talented and gifted by God to do. It is a blessing to see singers, musicians, actors, actresses, athletes in all sports, writers, speakers, business people, doctors, cooks, auto mechanics, lawyers, and leaders of all types seemingly without effort and almost flawlessly doing what they were given by God the talents and the gifts to do. Continue reading

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Our Missionary Mission

Read | Acts 13:1-4

Paul and Barnabas set the standard for the church’s mission work when they obeyed God’s call to go forth. The local body of believers—those left behind to share Christ with neighbors and friends—equipped the men for their journey. They did so for the same reasons that apply today:

1. The spiritual condition of mankind. Romans 1:21-32 describes this sinful world. Unchecked sin leads people down a slippery slope toward a depraved conscience and, ultimately, a darkened mind that cannot perceive what is right. Every unbelieving person is sliding on that treacherous path.

2. God’s spiritual provision. The Father responded to mankind’s plight with grace: He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to save the world. On the cross, Christ bore the sin of every person—living, no longer alive, and yet to be born. The offer of salvation is for all; God’s grace is blind to race, creed, and color (Rom. 10:12). Those who believe in Jesus are forgiven their sin, and they will spend eternity with the Lord.

3. The commission from Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8 says we receive the Holy Spirit so we may bear effective witness to those who need salvation. Notice that we don’t simply begin at home and work steadily outward. People everywhere are waiting for the Good News. The word is to be carried far and fast.

The purpose of the church is to worship and witness. Some will go and some will send, but all are called to the work of spreading the gospel. This is not a suggestion; it is a command (Matt. 28:19). Believers living in God’s will are all to be involved in missionary work.

Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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How to Witness to Others Using Gospel Tracts

Why Use Gospel Tracts?

Christians are often nervous when they first begin sharing the gospel. While some take the “all out” approach to evangelism and immediately start witnessing one-on-one, others look for a way to ease themselves into sharing the gospel. gospel tracts are a great place to start.

A gospel tract is a small handout that contains the gospel. Some are direct and only contain a gospel message, while others use an attention-grabber to swing from the natural to the spiritual and present the gospel. The attention grabber could be anything from fake money, to trivia, to cartoons. A good gospel tract will have two things: 1) A biblical gospel presentation, and 2) A good eye catcher.

1) Be sure the tract is biblical. Sadly, a number of “gospel” tracts used today do not contain the gospel at all. The message will tell the reader to believe in Jesus, pray a quick prayer, and then rest assured they will go to Heaven one day. They will have no reference to sin, God’s holiness, judgment, or Hell. Be sure that the tracts you are distributing present the gospel clearly, effectively, and biblically.

2) Be sure the tract is eye catching. Although this second point is not as important as the first, I highly recommend you purchase tracts that are not simply a piece of paper with no eye-catcher or theme. In my own experience I have noticed people often are drawn into the design of a tract, and that design makes them more likely to read the gospel message. Please note I am not saying text-only tracts are worthless. Quite the excpetion! I know many old preachers distributed tracts like this. Today however, I have noticed people read tracts that catch their attention, and then present the gospel. For a list of tracts that are eye-catching, please see the “Recommended gospel Tracts” section.

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Pray for the Christians Under Siege in the Muslim World

Recently many Christians in Nigeria and the Middle East have died because of violent attacks against them, most of them believed to have been caused by al Qaeda. Whatever the case, please remember to be in prayer daily for our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ to stay strong in the Lord and become greater witnesses for Him in the face of brutal and bloody persecution. Pray also for us here in the States and other countries where we can worship God freely to support them in whatever ways we can.

Nina Shea, a Senior Fellow and Director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom had this to say about what we can do regarding anti-Christian violence in the Middle East:

Islamists exploded a bomb that killed 21 Coptic Christians and injured scores of others as they left a crowded New Year’s Mass at an Orthodox church in Alexandria, Egypt, thus continuing their practice of terrorizing this long-oppressed Middle Eastern religious group. This was hardly unforeseeable: Last holiday season, an Islamist attack killed six Copts celebrating Orthodox Christmas at a church in the Egyptian village of Nag Hamadi, and incendiary accusations and denunciations from various Islamist quarters against the Copts have been mounting since then. The Copts have begun to stage angry and desperate protests against Cairo’s failure to provide them with meaningful protection.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, Islamist militants continue the killing spree that includes last October’s attack on a Baghdad Catholic church, which killed 58 Sunday worshipers, including two priests. According to news reports, several people have been killed and dozens of others injured since then in a spate of Islamist militant attacks targeting Christian neighborhoods across Baghdad. One of the survivors of that bombing, a Catholic woman who lived in central Baghdad, was shot in the head while she slept today.

The Islamists behind these attacks — who have also mercilessly killed and maimed Muslims they do not agree with, especially those with more moderate views — hope to eradicate the Christian presence, which they view as impure. Egypt and Iraq are the last two of three remaining large Christian centers in the Muslim Middle East (the other is Lebanon), and Christians are the single largest non-Muslim religious group there. This period of intensified anti-Christian violence has significant social and political implications for that region, as well as security concerns for the West.

What can the United States do, apart from offering condolences?

Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini proposed today that EU aid should be reduced or eliminated for countries that do not protect Christian minorities. According to Stratfor, the global intelligence news agency, “Italy cannot stay ‘isolated’ in the battle for Christians’ rights and must shift from monitoring to action, Frattini said. The European Union should work with and encourage countries that respect Christians’ rights, he said. Italy will present a resolution on religious freedom to the United Nations; the resolution is supported by the European Union, and several non-EU nations have expressed ‘great interest.’”

For humanitarian reasons and for our own security, the Obama administration and the new Congress should support these initiatives.

The greatest thing that we can do for Christians under persecution “Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” is to lift them up to the Savior Who we serve.

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Franklin Graham to Bring the Hope of the Gospel to Haiti

Sowing Seeds of Hope in Haiti

In just a month, Franklin Graham will bring the hope of the Gospel to Haiti. Find out how you can pray each day until then, and learn about a man who has overcome the tragic death of his wife and now is sowing seed of his own.

When Pastor Vladimir Dorsainvil pauses to hug a crying child or share a word of encouragement with a grieving mother, he is drawing on strength the Lord gave him when his wife and daughter were killed in the January earthquake.

“God will do the same for other Haitian people,” he says, “if they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. The people of Haiti need hope. That’s why it is important not only to have a festival, but a Festival of Hope. I pray that the Gospel—the power of God—will heal our people.”

The pastor’s prayers will be answered on Jan. 8 and 9, 2011, when Franklin Graham brings the hope of the Gospel message to Haiti’s National Soccer Stadium in response to a heartfelt invitation from 75 Haitian pastors. The local leadership team has been working under the direction of Pastor Jean Robert Bilda, in cooperation with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), to bring this Festival to fruition.

According to Festival Director Sherman Barnette, Haiti’s pastors want to “take back their country” from voodoo, devastation and hopelessness. “Pastor Bilda and the others were telling us that before the earthquake, the people were going about their everyday business. At that time, they were not open to the Gospel, and now they are. They see that their lives can be turned upside down in seconds.”

Barnette believes that the Festival will provide much-needed encouragement for the pastors and the general Christian community who now face a cholera outbreak on top of the earthquake devastation.

“We had Festival information meetings in five different areas. About 700 people attended those, and 493 churches were represented in these meetings – which is excellent from our standpoint.

“In my 20 years of doing this,” he adds, “I have never worked with a group of people more excited about a Festival and having Franklin come. As far as preparation for the Festival goes, all you have to do is hint that something needs to be done and they are all over it. They get it done.”

Discipleship trainer John Cass would agree: “The people were so gracious. In all my years of doing this training—for the last 10 or 12 years—this was one of most engaged groups. They were very excited about the material and the long-term potential for their churches, using these tools.”

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Recession? Depression? What Does it Matter?

The global economic meltdown has affected governments, families, and employers in a way no one saw coming. Of course, we’ve all been told that its just a recession, a temporary blip on the economic radar. But with more families struggling to keep food on the table, a nearly 10% unemployment rate in the U.S. (and some say the actual unemployment rate is really closer to 20% or more), and “homeowners” losing their homes at an unprecedented rate, this recession seems like a good deal more than what some would have us to believe.

In fact, more people are raising the term “depression” to describe our current economic crisis. Gluskin Sheff economist, David Rosenberg, told CNBC that “current economic conditions” are “a depression, and not just some garden-variety recession.” Whatever you want to call it, it seems as though the current financial crisis is not going anywhere for some time.

Interestingly, there is a story in the Old Testament book of Genesis (chapter 41) about a Hebrew man named Joseph who was living in Egypt, which was a world power at the time. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, received a disturbing dream, but he was unsure of what it meant. He called Joseph, who was known to be able to interpret dreams, and asked him what the dream meant.

Joseph’s interpretation was stark: After seven years of great plenty, there would be seven years of severe famine. In a modern context, we could say Joseph was forecasting a seven-year economic meltdown. Pharaoh very wisely decided to allow Joseph to lead the Egyptian government in figuring out how they would survive the coming depression. Joseph’s plan was quite simple, really. During the seven years of plenty, he decided to store up the surplus so that when the hard times came, the country would still have enough to eat. As a result, Egypt and the surrounding nations survived the famine.

Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and construct an effective plan for surviving the disaster because he trusted in God’s wisdom. Joseph’s Heavenly Father cared for him, and helped him to see the best way to avoid an economic disaster where millions of people could have starved to death.

Did you know that Joseph’s Heavenly Father is still alive today, and that He loves you just as He loved Joseph, and that He wants to help you and your family survive the difficult economic times that we face. If you want the peace and assurance of knowing that you have a relationship with the God who will give you wisdom and guide you through difficult situations, please read the following to find out how you can have a personal relationship with Him.

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