Billy Graham Quotes

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion—it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”

“There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.”

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spine of others are often stiffened.”

“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”

“Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.”

“Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out.”

“Don’t ever hesitate to take to [God] whatever is on your heart. He already knows it anyway, but He doesn’t want you to bear its pain or celebrate its joy alone.”

“Many people are willing to have Jesus as part of their lives—as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. They may even profess faith in Jesus and join a church. But Jesus to them is almost like an insurance policy—something they obtain and then forget about until they die. What keeps you from being His disciple?”

“The very practice of reading [the Bible] will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise.”

“The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.”

“Salvation is an act of God. It is initiated by God, wrought by God, and sustained by God.”

“I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.”

Flip and Francois

A few months ago I spent several days in Uganda working with a wonderful ministry there called Four Corners (www.fourcorners.org).  Myself and two other men from Park Place went to train Pastors and church leaders in discipleship.

While we were there there was a Father/Daughter team waiting to serve alongside us.  We did not know them before we got there but we quickly found a common bond in our love for the Lord and for the nations.

Shane (the Dad) shared a story with us the very first night that we all found quite interesting.  He and his daughter (Hannah) had to travel a different route to get to Uganda than originally planned and were even delayed a day because of it.  They shared that they left one African country on an airplane and met a young man on the plane that they interacted with briefly.  Uniquely, they had the same connecting flight with him from the second country to Uganda.  This was very unusual but they smiled and laughed about this unique situation.

They left the airport that next day and drove 8 hours north to the town we would all be serving in.  To their surprise, this same young man was in that same rural town at the restaurant that Shane and Hannah went to eat lunch.

(I don’t know if you are picking up on this but this is now the 3rd country and 4th city that these two parties have “coincidentally” run into each other.)

While at lunch Shane found out that this young man’s name was Flip and he was from South Africa visiting his friend Francois.  The two young men were polite and certainly thought it was interesting to see these two in so many different places.  Only a few minutes after Flip and Francois left the restaurant, Shane and Hannah were disappointed in themselves for not taking the time to share the gospel with them.  So, Shane asked God to put them in their path one more time.

That is exactly what God did.  20 minutes later, at a small grocery store the two parties met again.  This time, Shane was not letting the opportunity pass him by.  Shane shared the gospel with these two young men.  They were both very kind but neither chose to follow Jesus at that time.

Fast forward a week later and our team was supposed to travel 2 hours in a different direction to go on a safari.  We had actually tried to cancel the safari but were unable to for unique reasons so we decided to move ahead with the plan.  You guessed it, as we arrived at the Safari entrance the only other car in line was the car of Flip and Francois.  We thanked God for such an unbelievable opportunity and hoped to see them at the hotel.  God providentially brought that about once again.

As we sat down at the hotel table, Flip and Francois laughingly greeted us and commented about how crazy this was to have met them again.  A few minutes later Flip approached our table.  He asked Shane if he could meet to talk with him about some things.  Shane agreed and ended up skipping the Safari trip and seeing all the wonderful animals to stay back and visit with Flip.

Flip had just a few questions about discipleship and following Christ, in which it was made clear that Flip was already a believer.  However, Francois was an entirely different story.  He had never made that decision to follow Christ.  He simply couldn’t ignore it anymore.  Shane was able to point Francois to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the powerful Word of Christ.

Moments later Shane and Francois were in the baptismal waters of the hotel pool.  Praise the Lord for his grace.  Praise the Lord that He pursues us in every country and every setting.  Praise the Lord for the faithfulness of one man to see the salvation of a soul to be more important the sight of an animal.

Should you ask Jesus in your heart?

I remember very distinctly as a young child believing that Jesus was in charge, trusting that Jesus was (and would always be Lord), and I remember being very emphatic that my friends needed to ask Jesus in their hearts.  However, I also remember, every time that I shared the gospel with someone and asked them if they would be willing to ask Jesus in their heart I had to explain to them what that meant.  I had to explain that it did NOT mean that a little Jesus was actually moving into the heart in their chest.  I had to explain that it did NOT mean that Jesus would only be in their heart and not still available to everyone.  I had to explain these things because this phrase does not make much sense.

Now, years later, as I serve as a pastor, I am reminded that the phrases we choose are extremely important.  I am regularly wanting for the descriptions I give to be easiest to understand, whether I am speaking with a 7 year old child or a 70 year old adult, I want them to comprehend what the Scripture is calling us to do.  In fact, keep in mind that there are perfectly understandable phrases that are marked out in Scripture and those are the ones I try to stick with.

  • Confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10)
  • Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10)
  • Repent of your sin (Acts 2)
  • Follow Jesus (Luke 9:23)

These are the phrases that are not only more meaningful because they are found in God’s Word but they are also more beneficial because they are easier to comprehend.

So, instead of asking Jesus in your heart…confess, believe, repent, follow!

Dear Mr. Obama

Dear Mr. Obama,

Thank you for serving our country as President over these last 8 years.  You have sacrificed time and energy to fulfill this incredibly significant position in our government.  Today is the day that you officially pass the torch to another leader.  I am sure that it is a bitter-sweet moment but hopefully it is one that you can cherish as you move forward to the next stage of service and activity.

As with some other people, I did not agree with all of your stances on issues, however, I am thankful for your consistent leadership and I can appreciate that you were willing to stand for what you believe to be best.

My convictions are based on the biblical principle that we, as Christians, are called to pray for our governing authorities.  Let me assure you that I have not only prayed for you regularly, but I have also, lead others to pray for you as well.  As a pastor in a congregation here in Mississippi I have regularly called on our congregation to lift up those in our government.  We have asked the Lord to grant you wisdom and discernment as you have had countless decisions to make.

Not only have we prayed for the decisions you have made on behalf of our nation, but I have personally prayed for you to make a decision of salvation.  I am not sure if you have or not, however, if you have not I want to urge you to call out to the Lord turning away from any and all sin in your life and asking God for forgiveness.  If you have made that decision than I simply want to rejoice with you as my brother and encourage you to seek the Lord through His Scripture to know Him more intimately each day.

In the days ahead, know that I will continue to pray for you consistently and lift you and your family up to the Lord.  May God bless you as He has so faithfully blessed our great nation.

Be Joyful,

Chad Hunsberger

7 Places to go to Share the Gospel

As followers of Christ, it is our responisbility to take the gospel to the lost.  We can find them all over the world.  But, here are 7 places you can nearby to share the gospel.

Your House – It is possible that there are people in your family or in your household that need the Lord.  These should be your first ones to share with.

Your Neighborhood – Right after you share with the ones in your house go to the houses next door.

Your Favorite Restaurant – Having brief conversations with the waiter/waitress or the person at the cash register can still give opportunity to share the truth.

Your School – If you are still in school this is where you are most of the time, use this as your mission field.

Your Job – At your work is often where you get to know people the best – use those conversations as ways to point people to Christ.

Your Church – There are people that are visiting your church that likely do not know Christ, don’t let the only time they hear the gospel be from the pulpit.

Your Hobby Group – Whether it is the baseball team, the cheerleading squad, the garden club, or hunting camp – there are people that need Jesus.

Think about it – these are some easy places to go, where you live, eat, study, work, and enjoy!

11 simple ways to display Christ to guests

When was the last time you visited a church for the first time?  It can be intimidating for sure.  Especially, if you are visiting to see if you want to possibly join.  Here are some practical ways to display the love of Christ to guests each week.

  1. Hold open the door – A simple gesture that can go a long way.
  2. Say good morning – Silence is awkward.
  3. Ask if they need assistance – Help them know where things are (especially if they have kids).
  4. Tell them your name – Sometimes you get all into a conversation and you keep your name a secret.
  5. Ask their name – Its less intimidating because you have already told them your name.
  6. Offer for them to sit with you – They may not take you up on the offer but it makes them feel as though you actually don’t mind that they are there.
  7. Introduce them to another church member – This goes a long way during a return visit, that someone else might actually know them.
  8. Introduce them to a staff member – Specifically try to connect them with the staff member that might best meet their needs.
  9. Introduce them to the Pastor – This always means a lot, as they are getting the chance to talk with the guy that is going to be talking with them for at least 30 minutes!
  10. Invite them to your small group or Sunday School – Again, remember that going with someone, even if you just met, makes that entrance so much better.
  11. Invite them to lunch – This is the perfect way to get to know them in a more casual setting.

5 Reasons People Don’t Share the Gospel

When I use the word “Reasons,” I really mean, excuses.  People give excuses for not obeying God’s commands all the time.  Moses did it in Exodus 3 and 4 and that was while He was experiencing one of the most unique presentations of God in all of history – The Burning Bush.  These are the most common comments I hear from those not sharing the gospel.

Fear of Embarrassment – Don’t want people to make fun of them.

Fear of No Response – Don’t want to be rejected.

Fear of Intense Response – Don’t want to be persecuted.

Fear of Ignorance – Don’t know all the answers.

Fear of Shame – Have sin in own life.

 

None of these excuses are acceptable.  Remind yourself that these are merely excuses and that you must be faithful to the commission of Christ and Make Disciples of all nations.

2 Stories to Tell

Just recently  my 8 year old daughter shared the gospel with her friend.  She wanted her to know that Jesus died on the cross for her sins and that she could have a relationship with him.  She told her that without Jesus we would be dead and would not live forever with Him.  This reminded me of the simplicity of the gospel and of sharing it with others.  I wanted to remind you that when sharing the gospel you are really just telling two stories.  Here is how this goes.

His Story – You tell the story of Jesus.  He came, lived perfectly, died wrongfully, and came back to life.  He took on a punishment for sins.

Your Story – You tell your story in light of His story. Who were you before Christ.  How did you come to know Christ.  Who are you after Christ.

Simple truths that you can share with others.