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Monday
Mar202017

An Open Invitation

“I don’t want to hear it…. I said no! I’m with my grandkids right now,” an older lady snapped at my friend. It was an unusually angry response to my friend’s cheerful greeting. But as we walked away, we both knew something more was going on.

“I was raised Baptist, but I stopped going to church a long time ago. Christians are hypocrites.”

“We have to get going. Sorry.”

“My kids…”

These were all things my friend and I encountered at the mall as we were street evangelizing. We would start off each conversation by asking people if they knew how much God loved them, if they knew He had a wonderful plan for their lives. Many times we were met with openness. Other people were shy or surprised. Sometimes the stark contrast in responses was interesting: from a smile of familiarity to an outburst of anger. It reminded me of the parable in the Gospels about the great supper.

Jesus said in Luke 14:16-20:

“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, [17] and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [18] But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.” [19] And another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.” [20] Still another said, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”’”  

New King James Version

During our time at the mall, more people were receptive to accepting Jesus than not. But it’s not fun being yelled at, especially when you know you’re offering someone the best gift in the universe.

In his Christian Survival Kit series, Andrew teaches about this very thing in a message called “How to Handle Persecution.” In it, he explains what’s really going on when you’re being persecuted. He says,

“People hated Jesus. If they hated Jesus, then if you are a true representative of Jesus, then they’re going to hate you. Not everybody, but certain people are…. If you are ministering effectively, the Holy Spirit is going to use your life and/or testimony to try [to] pressure a person to change, and if the person is receptive to God, then they’ll love you…. They’ll embrace you. They’ll look at you as a mentor, and they’ll receive you. And it will be a positive thing. But if the person is rejecting God, well, then they’ve got to reject you. Most people aren’t spiritual enough to be able to distinguish between [you and] the conviction they’re feeling come through you and…the power that’s behind you…. They’re just carnal. They’re looking at it as this is you that’s making them feel this way.”

Invitations for that great supper are still being sent out, and it’s for anybody who will accept it. “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’” (Luke 14:23, NKJV). As long as you are being kind and respectful, don’t take it personally if your “supper” invitation is rejected. It’s like what Andrew says: “Persecution is a backhanded compliment.” God wants to have a full house, so make sure you bring your friends!

To hear more about what Andrew has to say on persecution, you can get his individual teaching titled “How to Handle Persecution.” You can also get the complete Christian Survival Kit series.

Share a comment below if you can relate to this.

Reader Comments (3)

I agree that abortion and homosexuality is wrong. Lately my place of work have been hiring a lot of homosexuals, male and female. Now I have nothing against them, to each there own, but I've been approached by some who was trying to figure out my opinion on the subject, in which I told them I was not in agreement with it, told them a few scriptures and even use the phrase, Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. God teaches us always to love one another but as Christians, we shouldn't be afraid to stand up for what's right. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. GREAT JOB! Keep bringing the word.

March 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Dugas

Handling persecution as Andrew explains is to be expected when we offer Jesus. Lately I've been offering Jesus with a question.... it starts when I see someone suffering from a physical ailment or checking out with the cashier.... they always ask me, "How are you doing...?" My response is "spiritually I'm a 100 out of ten and physically I'm getting better each day." Then I respond , How about you.... I love praying for people is there anything I can pray for you..?

I've never had anyone turn me down... a few might say.... "I'm good" and I respond, "Great, I'm going to pray that God blesses you more" and since there name is usually on their clothes... I call them by name. I've had people respond in tears, with questions, and a request to pray for others. I've also had some say, I" want whatever it is you're offering"

For me, it's a way to show the compassion of Christ... that ends in a prayer,,,,and certainly plants seed. I love doing it.

Blessings for your post,

Judith

March 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJudith

I am by nature an extrovert and determined in my heart decades ago that I would never "be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" and would take opportunities given to me to share the love of Jesus. I have many stories regarding this, but one in particular stands out in my mind. I worked 6 years for a Jewish couple with 3 girls. When hired, I was cautioned against any proselytizing--I listened,but never actually agreed to anything. Several times I was politely "called on the carpet" for letting my Christianity come out.. It never deterred me and one evening when the middle child was virtually inconsolable due to separation anxiety (according to the child's therapist)--the parents were gone a good bit of the time and I was spending the night when this occurred-she begged me to help her. I began crying myself and told her there was nothing I could do to help,but I knew Jesus could--we held hands and I asked Jesus to calm her,reassure her, give her peace and a good nights rest,etc. and I ended "in Jesus name." This 9 yr old child raised her head afterwards and looked me straight in the eye and said "that was better than anything that therapist said to me." She went straight to sleep and never to my knowledge had another episode. In fact, she never went back to the therapist (I knew,because I was always the one who took her). The child told her mother she didn't need to go anymore--the end of that. Folks, we have to be bold and let Jesus deal with the fallout.

March 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGwen R. Willis

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