Monday, September 28, 2009

Day Eight: Sharing Your Faith

Congratulations! You made it through week one of our six-week (or 40-day) journey. We had some powerful meetings yesterday at the East Campus. I’m sure God did something similar at the West Campus. In Montclair, there was such an air of expectancy in each service that it was almost effortless on our part to receive personal breakthroughs from the Holy Spirit. Reading through the Book of Acts builds our faith to expect similar expressions in our day from the Holy Spirit.

In Acts chapter eight we discover the first instance in the history of the church that persecution occurred in association with the Christian faith. Notice, that while Stephen was being stoned to death because of his faith, Saul—the guy who we’ll later refer to as the Apostle Paul—was standing by giving approval to this wicked action.

Although this brutal act caused the church to go into a major panic and upheaval, the saints still shared their faith with unbelievers. Are you personally facing a tough trial? I mean a trial that absorbs all of your attention and energy. Even if your answer is “yes”, you still are called to share your faith with others. This is the model of Christianity that we are to emulate in our day.

In our journey to reclaim areas of our life that has been either lost, stolen by Satan, or simply non-functioning, let’s not limit it to material things. Why not include in your quest for wholeness the salvation of your family and friends. Consider these thought-provoking questions as you go throughout your day.

1. Have you established a prayer list which has the names of people of whom you’re praying for their salvation?

2. What are the names of those in which you’re intentionally developing a relationship so that you can influence them for Christ as the relationship grows?

3. Is your life so jam packed that there is no discretionary time for sharing your faith?

Notice how Phillip in Acts chapter 8 did not need an official church “evangelism” program to share his faith with people in Samaria or with the Ethiopian eunuch. Bloggers, let God use you this week as you endeavor to reclaim your evangelistic fervor!


  1. Hello Everyone,

    It’s a great day to be alive and I concur with Dr. Ireland that the East Campus was empowered yesterday and God is indeed faithful to his people.

    All that said, today’s reflection is very thought provoking because as believers, our trials never seem to end. I remember at the beginning of last year, I had just come from the December 31st service, after I got home; called my sister and we spoke a little. After we spoke, I went to bed, it was around 3 in the morning, as soon as I fell asleep, I saw a lady whom I know, she’s a prayer leader and she was smiling at me while at the same time giving me some warning. She said to me in the dream: “you’d better stay in prayer throughout the year because Jezebel hates you and she wants to destroy you.”

    At first, I was very upset because I honestly didn’t want to stay in prayer, it’s as if the revelation was just a command because I went through the hardest, most difficult time I could ever imagined, I was in dark confusion and my mind was racing in such a way that I went into a nervous breakdown, I couldn't function for some time. Looking at this now, I have seen the power of God that helpmed me through this storm and the inner development and I thank God, the reason I bring this is to highlight the point made about trial and that we shouldn’t refrain from sharing with others what God has done for us and how he wants to do the same for others.

    Pastor David posed a few questions which are reasonable because when we go through trials, I know for me the first thing I want to do does not correlate with sharing my faith with anyone. However, as Christ has allowed me to grow, it has become my desire and I take it as my responsibility to pray for backsliders. I was about fourteen years of age when I got baptized and was walking faithfully with Christ until I became disinterested because I wanted to see what the pagan world looked like.

    The individuals on my list would probably be those that have been deceived or that are currently being deceived by Satan. Not to be boastful, but in all humility and grace I can say that God has given me the ability to see people at their current state and identify with them in a way that I am able to share the love of Christ with them. Not too long ago, there’s a young lady at work that I was talking to about Jesus and most likely because of the negativity that would come out of her mouth, I had to shield myself from the negative and bring some light into some of the things she was saying.

    When I was younger, probably around 13 or 14, my grandmother along with some other missionary women would go on missionary tours around the market place to preach the word of God, and I remember how a woman shut me up because I was so young at the time and in her mind, I didn’t know what I was talking about. Being little at the time, I allowed timidity and embarrassment to take hold of me, but now with the help of the Holy Spirit, I don’t see it as a weakness when there are answers to people’s deepest hurts or pain I cannot answer, I would most likely sympathize with them and keep them in prayer. Usually, as I pray for people, I would go back and check on them to see where they stand and if I can tell them what they need to hear. Salvation is about healing, human has been deceived for too long and the deception make them powerfully blind that they think it’s real as I have seen people who are proud to proclaim their atheism or non-believer status. As I listen to them I also ask God to give them emptiness in their soul that they would seek him and find him.

    Hope everyone have a great week and I look forward to reading from others.

    PS: Dr. Ireland, may God continue to bless you beyond measure as you are a great man of God. The Holy Spirit is so proud of you and Jesus is even prouder because you follow the word of God line by line. I am going to tell you on behalf of Jesus that He loves you tremendously and you’re a good man. Always be blessed and everything your heart desires shall come to pass.


  2. I find it amazing that those who scattered throughout Judea and Samaria after Stephen was stoned continued to preach the word. It's so easy to proclaim things when one is in a large group, but the minute that person finds him/herself alone it's easy to get timid. In my mind, I think about how different it must have been to go from being in a community where the majority share your faith, to suddenly being with a few believers and trying to teach others about Jesus.

    In thinking through Dr. Ireland's questions, I connected with those who were scattered in Acts 8. In the past week I have tried to focus on influencing a particular person for Christ, and it has been a challenge. First, there's the challenge of me bringing up the topic in a way that encourages and doesn't hinder conversation. Second, there's the challenge of me resisting the worldly influence that this particular individual brings to the relationship.

    As I continue to dialogue with this person, I will be praying for the right words to say, and the creation of moments and opportunities when we can talk about Jesus. I'll pray the same for everyone else.


  3. Hello Erica,

    Nice to hear from you again, I will try to briefly answer the beginning of your first paragraph – remember that these individuals were with Jesus at the time, therefore they have an idea what they were talking about. If you remember in the first chapters of Acts, when Peter needed to select someone to replace Judas, he emphasized that it should be someone that has been walking with them - meaning the disciples and Jesus - during the time that Jesus was ministering to people, in order word – it had to be someone who knew the “ins-and outs” of Jesus’ teachings and earthly ministry.

    For the second part of your post, you said this: “I have tried to focus on influencing…” The triggered word is that you tried and most likely it seems as if the impact that you're trying to make on that individual is from your own strength. Nothing is done before its time. I would suggest that you do not try to coerce your acquaintance into being a follower of Jesus. As much as we have to do it, we also lead by example. This individual is most likely watching your every move as their bible. The way you carry yourself in their presence is what is going to win them to Jesus. Believers are called hypocrite a lot and I voiced that concern to God letting him know that we are not trusted as we should. Let your work speak for itself; don’t try to win your friend with words. Always remember that actions speak louder than words, show care, respect and confidence in what you believe and at the right time, the Holy Spirit will have already made this person’s heart ready to receive the good news you have to share. Hope this help and please keep on posting, I like reading your post.


  4. Good Evening,
    I wanted to share an experience I had last week on the first day of our journey. I had been praying for the women that I work with, that God would give me the words that would really minister healing to them. I was running a counseling group and the conversation took a sudden turn to God and the women shared how even when they were in their addiction they prayed that God would help them get sober and they believed He heard them. I believe God gave me this opportunity and the words to say and I spoke to them about the love of God. I felt the presence of God so strongly and the women seemed to have been ministered to by what I related to them. Because of the work I do, I am not always free to speak about Christ but because they introduced the subject I was able to speak. But let me say this, when I feel led by the spirit of God, I obey and let Him handle the consequences. I believe that this is only the beginning and I am excited!!

  5. Pastor, you spoke a prophetic word over my son at the Sunday 10AM Service and it fell upon not only him, but the Spirit in my wife and I as well. We have been on a 6+ year journey through a storm that has taken a great toll on all of us. The storm did, however, bring us from our old church to Christ Church to receive the Word and the Will to be a part of Operation Take Back. For this alone we are grateful to God.

    You spoke of us living beneath the appointed place that God has for us, and this is VERY true (that is more for the readers than for you), but God is lifting us up even now.

    We are ready to move on the enemy with sword in hand. As God told David when he asked about pursuing the raiders "Pursue them - for surely you shall overtake them and recover all". We as a family and we as a church are coming into the valley now, and we will put the raiders to the sword and take back our families and possessions, just as it is written!!

  6. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV)

    Pastor David, this is the word of knowledge that continues to blow like a mighty wind from our powerful (10 AM) Sunday worship service last weekend! For me, it was, as you suggested at the time, like a spiritual Battle of Thermopylae. Indeed, the spiritual battles of modern people of faith against evil and ungodly forces of our modern world are not unlike the physical battle of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan men against the massive Persian army in antiquity. But when people of faith join together, journey together and fight together as we are doing on this 40 day spiritual journey, no weapon, and no evil formed against us, can prosper!

    Unlike King Leonidas and his brave soldiers, we don’t have to wait for victories to come in the next generation – they are here within our grasp, by God’s grace, today. Let the walls come down in each and every negative stronghold in our lives as we lift a bold and mighty shout of praise!


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