Greetings Project Ezra! This week the suggested reading is 2 Corinthians 5. This is a passage that should not only be for this week’s reading, but should be remembered every time we share the gospel. This description of our ministry of reconciliation, for indeed it is ours as it was Paul’s, if we are truly born again and are preaching the biblical gospel, is the pattern we need to be holding fast to. Listen to some of the things it says:
Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.
The ministry of reconciliation was given to us by God.
The love of Christ controls us.
We are ambassador’s for Christ, God making His appeal through us.
What a privilege to be entrusted with such a message! We may be the tool that God uses in bringing someone to faith in Him. This should bring us amazing joy, but also must make us consider soberly what we are doing. We must not take God’s word lightly. We must not take the fate of the lost lightly. If we love God, we will study to show ourselves approved, learning and memorizing His word. We will also go to fervent prayer, to make sure our hearts are right before Him, so that we are speaking with wisdom and humility as we persuade others. We must be controlled by God’s love in our actions and words. And If we really love the lost, knowing the fear of God, we will plead with them to be reconciled with God.
Please take a few minutes to watch this YouTube video. It was put together by Tony Miano, who founded this group, and I watch it from time to time to help remind me of where my heart needs to be when I go out to evangelize or preach:
There is another group of open-air preachers in my area who seem to preach in a very different style that this. They preach many things regarding the gospel which are true, but they seem to focus primarily on obedience to the law, and condemnation for those who do not obey. Several times recently I have had random members of the groups I have been preaching to come up to me and thank me for not being angry and hateful like “those guys”. I don’t say this so that you will think more of me, or to denigrate this other group. But please know that when you are reading the word and sharing the gospel publicly, even if it doesn’t seem like anyone is listening, they often are, and if you are putting your heart into the message, they notice the difference! If you care, they can tell. And we should care. We need to remember every time we face a crowd of lost souls as we step up onto our box or ladder, or as we pick up our microphone, that before we were saved, that was us.
So, I would encourage you, as you start your message this weekend, to share with those listening exactly why you do what you do. They will likely expect arrogance and condescension, and no doubt they have heard that before from professing Christians. So show them what a true heart for Christ looks like. And plead with them to be reconciled with Christ.
I would like to ask for your help in getting the word out about Project Ezra. I am in the process of putting together a new Project Ezra YouTube video, and would like to include more pictures and video. We have a lot of pictures on the event page, but I know there are more out there, and I know there are a number that were posted on former event pages that I am having trouble retrieving. So if you have any good Project Ezra outreach pictures, please send them over or post them. If you have any good video you would be willing to let us use, email me the footage. I’ll be putting most of the video together using Microsoft Movie Maker, so most general movie formats will be fine.
Finally, I will be posting the event sign-ups for several of our larger events a bit earlier. Particularly for The True Gift of Christmas and our Halloween readings. Both of these have tremendous outreach potential, so I would recommend starting to collect a team to participate sooner rather than later. And, of course, please ask them to join our Facebook group or follow the blog.
For the praise of His glory,