Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday and Acts 17

Hello Project Ezra!  Happy (almost) Black Friday.  This week's post will be short, since I will be leaving shortly to head in to work.  For those of you who don't know, I am director or security for a very large mall, so I will be right in the middle of tonight's chaos.  Prayers are very much appreciated.  However, I pray that many of you will be out on the streets, using this tremendous opportunity to share the good news of the gospel.  Dress warmly, and go in a group if you can.  Black Friday can be interesting to say the least.
This week's suggested reading is Acts 17, which includes Paul address in  Athens on the Areopagus.  Just as Paul's heart was provoked by the idolatry he saw, our heart should be similarly provoked when we see the lust and greed that is so evident, on this night more than just about any other.  Like the Greeks, many people these days are always striving after something new, whether it is the newest electronic gadget, the most fashionable bit of clothing for the best price, or the latest piece of gossip on the internet.  All of these can and often are idols, which take the place of the love and devotion we should have for God.  So after reading the passage, here are some good points you could focus on:
Be like the Bereans, and examine the scriptures to see if these things we say are true
The worship of the creation rather than the creator
Things that promise fulfillment, but can never truly satisfy
Our life, breath, and everything else comes from God
Our life is a vapor, and the material things we accumulate can not help us in the next life

God has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man He has appointed.  Of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.

Don't forget to strive and pray for proper balance in your gospel presentation.  The gospel is both justice and wrath, and mercy and grace, and all must be centered on Christ's death and resurrection, and His role as our only mediator before God.

Evangelism Building Blocks
Transition from the natural to the spiritual - The scripture reading does this, and several of the subject areas above lend themselves to this.

God’s law and our sin – Use God’s law to bring conviction of sin, and passages that recognize our sinfulness to reinforce the fact.

God’s justice and the wrath we deserve – Talk about the God as a just judge, who because of his goodness, righteousness and holiness must punish sin.  Talk about what that sin looks like.

Christ’s cross and substitutionary atonement – Show what Christ accomplished on the cross and how that payment of sin can be applied to us.

Repentance and faith – Bring sinners to the foot of the cross and plead with them to turn from sin and trust in Christ alone.

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