Hello Project Ezra! I pray that many of you will be able to join us for this year's Sermon on the Mount Saturday. The day snuck up on me a bit this year. For some reason, I thought it was next Saturday. In any case, this holiday weekend will be a great opportunity to share the gospel in the open air through the reading of scripture, and I pray that many of you will join us and invite others to do the same. The mission is this:
Invite a few friends to join you in taking to the streets this Saturday
Choose a spot with good foot traffic, or where people gather
Climb up on a bench, box, ladder, or something else that elevates you
Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and share the truth of the gospel
Be ready with tracts and Bibles for the follow-up conversations that follow!
There are lots of different places you could go for this reading. A local park, particularly one with picnic tables (which are very likely to be used this weekend), a downtown shopping area (lots of sales going on), or near sporting events or parades are all excellent places to read the word. Find a spot that allows many people to hear, but try to avoid blocking foot traffic or setting up right in the middle of someone's event. The message of the gospel is offensive enough. We don't want our personal behavior to add to the offense.
The Sermon on the Mount is one of those passages in scripture that I believe provides very easy jumping-off points into the gospel, but for those of you who are new to this type of outreach, here are a few ideas of where to start:
Matthew 5:15-16 - Let your light shine before men. This can be used to explain why you are sharing the message in the open air, that those hearing may praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:20-48 - There are many opportunities here to point out specific sins that many, if not all, of us are guilty of, and the fact that we can not meet God's standard of goodness. The most difficult, of course, is verse 48, where we are told that we are to be perfect. None of us come close.
Matthew 6:1-8 - This is good for showing the difference between true faith and religious hypocrisy, which is very common in our day. Draw the contrast between a said faith, and a real faith.
Matthew 6:19-21, 24 - Talk about laying up treasure in heaven rather than on earth. Most of our society is striving after material and earthly success, things that will burn away on the day of judgment.
Matthew 7:1-5 - You could choose to discuss the difference between the hypocritical judgment discussed here, and sharing the truth of God's law, and the dangerous position of those who deny Him. This is often characterized as judgment, when it is not.
Matthew 7:13-14 - Contract the narrow and the wide gates. Most people in our society will claim that all faiths believe basically the same thing, though they obviously don't. This is a good way to illustrate this.
Matthew 7:15-23 - This would be an excellent section to use as a follow-up from the previous passage. There are many false prophets, and many false believers, in the world. How can you truly know if you are in right standing with God?
Matthew 7:24-27 - I used this when I preached last week. If people are trusting in religious works or ceremonies, in their own goodness, or in the idea that God will forgive all sin, they are building their house on sand. The only sure foundation for our lives and for peace with God is the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
I hope these ideas are helpful, and I look forward to hearing your testimonies, and seeing your pictures and videos. Have a great weekend, and may God bless your efforts as you bring His gospel to the streets!
All for His glory,