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Daily Devotional for Wednesday November 22, 2006
A Challenge to Share Christ with your Family and Friends this Thanksgiving
(John 3:16; Romans 10:10; Ephesians 2:8-9)
I received an email yesterday from a woman that I get quite often. This dear woman was racked with guilt after one of her best friends died. Her friend had never expressed much interest in God or the Bible and most likely died in her sins and her soul is lost for all eternity. Faced with the likelihood her friend is in hell forever, the woman was bemoaning the fact that she had passed on numerous opportunities to witness to her, especially in the final months of her life as she battled with cancer.
She recited for me all the various excuses she had come up with for not sharing Christ with her friend. However, now that her friend was gone, probably in hell for eternity, none of those excuses for not making the effort to tell her friend how to know Christ as her Savior seemed very good any longer. I tried to console this woman, reminding her that the decision to accept or reject Christ is one each person has to make for themselves. She couldn't make that choice for her friend.
Sadly, I get emails like this every day from people who are dealing with the guilt of not taking the time to tell a family member or friend about the Lord and His love for them. As you prepare to be with your family and friends during this Thanksgiving, I want to challenge you today to take the time, make the effort, to share the Gospel with those who don't know Christ as their personal Savior. Remember, you can't save anyone, that is not your job. What is your job is to tell them how they can be saved. What they choose to do is ultimately up to them, but God is calling you to be His vessel to bring them the message of everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ.
I realize that for many people, sharing the Gospel with your family members, with your friends, can be difficult. Ultimately, you are afraid of their rejection. Remember, they are NOT rejecting you, they are rejecting the Lord. How can you claim to love a person, knowing full well if they died today they would spend eternity in hell, when you have the words of everlasting life to help them escape that eternal horror and find their rest and peace with the God who created them and loves them so much? If you really love a person, you will love them enough to tell them about Jesus!
Listen my friend, the cold hard reality of this life is that one day we will each die. The Bible tells us that tomorrow is promised to none of us. Each day is literally a gift from God. Death is final. One moment you are alive, the next moment you are dead. This life as we know it is over that quick. As soon as you take that last breath you are standing before God. In that instant the ONLY thing that matters is your relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have rejected Him and die in your sins, the Bible says that you will be cast into everlasting darkness, forever separated from God your Creator. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you will be ushered into God's presence and dwell with Him for ever and ever.
*Each person who lives this life will die and stand before God at that moment. This includes your mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, husband, wife, grandmother, grandfather, grandson, granddaughter, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, cousin, and any other family member, as well as your friends, neighbors, those you work with, go to school with, recreate with, and encounter during your day-to-day life. I pray that you will never be able to look at a person in your life again without thinking about the fact they will die one day and have to stand before God. Will they be ready for that moment? Do you care about them enough to ask them if they are ready for that moment?
Let me give you a couple of easy ways to share the Gospel with those you will be with this Thanksgiving. A short but powerful presentation of the Gospel with an invitation to accept the Lord is on this video clip I created: http://www.liveprayer.com/altarcall.cfm. Another powerful presentation of the Gospel was the Liveprayer TV program last Friday night, November 17th. My message was, "One road to God." At the end of the message I gave an invitation and over 500 people we know of responded and accepted the Lord as their Savior. The link to that program is at: http://www.liveprayer.com/archives.cfm. These are two easy ways for you to share the hope and love of Christ with your family members and friends this Thanksgiving, giving them the opportunity to make Christ their own.
I love you and care about you so much. I know many will be traveling this Thanksgiving and I pray for traveling mercies as the Lord blesses your journey. I pray that God will richly bless the time you have with your family and friends in these coming days. I know many will be with people you only see during Thanksgiving and Christmas. May the Lord allow this to be a very special Thanksgiving as you spend it with those you love and care about. The holidays are always a special time in our lives and I pray that this is your best Thanksgiving ever.
I will also be praying that you remember what Thanksgiving is all about. A time to give thanks to God for all of His many blessings. Make the time to get to church this Sunday, even if you haven't been for a while. Use this opportunity to invite those family members and friends you are with to join you. Above all, pray and seek the Lord for His wisdom and boldness in allowing you to make it a priority this Thanksgiving to use the opportunity you are with your family and friends to tell them about Jesus and His unconditional love for them. I will be praying for you as you are faithful and obedient to tell those in your life about the Lord and that God will prepare the hearts and minds of those you share His love with to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
What they choose to do with Jesus is a decision they have to make, but telling them about Jesus is a decision YOU have to make!