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Winning Souls, part 1
There is something about a mission trip that has a profound effect on those who go, and I think it has something to do with wisdom.
In Proverbs 11:30 Solomon says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” It’s not just mission trips that affect us; it’s really anything that has to do with ministry. Anything that brings people closer to Jesus is ministry. We have done some fun things in Ukraine, but we would have thrown away a lot of money if our only goal was to have fun. Fun was a by-product; we went there to minister to the needs of people, in the orphanages and villages during church planting trips.
There is something right about helping people. It brings us closer to the heart of God because God is a God of mercy and when we show mercy to others we are brought near to Him. And when we show mercy we receive mercy. “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy!”
I’ve been talking a lot about Proximity this year. Not only is the word and concept our theme for 2018, it is really our purpose as a church and as individuals within the church. We are to be drawing nearer to Christ, in Proximity, and to be helping others do the same. And honestly, that is what soul winning is all about. It is about helping people, a person, draw near enough in Proximity to Jesus to recognize their need of a Savior and then to the place of putting their faith and trust in Him as their Lord and Savior. And then further, that they will begin growing in their knowledge and trust in Him, moving ever closer in Proximity.
Anything we do to make the Kingdom of God function more efficiently has the ultimate objective of winning souls. So, this week, we are going to talk about the wisdom of soul winning. Let’s start off with the subject of wisdom which I think is a very fascinating subject. In the book of James it says, James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
This verse in James indicates that all it takes to get wisdom is to ask for it. Could it be that if you ask for wisdom God will just give it to you? I wonder if we confuse wisdom with intellect. It’s one thing to have a high IQ. It’s another thing to be a person of wisdom. The two do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. It’s quite common to find intellectuals who do not believe in God. The Bible calls them fools. “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” So you could be highly intellectual and still be a fool in God’s eyes. On the other hand you can have a man with an average IQ who is full of wisdom because he fears God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I believe this is a good definition of the wisdom God gives. The wisdom that God gives is all the knowledge and understanding necessary, to live a consistent Christian life.
What could be more “wise” than that? Who could be wiser than a man who obeys God in all things?
Medication: A Merry Heart
Joan decided to redecorate. She wasn’t sure how many rolls of wallpaper she would need for the bedroom but she knew that Buffy next door had recently done the same job, and the two apartments were identical in size.
“Buffy,” she said, “How many rolls of wallpaper did you buy for your bedroom?”
“Ten,” said Buffy.
So Joan bought the ten rolls of paper and did the job, but had 2 rolls left over.
“Buffy,” she said, “I bought ten rolls of wallpaper for the bedroom, but I’ve got 2 left over!”
“Yeah,” said Buffy, “So did I.”
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Isaiah 58:10-11 ESV
Today’s readings: Exodus 19 – 21