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The Life-Giving Power of a Prophetic Word from The Lord

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21(NKJV) - Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Prophetic words are powerful. Last Sunday, my father-in-law introduced me to the prophet at his church, Bethel Christian Fellowship in Rochester, NY. With very little small talk, he looked into my eyes and began revealing God's heart to me with complete precision. It blew my mind and warmed my heart in a way that I really needed. Nothing he said was new, but he confirmed and affirmed what God had already been doing in the lives of Angel and I. He confirmed God's call on my life and reminded me of its importance to The Kingdom. He affirmed the gift of teaching I received from The Lord. He reminded me of the prophetic mantle. He encouraged me to keep writing books. He was concise. He was direct. He was precise. It was amazing.

John 6:63(NKJV) - It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

When someone speaks a prophetic Word from the heart of God, those words are "spirit-words". They are life-giving. They revive you. Two weeks ago, Angel and I were guests at the 11th anniversary celebration of Christ United Church in Loganville, GA. It's one of the most prophetic churches in the area. The guest speaker was Apostle Ann Marie Alman of People of Destiny Ministries in Brooklyn, NY. After the message which in itself was life-changing, she walked right up to me and began to prophesy. My goodness! What a Word from The Lord! She encouraged us concerning The Body Church and affirmed what God was doing in the ministry and personally for the two of us. Only The Lord knew how much we needed to hear that.

Isaiah 50:4(NKJV) - “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.

Why am I talking about this today? Because prophecy is real and I am a living testimony of how real it is. In your lowest moments, when you feel tired and worn out from the challenges of life, a prophetic Word from The Lord changes everything. There are people on this earth who have been called by God to speak His Word of Life into others and you need them in your life. I grew up in a household of prophets and almost took it for granted that The Lord spoke to us all the time. We didn't fast and pray for 40 days and 40 nights to hear from The Lord. We just listened.

I woke up this morning at 3:00AM and knew that The Lord wanted to speak to me. Not just that. He wanted to speak to you through me. Let me encourage you. If you have a prophetic gift, there are weary people waiting to hear God's Voice and they need to hear it from you. There are people sitting next to you at work, school or church hungry for a Word from God's heart. If God gave The Word to you, He expects you to deliver it. Do not be afraid. Be who God has called you to be.

1 Corinthians 14:1, 24-25(NKJV) - Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy... But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

Several years ago I sat in a Wednesday night service and watched a young man walk in off the street. He said that he was looking for a church and saw the sign so he came in. The prophets in the house began speaking into his life with such precision that he was completely overwhelmed. He fell to his knees in tears and worshiped God. By the time they were finished, his life was changed forever. It's been about five years since that night and now he's a vibrant part of the ministry. He got married about a year later and his wife is also a major part of that ministry. They had a baby last year and God continues to work wonders through their lives. That's the power of a prophetic Word from The Lord.

2 Corinthians 13:1(KJV) - This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

The bottom line is this. God is speaking but not everyone can hear Him for themselves. That's one reason why He raised up prophets. Another reason is for Him to confirm what He's saying to those who do hear His Voice. In other words, we all need prophets. Those of us who cannot hear from God need to know what He's saying and those of us who can hear from God need confirmation. If you are called to be a prophet, prophesy. If you are in need of a Word from The Lord, find a place where God speaks through His prophets. Don't make decisions without hearing from God first and receiving confirmation.

2 Chronicles 20:20(NKJV) - So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
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Ranking The Miracles of Jesus

When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” Matthew 17:24‭-‬27 NKJV

This is a sneak peek from the new book; "The Fish With The Gold In Its Mouth" is a continuation from yesterday's blog entitled, "The Fish With The Gold In Its Mouth (Sneak Peek)".

How many times have you heard teachings like that in your local church? How many books did you read about it? If you’re anything like me, not many I would assume. Yet, it was a sermon many years ago from my father, Apostle Emanuel Vivian Duncan, entitled, "The Fish With The Gold in Its Mouth" which first piqued my interest.

Growing up listening to my father preach shaped my perspective toward The Bible. I was always fascinated by his penchant for unearthing deep, life changing revelation out of seemingly innocuous scriptures. Like everything else Jesus said, this miraculous story is loaded with life changing principles with eternal significance. Nevertheless, before we go much further let’s put this in context.

Throughout the New Testament we read about the exploits of Jesus. In Matthew 4:23-25, He healed every sick person out of a multitude regardless of the nature of their diseases. In Mark 6:33-44 He multiplied five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men in addition to women and children. In Matthew 8:5-10, He healed the centurion's servant with a word. A few verses later, He simply touched the hand of Peter's mother in law and she was instantly healed.

Again, in Matthew 15:32-35 He multiplied seven loaves and a few fish to feed another four thousand men in addition to women and children. In John 11, He raised Lazarus to life after he was dead for at least three days. These are just a few random examples which illustrate the caliber of miracles Jesus performed while He walked the earth.

Hence, in the grand scheme of things it is understandable why this account in Matthew 17:24-27 of Jesus directing Peter to catch a fish with money in its mouth to pay taxes doesn't get that much attention. Think about it. If the Academy Awards had a category for the miracles of Jesus this one would not even get nominated. It's just not on the same level in terms of dramatic effect. If measured only by the number of lives impacted perhaps feeding the five thousand would win the award. Or if measured by the level of impossibility, bringing Lazarus back to life would be the winner.

To be continued...

Do you want to write a book? Many people do, but very few are able to get it done for various reasons. Let that not be your story. Learn tips and tricks for effectively putting your thoughts on paper in a cohesive, continuous manner. Work with a group of other writers who share the same goal.

Join our club at Coffee Shop Conversations. We'll be working together on our books this year. Bring your ideas, share it with the group and let's help each other write our books. Say goodbye to writer's block. If you're stuck, we'll help with ideas to move the book forward. Once the books are complete, we'll learn how to get our books published for free. You just saw a sneak peek of the book I'm working on during Coffee Shop Conversations.

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Highlights from Coffee Shop Conversations: Book Writer's Club

Do you want to write a book? Many people do, but very few are able to get it done for various reasons. Let that not be your story. Learn tips and tricks for effectively putting your thoughts on paper in a cohesive, continuous manner. Work with a group of other writers who share the same goal.

Join our club at Coffee Shop Conversations. We'll be working together on our books this year. Bring your ideas, share it with the group and let's help each other write our books. Say goodbye to writer's block. If you're stuck, we'll help with ideas to move the book forward. Once the books are complete, we'll learn how to get our books published for free.

Date - Thursday February 9th, 2017

The Body Church
3015 Rainbow Dr,
Suite #142,
Building #3009,
Decatur, GA 30034

**Located in Building 3009 in South DeKalb Office Park, 3015 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, GA 30034**

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays - 9:00 AM

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

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Decatur Community Workshops: Preventing Burnout

This video provides highlights from our recent workshop "Preventing Burnout". This event was a production of Decatur Community Workshops and Singles Point of View. It was hosted at The Body Church, 3009 Rainbow Drive, Suite #142, Decatur, GA 30034.

Our faith-based group hosts monthly workshops in the Decatur area that are free, interactive and open to the surrounding community. Topics include leadership, personal finances, investing, professional networking, career advancement, real estate, grant writing and many more. We are open to suggestions and are always interested in welcoming new people. If you love to learn new things especially for free, this group is for you. For more info, visit www.meetup.com/decaturcommunityworkshops

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Prayer: God Sees What We Can't See!

If we see through spiritual eyes like God does, we will always be in agreement with God. Without that perspective, suffering, sickness, persecution, loss, afflictions and other things like it will make absolutely no sense to us. Why do they have to happen? What’s the use? We will never know until we see it from a spiritual viewpoint. When we pray we have to understand that God sees all and knows all. As a result, we have to trust His perspective on every issue we bring before Him.

Date - September 25th, 2016

The Body Church

3015 Rainbow Dr,

Suite #142,

Building #3009,

Decatur, GA 30034

**Located in Building 3009 in South DeKalb Office Park, 3015 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, GA 30034**

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays - 9:00 AM

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

0

Decatur Community Workshops: Young and Married in Atlanta Extended Video Highlights

This video provides just a few highlights from our recent workshop "Young and Married in Atlanta". This event was a production of Decatur Community Workshops and was hosted at The Body Church, 3009 Rainbow Drive, Suite #142, Decatur, GA 30034.

Our faith-based group hosts monthly workshops in the Decatur area that are free, interactive and open to the surrounding community. Topics include leadership, personal finances, investing, professional networking, career advancement, real estate, grant writing and many more. We are open to suggestions and are always interested in welcoming new people. If you love to learn new things especially for free, this group is for you. For more info, visit www.meetup.com/decaturcommunityworkshops

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Decatur Community Workshops - Extended Video Highlights from Living Single In Atlanta

This video provides just a few highlights from our recent workshop "Living Single in Atlanta". This event was a production of Decatur Community Workshops and was hosted at The Body Church, 3009 Rainbow Drive, Suite #142, Decatur, GA 30034.

Our faith-based group hosts monthly workshops in the Decatur area that are free, interactive and open to the surrounding community. Topics include leadership, personal finances, investing, professional networking, career advancement, real estate, grant writing and many more. We are open to suggestions and are always interested in welcoming new people. If you love to learn new things especially for free, this group is for you. For more info, visit www.meetup.com/decaturcommunityworkshops

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How Do We Evangelize? - Be Concise: Know the Gospel And Keep it Simple

Be concise: Know the Gospel & Keep it Simple

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 18 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 17, "How Do We Evangelize? - Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus (Part Three).".

The third practical key to evangelizing is “Be concise: Know the Gospel & keep it simple”. As mentioned earlier in this series, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 13 years of age. Perhaps if I had not been able to understand the truth that was being presented to me, I may not have made a decision to accept Christ.

John 3:16-17(NASB) – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

The truth of the Gospel is to be kept simple. Nothing should be added to it nor taken away from it. The Gospel is powerful in itself and will cut to the heart of its hearer. When we lift up the name of Jesus, He will draw mankind to Himself. The Gospel does not need our help in the form of human efforts, gimmicks, or manipulative words to persuade people to The Cross. As Christians, our role is to present the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ and trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

1 Corinthians 2:4 (NLT) – “And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 1:16 (NASB) – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

John 12:32 (NTL) – “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself."

As the saying goes, "less is more". Though we present The Gospel in a simple fashion, it still has the power to affect people's lives. Jesus came from heaven to earth through virgin birth. He lived a sinless life and was crucified on The Cross to pay the price for the sins of all mankind. On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. Then, He ascended to the right hand of God the Father and He is coming back again.

Let’s look at how Peter shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ and three thousand souls were saved that day.

Acts 2: 22 -41 (ESV) – “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says ,“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

You may be saying, yeah, but I am not the Apostle Peter. That is true! However, you are filled with the same Holy Spirit and you are armed with the very same Gospel!

So, how do I evangelize? What should I say when leading someone to Christ? I am so glad you asked! 🙂 Let’s look at some scriptures to formulate a practical way for you to lead someone to Christ. Here are seven words that may help you remember how to share The Gospel: Everyone; Jesus; Gift; Grace; Faith; Saves; Pray.

1.) Everyone. All of us have sinned and are in need of salvation.

Romans 3:23 (NASB) – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

2.) Jesus. Jesus died to save us all.

Romans 5:8 (NASB) – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

3.) Gift. Salvation is a free gift. We all deserve death as payment for our sin.

Romans 6:23 (NASB) – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

4.) Grace. We are saved by grace and grace alone. Not by our good works or deeds.

Romans 11:6 (NASB) – “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

5.) Faith. Salvation comes through faith. We must believe.

Romans 4:5 (NLT) – “But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.”
6.) Saves. God saves anyone who calls on Him.

Romans 10:13 (KJV) – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

7.) Pray. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.

Romans 10:9-10 (NASB) – “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

The Prayer of Salvation:

“Heavenly Father, I come to You right now admitting that I am a sinner. Today, I choose to turn away from sin, and I ask that You cleanse and forgive me for all of my sin. I believe that Your Son, Jesus died on The Cross to take away my sins and He rose from the dead so that I could be forgiven and made righteous through faith in Him. Jesus, I invite you to come into my heart and be the Savior and Lord of my life. Jesus, I choose to follow you for the rest of my life. Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit and guide me day by day. I declare right now that I am a child of God and I belong to Him. I am free from sin and full of the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am saved in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Today, go out and share The Gospel with someone today! Remember, keep it simple and let the Holy Spirit do the work. Next in this series we will review a fourth practical key to evangelizing; “Sola scriptura: Stick to the Word of God”.

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Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus (Part Two)

Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus (Part Two)

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 16 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 15, "How Do We Evangelize? - Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus.".

I hear the Lord saying to us, “Enough, already!!! How long will you waver between two opinions? If God is God, serve God if this is not pleasing to you, serve another. For those who choose Me, please stand with holy hands lifted. Your families are dying, your marriages are dying, your friends are dying, and your nation is dying. Live holy so that your lifestyle testifies of Jesus Christ. It’s time to evangelize and save the lost!” - Word From The Lord

The second practical key of evangelism is to Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus. Today is a continuation from yesterday.

3.) Christians must model holiness to others. The scripture reminds us not only to tell others about living holy, but we are to set examples for others in our speech, love, faith and purity. What does this look like? How is this even possible? With the Holy Spirit's help, of course!

1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV) – “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

No matter your age, gender, ethnicity or geographic location, as Christians we are called to live holy. The scriptures instruct us to flee from sexual immorality. This includes renouncing our indulgences in viewing lude images, pornography and masturbation. The Word of God reminds us that there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Additionally, we should avoid obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes as they are unfitting for the children of God. This may mean making changes to the set of friends or acquaintances we allow to influence us.

Ephesians 5:3-4 (NLT) – “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB) – “Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."

Since we become what we behold, the more we spend time seeking the face of our loving God, the more we become like Him. As a result, we will model His holiness to others more and more. This transformation process requires us to abide in Christ and seek His face continually. Our love for Him should compel us to long to spend time in His presence. God longs to spend “face time” with us even more than we long for Him. If we draw near to Him, He promises to draw near to us and we will be changed more into His glorious image. He loves us so much and it is in His presence alone are we truly changed.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) – “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

John 15:7 (NLT) – “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!”

1 Chronicles 16:11 (NLT) – “Search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek Him.”

James 4:8 (NKJV) – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded”

Sadly, we live in a generation that loves to be entertained and will invest a great deal of time, money, and energy to do so. Reality television, violent video games, pornography, horror movies, and oversexualized commercials are major sources of the world’s entertainment. Though the imageries projected by these forms of entertainment is intangible, the lusts that are conceived in our souls give birth to tangible sin and death.

Acts 2:40 (MSG) – “He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!”

1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV) – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

James 1:13-15 (NLT) – “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

Today, let's examine our private lifestyles in view of God's Word. The scripture says that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are also called to evangelize to a dying world so they too might know the love of Christ. There is no plan B. Therefore, we can not afford to lose our saltiness or allow our light to grow deem. If we do not live holy, we will not effectively reach others for Christ. Period.

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV) - "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Perhaps you have not struggled with holy living; praise God! Your testimony is how God has kept you and continues to keep you each day. However, if by chance you have been privately struggling, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Jesus loves you so much and wants you to walk in total victory and freedom. He has made a way for you to be free and cleansed. First, acknowledge your struggle, ask the Lord to forgive you and cleanse you from your sins. Then, turn away from this area of sin and ask the Holy Spirit to help you walk in holiness each day. Also, if you need an accountability partner speak to your Pastor, leaders, or someone you can trust that will counsel you according to the Word of God. You do not have to fight your struggle alone!

1John 1:9 (ESV) -"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)- "Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed."

Be encouraged! The blood of Jesus is more powerful than anything you may be struggling with. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, only forgiveness. Through Him you are an overcomer! Praise God for His deliverance and testify to others about the victory you have through Christ!

Romans 8:1-4 (NASB) - "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

Revelation 12:11 (KJV) -"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."

Tomorrow, we will continue this discussion on the practical keys to evangelism; "Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus."

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How Do We Evangelize? - Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus.

holy

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 15 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 14, "How Do We Evangelize? - Pray: Be led by The Holy Spirit".

The second practical key on how to evangelize is to Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus.

I hear the Lord saying to us, “Enough, already!!! How long will you waver between two opinions? If God is God, serve God if this is not pleasing to you, serve another. For those who choose Me, please stand with holy hands lifted. Your families are dying, your marriages are dying, your friends are dying, and your nation is dying. Live holy so that your lifestyle testifies of Jesus Christ. It’s time to evangelize and save the lost!” - Word From The Lord

As Christians, the world is watching our every move. If we truly want to evangelize to others, we have to be aware of this fact and monitor how we live. Our lives must be an example of Christ so that we do not blow our testimony. The last thing you want is to try to tell someone about Christ and then be exposed as a hypocrite like the Seven sons of Sceva!

Acts 19:13-17(NLT) - “A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.

Living a lifestyle that testifies of Jesus is vital to establishing credibility when evangelizing. As true Christians, we must live a life of holiness if we are seeking to win the lost to a Holy God.

Have you ever heard the foolish saying of “do as I say, and not as I do”? Perhaps you have even said it to someone. To some, this may sound like a wise manner to give direction and instructions. However, the truth is, people will do what you do, not what you say. It is difficult to obey someone whose verbal instructions contradict what they model.

A good teacher, trainer, or coach will demonstrate what is right to achieve the desired results as opposed to leaving it up to their follower’s interpretation. If leaders consistently model the desired standard, they will easily earn the respect and credibility of their followers. If they only talk about the desired standard, but model what is contrary to achieving the desired results, they lose all credibility. In the same way, our lifestyle must testify of Jesus Christ in order to maintain our credibility in evangelism.

What does the scripture have to say about holiness? Jesus instructed us to live holy; Apostle Paul exhorted us to live holy; Christians are told to model holiness to others; God requires us to live holy; and the Holy Spirit helps us to live holy.

1.) Jesus instructed us to live holy. Not only did He tell us to be holy, but he demonstrated holiness by His lifestyle. He is a Holy God and modeled holy living when He walked as a man on the earth.

1 Peter 13-17 (NKJV) – “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;”

2.) The Apostle Paul exhorted us to live holy. Paul exhorted believers to follow his example as he followed Christ. The fact is, Paul would not have the credibility to urge anyone to follow his example, if he did not live a life modeled after Christ. If you review his life, you will find that after his conversion on the road to Damascus, Paul became known as someone whose life was fully “sold out” to Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV) – “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 2:1 (NIV) – “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Additionally, the scriptures tell Christians to model holiness to others; God requires us to live holy; and the Holy Spirit helps us to live holy. We will explore each of these points next in this series.

Today, let's pray and thank God for speaking to all of us about holiness through His Word! Tomorrow, we will continue our discussion on this practical key to evangelism; "Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus."

We will continue from here tomorrow.
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