My team was part of an effort to help a church 50 miles away to move outside the four walls. Two months ago, we spent two Wed. nights training in basic gospel conversations, including role play. Three weeks ago, five teams took to the streets. Three weeks later on a Sat. morning, we trained them in the priority of prayer. Two people at a time paired up to role play the gospel before we hit the streets to pray and share the gospel.
In one hour of time, a person trusted Christ as Savior in a park. The pastor’s wife prayed with a formerly homeless, young mother whose 8-year-old child has cancer. She lives next to the pastor’s wife’s sister. This lady wants to visit the church. The various teams prayed with three people who had or knew people with cancer.
The pastor’s wife shared with me that formerly uninvolved church members joined us in praying and sharing the gospel in the streets these past two times. In contrast, people spend much time and energy preparing and earning a living. The rich man went to the finest schools and found success. He had a fine house, servants and enjoyed life. He reached the pinnacle in making a living, but did he learn how to live? What’s your investment strategy for maximum reward?
1. Discern most strategic kingdom opportunities
Jesus told a parable about a rich man who asked his steward to give an account after squandering his master's possessions. The steward made each of his master's debtors pay off a fraction of the oil and wheat owed. The master praised the unrighteous steward because he acted shrewdly. “The sons of this age are shrewder in relation to their own kind than the sons of light." (Luke 16:1-8). Discern most strategic kingdom opportunities.
2. Invest resources to make friends in heaven
Christ said to make friends using riches. When it fails, they will receive you into eternal dwellings. He who’s faithful in a little is faithful in much. He who’s unrighteous in a little thing is unrighteous in much. God won't entrust spiritual riches unless you've been faithful with money. No servant can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or hold to one and despise the other. No one can serve God and money
(Luke 16:9-13). Invest your time, talent and treasure to make friends in heaven.
3. Seek the application of God's word
The Pharisees who loved money scoffed at Jesus since they justified themselves before men. God knows your heart for what’s highly esteemed among men is detestable in His sight. The Law and Prophets were proclaimed until John. The preached word brings people into the kingdom of God. Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. He who marries a divorcee commits adultery (Luke 16:14-18).
Seek the application of God's word more than recognition from men.
4. Help people avoid eternal punishment
A rich man lived in splendor every day. Lazarus, a poor man covered with sores, longed to be fed with crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. The poor man died and went to Abraham's bosom. The rich man died and went to Hades with agony in flames. He cried for mercy so Lazarus could dip the tip of this finger in water to cool off his tongue. Abraham said he received the good things of life and Lazarus the bad things. The latter is being comforted but not the rich man. A great chasm prevents anyone from crossing over. The rich man asked Father Abraham to warn his five brothers about torment in Hades. Abraham said if they don't listen to Moses and the Prophets, someone rising from the dead won’t persuade them either (Luke 16:19-31).
Help people avoid eternal punishment by sharing God’s word on how to reach heaven.
Invest my time, talents and treasure for eternal reward to help people enter heaven and grow spiritually.