Don't lecture people. Love them, receive them, and show them in this matter of stewardship.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You doing all right? Oh, I pray that God’s love and blessing and peace and joy and power and wisdom and inspiration may come to you, my dear friend, as we share these moments together by way of radio, bless your heart. Now we’re looking at Romans 14, “Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye.” We were talking about what it means to be weak in the faith, weak in assurance, weak in prayer, weak in facing temptation, then some people are weak in the matter of witnessing and they say, “Oh I’m a very private person. I could never speak about these things.” And what they mean is, “I am not familiar enough with them to say anything about them because these same private persons who could never in the world, speak about their savior according to them, I find them speaking about other matters quite easily. There is nothing more personal maybe than a tennis elbow. And you see this friend who won’t speak about the Lord and you see that he winces a little when you shake hands with him and you say, “Jim, what happened? Have you got a bad arm? Then he said, “Oh I got a tennis elbow.”
Well you say, “How did you get that?” “Oh, I was doing this and that and the other and ’cause I play tennis. And I guess they say the joint is inflamed.” He goes on to tell you what the doctor told him about the working of that elbow joint, that is now inflamed. He’s not embarrassed about it, he’s talking about a part of his body that hurts, and he’s telling you why he thinks it hurts and what has to be done about it and he’s not at all ill at ease, because he’s familiar with it. We talk easily about the things concerning which we understand with which we’re familiar. The point then, that you and I need to work on for ourselves and for our friends, is to understand clearly enough the truth of the gospel, so that we can speak of it without flinching or without embarrassment. I find that many people, although they believe the Gospel, don’t really understand it. I oftentimes ask people who come applying for work at the college… I ask them, “Have you ever led a soul to Christ?” Well, yes or no whatever the answer. And I ask them, “How do you present the Gospel? If you were going to lead somebody to Christ, how would you present the Gospel?” And sometimes there’s a little pause, and some embarrassment and then other times, people are quite free to talk about it.
The difference being made by whether or not they really understand what is involved. I think one of the most helpful procedures that I have found in past years was originated by a group called The Navigators. They have a series of memory verses, which they put together in topics. They call it the topical memory system, or they used to, in any case. I got a hold of it good many years ago, and there are a number of verses arranged so as to show what the Gospel really is and how to lead a soul to Christ. I took hold of one such a short series of verses a good many years ago, it would have been back, I guess in the 1940s, now. And I have used it literally hundreds of times in speaking to people concerning the Lord Jesus, both in large congregations, where I was explaining the Gospel and in conversations, one-to-one. Here are six verses which will help you if you’re interested in strengthening your approach to witnessing for Christ and presenting the Gospel. The first is Romans 3:23, the sub-title for that is the fact of sin. Romans 3-23, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, all that is not some, all have seen the fact of sin.
The second verse is, the first half of Romans 6:23, and the subtitle for that is the penalty for sin. The wages of sin is death. The rest of the verse of course says, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, but it’s the first half of that verse that is significant for our purposes. The penalty for sin, the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. Then the third passage has as its subtitle, the penalty must be paid and it’s Hebrews 9:27, And as it is appointed unto men once to die. But after this, the judgment, Hebrews 9:27, as it is appointed unto men wants to die but after this, the judgment, the penalty must be paid.
Now, the fourth passage in this short series, that explains the Gospel is Romans 5 Verse 8, and the subtitle for that is Christ paid the penalty. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8, Christ paid the penalty. And so you go on to the fifth passage in this short series, and that’s Ephesians 2:8 and 9 salvation is the subtitle, Salvation is a free gift, salvation is a free gift, if Christ paid the penalty, then God can afford to give you salvation, free. And so, that scripture says in Ephesians 2:8 and 9 For by grace, that means free for nothing, are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.
Salvation is a free gift. And then the last of these passages in this short salvation series is John 1:12, “You must receive a gift in order to have it.” You must receive a gift in order to have it. John 1:12, but as many has received Him, Christ, to them, gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. Now, when you have memorized those verses so you know them and you have made yourself familiar with their location in the Bible so that you can open it up and you can read it upside-down while you present it to your friend, and here, she can read it with the Bible, held right side up from their point of view. You then say, “Do you know how to become a Christian? If you ever wanted to be one?” I’ve often asked this question.
You expect to become a Christian sometime I imagine, don’t you? And the answer oftentimes is, “Yes, I do some time.” “Well”, I say, “if you ever decided to become a Christian, would you know how to become one?” “Well no,” they’re not sure. Then I ask, “Well, now, would you want me to show you in about 90 seconds, how you could become a Christian, if you ever decided to be one?” And oftentimes the answer is, “Yes, go ahead.” So then we take these verses and it’s the fact of sin, Romans 3:23 all have sinned, the penalty for sin is death, it’s appointed to, it’s a the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. The penalty must be paid. Hebrews 9:27 it’s appointed a man wants to die but after this, the judgment. But Christ paid the penalty, Romans 5:8, God commendeth His love towards us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. So Salvation is a free gift, and God can give it freely to you because Christ already purchased it, for you on the cross. By grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. But you have to receive the gift in order to have it and the gift turns out to be not something but somebody a lovely, wonderful person, the Lord Jesus Christ and you receive Him by faith into your life and He brings salvation with Him. As many has received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.
And when you’ve gone through that short series of salvation verses. And there are many others like them, obviously you know that. This is just one arbitrary grouping of verses that explain the gospel. When you’ve gone through that short series of salvation versus the person with whom you’ve been speaking understands how to become a Christian and very frequently you can say, “Would you like to receive Christ, now?” And so many times when I’ve done this, the answer has been, “Yes I would.” God the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to get people ready to receive Christ. See all of this grew out of the verse, “Him that is weak in the faith.” Somebody who says, “Oh I could never witness for Christ. I could never speak of these things. I am too bashful, I’m too shy. These are private matters about which I can’t speak.” Just get them familiar with the Word of God, so they understand the Gospel and you’ll find them speaking easily of it just as you and I do. Some people are weak in the matter of stewardship, it’s hard for them to give anything away.
You’re gonna be a help not by lecturing them, but by showing them that it pays out. Now God doesn’t bless people because of a crass and greedy motive, but the fact is that people who will honor God in their giving do find that God blesses them. RG LeTourneau used to give away more than 90% of all of his income as some of you recall. And he was fond of saying “I shovel it out and God shovels it back, in, and God has a bigger shovel than I have.” RG LeTourneau told in my hearing, the fact that he was stony broke, his business when he was just starting out. He was doing very, very poorly because he was trying to keep everything he could for himself and God spoke to his heart on one occasion. And RG LeTourneau said that He reorganized his whole approach to business and to giving with the result that his business began to prosper and his giving began to increase, so that as I said, a moment ago, before his death he was giving away more than 90% of all that he ever made with the blessing, I might add, of the government because the government knew that this wasn’t a scheme, it was for real.
Now a person who is weak in the faith, in this matter of stewardship, will never grow. If you scold him and lecture him. “You ought to give more, Jim. You ought to be giving more of your income. Why you’re just living for your money?” Hey, he’ll just defend himself. Don’t do it. But show that same person that if he gives to God’s work, God is going to bless him and show him, how it works in your own life and give him his examples from other people’s lives and you’ll be surprised of what the precious Holy Spirit will do in teaching that person about stewardship for himself. Don’t lecture people, love them, receive them, and show them in this matter of stewardship. Malachi 3:10 is still there, bringing all the ties in the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now here with, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes. God still keeps His promise, and the more you honor Him, the more He’ll honor you. Receive this person, don’t lecture him, love him and show him how God blesses the people who are faithful to Him, in their stewardship.
Dear Father, today, help us to help other folk who may be weak in the faith, in Jesus name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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