Evangelization: Sharing the Good News with Delight - page 2

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From the Spring 2013 issue of Knowing & Doing:  


Sharing the Good News with Delight

by Gerard Long
Executive Director, Alpha USA

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  Lord, I pray, renew our vision of Your love for us and for the lost. But there’s more to this prayer: Lord, give us a clearer understanding of Your eternal purpose and plan.

God’s Love for the Human Race

  Here’s the Good News: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God doesn’t want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). God has “reconciled us to himself through Christ,” and He has entrusted to Christ followers this amazing message of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). In the first few chapters of Acts, God has given us a model of how this love and power works in practice.
  In Acts 1 we see 120 disciples hidden away in an upper room. They knew they had been commissioned to be witnesses of the resurrection, but they had no power or vision. Then, as recorded in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came and filled them—changing everything. They were empowered and transformed to do extraordinary things, and these people turned the world upside down. Just think, it started with only 120 disciples! How did this happen? I believe there are two keys.
  First, in Acts 2 we witness Pentecost when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. From that moment on, the disciples began to evangelize the world with the message of redemption through Jesus Christ.
  Born into a wonderful Christian family, I came to faith in Christ when I was very young. I certainly had the Holy Spirit, but I was not filled with the Holy Spirit. That happened on February 14, 1980, in a powerful encounter with God. I was dramatically transformed and fell head over heels in love with Jesus Christ, so much so that I only wanted to please and glorify Him. Also the Bible came alive to me. I couldn’t put it down, and I desperately wanted to evangelize my friends! I was filled with the Holy Spirit, and since then I have been filled again and again and again (Eph. 5:18). As D.L. Moody said, “I need to keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit because I leak!”
  It’s the Holy Spirit who pours God’s love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5), and this love compels us to lay down our lives in order to carry out the mission (2 Cor. 5:14–15). And it’s the Holy Spirit who empowers us to be witnesses of the Good News of Jesus Christ to lost and broken people (Acts 1:8).
  As Christ followers, we desperately need to ask God to keep on filling us with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:9–13). As Billy Graham said, “It’s not an option for a Christian to be filled with the Holy Spirit; it’s a necessity.”

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