Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas
Philippians 1:15 & 16 “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.”
Many Christians face great challenges of their faith in the living of everyday lives. Some Christians are always getting the “short end of hte stick.” Others find it hard to live for Christ in the atmosphere of society. Things happen that tear people down. What can we do to build people?
I. Accept Your Task As A Divine Assignment!
I could add to your list people who have worked for God in hard places. Job – David – Joseph – Abraham – Jacob – etc.! Paul spent years in prison but affirmed “I am put here for the defense of the Gospel.” Paul uses s Greek word that is a military term emphasizing the fact that Paul knew prison was his Divine Assignment! People builders must first see their daily tasks as Divine Assignments!
II. Be Willing to Get Involved In Other’s Lives!
Culturally, we are to “live and let live” – we avoid involvement with others for fear of meddling or prying – or sometimes because we are truly so self-centers that we just don’t care. Often people are destroyed or go into eternity unprepared because of our attitudes. People builders understand the risks, but they understand that involvement is the most effective was to truly help others!
III. Tap Into The Power Of Prayer!
People builders believe in the power of prayer and they practice it! Often we can not persuade people or change situations with our words but we can pray. Jesus promised mountains would move and sycamore trees be transplanted in response to believing prayers (Mark 11:22-24).
IV. Realize The Holy Spirit Is At Work!
People builders know that it takes the Holy Spirit at work within a person to change them. The secret to effective people building is learning to cooperate with what the Holy spirit is doing! We must seek to speak as He opens doors – to act as He prompts – to minister as He leads – to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16 & 25) and to be led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18 and Romans 8:14)
V. Discern Where People Are Spiritually!
People builders are not clone designers. Jesus will mold! Remember how He approached the Samaritan woman “Will you give Me a drink?” (John 4:7). Philip began preaching Jesus at the very place the Ethiopian was reading from his scrolls (Acts 8:35). Some people we encounter are just starting to investigate the claims of Christianity; others are in infant stages of their Christian walk; others need our encouragement to continue facing the disappointments and difficulties of their lives in christ. The key is to begin where they are and try to lead them deeper into the things of God!
VI. Realize A Commitment To Christ Is Often A Process!
Sometimes I see a person make a decision for Christ, and I get discouraged when I see them living in immaturity. I must realize babies are not born mature – they develop! Research has shown that most people are not like Kodak film: they must be exposed and re-exposed again and again before they truly get to following Jesus as He has called them to!
VII. Talk The Gospel!
People builders know the value of conversations – they know how to listen as well as talk! When we show interest in others, that encourages them to share their needs. The Gospel of Jesus is what will effectively meet those deepest needs – Talk Jesus!
VIII. Share Biblical Principles!
People builders do not preach – they do not force – but they do share Biblical principles to every day situations! We should see God in every place and every situation, which is what witnessing is truly all about: Helping people see Jesus for themselves!
IX. Apply The Power Of Love!
X. Live A Consistent Christian Life!
People builders live as examples: “follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). They are models of authentic, dynamic, growing, and fruitful Christians. They build people up, rather than tearing people down by their actions.