Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Gift of Evangelism

“Riley, I would love to do what you do, but I don’t have the gift of evangelism.” The words came from a well-meaning Christian who was referring to my street ministry. At the time I was training people in evangelism at my church every Friday night. We were taking teams into the city and seeing fifty to one hundred people pray to receive Jesus every weekend. I told that man that he could do what I do—because he was a believer.
The Bible says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]” (Mark 16:20, AMP). Amen. Signs and miracles will follow us as believers!
God has given certain gifts of service to us as believers. Take a look at them: “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (see Ephesians 4:11–12, NLT).
The Bible tells us that these five-fold ministry gifts are for the “perfecting of the saints” to do the work of the ministry. Based on what we just read, the job of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is to teach, train and equip you as a congregation member to do the work of building up the body.
But there is no such gift called “the gift of evangelism” recorded in the Bible. It’s not your pastor’s job to fill the empty seats in your church. It’s not your pastor’s job to reach your city.
It’s yours.
Now, when I’m sent to a church to do evangelism training, I’m sent as an evangelist. But when I’m not standing in a pulpit under the office of an evangelist, and I’m simply going about my day, I’m constantly listening to the Lord as to who He wants me to minister to. The Lord speaks to us constantly; all we need to do is tune in a little closer so we can hear what our assignment is for the day.
My family and I recently went to lunch at a local Italian restaurant. The place had just opened, and we wanted to try it out. The waiter seated us and handed us the menus.
I was in one of those moods in which I didn’t want to even look at the menu; I just wanted to ask the waiter for a recommendation. When the waiter came to our table, my wife and daughters ordered from the menu. Then young man turned to me. “Sir,” he asked, “what would you like?”
I asked him what he would recommend. Happy to oblige me, he pointed to a particular item on the menu and said to me, “Sir, if I was on death row and this was the last meal I would ever eat, this is what I would order.” I was shocked by his comment about being on death row. But I knew at that point what the Lord was about to do. I ordered what the waiter had suggested, and it turned out to be an amazing dish.
When the waiter came back to the table for the check, I had another question for him: “If you were on death row and these were your last few moments to live, where do you think you’d spend eternity?” The young man looked down and told me, “I’m really not sure.” I shared with him the Scriptures from Romans from the script our ministry uses. And then I led him in a prayer to receive Jesus. During the prayer our waiter began to cry, and as he lifted his head, he said, “Thank you so much. I was just thinking about my life. I know I need God.” My family and I got ready to leave, and the waiter stopped by our table one more time. “I believe God sent you here,” he said.
God wants to use you today! Be bold and courageous! You don’t need to have a fivefold ministerial calling with a “gift” in order to see miracles and signs following. All you need do is listen to the little promptings you get every day from the Lord—and then be obedient!

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Your Mouth Is a Tool


In the book of Mark, there’s an interesting little story about a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years. This woman had no options in the natural. She had spent all her money on doctors and had only gotten worse. But she heard about Jesus and how He had been healing the sick. So she started meditating on Jesus, and she began to use her mouth as a tool. “She kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health” (Mark 5:28, AMP).
This woman began to speak what she wanted instead of what she was experiencing. She started speaking words of faith! She made a determination in her heart that if she could just touch Jesus, she would be made whole. She kept saying!
The Bible tells us that if we do not doubt in our heart but believe that those things we say will be done, we will have whatever we say: “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23). When I first saw this scripture years ago, I got so excited that I immediately began to put it to work in my life.
I really wanted to wear nice clothes to church on Sunday, because I thought it was important to dress my best in God’s house . But we had no extra money, so my only option was to use my faith. The finest clothes I had in my closet were two pair of pants, one navy and the other khaki, and I had one white button-down shirt and one light blue one. So every week I switched out my look: one week I’d wear khaki pants with the blue shirt, and the next I’d wear navy pants with the white shirt. Every time I ironed my pants on Sunday morning, I would say, “I thank You, Lord, for my new clothes.” Then I’d iron my shirts, and I’d say, “I thank You, Lord, for my new clothes.”
Not long after I began thanking the Lord for new clothes, I painted the exterior of a lady’s house. This woman told me that before her husband had died, she had bought him some nice dress shoes. “If they fit you,” she said to me, “I would love for you to have them.” So I tried them on, and guess what? They were a perfect fit.
When I brought those new shoes home, my wife said, “Wow, Riley, those are Johnson & Murphy. They’re two-hundred-dollar shoes! If the Lord is blessing you with shoes like that, suits are coming!”
So I changed what I was saying. Every Sunday morning when I ironed my clothes, I started saying, “Thank You, Lord, for my new suits.”
Three months later a couple invited my wife and me to join them for lunch at their home after church. After the meal the man asked me to forgive him. He told me that three months earlier the Lord had told him to give me a gift, and he hadn’t done it. Of course I forgave him. As soon as I told him so, the man went to his closet and brought out five suits and five ties for me! Yes, he did—and every one fit perfectly!
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33, NKJV).
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19, NKJV).
Whatever situation or circumstance you may be going through, whatever your needs may be, train your mouth to be obedient to the Word of God. Whether you need healing, financial help or deliverance, use your mouth as a tool to bring in your harvest—spirit, soul and body!