From the desk of Steve Shultz:
Many of you have read how I speak of "Going into all the world to preach the Gospel through the internet." This is highly valid and valuable. Just as valuable is reaching out in person, as does Cindy McGill. She is a role model to the rest of us. My goodness—going into a bathroom to pray for the sick? Come on! Am I willing? And are you willing?
There is power in the Blood. And there is power with the Blood in a public bathroom. Read on and learn.
Are You Ready For a Hot Summer?
Hello Summer! It's that time again. It's time for outreaches to meet the spiritual hunger in the lives of seekers everywhere. People are hungry for hope and truth that sets them free from all kinds of bondages and life wounds which have crippled them from living their lives to the fullest. Jesus is truly the Bread of Life. I guess we could say that He is the true "organic" food everyone needs to be made whole and to have new lives.
"I Wanna Know What Love Is, I Want You to Show Me"
We are commissioned to go out and reach the earth with the "Good News" of the message of Jesus. How we model the Lord is what the world will see. It is most important to let the light of Jesus shine through us, saturated in the love of God. There is no other way to reach a hurting world. God IS love, He just doesn't have love and true love NEVER fails.
According to 1 Corinthians 13, love hopes all things, endures all things, believes all things, doesn't take into an account a wrong suffered, endures hard things, yet still possessing the strength to be kind. When the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we can display this love to a very hurting, confused and angry world. People are looking for answers not accusations. I am writing a book with the title, We were them before we were us. Remember what you were like when Jesus transformed your life, so treat people with the same kindness you needed.
LET MY EYES BE YOUR EYES! I was driving in my car with my friend who was seated in the passenger seat. We were trying to cross a busy street to turn left. I was looking left and she was looking right. When the left side was clear, I would look right to see if I could cross, but her head was in the way. She would periodically blurt out, "You can go now." But because I couldn't see to the right, I would hesitate and miss the opportunity. I finally said to her, "Move your head so I can see." She instantly responded, "CINDY, LET MY EYES BE YOUR EYES!" I have never forgotten that ride. God has spoken that to me many times over the years. He wants to instill trust in us to let Him guide us and not depend on our own ability to see.
Summer Outreach Preparation
Here are some simple things that may aid us in our outreach efforts this summer.
• BE WITH HIM, BEFORE YOU BE WITH THEM
People that Jesus sends out have spent time with Him to know Him. Jesus is a friend to people who are away from Him (to sinners), and God will give you His heart for His friends. Stay in His presence until your heart beats with His. Develop the art of hearing His voice and let your character be defined by His. He will fashion our hearts to beat with His and the same compassion He has for His people, He will give to us when we meet them. This is not human compassion, it is a true heart of compassion from God's own heart that will cause seekers to respond to God's love.
We can learn to walk in unison with the Holy Spirit and be led by Him. Words of knowledge come, miracles happen, and people in darkness are drawn to true Light.
• DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
There is a compelling factor involved in introducing people to Jesus. In Luke 14:21-23, we see the urgency of the time and the "four kinds of people" we are to compel to come in to eat at the table—the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind. It is important to truly value the person you are communicating with the way Jesus does, and it is most important to "follow Him" to be true fishers of men.
He knows everyone He has made. He knows where they have come from, what their pain is, and how they need to be encountered by God. We are short-sighted and limited in our understanding, not knowing the details of the life we are encountering. God will tell us things about the one standing in front of us when we have taken time to let the love of the Lord soften our own hearts.
When we are free from judgment and criticism and when we have clean hands and pure hearts, we see God. In my experience, I have been surprised to watch God reach someone in the most unusual ways. The obvious need is often not the way God wants to reach them. Sometimes it's a healing of the heart that needs to be addressed first before the physical healing.
So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind." And the servant said, "Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room." Then the master said to the servant, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.—Luke 14:21-23, NKJV
Four Distinct People Groups
These are categorized metaphorically, in a nutshell:
• THE POOR
Jesus said the poor would be with us always. Proverbs 19:17 says that if we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord and He will repay us. Giving to the poor is an instant reward. God blesses this kind of outreach, and the poor benefit by the generosity and kindness they feel from these kinds of outreaches. But that is only one category.
• THE MAIMED
I like this wording in the NKJV. When we think of the maimed, these are people who are unrecognizable, don't know who they are, are alone, and don't know who you are. Meaning that their trust bridges are all blown up and they have no where to cross over. They have been hurt and abused much of their lives and usually medicate to treat their pain. It is my experience that they need a lasting relationship with someone who feels to befriend them so a trust bridge can be formed. Once trust is earned, their hearts are open to hear truth and embrace new life in Jesus.
• THE LAME
I think of these as the ones whose current spiritual understanding (how they are walking) cannot support them and there is no strength in their walk. Meaning "other gods" and "false christs" that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24 have been the focus for them. While everyone needs a personal encounter with God, this category of people seem to be the most impacted by "feeling" God touch them, and they will never forget it. This personal touch bypasses their minds.
This could be the ones talked about in Colossians 2:8, Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
• THE BLIND
The blind wander aimlessly. This category is who Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians 4:4, The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
The blind are visionless and are dying without one. They are on a spiritual search and need a future and a hope. I often think of young people who take their lives because they feel they have no destiny or future. Prophetic words from God are essential for them. Their ears are open to hear and they need a reason to live.
This may help us to understand that not everyone will be reached in the same way. God has a "special appointment" for everyone He is drawing.
Don't Be Afraid to Heal the Sick and Work a Miracle
God is doing awesome things, displaying His power, love and glory. At our Burning Man outreach last August, visitors at our theme camp saw shafts of light and felt the "electric" power of the Holy Spirit. Miracles were taking place as God was introducing Himself to the ones He made.
Just recently, my daughter and I were at a restaurant. She returned to the table from washing her hands, when she reported to me that a young girl was sitting on the floor in the women's bathroom with sharp pains in her chest. I got up from the table and went into the bathroom and introduced myself. It was Prom Night and her friend was standing with her. I asked to pray for God to touch her. She agreed and INSTANTLY she felt the pain leave her body. Her eyes lit up and she looked at her friend. Both of their mouths dropped open and tears rolled down their faces as God totally healed her body. They made remarks like, "This is a miracle" and "I can't believe this." I told them it was God, and Jesus wanted them to know how much He loves them. They hugged me and continued in "awe" of the miracle power of God.
Outreaches reignite our love for God and His love for us. I have never returned from an outreach that I am not radically changed from. I not only experience God's love reaching out to someone who is shaken to the core to finally find hope, healing and a new beginning; but I get to feel His love in a deep way again for myself. People are desperate to find truth. God is "retooling" us for this harvest. It is exciting. Be available to God and enjoy the life-changing benefits of being "DOERS OF THE WORD."
Love ya, Bless ya, and May God Blast ya!
For this Harvest,
Hope for the Harvest