Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Invite Your World to Life
by Tom Goodman
January 23, 2008

Part of following Jesus involves influencing those in our world with his life-changing message.  Across the sea and across the street, we need to let others in on this good news we've found.

It's understandable that some people see this as nothing more than sanctified solicitation.  Business reps sell their products, military recruiters enlist personnel, and lobbyists persuade people to join their cause.  Surrounded by those appeals, some naturally think that sharing the Christian faith is just another sales pitch.  However, we need to understand that helping others in their spiritual search is part of our own spiritual development.

Those in Alcoholics Anonymous know this.  Recovering alcoholics understand that one of the most effective means of staying sober is to help other alcoholics recover.  In fact, the entire idea of AA was formed when Bill Wilson, only a few months sober, was gripped with a powerful urge to drink.  The thought came to him, "You need another alcoholic to talk to.  You need another alcoholic just as much as he needs you!"  He found a physician who had been trying desperately and unsuccessfully to stop drinking.  And by helping the physician stay sober, he helped himself stay sober.  Later, the two men codified what has become known as the Twelve Steps, and the last step is to carry the message of sobriety to other alcoholics.  In what is affectionately nicknamed "the Big Book," Bill Wilson wrote:  "Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intense work with other alcoholics.  It works when other activities fail.  This is our twelfth suggestion:  Carry this message to other alcoholics!"

That suggestion is not only found in the Big Book, it's found in the Good Book!  We believers communicate our faith not only to share what we've found but also to develop our own spiritual growth.  As we Christians struggle to make the gospel clear enough and relevant enough for another person to understand, the gospel becomes more clear and relevant to us.

Helping others in their spiritual search, then, will help you, too.  So look to communicate your faith in a way that is natural to your personality.

This Sunday, we continue our study of Matthew 10 called "Stand and Deliver."  We're discovering Christ's guidance on how to share the life-changing message of the gospel.  Join us at our 9:30am "Bold Blend" service or the 10:45am "Smooth Blend" service.

(Today's column was excerpted from Chapter 25 of my book, The Anchor Course.  You can purchase a copy for $13 in the church office or online here.)

Drop By the Blog, Leave a Comment.  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week."  (This week, The Police "Message in a Bottle.")  Also, every Tuesday I post some entertaining and informative "Links to Your World."

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