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Name It

BillyGraham

Heard a great story the other day as told by Evangelist Billy Graham.

Rev. Graham was in another country, in a region without much in the way of mass communications technology.  In essense, Rev. Graham was a virtual unknown by the residents of the community.  While touring the region, he met a local farmer and they struck up a conversation.  Rev. Graham began to tell the man about Jesus Christ.

As Rev. Graham completed his presentation, he was surprised to see the man begin crying.  After a few moments, he spoke, saying, “I’ve always known that God was like that.  I just didn’t know His name.”

Later, as he tells the story, Dr. Graham says, “I did not lead that man to Jesus.  I just gave the man Jesus name.”

Relaying this story, Dr. Mark Biddle, Old Testament Professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, said:

“Evangelism is not introducing people to Jeuss.  We don’t arrange for people to have an encounter with Jesus.  We simply name it.”

Could it be that Jesus is already involved in people’s lives?  He’s already revealing himself and God’s grace!  If so, that should cause us to redefine evangelism.  Our job is not to line up converts, as though we are making notches on some sort of Gospel gun.  Evangelism is not spreading propaganda for Jesus (handing out tracks in the mall, or leaving them in place of a tip when we get breakfast at a local restaurant).  Rather, evangleism is about egaging people in a relationship. Its about learning what’s happening in a persons heart, mind, and life.  Then, when we see an expressing of Jesus in their lives, we simply NAME IT.

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