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Heroic Evangelism (2 of 2)
I. Evangelistic Props -- 3:12,16
When Peter heals the lame man and the lame man causes a commotion and the people come running to see what had happened, Peter did something evangelistic. He gave "props" to Jesus. That means that Peter redirected the appropriate respect and credit to the Lord for the healing that took place. This redirection was necessary because, without it, the people would be tempted to fixate upon Peter. But Peter wasn't recruiting followers of Peter; he was recruiting followers of Christ. And, while Peter had been instrumental in the healing, Jesus was the physician.
My basic idea here is this, like Peter we have been given talents, gifts and abilities. If we develop those gifts and then use them in the service of others, there will be times when recognition comes our way. That moment of recognition becomes a teachable moment, an evangelistic moment, when we can give credit to the Lord.
Example: In 1924 Eric Liddel studied to be a missionary to China while training for the Olympics in Paris France. The Oscar-winning movie "Chariots of Fire" is based in part on his life. In the movie, Eric's sister wants him to skip the Olympics and go straight to the mission field. Liddel makes this statement to his sister:
"I believe God made me for a purpose--for China. But He also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure. To give that up would be to hold Him in contempt." He won the gold in the 400 meter race and used his popularity as an athlete to help draw listeners to the saving message of Christ. Eventually he did reach the mission field in China.
God challenges Christians to do everything we do with excellence. To do it to the BEST of our ability BECAUSE that is what honors God. When we excel, we will sometimes draw attention to ourselves. We owe more to God for the recognition coming our way than we are sometimes willing to admit.
I Corinthians 4:7 " ...
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