Sharing your faith with others by Cynthia Moore

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sharing your faith with others by Cynthia Moore

Pastor Don’s wife, Cynthia, spoke to our women’s group recently about sharing God’s Word – the proper and improper ways to do it.  It blessed us tremendously and I am excited to share it with you.

Mark 16:15-18 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Cynthia asked us, why do we need to bring people to God?

1. Why. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 

God wants ALL to come to repentance and live with Him in Heaven.  God is love and He loves us.

2. We don’t have much time left.  Many are saying the end times are close and people are talking about Jesus’ returning soon. We can’t be sure of the exact time, but there are those who want to deceive us into thinking we have all the time in the world.  But we do not want to be deceived.  We want to be busy now doing what God wants us to do. And God wants all to be saved.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

These false teachings are more prevalent and harder to discern than ever before.  We will see more and more of these false teachings, and they will grow stronger and stronger as the last days draw near.

Matthew 24:5-8  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

3. Their lives will be better.  God will touch their lives, change them,  and make their lives better.  When they get with God and do right their lives will improve.

Cynthia shared that she has seen lives changed dramatically when God came in.  She spoke about a friend who had a family member kill themselves and God took away her agony and replaced it with the Father’s love.  She has seen alcoholics come to the Lord and now instead of being in a drunken stupor, they have good jobs.  One of our member’s sister was healed of fibromyalgia because of prayer and the Holy Spirit.  Cynthia has seen people who have been abused by their parents heal and have better lives, becoming reconciled with estranged family members. Whenever God comes into a life it improves.

4. Get the Word out and the World will be a better place.  There is strength in numbers.  Right now there is legislation that is anti-God, there are classes on protecting yourselves against bullying, old ladies are run down.  Our world would be better if it was filled up with Christ’s love expressed through people.

5. God said so.

Then Cynthia asked us, why don’t we do it?

1. Fear.  We don’t trust God that we can do it and we wonder what people will think.  We need to realize that if God tells us to do it, He will equip us and His Holy Spirit will help us trust God and do His will.

2. Religious pride, religious spirit. Those with religious pride and a religious spirit tell themselves that the people won’t get saved anyway so why talk to them. This type of rationale shows ignorance and does not hold water.

3.  I’m just too busy, it takes time. We are so caught up with getting our coffee, our pets, children, spouses, housework, activities that we fill up our time with that we think that we don’t have the time to take and reach out to others.

4. Lazy. We tell ourselves we will get to it later.

5. Shifting or vacillating. We tell ourselves we will do it tomorrow, but we don’t want to postpone. We aren’t fully sure of our own faith, and go back and forth.

6. Ungrateful. We, in our ingratitude, are not considering what Jesus has done for us, and then wanting to do what He wants which is to share the Gospel with others.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

We want to do God’s will.  We want to have everyone ready for when He comes so that none are excluded. Cynthia then read the Parable of the 10 virgins, five were prepared, five weren’t.  We want to be prepared.

Matthew 25:1-12 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “

Cynthia told us this may seem a bit mean that the unprepared virgins could not enter the feast.  But she reminded us this parable comes right after Jesus told His disciples about the end times in Matthew 24.  He told us what to look for, told us to be ready and to preach.  We don’t want him telling us, “I do not know you.”  If Jesus tells us what to look for and to be ready, there is no excuse to not be ready.  He could easily say, “I told you what to do, I don’t understand why you are not ready.”

How do we share?

If we are cooking a meal we buy the stuff, take it home, assemble the ingredients, prepare, cook and serve.  It is the same with sharing the Word.  We read the Word of God, put it in our hearts, getting ready by assembling the Scriptures into our minds and hearts by praying, going to Bible study, going to church, and learning.  Then we take this information we have and serve it to others, sharing the Word of God under the lead of the Holy Spirit.  It has to be under the Holy Spirit’s lead so we say and do what is in the person’s best interests.

The DO’s.

1. Prepare Know the Bible, know the authority and the power that you have.  Be ready to go.  Know the purpose.
2. Listen Know the Holy Spirit.  Get signs, clues, feelings, and know how He speaks to you.  For Cynthia it is a gentle electric feeling or a thought in her head that lines up with the Word of God.  She has listened and obeyed the Holy Spirit enough that she recognizes His voice. When she hears a Word, she asks herself, “Is that the Holy Spirit?” Not all that we hear and feel is the Holy Spirit so we have to discern.
3. Be Patient When the time is right and God is in it then change will happen.  If God is not in it, it may not be the right time for the person.  Some people have prayed 17 or more years for a person, and God waited until the person could receive the Word.
4. Compassion Compassion under the guidance if the Holy Spirit.  If we are too gung ho and desperate we can drive a person away, our compassion needs to wait and be appropriate.
5. Patience to take time to know about the person you are trying to reach. If the person was treated badly by church members, had bad teachers, they may not want to deal with the Biblical stuff at a particular time. You need to locate where they are and learn how to reach out to them.  If they are mad at the church you may want to reach out to them in love and build a relationship before you start telling them that they may have had a bad church but your church is great. They may not want to talk about church.  If not, share with them God’s love by your actions until the time is right.
6. Just plant a seed and then wait. Our goal is to plant the seeds, and God will water them at the right time. We do not have to push so hard.
7. Be bold if God tells you He wants you to be bold. Sometimes the person needs to hear the message and it may be hard for them to hear, but God needs them to know NOW. If God tells you to be bold, be bold.
8. Share your own story or about a close friend, tell them what God did. Sometimes people need to know personal experience and see what is possible.
9. Trust God, show people God’s love. John 15:16-17 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another. We want to exhibit God’s love and become fruit producers.  We do that by trusting God.  If we think of ourselves as vessels of His love and goodness, we won’t get the glory for ourselves.  Realize that we have all this love, and we know how good God is, so let me pour love out on you, and God gets the glory. You don’t own the person, God does. We are God’s servants.  Be humble, we are not a  neon sign bringing glory to ourselves.

Then Cynthia had some members of the group act out skits showing what we should NOT do.  She later told me that she has experienced all these things or watched people do them and saw how they did not work. These were a few of the scenarios.

1. Going up to a person at work, and going into wild shaking, rolling your eyes in your head, and telling the person you are feeling something in the spirit, that God wants you to tell them.  It ends up scaring the person with your weirdness.  When God does this it is always in your control and you can choose to give in or not – and God would not want you doing these kinds of actions in a place that would scare a person away, not draw them closer to Him.

2. Going into work and going up to a person and telling them that God had given you a burden to pray for them because they are backslidden.  God will deliver them from the generational curses, they are washed in the blood.  Pull out your holy oil and offer to anoint them, and tell them what the Holy Spirit has declared.  While at times it is appropriate to take a person aside and find out about what is going on in their lives and help it is never appropriate to do it in an office environment where you can embarrass the person, and in a judgmental way.  There is a timing and order that comes with pointing out things to other believers.  And it has to be done under the leading of the Holy Spirit.  When God convicted us of our sins He did not go out of His way to cause us massive embarrassment in a place that is so public.

3.  You bring a friend to church and then loudly announce, “Look who I brought to church – I thought they would never be saved.”  Our you let people know that you have been praying for this person for a long time and now they are saved because of YOU.  Or if the person is having a problem you gather three or four friends around the person all touching them and praying over her because their is strength in numbers – but really the person is embarrassed, wanted to quietly have their problem dealt with and watch.  They will not come back when so much attention is brought to them before they are ready, and when their problems are so publicly announced before they are ready to deal with them publicly.

4. You got delivered from something, like smoking – and you expect that any one else who has a similar problem can be delivered in exactly the same way that you have.  You begin to get a sense of pride and being better than the other person because you were delivered and they were not.  You begin to go up to the person and criticize their habit, even though you had it for so many years and it took God a long time to get you to the point where you could get over the problem.  We are not patient and we need to listen to the Spirit.  If the motives are right, the way you approach the person may still be wrong.

1. Don’t Lord over them like the Pharisees.  Luke 18: 11-14 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 
2. Don’t Condemn them. Jesus didn’t with the Woman at the Well and the Woman caught in adultery.  He was not soft on sin, He told them to go and sin no more, but He condemned the sin, not the sinner.
3. Don’t speak Christianese Most people do not understand the terminology that Christians use and some of our terms sound scary – washed in the blood, sanctified, born again, etc.
4. Don’t pray for people in a crowd. Be sensitive, bring the person to a conducive environment where their faith can be increased and where you can deal with sensitive situations in a way that does not expose private, sensitive things to others.  Cynthia shared that someone told her at a family picnic about an operation they were having in a few weeks.  Someone overheard that conversation and wondered why Cynthia didn’t call a lot of people over to pray for this person right then and there.  But Cynthia knew in her spirit that that would have done much damage to that person’s faith.  A right action of prayer in a wrong situation, not led by the Spirit, will not produce fruit.
5. Don’t be hasty trying to get people to speak in tongues. Not all tongues are a godly language, satan imitates and some tongues are demonic. If a person is not educated in the Holy Spirit, and has not had an infilling of the Holy Spirit, it is not time to encourage tongues.
In Ohio one of Cynthia’s sisters went forward for prayer to get infilled in the Holy Spirit.  The person insisted that all those who were prayed for speak in tongues – it was rather bullying and her sister was mortified, she was not given instructions, and no tongues came, and from that time on her sister stays away from tongues.  She thought those people were crazy.
6. Don’t embellish our prayers. Some people try to tell God when, how, who and why He should do what He is doing. Unless we are really led by the Holy Spirit, don’t embellish – just say what God tells you.
7. Don’t anoint with oil or cast out demons on just anybody. These are gifts that follow those who are believers and are to be used as led by the Holy Spirit – we are not to be hasty in using the gifts.  Acts 19:13-16 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcize you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. We are to cast out spirits and help others, but it has to be done under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. And the people have to be in agreement. We can do more harm than good if we are doing things out of order.

Cynthia brought in Pastor Don’s Bible Dictionary and looked up the word anointing.  Some of the things the dictionary told her was to apply oil to a person or thing. There are three kinds of anointing, ordinary, sacred, medical.  Sometimes oil is used in a person’s beauty program (toilet), or as a sign of respect. In Psalm 23 a person’s head was anointed with oil, and that could prepare a person to be king or priest, or just as a sign of respect. Anointing is used in the sacred dedication of things, the tabernacle, a stone, a person. Solomon and the kings received the Holy Spirit after being anointed with oil.  The Lord’s anointed are not to be touched. Jesus is called the Anointed One. Oil was used for medical reasons.  Cynthia read more from this dictionary.

James 5:13-15  Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

If we use oil we are imparting the blessings of God or imparting a gift we have or a healing for the sick.  Know how to use anointing oil properly.

Then Cynthia spent time reading material from our discipleship manual on the laying on of hands. pp. 160-161 “Blessing is activated by laying on of hands, as the greater lays hands on the lesser.  i.e. Israel blesses Ephriam, Manasseh and Joseph (Genesis 48:13-20). Father to children, owner to heirs, prophet to students, etc.
Paul demonstrated transference (impartation) through the laying on of hands; he imparts to the disciples the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:6) Jesus demonstrated transference of healing power when he touched the Leper and he was healed (Luke 5:13) and when Jesus took Jairus’ daughter by the hand (Luke 8: 54,55).
Demons are alien entities that are disembodied spirits, and they take many forms…Be careful who and what you touch! The Body of Christ would do well to note that there are no examples of Jesus driving out demons by laying on of hands; this He did only by command. I have learned that demons can and do transfer themselves and illnesses through laying on of hands. Unclean people will come up in the prayer line with a demon whose goal is to transfer, cause disruption, and contaminate as much and as often as possible.
1 Timothy 5:22 tells us “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands…” This has a four-fold meaning – You should not quickly lay hands on others or let others lay hands on you…The laws of transference should not be overridden due to enthusiasm or the heat of the moment. We should be doing what the Holy Spirit wants done as He leads. So, think and pray before you touch anyone for a spiritual purpose.  Be sure you are being led by the spirit.

Stay prayed up. Know the Word. Our Spirit will help us stay in God’s will, and will get stronger.  He will guide us what to do and not do.  We need to make sure our swords are sharpened.

Then Cynthia handed out a FAQ sheet of questions we may receive from nonbelievers and possible answers.

Q: Why does God do bad things?
A: He doesn’t. “Let no one say…’I am tempted by God’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” James 1:13 …God is light and in Him is no darkness at all 1 John 1:5. God gave man dominion over the earth  (Gen. 1:26) Man relinquished authority to satan (Gen. 3) so that satan now has power on earth (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4, Eph 6:12) But God in His goodness sent His son to restore man through the authority of Christ (John 3:16, Matt 28:18, Luke 9:1)

Q: My life is good. Why do I need God/church?
A: 1) Prepared when bad things happen.
2)A basic human need for God. All cultures/civilizations search for higher power.
3) Eternal life. You will be judged.
4) Life is BETTER when God is in it.

Q: I prayed and it didn’t work so why should I believe?
A: Prayed without faith (James 1:6; Mark 11:23-24; Romans 4:20) or prayed opposite the will of others.

Q: I don’t have time.
A: At least work on a relationship with God. Pray; read the Bible.

Q: Church people are hypocrites.
A: Church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints; at least they’re in the right place –trying to improve/get fixed. If you’re not a hypocrite, you can balance things out. Try it and see if your life isn’t better.

Q: How do you know you are going to Heaven when you die?
A: God wants everyone to be saved from evil (2 Peter 3:9, Acts 10:30). When Jesus left earth, he made provision for us in Heaven (John 14:2) You have only to declare that Jesus is Lord, confess and repent from sin/evil and call on the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:9 & 13)

We closed with the following verse that we read together:

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:  “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Hoping your day is blessed!



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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