November 2004

Review: The key to How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb : Tuesday, Nov 30, 2004

November 30 2004 by Steven R. Harmon

Review: The key to How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb : Tuesday, Nov 30, 2004
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2004

Review: The key to How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

By Steven R. Harmon
Special to the Recorder

Before beginning my day of teaching on the morning of November 23, I did something many folks might not expect a minister and theologian to do: I drove to the nearest music store and bought the latest CD by the world's most popular rock group-U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb-on its release day.

In the early 1980s I along with many other Christian young people started listening to the music of this up-and-coming band from Dublin, Ireland. We were attracted to the overtones of Christian spirituality and the prophetic passion for social justice around the world that pervaded their music. During the 1990s some wondered whether lead singer Bono and the other two self-identified Christians in the band (guitarist "The Edge" and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.) were de-emphasizing in their art the convictions that had resonated with us. Faith was not absent from their music in those years, however, and their 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind was more explicitly rooted in such biblical themes as grace and the economic justice of the Year of Jubilee. Eager to find out what their next project held in store, I looked forward to November 23 almost as if I were a child awaiting Christmas.

My first listen through Atomic Bomb left me with two initial impressions. First, this album is going to be a hit. Musically it's their best overall album ever, and four or five of the tracks are naturals for release as singles that should get good airplay. Second, the majority of the people who buy and listen to this music may not fully grasp its deepest significance. Of all the albums U2 has recorded over the past twenty-five years, this one is the most overtly Christian in its rendering of the world. But this is obvious only to those who are already being formed by the biblical story and thus look at the world through the same set of lenses worn by the creators of this music.

"Vertigo," the album's lead track featured in the ubiquitous iPod/iTunes commercials during the last few weeks, is rich in allusions to Jesus' wilderness temptations. The video now playing on MTV underscores these connections through its desert-like setting and the band's descent into a dark abyss as Bono intones "All of this, all of this can be yours/Just give me what I want, and no-one gets hurt." The song concludes with the lyric "Your love is teaching me how to kneel" (kneeling imagery appears in several songs). The referent of "your" might be unclear, but during a live performance of "Vertigo" on NBC's Saturday Night Live on November 20, at the end of the song Bono called out "Yeah, He loves you!"

The next track "Miracle Drug" simultaneously reflects Bono's participation in the DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) campaign and more generally the world of broken human relationships, both in need of God's help; the recipients of this help respond "I was a stranger/You took me in." The post-9/11 tribute to New York, "City of Blinding Lights," closes with a reminder that "blessings are not just for those who kneel"-in other words, God "makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:45 NRSV). Disaster does not strike only those who are evil, and recovery from disaster is not only for those who are good.

Like the Song of Solomon in early Christian interpretation, several songs may be heard as explorations of either human or divine love. "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" and "All Because of You," for example, are most meaningful when heard in light of a relational theology centered in the Christian understandings of God as Trinity and humans as the image of the relational God. "A Man and a Woman" challenges romanticized understandings of love and points the listener toward a deeper sort of relational commitment; love deeper than romance is a repeated theme in the album.

U2's prophetic streak is not missing on Atomic Bomb. The hard-edged blues number "Love and Peace or Else" addresses the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and violence in general, exhorting the "daughters of Zion" and "Abraham's sons" to "Lay down your guns," with "a brand new heart" as a prerequisite. The biblically allusive "Crumbs from Your Table" indicts Christians who turn a blind eye to need and injustice.

The concluding song "Yahweh" would come across as oddly disconnected from the rest of the album to anyone who missed the biblical motifs in the preceding ten tracks. It could easily function as "praise and worship" music, yet it avoids the egocentricity and overly realized eschatology to which many songs of that genre fall prey. After stanzas that plead for divine transformation of sinful human life, the chorus praises Yahweh (no generic deity here) while acknowledging the pain and darkness that belong to the already/not yet tension of life between the two advents. In a voice breaking with raw emotion Bono begs, "Yahweh, tell me now/Why the dark before the dawn?" before praying "Take this city/A city should be shining on a hill/Take this city/If it be your will....Take this heart/And make it break."

It's not every day that Christians steeped in Scripture innately possess the key that unlocks the meaning of top-selling rock albums. We may have an opportunity to explain this aspect of popular culture to some of its unchurched consumers. Let's not miss it.

The uninitiated may be interested in a couple of resources: Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2 by Steve Stockman, a Presbyterian minister in Ireland and chaplain at Queen's University in Belfast (Relevant Books, 2001), and Get Up off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog, a collection of sermons edited by Episcopal priests Raewynne J. Whitely and Beth Maynard (Cowley Publications, 2003). As Stockman acknowledges, Bono's unfortunate occasional public lapses into the language of the streets of Dublin do not provide the best model for Christian speech. Nevertheless, we should welcome the seriousness with which U2's music takes the language of Zion and its relation to our world.

(EDITOR'S NOTE - Steven R. Harmon is associate professor of Christian Theology at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, N.C.)

11/30/2004 12:00:00 AM by Steven R. Harmon | with 0 comments



'And a little Child shall lead them' : Monday, Nov 29, 2004

November 29 2004 by

'And a little Child shall lead them' : Monday, Nov 29, 2004
Monday, Nov 29, 2004

'And a little Child shall lead them'

The sweet words spoken by Suzanna Tipton at the N.C. Baptist State Convention has also offered us another sign of hope. Herein lies the hope of Christianity itself and contains the spiritual thrust Jesus Christ demonstrated for us, who call Him Lord. Recognizing that we cannot give away what we don't have, our Hope lies in relationships - a loving, understandable and sustainable relationship with Jesus, and an accepting, loving and peaceful relationship with someone who does not know God through Jesus Christ.

I hear and see much demonstrated today, in and out of the Church, in the way of "good works," but I see very little in the way of loving relationships from God's people with "the least of these our brethren." It is one thing to serve someone a meal at a certain time of the year but another thing in committing yourself to step into the life of one who does not know God, but is yearning for answers to spiritual questions. This takes time and relationship.

We, as God's people, must stop and take stock of where we are in relationship to God through Jesus Christ, and assured of this wonderful station in life, offer ourselves to another human being so they can know the love of Christ and come to believe in the Creator.

Let's not just have another year pass away without each and everyone of us taking the steps that are necessary to move into another's life, whether it be at work, the grocery store, convenience store, shopping mall, and yes, even church, by embracing them with the life we have in Christ. This is the example of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, so we could be free souls giving ourselves to a lost and hurting world.

H. Lucas Lloyd

Fayetteville, N.C.

11/29/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



History teaches : Monday, Nov 29, 2004

November 29 2004 by

History teaches : Monday, Nov 29, 2004
Monday, Nov 29, 2004

History teaches

A deeper look into church history reveals some "downward trends in ecclesiastical history," Oliver H. Perry neglected to mention (BR web site, Nov. 9). Church history teaches that the term "inerrancy", first used in academic circles to debate original and unattained manuscripts of scripture, made its way into pulpits to describe English translations of the Bible. The downward trend was to stop clarifying the term's usage.

Church history teaches that Baptists worship Jesus, not a "supernatural Bible." It teaches that even without "inerrancy" claims, Baptists have a heritage of affirming the authority of scripture - so much so that we choose scripture over creeds. The downward trend is to enforce the signing of the Baptist Faith and Message, a document that isn't the Bible and doesn't affirm Jesus Christ as the criterion for interpreting scripture.

Church history teaches that Luther stood for justification by faith and against abuses of power. The downward trend is to fly the SBC leadership's legalistic and authoritarian actions under the same reformation banner.

Church history teaches that Baptist churches, under the Lordship of Christ, but autonomous in relation to other ecclesiastical bodies, freely choose to partner with one another in associations, state and national conventions. The downward trend is the new centrality of the SBC, replacing the Holy Spirit in the local church.

Church history teaches Baptists in America haven't always enjoyed safety in numbers and were persecuted for their faith. History teaches they were a driving force for the separation of church and state and demanded religious liberty for all. The downward trend is lead by Richard Land and other SBC leaders who'd deny the same freedoms to others, which we enjoy as free churches in a free land.

Perhaps my fellow reader is correct, "history teaches, but if we will not learn, we will go on erring."

Kenny Davis

Wise, N.C.

11/29/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



Beware of phony arguments : Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004

November 23 2004 by

Beware of phony arguments : Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004
Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004

Beware of phony arguments

Again the North American Mission Board was criticized on the pages of the Biblical Recorder (Oct. 23). The Guidelines for Church Planters adopted by the Board are good and, in fact, they were prepared in response to complaints from pastors in North Carolina who were concerned about some strange practices of church planters in this state.

Yes, inerrancy is very easily defined. It means "truth without any mixture of error" which was included in the New Hampshire Confession of 1833. This was used as the basis for the Baptist Faith and Message of 1925. A committee chaired by E.Y. Mullins included that same definition in the 1925 Confession. The 1963 Confession contains the same definition and that definition is also included in the latest 2000 Confession. This concept is not new among Southern Baptists. In January of 1900, Dr. J.M. Frost, founder of the Baptist Sunday School Board, published a book in which he said: "We accept the Scriptures as an all-sufficient and infallible rule of faith and practice and insist upon the absolute inerrancy and sole authority of the Word of God" (Baptist Why and Why Not, pgs. 17 & 18, Broadman and Holman). This book was republished in 1996 and is available in Lifeway Book Stores.

Baptists need to beware of your phony arguments.

Robert M. Tenery

Mocksville, N.C.

11/23/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



: Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004

November 23 2004 by

: Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004
Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004
Sad to learn of Hershel and Elizabeth Johnson's involuntary retirement

According to Matthew 28:19-20, when our Lord sent forth His disciples, He told them to "make disciples of all notions, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." There is no hidden footnote demanding that they sign a creed. All that was required was competent, Spirit-led discipleship.

How sad to read about Hershel and Elizabeth Johnson's involuntary retirement because of the demand that they sign a creed.

I knew them in Japan 1991-95. Once a month my wife and I attended worship in the Futsukaichi church on the Sunday when Hershel preached in English. It was the first of three missions Hershel and Elizabeth helped to start.

Our lives were blest by that church and its ministry. When we were leaving Japan in 1995, the second mission was about to begin. But now the third has been postponed because of their departure. Hershel and I also met regularly in on ecumenical study group where we discussed religious and cultural issues.

Faithful followers of Jesus seek fellowship with one another, not unanimity. In mission they work and pray for disciples, not clones. They trust the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), not creeds, to be the reliable guide to truth. I pray that North Carolina Baptists will continue to support the Johnsons' mission in Fukuoka, Japan, even after their return to the States. Because they have planted much good seed, it is a fruitful field ready for harvest.

William Naumann

Pleasant Hill, Tenn.

11/23/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



Influence sinners, not legislators : Monday, Nov 22, 2004

November 22 2004 by

Influence sinners, not legislators : Monday, Nov 22, 2004
Monday, Nov 22, 2004

Influence sinners, not legislators

I attended the Wednesday morning session of the Convention during which the amended resolution on the protection of marriage was passed. I voted for the amended resolution because I feel that the Christian community has the responsibility to take a decisive position on moral issues. We also have the responsibility to petition our government officials to fairly represent that position. I certainly respect and agree with the belief that ultimately we cannot legislate morality. However, that is precisely what our lawmakers have the responsibility to attempt to do. For example, making murder illegal is an attempt to legislate morality.

That said, I feel that one additional observation should be made. In my opinion, this legislation will not bring about the spiritual transformation of those in the homosexual community. If we can't legislate morality, we certainly can't legislate spirituality. Spiritual transformation comes only when Christians make it our primary responsibility to do what Anne Graham Lotz so eloquently encouraged us to do: "Just Give Them Jesus!"

Frankly, it is comparatively easy for Christians to take a hard stand against sin. The challenge that all Christians (including North Carolina Baptists) must accept is to nurture a relationship with Christ by which he fills us so completely that we are compelled to reach out in love to those who need him. Unless we are prepared to do that we have no business calling attention to anyone's sin but our own. Ultimately, whether or not we make an impact against this or any other sinful behavior depends not on our ability to influence our legislators. It depends on our ability to influence sinners.

Rob Helton

Havelock, N.C.

11/22/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



Blessings on the half shell : Friday, Nov 19, 2004

November 19 2004 by Tony W. Cartledge

Blessings on the half shell : Friday, Nov 19, 2004
Friday, Nov 19, 2004

Blessings on the half shell

By Tony W. Cartledge
BR Editor

After 16 years as a resident of North Carolina, I finally attended my first oyster roast, and I hope it is not the last.

The good folk of First Baptist Church in Morehead City invited me to join the choir in an oyster roast on Saturday night before I was to preach there the next day, and I was anxious to be introduced to any coastal custom that involved eating.

I arrived early, and when I saw a long table covered with several layers of newspapers, I figured that oyster shucking must be serious business.

I watched as the oysters were washed and put in large steamer pots, learning that some people do roast oysters on big metal pans, but most folks steam them, sticking with the traditional name because "oyster steam" just doesn't have the same ring as "oyster roast."

Self-seasoned with ocean brine, the oysters require nothing but steaming to the desired state of dryness to be ready to eat. We had some that were fairly dry, and others that were the oyster equivalent of "medium rare."

I managed to shuck several dozen oysters while getting a minimum of scratches from the sharp shells. They were tasty enough with no help at all, but dipping options like melted butter, hot sauce, and a homemade concoction of ketchup, vinegar and horseradish allowed for more variety. I even enjoyed a couple of the crunchy little crabs that live symbiotically in some oyster shells.

Standing around a table on a fall night and eating oysters from the shell as they dripped on the soggy newspapers was just as delightful as standing over the sink to eat the first juicy tomato sandwich of summer.

Better, in fact, because that first tomato sandwich is often consumed alone. At a church oyster roast, the fellowship and stories told around the table are as nourishing as the oysters and fried cornbread.

Just call it "blessings on the half shell."

11/19/2004 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge | with 0 comments



The sound of hope : Friday, Nov 19, 2004

November 19 2004 by Tony W. Cartledge

The sound of hope : Friday, Nov 19, 2004
Friday, Nov 19, 2004

The sound of hope

By Tony W. Cartledge
BR Editor

Messengers to the 2004 Baptist State Convention heard many sounds during the annual meeting in Winston-Salem; sounds ranging from the sweet voice of a child to voices raised in heated debate, from routine-but-necessary business to powerful preaching.

There was an unmistakable sound of silence from those who are so tired of fighting that they chose not to attend. The total of 3,132 registered messengers was more than a thousand fewer than last year's count of 4,190.

There was a resounding sound from attending messengers who are also tired of fighting and who voted overwhelmingly to defeat two divisive motions: one that would have abolished the Convention's flexible giving plans, and another that would have instructed the Board of Directors to determine "if we are Southern Baptist." A third motion, to eliminate Plan C, would probably have suffered the same fate if it had not been ruled out of order.

There was also the familiar sound of those who may or may not be tired of fighting, but who seem committed to continue until the enforcement of a certain brand of doctrinal purity is achieved. During floor debates, some messengers expressed beliefs that diversity is harmful, that unity can only be attained through uniformity, and that the exclusion of those who sit at differently nuanced doctrinal tables is desirable.

The messengers, however, would have none of it - even though a majority of those present appeared to be theologically conservative.

Both messengers and platform leaders voiced hope that North Carolina Baptists could leave divisiveness behind and move forward together, united in mission if not in every point of doctrine and church polity.

In his executive director's address, Jim Royston compared cooperation and divisiveness to the beautiful Rachel that Jacob desired, and her weak-eyed sister Leah that he was tricked into marrying after seven years of labor. North Carolina Baptists have worked too hard to settle for shortsighted policies that would hamper their ability to fulfill the Convention's mission, Royston said.

During a floor debate, layman Rick Matthews said the rank and file of North Carolina Baptists are not divided as pastors and church staff members are. "When we're swinging hammers to build a house and we talk to the people who will be moving in, we don't talk about whether deacons can be women: we tell them that Jesus died for our sins.

"The Baptists outside of this room are not divided," Matthews said. "They want to win souls, not votes."

While introducing the budget section of the General Board report during the closing session, Board president John Butler praised the budget committee, Executive Committee, and General Board for the unity they had displayed. "My only disappointment as president of the General Board has been the inordinate amount of time spent in discussion going into the question of the budget plans," he said. "If we put this issue behind us and free our staff and the General Board to focus on spreading the gospel, we'll see more people coming to Christ, more partnerships, and God will bless.

"I am unashamedly conservative in theology and incredibly disinterested in politics. I pray that we will put this behind us so we can free our staff and the General Board to move forward."

During his president's address, David Horton suggested that if North Carolina Baptists would spend more time considering God's purpose, they would find that "God has more in mind for us than arguing over the color of the carpet, whether or not we're going to have drums and guitars in the worship service, or as a convention how many giving plans we should have. I believe we would start focusing on reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ."

Perhaps the most moving message of the convention came in the form of six words spoken by a physically challenged child who attended Camp Mundo Vista this past summer. When asked the most important lesson she learned at camp, young Suzanna Tipton looked up from her reclining wheel chair and said: "I learned not to judge people."

Herein is the sound of hope for our Convention, the sound of the people in the pews rising up to say "Enough! Let's accept one another and love Jesus together and work side by side for the sake of Christ's kingdom. Let's put politics and power struggles behind us - and leave them there."

There was a time when messengers looked forward to the annual meeting as a time to celebrate victories, strengthen fellowship, and rally around the common cause of a common mission. In recent years, messengers and Convention staff alike have grown to dread meetings where the blessed joy of inspiring sermons and informative reports is washed away by a steady rain from the dark clouds of controversy.

The message from the messengers at this year's meeting suggests that many would like to see the days of joyful cooperation return.

In that message, there is the sound of hope.

11/19/2004 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge | with 0 comments



Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 5: Confess Jesus, God's Son : Friday, Nov 19, 2004

November 19 2004 by Robert Hunter

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 5: Confess Jesus, God's Son : Friday, Nov 19, 2004
Friday, Nov 19, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 5: Confess Jesus, God's Son

By Robert Hunter
Focal Passage: John 1:19-34

This time of year brings forth thoughts of the nativity. But, for many, that is as far as it goes. We are familiar, at least somewhat, with the manger and the baby born there. We will hear sermons and Bible studies on the subject. We will see pageants and plays and nativity scenes outside churches and on people's lawns.

There is, however, one aspect that is even more important about this story. What does Jesus and His birth mean to you and what should you tell others about Jesus? This passage recorded by the evangelist John involving the baptizer John gives us some insights of what we are to tell and what we must believe.

Confess His superiority

John 1:19-28

The main question peaks because of a confrontation between John and the religious establishment. There is something mighty and miraculous happening at the river. They want to know what and how it might effect them. John, after all, is of priestly roots: he might have an inside track as to all these goings-on. Speculation is rife about his role in all this. Is he Elijah returned? No. Is he some great prophet, maybe Jeremiah, returned? No. He is simply a "voice."

If he is simply "a voice," then why now? Because there was the Chosen One who was on His way. One that John said was so superior to himself that he was not worthy to loose His sandal strap.

Roger Fredrikson captures the essence of this statement when he asks, "What task is comparable in our society? Carrying out the garbage? Emptying the bedpan? Cleaning up someone's vomit? Who of us would say we are not worthy of that?" Yet, John did!

Will you tell others?

Confess His redemptive work

John 1:29-31

"The next day" marks the initiation of sequence that points to Jesus' death. It is then that John exclaims, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

Because of God's revelation to an obedient servant, John is able to catch a glimpse of such grand truth. John would have known of Passover and the celebration associated with it. He would have understood the requirements for the sacrifice of a lamb. John would have understood that without the shedding of the lamb's blood there could be no forgiveness and no restoration of relationship with God.

Being the son of a priest, he may have remembered passages from Isaiah (53:7) that speak of the Lamb being led to slaughter, and of that Lamb being a substitute and paying the price for our sins and providing for our redemption.

The religious delegation could have acknowledged and confessed this revelation from God through John the baptizer, but they didn't.

Will you tell others?

Confess His deity

John 1:32-34

John saw and experienced firsthand the truth of this encounter: "He bore witness." He saw the dove make its appearance, and he saw in it the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus and testify to the truth of that hour. He could testify to the initiation of the great work of redemption and to the identity and deity of Jesus the Christ. He admitted that it was not based upon some prior knowledge but upon the sign he knew to look for, "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining ..."

This was no momentary event. The Spirit remained and provided permanent authorization and endorsement and inauguration upon Jesus. This was indeed God the Son who came freely into the world to offer Himself.

I have been a volunteer fireman in three towns now. The situation of the world and those in it remind me of a house fire. Let's say you happen by and see a house on fire. What would you do? Would you go home and hope someone else tells them? Would you go home and make a contribution to the fire department? Would you go home and pray about it? Or, would you run up to the door and knock furiously and try to alert all those inside?

The souls of people are on fire. Will you tell them?

11/19/2004 12:00:00 AM by Robert Hunter | with 0 comments



Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 12: Follow Jesus, the Messiah : Friday, Nov 19, 2004

November 19 2004 by Robert Hunter

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 12: Follow Jesus, the Messiah : Friday, Nov 19, 2004
Friday, Nov 19, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Dec. 12: Follow Jesus, the Messiah

By Robert Hunter
Focal Passage: John 1:35-50

An appropriate response from those who encounter Jesus is to follow Him. Barna research polled adults in the United States and found that 95 percent profess to believe in God in some way and 85 percent claim to be Christian. But then a problem occurs. There seems to be no connection between what people claim to believe and the models after which they pattern their lives.

Jesus is the ultimate model we should follow and emulate. This leads to a natural question: "Why should I follow Jesus?" This passage from John provides the answer and highlights significant points for emulation.

Learn more about Jesus

John 1:35-39

In order to understand why you must follow Jesus, you must learn more about Him. Most things I have encountered in life were richer and more rewarding when they were approached with a sense of expectancy. John was expecting something to happen. Notice it is the "next day" when John and his disciples were already in place in a state of expectation. They were not disappointed.

Jesus came walking toward them, causing John to exclaim: "Behold, the Lamb of God!" Hearing John speak, they left John and followed Jesus. Jesus sensed they had questions: "What do you seek?" His answer to them was the same answer to us: "Come and see."

Jesus understood their confusion, their wishes, their longings and their hopes. He understands ours too. If we expect fulfillment in this life and have our questions answered, then we must learn more about Him and follow Him.

Tell others about Jesus

John 1:40-42

A natural outgrowth of our learning more about Jesus and following Him will be to tell others of what we have found. We want them to drink from the well that we have found, which satisfies our thirst as only it can.

It didn't take Andrew long to respond to this encounter. He knew what he had found and he wanted to share it. Andrew was already developing his character in relation to the Christ. He introduced Simon Peter to Jesus.

Every time you find Andrew he is introducing someone to Jesus. He went looking for that brother of his and exclaimed such a great truth: "We have found the Messiah." And then the sacred record says, "And he brought him to Jesus." What better thing can be said of a person than this?

I remember riding home on the school bus with a dear friend named Terry. I was speaking and behaving in my usual lost condition when out of the blue he informed me that he was saved the previous evening in a revival service. I can still feel the dumbfounded envelope of emotion that sealed itself upon me. I'm not sure what I had in mind, but I told him to have the pastor pray for me that night.

He reported the results back to me the next day, informing me that the pastor needed to see me and for me to attend the services. I did go within a day or two. The weight of the world was upon my shoulder that night as the invitation was given. I can only remember losing my voice and being in the aisle moving forward. I accepted the Lord that night because of an introducer named Terry.

I must also be an introducer and tell others about Jesus. This introduction of Jesus to others helps me understand God's plan for me, the final point of this emulation.

Experience Jesus' plan for you

John 1:43-50

These verses speak of the marvelous provisions of grace for everyone. It is highlighted in the fact that Philip is just an ordinary person. He is not some grand individual that Jesus sought after, yet Jesus invited him: "Follow Me."

That same invitation extends to each of us. We must do as Philip did. He found Nathaniel. Philip had to share what he found.

A research group reported that 85 percent or more of all converts are brought to Christ by someone they know or trust. Think of all the opportunities you have. Experience Jesus' plan for you and share it so others may know.

11/19/2004 12:00:00 AM by Robert Hunter | with 0 comments



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