Salem, Oregon 2013
Monday morning before I left Eugene I went to have breakfast with Brother Virgil and his wife Ilsa who I had met at Berean Baptist Church. This is when I was introduced to Harley, Todd and Al. They all have a common interest in Jesus Signs International. In the business world the idea of using signage to deliver a message has to rank pretty high in terms of being effective. Well of course I think so or else I wouldn’t be driving a billboard throughout the country. Even so the marketing world agrees.
Jesus Signs International is a non-profit organization, founded in 2007 by Al Jagger, Virgil Adams, and Willie Houmes—originally known as The Messengers of Truth. “We believe there is power in numbers and there is power in the name of Jesus!” They believe that our nation’s bedrock was founded in Jesus, but saw how God began to be removed from monumental areas in our Country. They took a simple message and within 5 years had distributed 75,000 signs throughout the United States. Their mission is to spread the name of Jesus throughout the country and around the world.
If you are looking for a way to raise money for your church, missions, or youth group, they have made a way to help you. Large quantities are available at a lower cost for fundraisers.
Contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a personal challenge; what’s keeping you from publically announcing to the world your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Sure it’s not socially acceptable today nor has it ever been. But that doesn’t change the fact of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done and that without faith in Jesus no one will escape eternal damnation!
I understand that every Christian is not called to be a street preacher or a missionary to a foreign country but every one of us is called to fulfill the great commission. There are really no excuses. Do you purposely share the gospel in the area of influence God has you in? If so, praise God! But if you do not share the gospel the question is; “do you really believe in JESUS?” Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my commands.” That question was straight to the point but is one that must be sincerely considered. There are many ways and tools available that we may incorporate in fulfilling the Great Commission like: (Tracts, CD’s, signage, one on one witnessing and public proclamation etc.). I still find it difficult at times to share the gospel. I know that it’s always a lack of faith (Fear) that hinders me. That you may be encouraged, I want you to know that six years ago I was so insecure about walking up to a stranger to talk about Jesus that most of the time I didn’t. I was in love with Jesus but I was weak and needed a lot of help. I remember attending a Wednesday night men’s service where the speaker said, “I want you to think about this; is there something you desire to do for the Lord that you think is so far away that it almost seems impossible.”
Later each one of us was given a permanent marker and a wooden stake. I thought a wooden stake, what are we going to plant tomatoes? Then the speaker brought us back to the question he raised earlier and said, I want you to take the marker and write your desire on the wooden stake and when you get home I want you to drive it into the ground. I know that sounds strange and I cannot remember the significance of doing that. But I wrote the desire of my heart on it and when I got home I went out back and drove it in the ground. Then I pretty much forgot about it. So let’s fast forward to the present.
Back to the question; Are you actively sharing the gospel? Remember it is every Christian’s obligation. There are numerous ways and tools available to us like; Tracts, CD’s, signage, one on one witnessing and public proclamation etc. But the most important tool is Faith in God.
Let’s look at the great commission: Matthew 28:18-20
“And Jesus came up to them and spoke to them saying all authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And lo I am with you always even till the end of the age.”
The two factors that encourage me the most are: First that in verse 18 Jesus said, “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” second in verse 20 Jesus said, “And lo I am with you always even till the end of the age.” Putting these together with the command to go I believe Jesus is saying to You and to me: There is no need to fear, go forth knowing all authority has been given to Me, I am always with you, when you are afraid I will carry you, so trust me as a little child, I am the good Shepard and remember that when you are weak I AM strong.
I pray this is an encouragement to everyone who reads it as that’s my heart’s desire. There’s one more thing I should mention before moving on. Remember how earlier, I wrote that about 6 years ago I was afraid to talk about the gospel and how a speaker challenged the men to write their hearts desire towards doing God’s will on the wooden stake? Okay, I wrote one word on the wooden stake and pounded it in the ground: “Evangelism”
Praise God and again I say Praise God!
My dear friends I want you to know that this took time and how the Lord was gentle with me. It all started with the desire and a willingness to be stretched a little at a time or as you probably heard before a willingness to get out of your comfort zone. Although today looking back some of those first steps look pretty small but then they seemed huge! The Lord never allowed me to see any of them as insignificant nor did He allow the passion to come up higher grow dim. Even this very day I’m confident the Lord will continue to comfort me each step of the way as I look forward to coming up a little higher. Amen.
So dear friend what is the next step that God is calling you to take in fulfilling the great commission? Maybe it’s writing “Jesus Loves You” on heart shaped sticky pad notes and putting them on mirrors in public places, on sliding glass doors as you enter and exit businesses? Or maybe it’s to take one in hand and reach out asking, “May I give this to you?” The last one got me too, but after a while I did it. Well, I could keep going but for now whether it’s sticky notes, tracts, a yard sign, CDs, one on one gospel presentations, car graphics, street preaching or ………… Just do it as unto the Lord, knowing Jesus is saying, I am always with you, when you are afraid I will carry you, so trust me as a little child, I am the good Shepard and remember that when you are weak I AM strong. Amen.
I will pick up where I left off; Monday morning I enjoyed sweet fellowship with my new friends from Jesus Signs International. Thank you for the encouragement you are to me. I think I should mention that Al is 95 years of age and still impacting the world for Jesus Christ!
Leaving Eugene it was but a short drive to my next stop in Oregon which was Salem. Here I was blessed by Faith Baptist Church with a quiet and safe place to call home. This was so on time as the week in Eugene was trying indeed. As I spied out the land for ministry I was surprised that though the population was greater than that of Eugene the activities here were minimal. So there were no occasions to herald the gospel to the masses. Salem in my estimation was a bit subdued as compared to most Capitol cities. That in no way is a complaint because as in the past, weeks like these provide a time for bodily rest and time for going deeper in the Word. I spent a lot of time on the park benches around the capitol building pondering the Word. Matthews account of the gospel chapters 5 thru 7 were my focus. For now I will only say that precious was the time I had in the word.
The week here went by pretty fast and I suppose that is at least in part due to the restful environment and enjoying time in the Word. Now I fast forward to Sunday service at Faith Baptist Church where I enjoyed fellowship most of the day. Starting with Bible fellowship on through the evening worship service I was with family. Having been blessed by the teaching and preaching of the word and the Love of Christ extended to me was precious. Thanks to all of you for everything. Thank you Pastor Craig for every concern you demonstrated towards me the week I was in Salem and even to my next destination.
In closing, once again God has provided everything I had need of and by that I’m all the more certain that God is with me as I approach the next stop. Your prayers, support and encouragement are highly regarded. Until next week, God willing I write to you again.