Thursday, September 20, 2012



A Faith That Overflows

…Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
 –John 7:37-38

In his book “Evangelism through the Local Church,” one of Michael Green’s helpful definitions of evangelism really resonates with me.  It is one simple word: “overflow.”  Isn’t that the most natural way to view evangelism?  Someone so filled up with God and His love that they naturally reach out to others? 
I recently had the opportunity to preach on biblical baptism for 4 days at the Holly Hill church in Frankfort, KY.  Holly Hill is a great family of God’s people, and  I was blessed to meet many faithful, encouraging Christians.  But there are 2 in particular that will stick in my mind for awhile.  

One was a Christian named Rose, a kind, always-smiling-and-encouraging woman who worked full time at the local soup kitchen.  At every one of our church assemblies, Rose was there with someone (usually several someone’s) she had met at the soup kitchen.  It only took a short conversation to find out how much each one of those people appreciated her.  From their collective stories, I found out how this worked: each day at the soup kitchen, Rose would ask who wanted to go to church with her.  Those who accepted the offer would ride with her, and they would have faith-centered conversations on the drives, about God and faith and baptism and commitment.  Rose genuinely loves God, and her kindness and love overflows onto everyone God has put in her life, helping their lives and their faith.

The other was a 19-year-old young lady named Story, whose “hobby” is to study the Bible with people.  Insert the word “passion” for “hobby” and it’s closer to the truth.  I didn’t know what to make of Story at first – she showed up Tuesday night (the second to last night), with a trendy haircut and a bubbly personality to go with her cool name.  She was from another local church of Christ, but seemed to know everyone at Holly Hill.  After the worship service we talked for awhile, and I found out very quickly that she has a heart for following God with all she has.  That passion for God quickly comes out in her conversations with others, and before she knows it they are talking about faith and planning to get together again to study the Bible.  She had several studies ongoing, and one of those studying with her came to Holly Hill on Wednesday night.  I wondered: where does a 19-year old like that come from?  She said her love for souls came from her parents, who she said always seemed to have someone staying with them when Story was growing up, and who had brought more people to Christ than anyone Story knew.  Amazing, I thought, her parents love had overflowed onto everyone around them, including their daughter, whose faith is now overflowing onto everyone around her.

I thank God for Christians like Rose and Story, who love God so much that it naturally pours out of them.  I pray that our lives will become so filled with God that our joy and love is filled to overflowing, bringing those around us closer to God.

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