One message I do my best to help them see and I hope is imparted to their hearts is a deeply profound truth the Holy Spirit explained to me as a new missionary in Africa. It changed everything for me, and I have shaped every message I have preached, taught, or written around these powerful principles the Holy Spirit unveiled to my heart those many years ago.
Over the years, I have received hundreds of amazing testimonies from ministers I had the opportunity to teach and train. Their effectiveness in ministry increased beyond anything they had ever seen before. Pastors saw explosive growth in their churches. Evangelists saw greater receptivity and fruit from their preaching. A number of pastors I know in the United States have churches in the thousands and have thanked me for teaching them these truths that helped them reach and impact their communities.
What I am about to share with you today is what I taught these leaders around the world. It isn’t a deep revelation or a complicated study. In fact, when you hear it, you will be amazed at how simple these truths are so simple, you almost can’t forget them. You will also wonder why you never saw this before. I know because the leaders I have taught have told me those were their thoughts and reactions after hearing me teach them these basic gospel guidelines to follow. I think you will be equally blessed and amazed as these leaders were.
While you might not be in the five-fold ministry, the truth is all of us have been given the ministry of reconciliation by God. We are all commissioned by God to share the gospel to a lost and hurting world. We meet people every day who don’t know God. Our purpose in life is to help facilitate a divine encounter with those who don’t know God to help set up a reconciliation.
These simple principles will help you know how to share the gospel in a way that will impact their hearts in the greatest way possible. This is done with the hope of leading them into a healthy, loving relationship with God.
Jesus taught He is the author of eternal life and to receive that life one has to believe in Jesus. My goal in sharing these life-changing truths is to help you create an atmosphere that will let you see the hearts of people touched by God’s love for them.
As a young, fresh missionary in Africa back in the 80s, everywhere my wife and I looked there were tremendous opportunities to introduce people to the gospel. Mozambique was in the midst of a civil war but had been under colonial rule for hundreds of years where virtually almost no gospel was allowed to be preached. Later, the Communist took control of the country and shut down all religious activities. Catholic churches were turned into discos or bars. Deep in the African bush, if a rural church was found, all the believers were rounded up and put inside the crude palm-leaved structure used as a church building and it was burned to the ground. The first village I ever shared the gospel in northern Mozambique was later burned to the ground by government troops.
My point is to help you see as a young missionary couple in Africa, we saw incredible opportunities to share the gospel. We worked in refugee camps from Malawi down to Swaziland.
Our effectiveness in seeing thousands and later millions respond to the gospel began when walking in the backyard of the house we were renting many years ago. I was walking around just talking to the Lord in prayer when I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart truths that would forever change my life up to this very day.
He brought me to:
1 Corinthians 13:13, “Abide in faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love.”
I was told that everything I teach or preach should create an environment or atmosphere of these three spiritual truths for people to experience or have access to.
We know that faith is a response to God’s goodness.
Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing and hearing the gospel.
When people hear the gospel in its proper context, it will create faith in their hearts. The gospel will also give birth to hope in their hearts because people living without God are hopeless, not knowing what the future holds. Knowing God secures our future and drives out hopelessness in our hearts. Finally, the gospel is all about the love God has for people. The cross is a demonstration of that love.
Paul says love is greater than faith and hope because faith by itself cannot produce love and hope alone cannot give birth to love in a person’s heart. However, love all by itself can produce faith and hope in our hearts.
The Holy Spirit taught me the messages I preach or teach should help create an atmosphere of faith, hope, and love. If I do that in every service, a spiritual atmosphere will be created where the miraculous could happen. This atmosphere of faith, hope, and love is where people respond to God and God responds to them. It creates a divine connection where the hearts of people are open and receptive to God’s presence and grace touching their lives.
I followed this wisdom from the Holy Spirit and saw wonderful things take place. People responded to God’s presence. Amazing miracles happened. Blind eyes opened. The deaf heard and the paralyzed walked. There are far too many miracles and healings to describe here.
As the Holy Spirit taught me those many years ago, I have always asked myself, “Is what I am teaching or preaching going to create an atmosphere of faith, hope, and love?” As Paul taught the Corinthians believers, we should abide in these three powerful truths.
To abide simply means we need to live always in faith, hope, and love. If we do, our hearts will always be filled with faith in God. Our hopes and dreams will come to pass because we know how deeply loved we are by God.