Gone Fishin’ April 2020 Newsletter

Gone Fishin’ April 2020 Newsletter

Hi Everyone

Here’s this months’ Gone Fishin’ Newsletter.

Enjoy!

Gone Fishin’ Monthly Newsletter – April 2020
 
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

 
Hi Everyone

 
 
Well, hasn’t a lot changed in a small amount of time!
One week everything was rosy – now our whole way of life has been turned upside down!
 
I hope everyone is managing to stay safe and sane inside their ‘bubbles’. It’s not nice, but Christians are called to obey our Government (Romans 13), so we have to accept that, no matter how much we dislike it.
 
 
When we went out last month, I donned gloves to reduce the risk of contracting, or passing on anything dodgy. This month, assembling in groups, or talking face to face with people is a big no-no.
 
Oh, no – does this mean that evangelism stops? How am I supposed to share the Gospel? How is the world going to find out about repenting of their sins?
 
Don’t worry. Sit down. Take a big breath. God is still in control, and all His purposes will come to pass:
 
 
“Remember this, and show yourselves men;
Recall to mind, O you transgressors.
Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.” (Isa 46:8-11).
 
This virus didn’t catch God by surprise. He isn’t sitting on His throne thinking “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”
 
He knew it was going to happen, and in His sovereignty, He allowed it to happen.
 
He doesn’t need to suddenly implement a Plan B, because Plan A is working out just perfectly. He is using it for His glory.
 
Yes, God doesn’t change. Neither do all His commands and statutes.
So when He commands us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15), it still stands today, global pandemic or not. We are not let off the hook. We don’t get to press ‘pause’ on our Christian duties while we try and stamp out a deadly virus. The Christian walk doesn’t work that way.
 
God isn’t affected by the circumstances in the world. But we are.
 
He doesn’t need to tweak the way He does things. But we do.
 
So the onus is on us to think of other ways to fulfil the Great Commission.
 
And we have something that the disciples didn’t…well, pretty much all of us do. It’s called…technology.
 
With a click of a button or a touch of a screen, whoosh…in the time it takes for you to say ‘sent’, someone on the other side of the world has opened a letter, a photo, a document, and can be responding to it.
 
We have Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the like. I’m sure you can add to the list. A good number of us now stay connected to the fellowship by tuning into the Tuesday prayer meeting, or the Sunday service via Zoom. That’s something we never thought would happen this side of the tribulation!
 
It’s all new and exciting for some of us (well, especially me!).
 
But more importantly, it also opens up new and exciting ways to share the Gospel.
 
 
But I know what you’re going to say:
 
“It’s too scary”.
“People will unlike, or unfollow me”.
“All my friends will disappear”.
 
They are probably the same excuses you hide behind when the topic of sharing the Gospel face-to-face come up.
 
If that’s the case, then you may need to take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself some hard questions:
 
“Am I living a double-life?”
“Is the person I portray myself as online, far different than the one in real life?”
“Am I ashamed of the Gospel?”
“Am I ashamed of being a Christian?”
 
Answer those questions. Then spend some time on your knees asking God for forgiveness, and a clean slate.
 
OK, now that that is done, let’s talk about how we can fix things going forward…
 
Operation Online
 
Like the real world, the online one can be a big, scary place.
And like the real world, we need to pray for protection before venturing out (or in this case, in).
 
In the real world we can deliberately steer away from places or people that we know will cause us to sin.
Online, the sin finds ways to deliberately target you. 
 
So, ask the Lord for strength. Ask for integrity. Also ask Him to shield your eyes from those things you might be exposed to. but don’t want to see.
 
If you’re already techno savvy, chances are you already have one or more social media accounts set up. And on those accounts, there will be people that know you’re a Christian, and those that don’t.
For those that don’t, pray for the courage to tell them.
You don’t have to bare all, but maybe just share a link to a good solid Gospel presentation. You don’t even have to comment on it. At least, if all people do is click on the link, they will hear or read the Gospel.
 
What they do after that is between them and God. If they immediately unfriend/unfollow you, or make a derogatory comment, then take a big breath and ask to speak to them in private. Take it as an opportunity to witness to them. Behind the keyboard may be safe. But if it means you need to set up a face-to-face meeting after lockdown, then so be it.
 
If you are just starting out online, then on the first account you set up, don’t hold back! Start out how you mean to go on. Let the world know you are a Christian. Tell them the Gospel. Then those that want to join/befriend/follow you will do so, and the rest will leave you alone.
 
Personally, I started out with a blog. Google offer free blogs, so I jumped at the opportunity. This was more to have a place to keep and store my scattered thoughts, rather than any attempt to draw attention to myself.
I made an intention right from the start that I would only write or link to Christian material.
 
And on the off-chance a total stranger might stumble across the blog by accident, I made a page that spelt out the Gospel clearly.
 
A little bit later I opened a Twitter account. Twitter is a good place to throw out, or re-tweet (pass on) Gospel one-liners. You can also do the same in Facebook and other applications.
I also use my Twitter account to link back to articles and the Gospel page on my blog – again, not to draw attention to me, but to point others to Christ.
 
When you open a social media account, all manner of online salespeople will come knocking at your virtual door, attempting to peddle you merchandise – illicit or genuine.
 And just like real life, you can slam the door in their face (block them). But before you do, take the opportunity to share, or forward a link to the Gospel!
Be careful what gift packages (attachments or links) they leave behind, as they may contain harmful images, tracking software, or re-direct you to seedy websites.
 
 
There’s so much more information I could offer, but you are probably all wise to this practical stuff.
 
Most of you will have social media accounts, but never thought of using them in this manner.
The World Wide Web is such a huge place, and there are billions of unsaved people that use it. This is such an amazing evangelistic opportunity, pandemic or not!
 
You can do this! And the good thing is that it’s free! The world is at your fingertips, desperately needing the Gospel truth, so what is holding you back?
 
The world is panicking about beating a virus.
 
Yet the Lord is using it to equip His children, and to further His kingdom:
 
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
 
 
I don’t know if things will be back to normal next month, but in the meantime, stay safe, and continue to look for opportunities to share the Good News!
 
 
Blessings,
 
Craig.
 
Witnessing Tip: Draw people to Christ, not yourself!
 
 
Evangelism is making disciples of Jesus, not yourself.
If you find people are giving you accolades for sharing the Gospel with them,
remember to stay humble, and forward the glory to Christ!
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