Important Messages

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Use Tracts?

"To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (1 Corinthians ).
Why use Tracts? Good question. The best answer I can give is that we should use them because God uses them! I remember when I became a Christian and I came to know and understand the gospel through attending Calvary Chapel Camarillo. I remember reading a gospel tract after church one Sunday that had a prayer of confession and repentance on it. I read it over and over until I could recite it from memory and then I did just that. I prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, to turn from my sin in repentance, and to walk in the newness of life God had given me as a child of His. It was part of God's sovereign work in my life to save me.
I first used and learned about gospel tracts in college as I learned to share my faith through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. I continue to use them today because they are great "ice breakers" to help you start a spiritual conversation with someone you don't know. Even with friends, neighbors, or coworkers, I find that they are a great reminder to leave with them after talking with them about Jesus. For instance, I have an officemate at work that I give different tracts to on occasion and he has told me that he has shared them with his wife and son, all of whom are not Christians.
Here are a few of the reasons why I like to use tracts.
1. They speak clearly and they get right to the point.
2. They always stick to the Message and they never get distracted with rabbit trails.
3. They never argue or get angry trying to convey their message.
4. They never get tired and give up.
5. They are always ready to witness to its readers at any time and at any location.
6. They can get inside of a house and stay there, even in secret places where you cannot gain entrance, to be revealed at just the right time.
7. They convey a message that's never lost, and can be read over and over again by many people, long after you are gone and forgotten.
8. They can do a great work for God and lead many people to the knowledge of Christ.
9. ...Because God uses them.
Also, if you don't feel comfortable handing someone a gospel tract directly, they are great to leave in places where you know people will see them and pick them up. Here are a few ideas of places you can hand out or place tracts:
1. Sporting events
2. Book stores (Religious Section)
3. Barnes and Nobles.
4. Newspaper stands (leave one between each newspaper when you reach in for yours)
5. Pay phone Phonebooks (especially under "abortion" and "adult entertainment" sections)
6. Shopping carts
7. Clothes pockets in stores
8. Bills - return with your payment
9. Along with a generous tip
10. Drop in bags
11. Lobbies
12. Inside restaurant menus
13. Drive Thru Cashiers
14. State or County Fairs
15. Restroom stalls
16. Rest areas
17. Diaper changing stations
18. ATM machines
19. Credit card slots (ie. at gas stations)
20. Junk mail envelopes
21. Elevators
22. Hotel dressers and drawers
23. Magazine racks
24. Newspaper racks
25. Waiting rooms of doctors' offices and hospitals
26. On seats at airports,subways, and bus stations
27.  Plane seat pockets
29. Sleeves in DVD Jackets
30. Cabs
31. Laundromats
32. Library
33. Truck stops
34. Cases of Beer
35. Plastic brochure
36. Holder by your door
37. Movie Rentals
38. Napkin holders
39. EBay shipments.
40. Pin to bulletin boards in public places
41. Trick-or-Treat Packages (use Halloween time for God's glory!)
42. Everywhere
Be creative. You never know who might come along and read a tract that you have placed somewhere. If nothing else, leaving a tract for someone to pick up will encourage you to pray for someone. Have fun with it and ask God to use every tract you handout or leave somewhere. You never know who you might meet in heaven one day because of a tract you handed out or left somewhere.
Charles Spurgeon once stated, "When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready . . . Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. Therefore, do not go out without your tracts."
Some of my favorite tracts can be found at the following places online: Living Waters, Custom Tract Source, Chick Cartoon Tracts.
If you have creative ideas or ways you like to use tracts, please let me know. And always remember that whatever you do, do it for the Glory of God!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Every Day

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Matthew 9:37-38

Yesterday was a great day! I spent most of the day at home with my beautiful wife and daughter. Being Labor Day, I praised God for the work he has blessed me which he uses as a vehicle of provision for me and my family. I thank God for the education he blessed me with and the opportunity to design spacecraft for a living. It is a challenging job that stimulates my mind, keeps me on my toes creatively, and allows me the opportunity to minister to the people he has placed in my workplace. Too many times I take my job for granted and forget that it is not just a place I go to pay the bills, but it is a place God has placed me for His eternal purposes. While I spend my day “laboring” for wages I need to be mindful that God has called me, and all Christians for that matter, to be soul laborers in the harvest field.

While our daughter was taking her mid-morning nap my wife asked me if I could “Shark” the kitchen floor (in case you are wondering what that means, click here)? “I thought you would never ask,” I responded as tears of joy began to well up in my eyes. My wife knew I was playing at this point and we both began laughing. She then reminded me that after all, “it is Labor Day!” It was a great morning and we got some good cleaning done.

As I thought about Labor Day, Jesus’ words from Matthew 9:37-38 came to my mind. In these verses, Jesus tells His disciples that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few and to pray that the Lord will send out Laborers into the harvest field. This is a double-edged sword in the sense that if we are not laborers, we won’t obey this command, because our conscience will condemn us. The devil therefore gets two victories: not only does the professing Christian not labor in the harvest fields, but neither does he pray for laborers. On the other hand, the Christian who labors in the harvest fields as Jesus commands will tend to pray more regularly for other laborers to be raised up because they know how important it is and have a similar passion to reach the lost.

This isn’t the spirit in which Labor Day was founded, but it was a great reminder for me. For the first time in my life, I thought of Labor Day as a great day to spend some time going into the harvest fields to proclaim the good news to people. Being a South Bay resident, the city of Hermosa Beach offers a great venue to do just that every Labor Day weekend. Known as Fiesta Hermosa, crowds in the 100,000 range gather to peruse the street vendors, listen to music, drink alcohol and hang out with friends.

So, after sharking the kitchen floor and taking out the trash, I ventured down to Fiesta Hermosa to do a different kind of laboring. My wife and I had been down there Sunday afternoon and I went down again Monday to meet up with some fellow laborers. In less than an hour, I had the opportunity to talk to several people about eternity and was encouraged to hear accounts of people who had trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior this Labor Day! The harvest is truly plentiful and I encourage you to make every day a labor day!

In the words of A.W. Pink: “It is true that many are praying for worldwide revival. But it would be more timely, and more scriptural, for prayer to be made to the Lord of the harvest, that He would raise up and thrust forth laborers who would fearlessly and faithfully preach those truths which are calculated to bring about a revival.”