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Last Sunday at The Bridge, we spent time together in Acts 3:1-10, which is about the healing of the man born lame. An epic story, for sure, and a much-loved Sunday School classic for good reason. I’ve read it many times and taught on it before. But there were some points that I had never noticed before preaching it on Sunday. You’ll have to go back and watch the whole thing if you’re curious, because I refuse to repeat myself!
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Who am I kidding? As a pastor, I repeat myself all the time. But in this space, I want to expand on one thing I said. By hanging out by the temple courts (Acts 3:2), this lame man was placed in the pathway of God’s blessing. When Peter and John walked by and sensed God’s anointing to heal the man, he was there. He wasn’t hiding at home, afraid of being seen and known by others. And that act of placing himself in the pathway of blessing is what led to healing.
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It reminds me of an image that I’ve often found helpful, one that Nate referenced in a recent Sunday Night Service. Imagine that we are sailboats on the water. We rely on the power of the wind to get moving. Otherwise, we’re stuck. Likewise, as followers of Jesus, we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to “move”. We can’t do it on our own, not even close. What we can do, however, is raise the sails. If the sails are lowered, we will not move even if the wind blows. We have to raise the sails so that when the wind blows, we’ll catch it. When we talk about revival, and how we can prepare for it, this is what we’re talking about. We raise the sails by being devoted to the word of God, prayer, and fellowship (Acts 2:42). Those practices prepare us for and invite the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and church.
I was thinking about that idea this past week in relation to evangelism. I have a desire to share my faith and have conversations with people who don’t know Jesus. There are few things that give me more joy. However, my life is spent mainly within a church building or at home. Which means that in one sense, the sails aren’t raised. I’m not hanging out in the pathway of evangelism. Maybe you can relate.
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So I had an idea. It might fall totally flat, and perhaps I should wait to see the fruit of it before I share it with you. But let’s just throw caution to the wind and tell you anyway! While I’ll still spend plenty of time in our church home, I want to be intentional each week about spending some of my sermon-writing time in a coffeeshop. I’ve got my laptop, and prominently featured on the front is a Bridge Church sticker. I’ve also used all my arts and crafts skills to create another sticker that says “how can I pray for you?” I’ll set up in some visible location with my laptop open, ask the Lord to use me however He sees fit, and anyone who looks at me will receive a subtle invitation to engage in conversation.
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I don’t want to hide away. I want to be available in places where the people of our city visit. I want to raise the sails so that if God brings someone along who needs the hope of Jesus, I’m right there in the pathway.
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How about you? Are you placing yourself in the pathway of evangelism? Are you making yourself available to God in situations and settings where conversations about faith might spring up? How can you become more available to Him?