In 1748, John Newton was a crew member on a British slave ship called the Greyhound. The ship was in bad shape, and during a violent storm, it began to fall apart and take on water. A fellow crew member was swept overboard. Realizing that he could soon die, Newton cried out to the Lord for help. The ship did not sink, and Newton, known for his wild behavior and mocking of Christianity, became a changed man, eventually writing the famous hymn “Amazing Grace”, which tells his story of coming to the Lord.
Newton lost all courage and all hope, so he cried out to the Lord, who responded with grace and mercy. We too can be messengers of the Lord to encourage – to bestow courage – on those who the Lord brings across our path.
ENCOURAGE is the sixth element of the Lassie approach to witnessing from the Every One His Witness Program. As we get to know a person through Listening, Asking, Seeking, and Sharing, and Inviting them to continue to pursue a Godly life, we can follow through by Encouraging them along the way. It might be to encourage them as they face real challenges in their life, or it might be to encourage them in the most important endeavor of their life – the pursuit of Christ and a life in the Spirit.
So the next time we are talking with someone, let’s be sensitive to what challenges they are facing, and encourage them to stay the course on the narrow path, the way of the Lord.
To God be the glory
Board of Evangelism