Be Who You Are in Christ with Jesse Pruett

Be who you are in Christ. That’s the advice songwriter, actor, composer, worship leader, husband, and father Jesse Pruett has for believers trying to make a difference in an ungodly culture. Jesse discusses his two solo albums, The Journey and Relentless Love, his path to becoming a worship leader, his acting, and his role as a father. Jesse was formerly with the group Parker Theory.

What about you? Is it challenging for you to live out your faith in your job, neighborhood, or in certain situations? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Bibles for the World with John Pudaite and Shane Houle

Bibles for the World president John Pudaite and Shane Houle join Heritage of Truth host Jeanne Dennis. John relates how one missionary’s faithfulness led to their ministry. Bibles for the World  has distributed Bibles in over 120 countries.

Shane explains the difference between reading and learning the Bible. He stresses the importance of helping new believers understand what they read in the Bible and introduces his book Learn the Bible in a Year.

John Pudaite’s father, Rochunga Pudaite, founded Bibles for the World. Rochunga accepted a difficult challenge as a boy. He left his mountain tribe in India to get an education so he could translate the Bible into the language of his people. His inspiring and fascinating story is recounted in the book and movie called Beyond the Next Mountain. You can purchase copies of these using our Christianbook.com affiliate link if you like.
Beyond the Next Mountain

Christmas Gospel Segues

Christmas Gospel Segues

by Jeanne Gowen Dennis

At Christmastime it would be a natural thing to tell others why we celebrate Jesus, but I think we all find it hard to share the gospel. We have the best news in the world. If we could make the gospel message part of our natural conversation, it should provide some openings to tell the good news. Below, I have provided some examples of Christmas segues for directing conversations towards the gospel.

Prepare First

  1. Make sure you pray and ask God for direction and the words He wants you to say to the people He chooses. Only the Holy Spirit can draw someone to salvation. Our job is to tell. God’s job is to save. Ask Him ahead of time to soften people’s hearts.
  2. Don’t be surprised if you are rejected or ridiculed for your faith. Jesus said, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20 NASB).
  3. Remember your witness may be one part of the process God is using to bring someone to saving faith. “So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (1 Cor. 3:7 NASB).
  4. Realize your efforts are worthwhile, even if people reject them.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:10–11 NASB)

Christmas Conversation Gospel Segues

Here are some ideas for how you can guide Christmas conversations toward gospel presentations:

gift under Christmas treeWhile discussing gifts

“The gift I’m most grateful for is the salvation I have in Jesus. Have you ever thought about what an amazing thing it was for God to give His Son for you and me?”

When someone wishes you “Happy Holidays”

“Thank you so much, but I prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ because I’m celebrating the birth of Jesus. Do you know why the Bible calls Him Emmanuel? It means ‘God with us.’” From here you can proceed to telling about His virgin birth.

While discussing Christmas trees

“Christmas trees always remind me of the tree Jesus died on to save me from my sins. He died to save you too. Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose to die such a horrible death?”

While discussing the materialism rampant at Christmastime

“Yes, all the gifts and toys satisfy us for a short time, but then don’t we always crave the next new thing? Deep down we long for something more genuine and permanent. I’ve actually found joy and fulfillment in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You can have that too.”

boy showing list to SantaWhile discussing Santa Claus

“Santa Claus traditions are a lot of fun, but we all know they can’t give us the true joy, peace, and loving acceptance we long for. I’ve found all of that and more in Jesus Christ. He wants you to have it too.”

At Christmas dinner

“You know the meal I’m looking forward to most of all? It’s the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven. But only those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be able to attend. I’d like for all of you to be there with me. Let me tell you about what the Bible says about salvation.”

When you see mistletoe

“The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is a sweet one, especially for couples in love. It reminds me of the greatest love of all, the love I experience every day in my relationship with Jesus Christ. “God loved the world so much He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.”

During preparations for anything related to Christmas

“Isn’t it fun to prepare this for others to enjoy? I appreciate all you’re doing. Did you know Jesus said He’s preparing a place for all believers to enjoy with Him in heaven? I’m so looking forward to living forever with Him there and finally seeing Him face to face. Wouldn’t you like to be there too?”

Only One Way

scarred hand of Jesus reaching outAny of these conversations could lead to someone saying he or she believes all people get to heaven their own way. Then you can quote what Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Then explain why Jesus is the only way.

These are just a few examples of how you can turn ordinary Christmas conversations into presentations of the gospel. I hope these help you find other ideas for Christmas gospel segues.

Unsure of How to Present the Gospel?

If you’re unsure of how to present the gospel, I have provided some links below to help you do that. If you’re saved, you know the gospel in your heart. Just tell it. Here’s one way:

God created everything and then made mankind for fellowship with Himself. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed and broke fellowship with God. Since then all of us have sinned against the holy God. We’ve broken at least one of the Ten Commandments.

For example, we might have lied, stolen, lusted, used God’s name disrespectfully, coveted what belongs to others, worshipped ourselves or something else rather than God. Sin against God resulted in death for all humankind. But even from the beginning, God had a plan to save us from our sin.

The sacrificial system in the Old Testament foreshadowed the final perfect sacrifice for sin. At the right time, the time we celebrate at Christmas, God sent His only begotten Son through a virgin’s womb. Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross to completely pay the penalty for our sin. When He rose on the third day, God showed He accepted that sacrifice.

Jesus conquered sin and death. He offers us eternal life as a free gift when we believe and turn to Him in repentance. It’s a miraculous thing God does in us, not something we do ourselves.

God gives us a new nature when we believe. Then we are no longer slaves to sin. We still have problems. We still sin, but He is faithful to forgive us when we confess our sins. God helps us grow more like Jesus every day as we submit our lives to Him.

My life has totally changed since God saved me. God forgave all my sins, and I have the peace, love, and joy only He can give.

What about you? Are you tired of your life the way it is? Wouldn’t you like to have new life in Jesus?

This is just one example of how to tell the good news of Jesus Christ. Here are some links that might help you as well:

Some Links with information about sharing the gospel:

Sharing Your Faith 101 from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
How to Witness to Family Members video with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, Way of the Master
How to Share the Gospel with Post-Everything People by Caleb Crider, IMB
Mistakes We Make in Sharing the Gospel by Ken Whitten, NAMB
The ABCs of Salvation is Not the Gospel by Aaron Earls, LifeWay
How Can We Have Courage to Share the Gospel with Others? by Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis
How to Share the Gospel with Love podcast with Ravi Zacharias and Michael Rasmsden, RZIM
Preaching the Gospel in Today’s Society by Russell Grigg, Creation.com

I’m praying you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and that all those you love will hear and believe the gospel and experience everlasting life with Jesus.

Jeanne Gowen Dennis © 2019

Apologetics through Children’s Fables

Can apologetics be taught through children’s fables? Michael and Sarah Dowling have proven it can be done. They have produced a beautiful and unusual book called Frogs Rainy Day Story and Other Fables that appeals to children through adults. Michael dubs it “an apologetic book for adults disguised as a children’s book.”

He and Sarah explain to Heritage of Truth host Jeanne Dennis how and why they wrote and illustrated this delightful book. Both of them come from dark pasts involved with the occult and New Age. They wanted to help others understand the truth they have found in Jesus Christ by teaching apologetics through the eight children’s fables in their book.

Sections at the end of each fable compare what the world says with what God says in the Bible. These comments should lead to great discussions.

What about you? Have you tried to teach your children about the biblical worldview? What resources have you used? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

You might also want to visit our children’s section with activities, stories, and other resources to help your children understand biblical truth.

I recommend you purchase the book directly from the Dowlings at their website to receive a signed copy. If you prefer to buy through our Christianbook.com affiliate link, you will find it below.

Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables
By Michael James Dowling / Carpenter’s Son Publishing

 

Recall the Miracles as Christmas Approaches

It may be difficult to recall the miracles as Christmas approaches. Here in the U.S. we have just survived Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. Both of these occasions encourage consumers to buy as many material goods as possible for the lowest prices. So the mad rush to Christmas Day has begun.

Does this annual focus on accumulating more stuff bother you as much as it does me? What happened to the wonder of the Incarnation? What about the miracle of Jesus’ birth when God Himself took on human flesh and was born of a virgin’s womb? Incredible news! Even more wondrous, He did it for us, to save us from our sin.

Unbridled materialism aside, the Christmas season is a wonderful time for families to enjoy holiday traditions like watching Christmas movies. Some of the most popular are Hallmark movies.

The Power of Christmas Movies

boy hanging homemade Christmas ornamentEver since mid-October, Hallmark has been airing Christmas films filled with nostalgia, romance, and family celebrations. Even though these offerings have simple and predictable plots, people love them

John Stonestreet of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview shared on BreakPoint his theory that Hallmark movies help satisfy our “longing for an alternative to modern society and culture.”

Ironically, watching Hallmark movies on their channels also bombards us with the culture we’re supposedly trying to escape. Every few minutes, we have to endure several advertisements, most urging us to buy more stuff.

So Hallmark feeds us what we long for while conditioning us through their sponsors to crave what we don’t need.

Hallmark doesn’t shy away from authentic Christmas carols, though. We hear characters sing about Jesus, but the words rarely have an obvious effect on the singers. We hear “God and sinners reconciled” in upbeat background music – with no sense of the awe we should feel at that incredible gift.

Making Movie Time More Fun

Now please understand, I enjoy most Hallmark and other Christmas movies. I just want to urge Christian families to talk about what they’ve seen and heard after they watch them. Children and teens love talking about things they enjoy. The Christmas season is a great time to let them do just that while helping them understand more about the truths of our faith.

Girl in red and white carrying lantern in snowFor example, the wonder expressed by the characters in most Hallmark and other Christmas movies has to do with “Christmas magic” or “Christmas miracles.” We hear little to nothing about the real miracle of Christmas, that God gave His Son for you and me. So after you watch a Christmas movie, discuss what the writers might mean by “Christmas magic” and “Christmas miracles.” Then ask them what they think are the true miracles of Christmas. Some topics you might discuss: a virgin bearing a son, angels announcing Jesus’ birth to shepherds, God in human flesh, the Creator taking on the form of a created being, a Savior born to die for us, Old Testament prophecies fulfilled, etc.

Dr. Ted Baehr of Movie Guide suggested in an interview he did with us that we use movie nights to help train our families to discern the messages in the movies we watch. He wrote a family devotional, Reel to Real,to help us pull out biblical principles from movies to apply to our lives. Some of those movies include Christmas movies.

So in the mad rush before Christmas, I hope you’ll take time to relax with your family, enjoy some good Christmas movies, and recall the miracles. Focus on the greatest miracle of the season – the Light of the World, our Savior born in Bethlehem who came to redeem us from our sin.

Jeanne Dennis

Here are links to reviews I wrote for some Christmas movies that might help:

The Promise: Birth of the Messiah
Saving Christmas

Please share about your favorite Christmas movies in the comments below.