WITNESSING MADE EASY - NO FEAR

Jesus Did It!

By:  Jim & Carla Barbarossa 

I would like to read some quotes from some great men of God.  They are as follows:

Dr. Billy Graham:  “The greatest strike of our generation has not been by labor unions, but by the 20th century Christians... the army of God which has refused to follow the Savior’s commands.”

Dr. Freddie Gage:   “We need to stop condemning sinners for not coming to church to hear the gospel, and we need to start condemning Christians for not going from the church with the gospel.”

Charles Finny:  “It is the great business honor of every Christian to save souls.  Now if you are thus neglecting the main business of life, what are you living for?”

Andrew Murray:  “There are two kinds of Christians:  Soul winners and backsliders.”

Charles Spurgeon:  “If you have no desire for others to be saved, then you are not saved yourself, and you can be assured of that.”

Leonard Ravenhill:  "America is not dying because of the strength of humanism but the weakness of evangelism."

I think they were addressing a problem in that day, and I think we find today that same problem still exists because they spoke these things.  The reality of it is, depending on who you listen to, 90 to 95 percent of those who are called born again Christians, those that have Jesus in their heart, 90 to 95 percent of that category or group has never led a lost soul to Jesus.  It’s because that same group never shares their faith, because if you dare to witness, you will see fruit because faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and if we proclaim it, they will catch it! 

Someone has to impart this message to the church.  I will assure you that the church does not want to hear it.  The church as a whole does not want to hear that we have a job to do beyond the walls.  We’re too busy with our programs within the walls, blessing each other.  It’s not a word that will tickle your ears today, but I believe it’s the Father’s heart.

I’ve had people sometimes tell me, “Jim, where is it in the Word that I am supposed to share my faith?  Where is it in there that says it’s not just for those twelve apostles back then?  But where is it in the Word that speaks to my heart today in this hour that I live?”

Let’s turn to II Corinthians 5:17:  “Therefore if any man (or any woman) be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Can anybody say amen?  If you are in Christ and say “Amen”, you will get that same Amen from churches all over America and all over the world.  They’re in Christ.   

I’ll tell you that I’m glad I am not the Jim I used to be; I think my wife will agree to that.  And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. 

To reconcile means to make compatible with.  To reconcile is taking something that has been ripped or torn apart and put it back together again.  That’s referring to the relationship between God and man.  Man sinned and there was a tearing that took place, and then God was here and man was over there, but God had a plan from the beginning of time.

And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. 

We didn’t deserve it.  We didn’t earn it.  God just did it.  For God so loved the world; He did it because He loved us.  But He doesn’t just love us; this is not just for us that are saved who know Jesus.  He loves the world!

And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ by what He did upon the cross, by what He did by arising from the grave, and have given to us.  This is the same “us” that we were speaking of before – those who are saved – those who know Jesus. 

…And hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.  Who does the ministry of reconciliation belong to?  It belongs to us!  The ministry of reconciliation belongs to every born again Christian, and it doesn’t happen after we’ve sat in the seminary for twenty years.  It happens the moment that we get saved.  We don’t have to have a degree.  We don’t have to have a bunch of stuff to go tell people what Jesus has done for us. 

I look at the ministry of reconciliation kind of like this:  Jesus was the main runner in the ministry of reconciliation, and so Jesus came out running the race and He had a baton in His hand.  You know, like they do in the Olympics; they pass a baton from one runner to the next.  The moment Jim got saved, Jesus came in and He said … I make you My ambassador to a lost and dying world; here’s the baton. 

It’s time to run the race.  Here’s the problem:  90 to 95 percent of born again Christians, when Jesus came in, He said I make you My ambassador.  He didn’t ask you if you wanted to be; He said this is part of the agreement folks.  This is part of the total package; when you get Me, you get everything I represent and you get My ministry.  The ministry My Father gave Me, I’m giving it to you.  And when He comes in and He hands that baton off, 90 to 95 percent of the batons have been dropped. 

I thank God that when I got saved, He put a man of God in my life; he said … I’m not going to let that happen to you.  He was in my face with a book, a tract, and with a CD saying this is how you do it.  This is what you need to do to reach people, and every time I turned around he was pushing me.  He was prompting and encouraging me; I thank God for him.  Here’s the problem we face today:  God brings in new believers and they become like those they associate with.  If 90 percent of those they associate with do not share their faith, then they will not share their faith.  It’s time to change.

Some of you reading this today need to catch this message, and you need to catch the fire with it and become a carrier of it.  First execute in your own life and become the witness that God has called you to be, and then encourage others to do it.  If we want to have a witnessing generation, and if I want my grandson who was waiving those flags in church to be a witnessing generation, I first have to be a witnessing generation. 

Twenty years ago in March (2013), a young man of 78 years old, showed up at my home church.  He taught us how to do a simple thing, and that was to take our story (testimony) of what Jesus had done for us and simply put it on a piece of paper.  He said, “Jim, you take this and carry it in your pocket.  Everywhere you go, you give it away, you give it away, and you give it away.  Well, being a three-day-old Christian the night that he showed up to teach this, I did what the man of God said to do.  I went home that very night and wrote out my testimony, and typed it out.  I went to the print shop the next day and ran off twenty five copies, and then the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I sat at my desk with those twenty five testimonies.  He said, “Mail one to David.”  You see, David is a man that rented a house from me.  Thirty days before I got saved, David knew a Jim that wasn't the Jim you see or know today.

I put that testimony in an envelope and mailed it off to David.  A few weeks passed by and I’m looking out the door; I see somebody walking down my driveway, and it’s David.  I didn’t realize it was him because he looked different.  He had this glow that he didn’t have before. 

David said, “Jim, do you remember those papers you sent to me?  I talked to my wife about that.  I told her if God could change Jim, there’s hope for David.” 

David went to church, went up to the altar, and gave his heart to Jesus, but here’s the best part.  Three other members of his family followed him to that altar.  Four people got saved that day because somebody cared enough to take their story and put it on a piece of paper.  God put the anointing on it and touched that man’s life.  Nobody had to beg me to do that.  The man of God taught it and I did it.

NOTHING ELSE THE WORLD HAD COULD FILL THAT VOID, BUT JESUS 

That testimony included what my life was like before Jesus; I had a hole in my chest that was so big you could drive a semi through it.  I was lonely, depressed and searching for something.  I had a wonderful wife and great kids.  All of it was nice, but I had a void.  Then I shared how I got saved and how Jesus came in and filled that void; nothing else the world had could fill that void, but Jesus.  Then Jesus took me and turned me upside down and inside out and every which way but loose.  In that testimony I shared about my life after coming to know Jesus; the change that took place. 

If your testimony doesn’t have change, then I think you better go back to your knees and talk to Jesus.  In my testimony I put a prayer for the person reading it so they could get saved, and then some contact information so they can get connected.  On the front of it we put a headliner or a title; it was nothing about God or Jesus.  It was something people would be interested in when they pick it up or see it. 

This one says, “Pregnant at 14 years young.  I was full of anger and disappointment, abortion, suicidal thoughts.  I became a bully.  My life was like a roller coaster until …” 

What God has done in this person’s life, is amazing!  We all have a testimony.  Everyone, wherever you’re at, you have a testimony.  If you’re born again and Jesus is alive in you, you have a story to tell.  In Revelation 12:11 it says they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death. They were willing to be martyred to share what Jesus had done for them.  Today we worry about what people might think.  A testimony is a powerful weapon to use against the powers of darkness.  You see when David read my testimony, it was more than just information.  It was a life-giving prophetic seed that stirred his faith enabling him to call out to Jesus and overcome Satan. 

In Psalm 107:2 it says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”

Have you been redeemed?  Anybody, wherever you’re at, have you been redeemed?  Here’s how the Living Bible says it, “Has the Lord redeemed you?  Then speak out!  LET THE REEDEMED SAY SO - - SO OTHERS CAN SAY SO TOO!  Tell others He has saved you from eternal damnation so they TOO can be saved from eternal damnation!”

Or do you care?  If you don't ... Satan has been doing a lot more of your thinking than you've allowed the Holy Spirit to help you do your thinking, if you'll be honest with yourself.  (Sorry if that stings, but you can take it up with God if it does.  I can assure you there isn't a lost soul in hell who wants another person having to come there, if you could ask them).

Consider something else.  Is it about YOU ... or is it about what is the very heart of God?  Are you more valuable to God in heaven than you are valuable to Him here ... to be used of the Holy Spirit RIGHT NOW to help reach lost souls?  Think about it ... because I can guarantee you that there is one thing in heaven you will NOT be able to do, and that is to be used of God to witness to a lost soul, because there will be NONE there.  NOW is the time to make your life count on His behalf.  Not there.  He's counting on YOU to be used of the Holy Spirit to help deliver others from the sentence of eternal death - eternal separation from God, because of their sins. 

I’m so glad God saved me from my enemies.  I'm so glad He has saved me from eternal punishment for my sins against Him and others.  I’m so glad He saved me from alcohol.  I’m so glad He set me free from the things of the world.  After I saw David and three members of his family were saved, I went to the print shop and ordered 5,000 copies of my testimony, 5,000 copies of Ray Moore’s testimony (the man who taught me about this), and 5,000 copies of Carla’s testimony.  I took them and put them in an envelope, and we put Psalm 107:2 into action ... "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so."  Everywhere I went, I became a walking testimony.  If there was a car window open, I dropped one in.  If there was a newspaper rolled up on somebody's porch, I put one in.  I left them for people in the restaurant.  Wherever I went, I was walking and sowing and sowing.  I stuck a few on car windshields.  

Then one day I went into a bank; now all of this has happened to a baby Christian; I’m talking six months in the Lord, somebody who doesn’t know anything.  I didn’t have a whole lot of the Word, but I knew Jesus.  I knew His voice and His character.  Somehow I knew that He wanted me to do this.  He wanted me to testify to his glory; I knew and I had somebody encouraging me; it was Ray.  Some of you need to be encouraging people.  You need to be encouraging the new ones that come into your church; help them get on the right track. 

Again, when I went into this bank and looked around, there was a counter with a wallet on the ledge.  I looked at it and picked it up; I took it to the lady at the window.  She opens it up and looks to see that the money is there, the credit cards are there, and all the other stuff was in place.  She said, “Sir, this just doesn’t happen today.”  I did my business and left.  As I’m walking out of there, the Holy Spirit says, “What are you doing stealing God’s glory?”  You see when I left that bank, I let that lady think highly of me.  But I didn’t do that because of me; I did that because of the One that lives in me.  As I’m going back to the car, He says…get your testimony and get back in there and give it to that lady.  So I grabbed two testimonies out of the car and went back in.  I told her that one of these is for her, and the other one was for the lady that lost the wallet.  Now who gets the glory?  God gets the glory!

Yes it’s good that we do good things, but we’ve got to do them in the name of Jesus and we’ve got to let people know we do them because our Redeemer lives, and He’s inside of us!  If we’ll just do our part and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, He’ll do the rest.  He’ll take it to the next level.

Carla walks in that same bank three weeks later; she did not have a clue about what I had done.  The teller gets Carla as a customer.  She says, “You know those stories your husband writes?  He gave me some of those the last time he was here in the bank.  And do you know what?  I’ve got that same void inside of me that he talked of having inside of him.  Do you think I could go to church with you?”  She came to church and got saved because somebody shared a testimony to the glory of God!  That testimony was a prophetic life-giving seed.  Your testimony is a prophetic seed; a life-giving seed.  

Please turn with me now to Mark 5:18.  In verses 1-14, the scripture is telling us about the demon possessed man, 2,000 demons within the Gadarene, and about how Jesus cast those demons out.  I have a question for you.  Has Jesus cast any demons out of you?  Come on now; has Jesus set any of you free from anything?  Wherever you are right now, has Jesus set you free?  Has Jesus done something for you?  Amen?  He did something for me – praise God! 

Mark 5:18:  And when He was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed that He might be with him.” 

In other words, Jesus, I want to go with you. 

““Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, “Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath compassion on thee.”

Go tell your family; go tell your friends; go tell what I have done for you.  I'm not taking you with Me right now; I've got a job for you to do.

That belongs to every born again Christian.  Everyone who has ever called upon the name of Jesus has a commission to be a minister of reconciliation. 

In verse 20 it says:  “And he departed (this was the demon possessed man)…and he began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”

This man didn’t go to college; he didn’t go to a seminary.  He had just met Jesus, and he began to publish.  That word publish means to distribute, to issue, to declare, to announce, to reveal, to proclaim, to broadcast, to tell, to profess.  This new believer published in Decapolis (Decapolis means ten cities) how great things Jesus had done for him, and all men did marvel.  The Holy Spirit was using His words to plant and water divine spiritual seeds in the ears and minds of the hearers to point them the way to eternal salvation through Jesus Christ the Lord -- spiritual seeds that your testimony can do every bit as much as his or anyone else's!  The same assignment that Jesus gave the demon possessed man when he set him free is the same assignment that He’s given to every born again believer from the moment they cried out and were saved … go tell. 

You may say … but I’m afraid … so am I.  Fear tries to grip me every time the Holy Spirit moves me to go do something in the vein of witnessing and evangelism, but we have to learn to be obedient and overcome it. 

On another day, I was driving down the highway past a storage business.  I knew the man a little bit that owned it.  I knew him well enough to know that he was hardly ever there, but the Holy Spirit was prompting me to stop in and talk to him, so I stopped and he was there.  I shared a little bit of the gospel with him, but he had had enough.  I handed him an envelope that had my testimony, Carla’s, and Ray Moore’s testimonies in it.  I could tell he had enough of me, so I gave him this envelope and then left.  Three months later I ran into a man in a department store.  He comes up and has a baseball cap on and is grinning from ear to ear; he sticks out his hand and says, ‘How are you?”  I’m thinking … who are you?  I didn’t have a clue; I didn’t recognize him. 

He said, “Do you remember the time that you stopped at my storage business?” 

I said, “Oh yeah … Ok.”

He said, “That envelope you gave me sat on my desk for months, and here about a month ago, I had this desire to open it.  I opened it and when I shook it, this tiny little red tract bible fell out of it.”

Now this was a pretty big guy.  He said, “When I picked it up, this energy just shot right through my hands.”  This was an unsaved man and the power of God literally jolted him.  He said when he went to his wife, this is what happened.  She said to him, “Lonnie, I’ve only felt things like that in one place, and that was in the house of God.”

To make a long story short, Lonnie went to the house of God that very next Sunday.  Lonnie got saved.  When he got saved, they rolled out a tank of water; they threw Lonnie in the water.  Lonnie came up out of the tub, and he’s praying in tongues.  Praise God!  All of that happened because somebody cared enough to share their testimony to the glory of the living God. 

In I Samuel 17:49-51 it says, “And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.  Therefore David ran and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith.  And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled."

Then Verse 54 says, “And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent.”

That head of that giant was a testimony to the glory of God.  David did not leave that testimony out on the battlefield.  David grabbed that head; I can see it now … he’s got him by his hair and he’s parading this head all over town to my God; to His glory!

I WANT YOU TO PARADE YOUR TESTIMONY ALL OVER TOWN TO MY GLORY

God is telling his people … I want you to parade your testimony all over town to My glory the same way that that Philistine’s head was carried.  We’ve got it in both the Old and New Testaments; it is God’s desire for his people to share in His glory exactly what God has done for each one of us. 

In the year of 2003, we taught the members of a local church to write their testimonies and put them in a flyer form.  We ended up with 67 testimonies on bright colored paper.  Now I not only had Jim’s testimony to share, but I had a library of testimonies to share.  When I met people that were going through something that I never went through, I was able to go back to the library and pull testimonies that would speak into their need when I wasn’t able to speak into their need.  Every church should have a library of testimonies.

In December of 2003, God spoke to Carla about these very testimonies and how He wanted her to start using them.  Carla is going to now share about that paralyzing fear she had.

Carla:  I was born again at an early age of 13, and I just remember always being very shy and backward.  I was afraid of people and intimidated by them.  Ask me to do anything, but don’t ask me to be a witness; don’t ask me to talk to people about the Lord.  Even though I loved Him with all my heart, I just did not feel confident in talking to people about the Lord.  I was just absolutely afraid.  It was just like a paralyzing fear and a big piece of duct tape was over my mouth.  I just did not want to do that.  I don’t even really remember being taught in church that that is what we were supposed to do, so that made it even easier for me not to do it.  I just did not want to do it. 

After Jim was saved, it was just almost like … who is this guy?  He gets saved and is just out there talking to people, and it was a jealousy on my part.  Who does he think he is?  I’ve been saved for 25 years and he’s out there telling everybody about the Lord.  I was so jealous of him to where I realized that jealousy is not of God, and I needed to repent of my jealousy. 

I said, “Lord, you’ve got help me here.  I’m repenting of this jealousy, but I want to get set free of this fear so I can do what he is doing.” 

It was a jealousy, but yet I wanted a desire to do what looked like came so natural to him even though he just was newly born again.  So it took time and I was still afraid; a couple of years from that point we were actually out ministering in churches and Jim was sharing his testimony.  I was feeling like a hypocrite because here we are invited to these churches and we’re sharing with them about being a witness, and I’m a part of the team because we were to me, one.  I’m not doing what I thought we were supposed to do, so I’m feeling like a hypocrite.  I said, “God you’ve got to help me with this fear.” 

I remember being in this church in Louisiana, and we were out and just before the service we stopped to get a bottle of water.  I remember the pastor had given us a little tract. 

It was a tract that we actually use today because he gave his permission to use it.  It talks about if there’s something missing in your life.  The pastor had on the back of the tract the information of the church so people could get connected once they were born again.  So I had this tract with me, and I go to pay for my bottle of water, and I just felt like the Holy Spirit wanted me to talk to this cashier.  I came up with some words that I thought I would like to ask her as I talked to her about the Lord. 

After I shared with her a little bit, I said “Well if you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven or hell?”  She said, “I don’t know…  Then I said, “Well before I leave here, would you like to know?”  She said yes and then I said, “Let’s pray and ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you.”  So we prayed and she actually asked the Lord to come into her heart and be her Lord and Savior.  That was the very first person that I ever witnessed to, and it was awesome!  If you’re bound inside for twenty five years, it was like an anvil with this heavy weight and burden that was on me; it just kept me down.  The enemy knows our weaknesses and he knows what will keep us down.  As long as he can keep you bound and under that oppressive state, he’s going to keep you there for as long as he can.  But I was crying out for mercy; I was crying out for help.  I was crying out, “God set me free of this fear!” 

So God was answering my prayer and He did help me, but when I got in the car and we started to drive to the church, it was like I couldn’t contain myself.  I thought … wow, I led that lady to the Lord, and now she’s a believer in Jesus Christ.  So I shouted … HALLELUJAH!!  Thank you Jesus!  I was watching Jim as he was driving and was afraid we were going to go in the ditch.  He looks over at me and said … where did that come from??  So I had to tell him what happened, and it was so awesome and so freeing, because when you’re bound and now you’re set free you’ve got to let out.  Hallelujah!

Then I got to the church and told the pastor…you know this lady just got saved and she works at this convenient store down the road.  You’ve got to go there and talk to her and invite her to church because I showed her the information on the back of the tract so she would have a place that she could come to church.  It is so important to get connected because we know when that person gets born again, the enemy is going to be right there to steal, kill and destroy.  He’s going to be right there because he doesn’t want one of his that used to belong to him taken away from him. 

Time goes on and we’re out there, and the Lord’s helping me.  Like Jim said, every once in awhile even though the Lord set me free, that fear will still try to come back on me.  It’s just like you scratch your head and ask…why, why, why?  It’s because the enemy wants to drag you back. 

As we were in this church, we were developing these testimonies getting them all printed up.  We had them on the different colored papers, and we would just carry them with us until such time as we developed the books.  So I remember one time right before Christmas, I was getting ready to take a trip to the mall and finish up my Christmas shopping.  It was two weeks before Christmas and I was going to get it done, and I thought…I’m going to grab a handful of these testimony papers.  I’m going to stick them in my purse and I’m going to be ready…I don’t know what you have in mind God, but I’m going to be ready because I’ve got my tools with me. 

What the Lord and the Holy Spirit impressed upon me as I was going about my day, was that I would just fan them out and ask the person to pick a color.  What was neat about this is when you go to the mall two weeks before Christmas, it is CRAZY.  Everybody and their brother are there; they’re also trying to finish up their shopping.  You can’t find a parking place.  You get inside of the mall and you can even hardly move because there are so many people there.  The lines are long because everybody wants to hurry up to get their stuff and go home.  The cashiers are worn; they're giving out and giving out, and they're just tired and worn out.

When I fanned them out and asked them to pick a color, you’re saying to them … I have something for you.  You’re giving out all day long and I have something for you.  It was just like this big smile came on their face saying …Wow!  So they would pick a color, and it was interesting to find out the one that they picked was like…meant just for them.  Even though it was their favorite color, the Holy Spirit just had a way of getting the right one into their hand.  It was just so neat for me; how many times I’d be fanning them out for the cashier and somebody would be looking over my shoulder in line asking … oh can I have one too?  The Holy Spirit was working in all kinds of ways that day, so it was neat. 

I had a few left and it was time for me to have some lunch.  I went into the food court and got my lunch; I sat down and remember there was a young man who was just a teenager.  He was sitting across from me, and the Holy Spirit whispered to me…I want you to reach in your purse.  I want you to pull out your daughter-in-law’s testimony and I want you to hand it to him.  Fear hit me.  All day long I’m being a witness for the Lord saying to people…pick a color…pick a color…and it was just awesome.  All of a sudden, that fear just gripped me again.  I’m thinking to myself…oh I don’t know…I don’t know.  So I didn’t do it; I just said…hey, pick a color!  I fanned them out again because I got afraid.  I don’t know why; it was like I didn’t trust the Holy Spirit?  I don’t know what it was.  And do you know what he did?  He picked my daughter-in-law’s testimony because there was a reason that young man needed that testimony.  There was something in there that he needed to see and read. 

After I did that, I thanked the Lord, but I had to repent.  You may be saying…why did you have to repent?  It was because I didn’t do exactly what He told me to do.  I said to the Lord, “Please forgive me; I messed up.  I didn’t do it the way you wanted me to do it.  I thank you that he picked the right one.”  That’s what we have to do whenever we mess up.  Whenever we know we’re supposed to witness to somebody and we don’t do it, or we’re supposed to pray for somebody and we don’t do it, we have to be quick to repent and say, “Lord, help me to do it right the next time.”  Because they’re hanging in the balance between heaven and hell, and if we’re the one that’s supposed to witness to them, that responsibility is on our shoulders, so we have to be so careful.  I don’t know how many times when we’ve messed up and repented, God gives us another opportunity, so we have to be careful about making sure we do things right.  Thank you Lord. 

Carla’s becoming a witness for Jesus is found very clearly in the scripture why that change took place.  It’s because faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  Because everywhere we went, she heard messages like this, and she caught it.  I’m going to throw this out to you, but I’m also going to throw it out to preachers all over the nation, especially those who are senior ministers.  Our people become what we teach them.  If we teach them to be witnesses, they will catch it!  But if they don’t hear it from the pulpit, they will never catch it.  It is up to us to feed the sheep the fullness of God’s word; not just the things that tickle their ears; not just the things that they want to hear, but the fullness of God’s word.  Part of God’s word is that Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost, and that responsibility now belongs to all of us.  As senior ministers, we have failed God…we have failed God…and we need to change. 

We need to raise up a witnessing army, and it comes from the pulpit.  It comes from what we teach them.  About those 67 testimonies, and let me say this, I thank God that there was a pastor with vision; a pastor that cared enough about reaching the lost that said, “I’ll give you five minutes of every service so that you can pour into my people, so that they’ll start being the witnesses they need to be.”  And it was because that pastor gave me those five minutes that we were able to develop those testimonies and move 67 people from a place of never sharing their faith to a place of becoming consistent witnesses for Jesus.  But it only happened because the senior minister made a choice for it to happen. 

I challenge senior ministers all over the nation – make that choice!  Make that choice to have a witnessing church no matter what the cost.  Those 67 testimonies ended up in a published book with 67 faces with 67 stories.  That book was published in the year of 2004, and between 2004 and 2006, in a 3-year period, the members of this small congregation of about 200 people distributed 60,000 copies in the three counties of Porter Lake and La Porte counties here in Indiana. 

The neat thing about these books is not just testimonies.  Laced between the testimonies is the gospel of Jesus Christ, so when people get the testimonies, they’re also getting the Romans Road and they’re also getting a fast track to salvation.  The name one of the ladies in this book is Ruby.  When we landed in this church and started doing these 5-minute segments, this was a lady who knew us because she was one of the ladies who actually helped pray me into the kingdom twenty years ago.  This is what she shared with me after we had been doing these 5-minute segments for awhile.  She finally wrote her testimony and she’s now a part of that book, but what she said was, “Jim, when you started doing those 5-minute segments, I didn’t want any part of that stuff.  I tolerated you.” 

Man, that’s a strong word! 

Then she said, “But everytime I turned around, you were in my face.  You were in my face on Sunday morning.  You were in my face on Sunday night.  You were in my face at the Wednesday bible study; I couldn’t get away from you!”

I said, “Ruby, what happened?  Why did you write your testimony?  Why are you in the book?”

She said, “Jim, its Bible.  Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God!  I’ve been a Christian for forty years and nobody in forty years has told me in consistency that Ruby had a job to do in sharing her faith.” 

Her thing before that was…I’ll do anything I’m asked to do in the church…anything…but I hang my hat when it comes to that witnessing stuff because we pay pastor to do that; that’s his job.

Well thank God that faith cometh by hearing!  Ruby wrote her testimony and Ruby was in the book.  One day she was driving down the highway past the tattoo parlor, and the Holy Ghost says, ‘Ruby, go in there.’  I wish I could have seen it.  Ruby was probably in her 70’s at that time, and she waltzes into a tattoo parlor and she goes up to this big burly guy with tattoos and says, “I think this belongs to you sir.”  Thank you Lord! 

Another time she was driving down the road and the Holy Spirit says, “Go in that bar.”  She went in the bar and asked the owner to put a book display up with books in it, and the bartender looked and said, “Yes ma'am, we’ll do that.”  Praise the Lord!  Consequently, that book went out all over the community. 

One Saturday we took a walk through a trailer park.  We took bright red bags; we put the books down in them and we left them hanging on doorknobs and door steps, etc.  Wednesday night a young teenage girl shows up at church and she says, “I found this book out on my stoop on my porch, and started to read it.  It's talking about God.  Nobody ever told me about God before!"

This is America!  Nobody had ever told her about God.  She got saved that night because somebody cared enough to write their stories and put it in a book, and take it and leave it on her doorstep.  She got saved!

One night Carla and I went into Chicago; we were at a fancy restaurant.  I carried four books in with me, and had them setting on the corner of the table.  I see this waiter coming by.  He almost broke his neck looking at the cover of that book.  A couple of minutes later I waved him over and signed one for him, wrote his name in it and gave it to him.  A few minutes later this girl walks over to the table and says, “My brother over there got one of those books.  Do you have another one?”  I asked what her name was; filled it out with a short note, highlighted where our stories were in it, handed it to her and she took off.  A little bit later another guy comes by.  The same thing – filled it out and gave him one too.  Then we were eating our meal and I was blown away; the head chef comes out of the kitchen.  He comes to our table and says, “Are you all the folks that write the books?”  Praise God!  Now they’re coming and asking for the gospel! 

I couldn’t make that happen, but Jesus can.  If we do what we know to do, God will do the rest.  I signed that book and gave it to him, and everytime we go back to that restaurant, I ask if he’s in the kitchen; he’ll come out and we’ll talk.  If I have a new book, I’ll give him one.  We’re just sowing into peoples’ lives.  If you sow the gospel, something is going to happen.  Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. 

One Saturday night we’re in a restaurant in Portage, a steak house.  We had a really great meal; this waitress just served us so well.  Everything was top notch.  When we got done, we opened a book up, dated it and wrote, “To Nicole, thank you for the great service tonight.  You can read our stories on Page 84 and 62, or whatever they were.”  We put a generous tip in there, and as Christians, we should always tip more than what the world tips.  Our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills; there’s no reason to be cheap and stingy.  That was on Saturday night; on Sunday morning Nicole shows up at church and gives her heart to Jesus!  She said when she opened the book and read Carla’s story, it was like she was looking at herself.  You see, if you’ll write your story, if you’ll put it on paper, God will put it in the hands of people that can relate to your story. 

Then one day I get a phone call, and it’s from the head chaplain in the Dept. of the Armed Services of the United States of America, in Fort McCoy.  This is the place where everybody going into harm’s way goes to get sent out.  He said, “I ran across this book with all these faces on it.  Do you think I could get a few?”  I asked him how many he wanted; we sent him 900 copies that went to countries where men and women were going into harm’s way.  They ended up in fox holes in Iran, Afghanistan and other places, and then he said they gave them all out and asked for more.  We sent him more; it was a small church with 200 people with a BIG God. 

Then we developed these boxes and filled them with books; these are like little mission bases.  We took these boxes and had them in 100 businesses in La Porte, Lake, and Porter counties. 

We had them in bars, bowling alleys, liquor stores, court houses, jails, prisons, movie theatres, auto parts, and restaurants.   All of a sudden, there’s a card in the back of the books, and this card is something for a person to fill out saying that they received Jesus and want prayer and more information.  While this was all happening we started teaching people to put a case in the foyer of your home, and if anybody comes to your door, they get something.  Put a case in your car, and you never get out of the car without two or three books in your hand.  You might say ... well one's enough.  No, one is not enough.  We serve a powerful God!  You'll go in someplace and give away one, and that will lead to giving away two or three.  The bottom line is we get what we expect.  When I go in with a handful of books, I expect to give away a handful of books!  If you go in with one, you're only going to give away one.  You get what you expect.  I expect a lot!  Praise the Lord!

So we’re teaching the saints this, and they started taking cases of these books on vacations with them.  Somebody takes off for Florida and sows two cases of books there and back.  Somebody takes off for California and they’re sowing books, and all of a sudden books are crossing America.  We started getting these cards back.  One of the cards was local: Gary, Indiana, saved; Lake Station – saved; Watertown, Wisconsin – saved; Ocala, Florida – saved; New Chicago, Indiana – saved; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; California, Florida…if you get the idea…a little church in northwest Indiana with a couple hundred people.  All of a sudden people are getting saved all over the nation.  I don’t know about you, but I enjoy being a part of something like that.  I do; I want to sow into good soil.  I want it to be an abundant harvest! 

So as we were doing that, new people started coming to the church.  We wrote new testimonies, and in 2007 we did a new book. We printed 20,000 copies and started giving those away, and about that time I heard from a doctor in London, England.  He said, “I got one of these books with all these faces on it; my patients need this in London, England.”  He paid $200.00 for the postage to ship two cases of books to him. 

Then more new people were coming in 2008, and we printed 20,000 more copies of another testimony book.  Again, this was just a small church with a couple hundred people.  In five years we gave away 100,000 copies of books containing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This was done by 90 percent of the people who had previously never shared their faith, but now they were witnesses for Jesus. 

As of today, these books have gone into 106 nations of the world.  This version was translated in the nation of Nepal; it was also translated in the nation of Myanmar, into the Urdu language of Pakistan, and into two languages in India.  Then we developed a new version called “The Lighthouse”; we gave away 25,000 copies of this version in the Indiana area.  Then it was printed in the Philippines – 20,000 copies – and they are all over the mountainous and village areas of the Philippines.  People are getting saved in the Philippines because of what somebody did right here.  I don’t say all this to brag on anything that we’ve done; I say this to brag on my God.  I say this to encourage you that you can make a difference, and that one of you here reading this wherever you may be could be the catalyst that God will use to start a book like this to reach your city; to reach your region if you will just take the baton and run with it. 

To date, between those versions and the newest version that we did, Lighthouse Edition II, over 200,000 copies have now gone out in eight years.  Are numbers important?  I think so, because numbers lead to numbers of souls saved.  The more you sow, the bigger the harvest will be, and I want to be part of a BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG harvest.  Would you like to see your church do this?  Would you like to see people in your city reached with a book like this with testimonies in it?  Would you possibly allow God to use YOU as the catalyst to make this happen in your city or your region? 

I’ll tell you something – it’s easy because we’ve already done it and we’re here to help you.  Whether it’s somebody reading this now and you want to do this in your city for your home church, we will help you to do this.  We’ll provide you with samples of those testimonies on colored bright forums; we'll supply you samples of the book, and then we'll even supply you with a DVD that you can present this to your congregation.  This is so easy.  Anybody can do it; there's no reason not to do it.  (Here's a link to learn more:  http://www.precious-testimonies.com/RealLifeGodStories/RealLifeGodStoriesLighthouseEdition/freelighthousetestimonybook.htm )

Prayer:  Father, I ask that you will take these words that were shared today, and God, that they will produce fruit.  I ask Father that there will be conviction in the hearts of those who see this wherever it is seen that do not share their faith.  I ask that they would repent and bow their knee; that they would ask for forgiveness and they would turn and start sharing their faith.  Father, I pray that even some of those people will rise up as powerful witnesses, and that they would be the catalyst, God, that you would use in their cities to be an instrument to bring this type of teaching to their church and to their city.  Father, I pray for additions of this book to rise up in cities all over America and other places of the world.  And Father, I ask that this all be done, God, to your glory and to your glory alone. 

Has it bothered anybody that this baton has been dropped?  Is there anybody that it has bothered and you want to just run and pick that thing up?  If it did, there’s a chance you might be an evangelist.  It’s hard for an evangelist to just let that baton lay there, but this is what I want to do now.  I know that every believer in Jesus Christ has a part in them that wants to share their faith; I know it.  I also know that God will help if fear is stopping you from sharing your faith.  I know God will help you.  There is evidence right here; there’s evidence with Ruby, and we’ve seen evidence all over the nation.  We’ve seen Christians of 20-30-40 years that God has set free and now they can share their faith.  If you need help in that area, please let us pray for you.  You’re taking the first step that my wife Carla took and said, “God, I need help.”  If you’ll take that step, He’ll meet you – He will!  If you want prayer to be a stronger or a more effective witness for Jesus; if you want to be set free of fear – whatever it might be, please come forward.  God will help you!


PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!

To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - that’s all you are asked to do. God will reward you!  (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one or more of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... especially young people). Thank you so much!

JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT! 


JESUS DID IT!  - or -  JESUS DID IT!

(Please paste one of the above links onto your Facebook page - website - blog - video; etc.)


You can hear the video this writing was taken from:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vERnKVqBw_4

You can receive a FREE evangelism packet by clicking on this link:  http://www.step-by-step.org/evangpack.htm


If this stirring writing has blessed you in some special way, would you please take a few moments and share with brother Jim and Carla -- share how it has blessed you?  Their email address is:  jim@step-by-step.org. Your feedback is very important.  Please mention the Title and the Author of this writing when you email your comments.  We promise that we will not put you on any email list, badger you for money, nor will we give away or sell your email address.  Thank you so very, very much!  Email:  ptoffice@precious-testimonies.com 

A Special Message:  http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm


Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God.  What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.  Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


We truly thank each of you who forward these testimonials and ministry writings (and videos) to others to give them greater awareness.  Especially to prisoners! The part the Holy Spirit has you play is vital in helping win lost souls and encouraging and helping believers grow in their relationship with the Lord, and we can never thank you enough for your help on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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