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God does not call the equipped; He equips the called

by Andrew Trezona

When you read the gospels and the book of Acts, one thing stands out - everyone is talking about Jesus. Regardless of risk or response, it is what those following Jesus did. They seemed to believe that if they sowed the gospel broadly, they would reap an abundant harvest. They seemed to believe that when Jesus said the harvest was plentiful, he was telling the truth.

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As followers of Jesus, we need to find ways to share the gospel. We are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and to be
His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and both of those require us to say something. It’s important to have a
testimony not only of what God has done in the past but what He is doing in the present.

At Challenge, we want Christians to know that their testimony is great. However, many people say “I do not
have a great testimony.” To say you do not have a great testimony is to say you do not have a great Savior.

We all have the same testimony; we are all sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Read 1 John 5;
it specifically says this is the testimony that you have; eternal life, and this life is in Jesus Christ. Verse 20 says,
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is
true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” But read back in
1 John 5:9, who is it that’s giving his testimony? It is God the Father who says we have life in His Son, Jesus
Christ. “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that
He has borne concerning his Son”. 1 John 5:9

Challenge partners with different churches, ministries and organizations all over the world. We produce over
52 editions in many different countries for these ministries and churches. It is amazing to see what God is
doing. In the United States and Canada, we are in over 350 prisons along with sending over 225 subscriptions
to individual prisoners. We have seen what a testimony will do in the lives of people, especially in prisons. We
partner with chaplains and ministries who use the Challenge paper to emphasize the Gospel message. One
ministry we partner with is Crossroads Prison Ministries, who offers discipleship mentoring to prisoners who
request help. In 2019 alone, over 1356 prisoners responded to the gospel message and/or enrolled in the
Crossroads discipleship mentoring program. And we are not even scratching the surface on what can be done.

We want to be known as a ministry that equips and encourages people to do what God has already called them
to do. So how do we encourage people to share the gospel when they are out and about in their community?
There are a couple of answers. One, if you are unable to articulate the gospel because of ability, time or
location then bless someone with a Challenge paper and say here is some Good News. Two, listen then share.

How do we encourage people to walk out wherever they are and share their story? Our stories are all very
different but the testimony is the same. Tragically, most evangelical Christians cannot articulate the Gospel. But
worse, they cannot articulate their own testimony. So what we do at Challenge is share testimonies of changed
lives, of believers who says it wasn’t just the day of their salvation but also what is God still doing in their lives
today. People are reading these testimonies and lives are being transformed.

As followers of Jesus, we need to find ways to share the gospel. We are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and to be
His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and both of those require us to say something. It’s important to have a
testimony not only of what God has done in the past but what He is doing in the present.

As followers of Jesus, we need to find ways to share the gospel. We are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and to be
His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and both of those require us to say something. It’s important to have a
testimony not only of what God has done in the past but what He is doing in the present.

As followers of Jesus, we need to find ways to share the gospel. We are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and to be
His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and both of those require us to say something. It’s important to have a
testimony not only of what God has done in the past but what He is doing in the present.

Let me tell you a story.

This story could have happened anywhere, but at this particular time I was in South Africa. I was walking along
the street and noticed a man sitting in the gutter. I walked up to him and said, “Hey sir, let me give you some
good news.” And he looked up at me out of the gutter and he said, “Is there such a thing?”

I said, “As a matter of fact, there is.” He wanted me to know his story so I asked if I could sit with him. He said
yes and I got in the gutter and we sat together talking. Once he finished his story, I said to him, “This is a paper
that has good news, but let me tell you the Good News.” And there in the gutter, for the first time he heard the
Gospel. He heard who Jesus is and why He came. He understood what his response to that would be. There in
the gutter, the man made a profession of faith. In the end, he had a story to tell someone else because his life
was transformed by the testimony of God.

No matter if you are confident or not or if you have time or not, the Challenge paper is there to help. It is a
simple tool that is used in ministry, locally and globally, in outreach and on mission trips. Whether people stop
to hear the testimony of Jesus Christ or just to receive a free gift of the newspaper, you need no training, only
a willing heart and God does the rest.

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