Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not (2 Timothy 4:2).
Sonia was just about asleep when dynamite exploded and the ship she was aboard began to sink. In minutes, the Canadian missionary to the Philippines and about 200 passengers were fighting for their lives in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific. All but 48 perished, including one of the missionaries whom Sonia had discipled.
As she dipped below the water for what she thought was the last time, a clear voice inside her said, "As I give you strength, keep struggling."
Breaking the surface once again, she latched on to a piece of floating wood. While heaving seawater and facing death, she asked God to use her to bring others to Christ.
Beside her were two weary Filipino women clutching pieces of wood. Wasting no time, she asked, "If you were to die tonight, do you know for sure that you would go to heaven?" Between bobbing waves and severe bouts with stomach cramps, she presented the gospel. In this unimaginable crisis, both women accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Sonia's clear-headedness, courage. commitment and focus are wonderful examples for all of us. The people you and I see every day are not clutching pieces of floating wood in the Pacific, but often what they are clutching is even more unreliable, and they are in danger of death every day. For many of them, the ship of life they were on has sunk or proven not seaworthy and they are lost in life, barely holding on. As we are given opportunity, with Sonia's courage, let us speak words of life to them. Jesus said that His words are spirit and life (John 6:63).
In 2 Timothy 4:2, the apostle Paul admonishes: "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction" (NIV).
How can we be prepared at all times to preach the Word, in any circumstance that may arise? There are four prerequisites: (1) be continually filled with and under the control of the Holy Spirit, (2) study God's Word and know how to lead someone to Christ, (3) walk in obedience, and (4) walk in love.
Even at the point of death, like Sonia, we must be prepared at all times to present the gospel.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.