Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

The Normal Living of a Christian, Coming and Going

I can still remember sitting behind the backstop on the athletic field at Luther Burbank Junior High School.  It was an ordinary lunch time and I was there talking with my friend Scott. I had just gotten up the courage to share the gospel with him for the first time using a gospel booklet.

I don’t think that he prayed to receive Christ that day. But something changed within me—I got my mouth open and shared my faith in Jesus Christ. It made me happy and I believe it also made our Savior God happy.

That wasn’t the only such experience. In fact,  as a high school and college student, I became increasing bold to present the gospel to people.  Every time I did it, I touched the joy of the Lord. I felt like I was walking home on a cloud.

But there were also times in the years that have followed, that I found my Christian living growing stale and joyless. Haven’t  you?

So what’s the reason?

Joe Putnam’s recent post Is it More Important to be  Faithful or Powerful in Serving the Lord?” revived something in me. He related the story of  the 19th Century evangelist, Dwight L Moody’s faithfulness to share  the gospel with at least one person a day.  That story renewed my hunger to regularly share Christ with people.

It’s the principle behind this experience that I’d first like to consider in this post.  This principle relates to the two characteristics of  the living of a normal believer–coming and going…Then I’ll introduce  something we can practice.

A normal believer, coming and going

Have you ever noticed these two words in  the New Testament—“Come” and “Go?”

The Lord Jesus repeatedly used both words to instruct His disciples:

“Come …” 

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Later in John 7:37, it says, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”

Coming is the beginning. By coming we receive salvation, eternal life, and the Lord’s grace and peace. But this is only the first half of the experience of a normal believer.


In Matthew 28:19, the Lord Jesus also told His disciples, “Go therefore and and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of  the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

In John 15:16, He also said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit  and that your fruit should remain…”

Following the coming, there is the going. We come to the Lord to be saved. Then we go to people to bring them salvation. We come to Christ for life and then to go to others to minister this life.

The principle of inflow and outflow

As believers in Christ, we’re like a hose with two ends—intake and outflow.

Without regular intake there is nothing to flow out. For some of us, this may be our basic need–a daily time of coming to the Lord to receive grace, the Spirit and life through contact with the Lord in the Word by prayer.

However, for others, the problem may be with our outflow. The “nozzle” has been shut off. When there is no outflow, the inflow automatically stops.

I’m afraid many of us have been coming to drink for a long time but have become stale because we did not go and flow.

A simple point to practice

Try making a deal with the Lord that you’ll share Him with one person this week…better yet, one person each day.

To help you, you may want to get some gospel tracts. They’re a great way to break the ice, to get your mouth open.

For example, I like to use one with the title, “Have You Invited Jesus into Your Boat?” You can get it online from Bibles for America.

Then try giving a tract to someone you meet this week–a family member,  friend,  classmate,  a waiter, or a store clerk. You can offer it to them and  say,  “Here’s a great gift for you!  Read it to find out.” (If you feel timid at first, leave the tract with a tip at a restaurant or in a place where someone will find it, like a laundromat.)

Another convenient way is to send people a short email or tweet with a link to a YouTube gospel video  like  “The God-Shaped Vacuum.” Better yet, you can play it with them on your  tablet or smartphone. Then you can ask them what they think about man having a spirit to contact and contain God.  If they’re open you can invite them to pray the prayer at the end of the video.

If you’ve experienced a difference by coming and going, drinking and flowing, please share the benefit you’ve received.

The  section of this post on “Coming and Going” was inspired by Chapter Two of, Rising Up to Preach the Gospel, by Witness Lee. The part on intake and outflow–drinking and flowing was inspired by the Life-Study of Exodus, Message 45 by the same author. You can read them both online at ministrybooks.org

Photo credit:  jronaldlee (creative commons)

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

4 Replies

  1. This is really helpful and practical, Tom. As you point out, both the inflow and outflow are necessary, and they’re interrelated. As we flow out, we enjoy a fresh influx of life, and as we enjoy the inflow, we have something fresh to flow out. This is really wonderful.

    I also appreciate your practical help related to handing out tracts. I’m no evangelist, but I try to hand out a few tracts a week. This is an easy way to contact people, and I’m often surprised by the positive reaction that I receive from people. It’s also a great way to start a conversation with someone, and it opens the way to speak something more about the Lord.

  2. Tom Smith

    I’m like you–not much of an evangelist. But I have to confess that when I flow out the Lord’s love and life through the gospel, I’m a different person. So sometimes we just need to “prime the pump” by contacting people when we don’t feel like it. And for me, gospel tracts is a great way to get the flow going. Mutual encouragement helps a lot too. Thanks for the encouraging word–to keep coming and going.

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