The Heart of Evangelism

by Lynn Harney

Lynn Harney“Sing to the Lord, all the Earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations; His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-25 NKJV

The above verses are a part of the first psalm David sang at the arrival of the ark of God in Jerusalem for the first time. In it I find both the mission and the heart of evangelism. We are told what to proclaim, when to proclaim it, where we should proclaim it, who we should be talking about and why.

What we are to proclaim is “His salvation”, that is the salvation He provided that we were unable to achieve on our own. More to the point, we would not even have come up with such a great plan on our own. The evidence of this is overwhelming, every other option for having a relationship with God is through our own good works. We are told in the New Testament in many ways that it is only through Jesus that we can come to the Father. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 “There is no other name by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5 Just to name a few. This shows us this is His salvation, His idea on His terms.

Once we receive Christ we are to proclaim His glory and His wonders. Glory, now that is not a word we use in the every day world and we Christians might be at risk of taking it for granted. One of its meanings is to give an accurate opinion of a person or a thing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the gift of God, is the most accurate description of God there could ever be. In it we see His love, mercy, holiness, and justice. Hebrews 1 tells us Jesus was “the express image of God” or the exact representation of Him. There is no more wonderful thing in life than that Christ would give His for mine that I could share His.

We are told to proclaim it, from day to day. Our lives are to be a continual proclamation of His salvation. Need I say more?

Where we are told to proclaim it. Among the nations to all the peoples. There are no cultural boundaries, racial or economic divides. It is for all people. Some claim the Gospel to be exclusionary and in one way it is that is, in its means or how one is saved. But who it is for, is everyone who is willing to come, on His terms. So we make the Gospel available to everyone all of the time.

Finally, we are told why. “For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” Once again the character of God becomes the focus. Mans’ need for a savior is not the focus, though implied, by God Himself. When people see what God is really like their need becomes obvious. Isaiah saw the LORD and fell on his face, “Woe is me, I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips.” So our lives should evidence the character of God.

David through this Psalm was rededicating his life focus to the person and work of God so that everyone would know how great is our God. We call ourselves The Hope Center not merely because people’s physical needs can be met but because our wonderous God can be met in their time of need.

 

Lynn Harney is the co-director of Foundations Life Recovery program at The Hope Center. He and his wife, Wanda, served with New Tribes Mission for 22 years among the Manjaku people as church planters in Senegal, Africa. They have four children, a daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. 

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Camp Wild Kids Learn a Different GPS

Lynn Harney is the Resident Life Supervisor at The Hope Center. If you’ve volunteered during the day or have been part of a group that hosts the evening chapel service & meal then you might have come in contact with Lynn. As Resident Life Supervisor, Lynn gives Godly leadership through counseling and one-on-one interactions with residents & transients. He oversees the men’s residential program and transient program. But years ago, in a land far, far away, Lynn lead a rather different life. And for some of the campers at Camp Wild, they got to learn about Lynn’s former life.

Before coming to the Hope Center, Lynn Harney was a missionary in Senegal with New Tribes Missions for 22 years! While in Africa, Lynn lived along with the Manjaku people. While he was in Africa, his jobs included church planting and Bible translating.

Lynn was asked to bring his first-hand knowledge to Camp Wild for a special interactive experience called, GPS.

GPS or God’s Preaching System, is a trail that the campers explore. But don’t be fooled, it’s so much more than just a regular, ol’ trail. This trail gives the campers the chance to learn about how people live in Senegal. They were able to listen to Lynn Harney tell stories and experiences about what life in Senegal is like for people, including kids their ages.

While on the Senegal Trail at GPS, the kids learned that being a missionary in Africa doesn’t mean going on safari everyday! They learned that sometimes God calls people to go to places that they don’t want to go and do things that they don’t want to do. The kids learned that life in Africa, even for missionaries, isn’t easy. They learned that people may have to eat foods like cow intestines, grubs or even termites!

On top of that, the kids learned that in Africa, life for children isn’t easy either. Lynn Harney explained to them that girls in Africa begin working at age 5 and boys at age 8! So while the kids at Camp Wild were enjoying their summer hiking for fun, there were kids their age in Africa working hard to help their families survive!

We’re happy that Lynn was able to spend some time educating the kids at Camp Wild about life in Senegal and how missionaries, themselves dealing with tough circumstances, are helping to spread hope in that nation.

It’s important to teach everyone about serving the Lord all over this big planet. There are many opportunities to reach people everywhere, whether you’re called to Senegal, France, China or right here in Hagerstown.