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SOS Monthly Newsletter - December 2003
Why Jesus is Better than Santa Claus
Santa lives at the North Pole... JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides a sleigh... JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water
Santa comes but once a year... JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies... JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited... JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart.
You have to wait in line to see Santa...JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap... JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?”... JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly... JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO...JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says, "You better not cry”...JESUS says, "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."
Santa's little helpers make toys...JESUS makes new lives, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but...JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree... JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.
It's obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We must put Christ back in "Christmas." Jesus is the "Reason for the Season!"
Reaping the Harvest
This past week, Scott Crawford visited us from Colby, Kansas. Scott was one of the founders of SOS Ministries. He has participated in many evangelism outreaches around the country for 30 years and helped start the largest of these outreaches -- the one to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Scott attended last summer's SOS outreach for the first time in many years. He said that two of the street meetings he attended during SOS week were some of the best meetings he had ever experienced.
After he said that, I realized how much I take for granted. To me, these were wonderful outreaches, but we have so many wonderful outreaches. Each month, I try to describe to you what is happening on the streets. This is really impossible. You have to be there to really see what God is doing. At every outreach, God ministers in amazing ways to hundreds and often thousands of people.
While we have planted and watered millions of gospel seeds during the past 25 years, we have not seen a large harvest of souls. We can sow gospel seeds and water them. We can harvest fruit once it is ripe. But we cannot cause the fruit to grow and ripen. This involves the supernatural work of God. It also involves man's free will.
Why don't we see more salvation on the streets of San Francisco? Satan is called "the prince of this world." To a large extent, he controls the educational system, the political system, the news media, and the entertainment media. In a city like San Francisco, most non-Christians have many friends and acquaintances who are seeking to influence them against Christianity. Most have no friends who are seeking to influence them towards Jesus.
What will it take to see a great harvest in San Francisco -- or any other city? We must sow bountifully. We must be patient. We must be faithful. It takes time to produce a harvest. "Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9).
We must also pray fervently. Pray first that God would send more laborers into the harvest field. Pray that God would work in the hearts of those who have heard the gospel, so that many would be saved. Pray that God would strengthen the churches and raise up Christians to disciple those who are saved, so that these new disciples can bring others to Christ.
Jesus ministered for 3 1/2 years, but most people did not repent. Of His 12 closest disciples, one betrayed Him, one denied Him, and the rest hid out of fear.
The great missionary William Carey did not see a single Indian convert for seven years. Other missionaries have labored even longer without seeing any visible fruit from their labors. Many Christians expect instant results. "I'll spend one afternoon witnessing on the streets. If nobody gets saved, I'll never witness on the streets again."
Over the past 25 years, thousands of Christians have participated in SOS outreaches. Many of them joined us one time, didn't see anyone get saved, and never came back. If half of these Christians had persisted in witnessing to and praying for the people of San Francisco, we might already have seen a great harvest in this city.
I realize that God has not called every Christian to witness on the streets with us. However, He has called every Christian to share the gospel with others. As we enter a new year, I urge you to rededicate yourself to bringing the gospel to people -- your unsaved friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives, as well as people on the streets, in prisons, nursing homes, college campuses, and those in other nations. I also urge you to rededicate yourself to praying for evangelism ministries, including SOS Ministries, and giving to those who are seeking to reach others for Christ in this nation and around the world.
ON THE STREETS
Note: Outreaches are subject to change. Call (510) 531-5325 or 541-9903 (cell phone) to confirm outreaches or for more information.
Friday Dec. 5, 12, 19, Jan. 9, 16, 30 7:30-10 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods. (Call for location).
Sat. December 6, January 10 12:30-4:30 PM Berkeley Outreach. Telegraph and Haste St.
Sat. December 13 12-1 PM Powell and Market St. 2:30-4:30 PM Union Square (Powell and Geary St.), SF.
Sat. December 20 12-1 PM Powell and Market St. 2-5 PM UN Plaza (7th St. and Market), SF.
Sat. January 17, 31 12-4 PM San Francisco Outreach. (Call for location).
Ministry News and Needs
Thank you for your prayers and financial support for this ministry. During the past three months, we have printed 100,000 tracts. I wrote three new tracts, and we are printing 10,000 of each. We also purchased a new computer and printer. The printer allows us to print our own newsletters, saving us about $80 a month.
We have set the dates for next summer's SOS-San Francisco (Year 25!): June 18-26. Please set aside these dates to attend this important outreach. We need one person to live in our ministry house in Oakland. We are looking for a mature Christian with a calling in evangelism. Also, pray that we will have more workers to help us on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Our Tape of the Month is Evangelism through the Local Church, by Pastor John Elliott, Gulf Coast Foursquare Church, Hitchcock, TX.
I hope many of you will join us for our Christmas outreach on Saturday December 20. Christmas is certainly an excellent time to let people know that God sent Jesus into the world to be our Savior.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare Him room....I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Yours in His love,
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