Converting a sheet of paper into salvation tool

Art ToalstonTake an 8½-by-11 sheet of paper and fold it in half.

Now fold it in half again.

Then fold it in half one more time, so that you're holding a pocket-size piece of paper.

Pray and think a few moments—perhaps off and on for a day or two or as long as need be—to seek God's guidance for a short phrase that might spark someone's interest in your journey of faith or the importance of Christ in your life. Write it on one side of the pocket-size folded paper.

On the other side, write your name, perhaps just your first name, and your cellphone number and/or email address.

Next, partly reopen the piece of paper, going back to the prior fold (see accompanying video). In this section, write a few sentences about what your life was like before you placed your soul in Christ's care as the Son of God—your yearnings, struggles and/or emptiness. If you became a Christian as a youth, perhaps write a few sentences about what your life might have been like if Christ hadn't been your Savior and Lord.

Unfold the paper another time, back to the panel that is half of the full piece of paper. Here, write a few sentences about when you became a Christian—the juncture(s) when the Holy Spirit led you toward asking God's forgiveness for all your sins and surrendering your life to Christ. Or perhaps it might be the daily junctures when, nowadays, you turn to God for forgiveness and His guidance.

In the final step, fully unfold the paper and write out how a person can become a Christian, perhaps including a prayer that someone could pray to repent of sin and accept Christ's death on the cross as the eternal payment for our waywardness and, continuing in prayer, to surrender to Christ for His redeeming and transforming our souls as our Savior and Lord.

You needn't fill every blank space on the panels; just write what's on your heart.

And certainly it's OK to practice with several sheets of paper to fine-tune this expression of your faith. Or you could write each panel on a notepad and transfer it to the appropriate place on the folded paper. Some people might do this on a computer, adjusting the margins to the size of each panel.

If you need some ideas for conveying this supernatural work of God, perhaps click the "Knowing God" tab at Baptist Press—bpnews.net—to go to "Hope. Find It Here."

Once you have completed this venture over a few days or a week or two, use a copying machine to make a supply of the panels on both sides of the paper. Or take it to an office supply store that can make multiple copies.

Fold the copies and put them in one or more handy places—in your bedroom for when you get dressed each day and at your workplace. If you have a car, that also could be a good place.

Carry one or two with you each day to give to people as the Holy Spirit leads. In our busy world, it's difficult to strike up conversations with folks about your faith. This way, however, they can take your faith with them.

Say a prayer for each person that he or she might read through your words of faith in the coming days and encounter the love of God the Father and the inward presence of Jesus the Son through the tender, precious Holy Spirit.

There are many ways to share your faith; this is but one of them as a thankful response to God for our salvation, in keeping with the counsel in the New Testament book of 1 Peter, verse 15, to always "be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have."

Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press and author of the ebooks "When I Meditate" and "Meditation & Morality."

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