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Thursday, April 13, 2006

When God Won't Let You Blow It.

Yesterday, a man had an appointment at our church to share about the services his company offers. Since the services match with a need we have here (facilities type issue), a member of our "building team" met here with him as well. Even before the man arrived, I felt compelled to share the gospel with this man. Very polite and nice, he walked through our building seeing what our needs would be. As we walked through the building, he made comments about God, Jesus and faith. However, being a salesman, he kept the talk pretty fast paced and I soothed my conscience by thinking I would have jumped in had I had a chance.

After about 45 minutes, it was getting close to when Charity was expecting me home for dinner. Therefore, I excused myself (disappointed that I didn't get a chance to share anything, but assuming "it just wasn't meant to be") and headed for the door. Just as I was walking out of the auditorium, the man called out, "Thanks for meeting with me. Don't worry, I know I need to get back to church. I know I've got to go back."

It became a watershed moment. Do I allow my heart to harden and walk out? He may go back to a church, a good church, that will preach the gospel and therefore it's not critical that you share it, I thought to myself. Or, I could step up and seek to bring glory to God by declaring His grace.

I had no choice. I spun on my heels and headed back into the room. "Actually," I told him, "I don't care about you getting to a church, I need to know why you think you need to be back in church." From there, we began an hour long conversation about sin, it's consequence and Jesus' atoning sacrifice. He was very polite, and we had a very honest dialogue back and forth. Several times, we worked through the issues of sin, that each of us deserves death, and that Jesus is the only possible Way. I walked him through the Ten Commandments (to establish his lack of righteousness). We dealt with faith and works and that God alone desires glory. At the conclusion of the hour, I encouraged him to consider his standing before God as he drives home. I handed him a million dollars (which he thought was cool), wrote my phone number on it, and encouraged him to check out the Living Waters website.

Why do I share this? Two reasons. Please pray for Mike right now. Also, I couldn't help as I drove home that evening but to consider what God is doing in my life.

--I am humbled by Paul who was compelled to preach the gospel. I have tried for years to generate the compulsion in myself...not a workable plan. But God appears to be doing that work within me. Though I haven't arrived yet, He has used the following things to begin this process.
--Working with Daniel. For the last four years, I have worked beside a man who regularly preaches the gospel, not because he has to, but because the joy of his salvation is welling up within him. I have seen a grace and humility modeled before me that I pray is "rubbing off on me."
--Kay and Gregg. God also brought two godly people into the room to witness the conversation. Part of the motivation God used in my life were Gregg and Kay. I knew I needed to speak up because these two deserve more than a pastor who is too timid to make the most of the opportunity.
--Way of the Master Radio. Not only have these guys regularly challenged me about the condition of an apathetic heart, they have also helped equip me to share the message with clarity. Oh yeah, they also make the cool million dollar tract that I handed him.

I know that I need to be more bold. I know I almost blew a chance to see God receive glory. I am so thankful that God did not allow that to happen. Please pray for Mike, that he will repent of his sin and submit to the message of the cross. Please pray for me, that I will not be such a coward next time, and God won't have to completely drop the opportunity in my lap.


  • At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am hoping this may be the same "Mike" who is the son of our friends.(and does work at your church) Their hearts grieve that he has fallen away from the Lord. They pray that someone or something will turn him around before it is too late. They have exhausted talking to him because he thinks he is smarter and has his life under control. He is constantly in their prayers. He has a family and his lack of honoring the Lord also effects his wife and children who are looking to him for leadership.
    Thanks for not blowing it.



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