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Saturday, 26 April, 2008
Heading into Sheffield this afternoon I was praying that God would work in Sheffield today. Increasingly of late, I have been convinced that there is nothing even the most powerful preacher can do, if God will not move. So with this in mind, this very little preacher humbly calls on God to stand and vindicate His great name and in mercy save people from my town.
In town I ran into Cedric speaking with people in the mall, as always carrying his banner of scripture. He was encouraging a Christian man as I arrive and he proceeded to encourage me also. I praise God for this man often and again had my heart warmed by his Christian fellowship. I walked from there up Fargate, handing out tracts as I went heading to the Peace Gardens, which are full of people on these warmer summer days. I still think it's cold and so I am constantly amazed to find people running through the fountains.
In the gardens I ran into a couple of youth that I have spoken to before and while chatting with them Muhammad came up and introduced himself to me. Muhammad and I discussed the evidences that back up the bible and the Christian beliefs and the need that all people have to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. As it became clear, Muhammad was a Christian but the conversation was not a waste by any means. Firstly all the non-Christians around us where listening as we talked and secondly Christians like him and I need to talk of the glorious saviour often and savour the things of Christ.
Turning to some of the other youth around me I asked if any of them had any questions about the gospel or the things of God, they had none so I went back to Fargate to preach. Preaching the gospel is always a fearful thing and when doing it alone I often tremble when starting, this is a good reality check on the seriousness of what we preach and also good in that it drives us to prayer. Praise God that He is with all Christians as they share the gospel, may He speak through me, and His words be heard and mine forgotten.
Michael and some of his friends stopped to listen to the preaching and I called him out to do the good person test with me. He happily complied and though he was certain by the end that He like me was guilty before God he was convinced that God would not condemn him. One of his friends piped up that "God is all forgiving isn't He?". I strove to show Michael and his friends that God is both just and merciful. Just in that we will have no excuse before Him based on good works and that He will justly condemn to eternal punishment those who are lawbreakers. Merciful in that He offers us pardon for our rebellion against Him and eternal life through the once crucified risen saviour. Many of the small crowd took tracts and after urging them all to turn to Jesus in repentance and faith, I stepped down.
Shaun was watching the preaching and I spoke with him afterwards, he was a Christian and so I encouraged him to be faithful to His Lord. Shaun like so many Christians is currently struggling (all Christians will in this world, Jesus promised). I pray that God will use these hard times to make Shaun like his saviour and walking with him in his trouble bring him safe to his heavenly home.
I went back to the Peace Gardens to speak some more to the people gathered there. I ran into Juanosh (sorry the spelling is wrong, mate) and some friends of his. Juanosh was considering the Old Testament the last time I met him and struggling to understand how it fits with the New Testament. This time when I asked how his considerations were going I was saddened to hear that he had cast the whole bible aside, because there were too many contradictions in it! I asked him to tell me one of them; he could not say anything other than a vague difference between the old and new testaments. We talked for a while and during this conversation I challenged him to search out and find me the contradictions in the bible, he will be getting back to me. The rest of the conversation focused around the law of God and the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ dying for sinners and rising to life, which is offered to all who will repent and believe in Him.
I went home rejoicing that the Lord had given me so many opportunities to speak for Him and praying that He would save these people.