This Saturday the weather was beautiful and the opportunities were many as I ministered in the Lord's name in Fargate. I was privileged with many conversations that I hope blessed the other people as much as they encouraged me.
I began the afternoon's work by walking through the court in front of the cathedral and handing out some tracts to those sitting there. It was wonderful to see the groups of people reading of Jesus their only hope as I handed them out. My first conversation was with a lady who accepted a tract despite the jeers of one of her friends. She then went on to not only listen while I shared the law and the gospel with her but she told her friend to pipe down several times as he tried to stop the conversation. Praise God that He opened her heart this much, she left with a tract in hand and I pray that she would be drawn by you my Lord, that your love and mercy would follow her also all her days.
At the end of this conversation I headed up into Fargate and continued to hand out tracts. I found that today there were many people who were willing to take tracts and while only a couple stopped to ask more all of them walked on reading. Having run out of one lot of tracts I then set up to preach God's word to as many as would hear. Today again I focused on the materialism of our modern world and the way that people have sold themselves for trinkets that last less than the measly 75 years we are here for. I began by focusing attention on the passage:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:32-34)
While I preached a couple of people stopped and listened while they sat on the surrounding chairs, some came and went but no-one heckled and I preached with zeal and joy the greatness of our salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Two young men had stopped and listened and I engaged them and a nearby middle eastern man in conversation afterwards. I could not get far with the young men before they were called away to their Saturday pursuits but I had a wonderful conversation with Muhammad the other man.
I was able to speak at length with him about the scriptures that all Muslims are commanded to believe (according to Sura 29:46 and Sura 10:94) and urge him to take a second look at what Jesus said of Himself rather than what he had been lead to believe. One of the greatest difficulties I find when ministering to Muslim people is that they so often will become unreceptive because they believe the bible to be a corrupted book. This is a plain-faced lie that so many Muslim people have swallowed without a second thought. The book that Muhammad referred to in the above sura's is pre-dated by the documents we translate the modern bible from, in plain terms: if you believe that the bible was reliable then you must believe that the bible is reliable now. This young man though he didn't agree with what I had to say, he did stay and talked for 30 minutes and gladly took the tract and Arabic new testament I gave him.
Join us in praying fervently to the Lord on behalf of the Muslim people, pray that He will sovereignly work to save them and that He will raise up people to reach them. Many fear the Muslim people, as Christians we are called to follow our Lord and self sacrificially love even those who hate us and pray for those who would persecute us.
Filled with joy in the Lord at this conversation I went to the peace gardens to speak with some of the youth of Sheffield who gather there every week. There I ran into Dan and a couple of his friends, in particular two young ladies who spoke with me at length. I was able to speak to them by beginning with where they were (one of them had lost a friend recently and hated God for it) and use this to point them to the saviour and to God's justice. After hearing the gospel and the law many times over they left and we pray that the Lord will put that conversation to good use. As it was getting late I headed off, but not before a group of angry young people arrived to ask "We keep telling you to leave but you just keep coming back, why?" and "Do you think that you are doing God's work?". I was pleased to tell them that I come because I want them to know the truth and I want that because I care for them. As for doing God's work, no I am merely an unprofitable servant who is only doing what he is commanded, for it is written:
"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)