7 June 2014 - Stirling
There is a cartoon that describes a conversation between two men in Scotland. One of the men asks, "What is the special Scottish word for when it is cold, grey and raining." The other man replies by saying, "Summer." This most certainly was the case when we arrived in Stirling today. The trip down was beautiful, sunny and warm, but that all changed just before the outreach began. Yet, despite all the rain God was glorified!
At 2pm, we met together to prepare for the afternoon of outreach. The sky was dark and rain was threatening, so we decided that the best thing we could do was start the ministry as soon as possible. While the team handed out a few tracts, I began to preach. The text I chose to preach on today was John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal"
I started by talking how people today always seem to overcome by bad news, and as a result a sense of hopelessness can abound. From there I was able to introduce a message of Good News. The message that says that God is Love, and that He can forgive sinners on the basis of what Christ has done.
A few people came out of shops to listen, and a few others sat opposite to the preaching. One young man objected to me saying, "God is loving." His reason for the objection was that he couldn't see that God had done anything for him. I answered his questions, but it was clear he wasn't overly interested in answers, instead he just wanted an excuse to justify his unbelief.
I preached for around twenty-minutes, and in that time we saw the rain come and go. After, I finished preaching Jason stood to preach on how only God is good. For a new preacher he did well. Then it was time for Craig to step up. By this time the heavens had opened up and the rain was coming down quite hard. Yet, a group of people stood and listened to the preaching under the cover of a local shop entrance. Also, during the preaching, a group of teenage girls stopped to ask questions of Craig. Even though the rain was falling, and it was wet and cold, the Gospel was still going forth.
Eventually after all the preaching had finished we began to pack up. As we got our bags together a young man who was smoking a cigarette engaged us in a conversation. It started off by him realising that I was an Australian and thinking that was 'cool.' The next part of the conversation then went to him recommending different alcoholic drinks I should try before I leave for home.
Somehow the conversation got around to the fact that we were Christians. The young man was quick to declare that he liked Jesus and that he was a Christian also. So I asked him, "If you die tonight, why will you go to heaven?" To which he answered, "Because I'm good." This then opened up a whole gospel conversation. We spoke about how by nature we have all sinned, and none of us deserve God's Heaven. From there we explained the cross, and how it is only by the mercy of God that any of us can ever be forgiven. The young man visibly changed throughout the conversation. He started as a boasting young man, but by the end you could see the conviction upon him. He knew that he was not good, and that he needed the Saviour. The young man then took a tract and also a Gospel of John. Please pray that the Lord would save him.
Even though the rain came down, we still had many gospel opportunities. Praise God for His faithfulness in allowing us to declare Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria!