Surprise. A familiar face appeared unexpectedly at the bus station as Ryan came fresh out of court and after we prayed, we witnessed, Acts 1:8:
- A young man previously spoken with about 6-7 months ago, was still full of pride and would not listen to Biblical reasoning. Here is another one we have to commit into God's sovereign hands. We know that those who spurn His great love gift in the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ have to answer to Him on Judgment Day. May God grant him grace to repent.
- A young lass who understands the good news and her need to repent and trust Jesus Christ alone to save her. Jesus is able, Heb. 7:25. May God purify her heart by faith, Acts 15:9.
We prayed and among our thanksgivings and petitions, asked God to grant the court decision from today's proceedings soon and that it would be clearly good for the gospel work in the future, D.V. What a privilege to serve our God in such an exciting way. There is room for more grace-fuelled workers.
Thanks for praying as part of the one Body of Christ.
Australia Day Outreach.
It was an absolutely perfect day for an outreach on the waterfront at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe. Today, the council very kindly put on a large community event to celebrate Australia Day, as a result thousands of people made their way the foreshore for an afternoon of fun.
A group of around ten of us arrived at 4pm and began to share the gospel. We found a lovely spot right in the middle of the festival where we were able to set up the flip-chart and hand out tracts. The atmosphere was laid back and people were very open to talking. Within the first hour I was able to have eight good conversations with people about the gospel.
One conversation stands out and that was with a man named Dylan. Dylan had stopped to chat after seeing the flip-chart. We chatted about being a good Aussie, and then looked at how no one is good according to God. It soon became very clear that Dylan had no Christian understanding and had never heard the gospel before.
As I explained what sin is, and who God is, he seemed amazed. When he realised that he had personally sinned against God Dylan freely admitted he deserved to be judged. I then asked him, "Do you know what God to rescue sinners?" Dylan replied, "I have no idea." I was then able to share with him the wonderful news of Jesus and His love. Dylan seemed stunned. Here is a man in his early twenties who had never heard of Jesus and His work.
At the end of our conversation Dylan very eagerly took a Gospel of John and promised to read it. Please pray the Lord would rescue him.
Over the course of three hours the team was able to have many conversations, and hand out over 900 tracts. Please pray that the Lord would use this witness to bring many to Himself.
We have much to praise God for from our outreach in Woodridge this afternoon. We had 5 people on the team, and it was really encouraging to see a newer person on the team having his first full witnessing conversation with someone. He finished that conversation rejoicing!
Bundles of gospel tracts went out throughout the afternoon and some meaningful gospel conversations were had. One young lady we spoke with was named Vitooma. She thought her goodness would save her, but after going through the law of God, she realised that she too hasn't lived up to it. So we went on to talk about the cross and how forgiveness is only available through faith in Jesus.
Vitooma responded by saying that she is a Muslim. I replied, "I understand, but it doesn't matter what religion you grew up in, or what religion your parents are, if Jesus is the only way you can get to Heaven, you need to place your faith in Him no matter what. For isn't it more important to obey God rather than man if they disagree?" She agreed. So I went on to explain that Jesus was more than just a man, He is God in human flesh. He actually said that with His own lips. Plus He said that He had the authority to forgive sins and He even let people worship Him.
She was clearly thinking through all that she was hearing and said that she is trying to get her head around everything she is hearing. She asked a few questions and was happy to take a New Testament. She asked whether she could return in a future week if she has any questions as she is reading through the Bible we gave her. We said absolutely and also recommended a good local church for her.
Praise God that He does draw people out of darkness. Please pray that God would do that for Vitooma and for all the others who heard the gospel today. To God be the glory!
On Thursday at our Sunnybank outreach, we had 4 of us on the team. Throughout the afternoon, it was great to see that God brought along people who were open to chat with us about the things of God.
In particular there was one young man named Josh. He said he used to go to church until about a year ago when three of his family members died in a car accident. Since then he has been living life his own way and rebelling against God.
I asked him whether during the time he was going to church, did he have certainty that he would go to heaven. He said he didn't, because he said we can't know. It appears that even while going to church, he thought his entry into heaven was based on his performance in some way.
So we spent some time talking about what the Bible says is the way that we can have our sins forgiven, how it is nothing about our goodness or church going or prayers, but instead through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and by faith alone in Him. He came to grasp the message and said, "I have been saying that I will one day come back to God. But I really see this as a sign that I need to do this today."
I encouraged him to definitely count the cost, but also to read Psalm 51 and make that his prayer. To God be the glory that He uses unworthy vessels such as us in His Great Commission!
We encourage you to come along to an outreach sometime, see times and locations here: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
We had five of us on the team today for our outreach in Woodridge. It's been great having over the past 2 weeks a native Burmese speaker on the team since there are a lot of Burmese refugees living in the area.
God brought along people to chat to throughout the afternoon, including with an aboriginal man named Brandon. He said he was from Alice Springs and said he didn't believe in Christianity but instead believed in his tradition beliefs about the mother land and a form of reincarnation.
I gave him an example, "Let's say you give a great birthday present to your child but then you start to notice that your child now loves this gift you have them far more than loving you, to the point where your child doesn't think about you at it. That wouldn't be right, would it?" Brandon agreed.
I continued, "In the same way, God is the one who gave us this land and everything that comes with it, and if we start loving the land more than God, we're doing the exact same thing". "That's a good point", Brandon replied.
So I then brought him through the law of God showing him how we have all fallen short of God's standards and therefore deserve judgement. I pointed him then to the cross and how we can be forgiven through faith in Jesus.
He was listening, but replied by saying that his culture has been around for 100,000 years and he can't turn his back on it. He thought his culture to be superior, and said that he has been made a chief in his community. So I told him the story of the Apostle Paul who was in a similar situation within Judaism before he became a Christian - he was from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee, and being so zealous, he was even a persecutor of the church. But he says in Philippians 3:8 that he counts everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus his Lord.
Those other things don't matter in the long run, only knowing Jesus does.
I asked him, "Why don't you live in Alice Springs now?" He said, "Because there are a lot of tribal conflicts going on there right now, it's far too dangerous of a place to be. That part actually makes me ashamed of my culture."
I replied, "The people there need to hear of Jesus, for having an ancient culture is not the solution to the problem of sin, Jesus is."
This definitely made Brandon think and he said, "I have a Bible, I am going to have to start reading it."
To God be the glory!
Gardiner Spring, "If you are the greatest sinner in the world, then you have the greatest need of Christ."
Thanks to those praying for this aspect of the fulfilling of the Great Commission, Mt. 28:18-20.
Acknowledging that 'the battle is the Lord's', we entered the Capalaba bus station expecting anything and so it was:
- A young homosexual couple wanted to know why God targeted homosexuals. This view was corrected and they were pointed to the fact that God holds each individual answerable to Him for the choices they make. Just as a heterosexual cannot commit fornication/adultery and be guiltless before He who is holy, so likewise, a homosexual can choose to disobey God or not. Regardless of where a person is today, by repenting of their foolish rebellion and trusting Jesus Christ to save them from the power, the penalty of their sins, such can ask for and receive forgiveness of their sins and the gift of never ending life.
- A young man who knew much about the gospel but now seems to understand it. He is challenged to close with the gospel offer today.
- An unusually large number of people who would normally say, "Not interested", took tracts and were challenged to read the Bible and find out about eternal life/death.
Praise God that He controls the affairs of His Church working all things for our good and His glory. We love Him who first loved us.
It was a very hot day today as we commenced our first outreach at Redcliffe. It was greatly encouraging to see seven Christians from four different churches coming together to make much of Jesus.
Due to the heat the area was rather quiet, but despite that we were able to have several good gospel conversations.
Pastor Peter had a good conversation with a lady who was well educated and interested in religious things. He spent some time chatting to her and she left with an "Essential Jesus" book and a church invite. She indicated that she would very much like to come along to a service.
I was able to engage two Maori Mormons in conversation. They both said that to have sins forgiven you must keep the Ten Commandments, so I asked them to do two things; first, name ten alcoholic drinks (they did this extremely easily). Second, I asked them to name the Ten Commandments, they looked at me blankly and couldn't name a single one. I pointed out to them that if they are trusting in the Commandments to be saved then they probably should know what they are.
From this point I was able to talk to them about the Commandments and the need of the Saviour. They quickly realised that they needed Jesus and that they works couldn't save. This then provided a wonderful opportunity for me to share the message of salvation by grace alone as opposed to the Mormon doctrine of works righteousness. Both young men listened to the gospel and took an in-depth gospel tract, please pray that the Lord would save them.
Towards the end of the day a young lady who had attended a Christian school stopped to talk. She took the good person test and saw that she wasn't good, so between three of us we were able to explain the gospel. As I shared with her about Jesus and His love I asked the question, "Are you trusting in Christ?" She replied that she wasn't, so I asked, "Why not?" The young lady looked at me and said, "Because I never knew if he was true." I did a brief apologetic explaining the historical Jesus and then offered her a copy of the "Essential Jesus," she took the book and an in-depth tract. She also acknowledged that she needed to trust in Christ.
Overall it was a hot but wonderful day of sharing the gospel. Please pray that the Father would draw many to the Son and that Jesus will be glorified.
It was another busy night on Friday night at the Gold Coast for our weekly outreach there. We had about 10 of us on the team.
As I was driving to the coast I remembered that I hadn't refilled the box of Bibles for our free Bibles table, and so I thought that there is not much point in setting the table if we don't have any Bibles. But I concluded that I'll bring it anyway.
After unloading the car with all our other equipment, I looked into the back seat and I saw a box on there. I looked inside and it was a box of Bibles. Praise the Lord how He provides what we need! For in fact, every single one of those Bibles went out that night.
Throughout the night some good gospel conversations were had, including with a young man named Tom. He used to be in the US army and while being posted overseas his friends died in combat, and he feels guilty about it. So he says now he just keeps getting drunk to numb the pain.
I explained that all that does is mask the problem, it doesn't actually bring us to any solution whatsoever. The solution is found in firstly recognising all the sins we have committed against God and how for them we deserve hell, but then to look to Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, dying in our place for our sins.
Once we repent and trust in Christ, only then can we have our conscience cleared knowing that Jesus has paid the penalty for us.
We thanked us for the chat and asked for a Bible since he didn't have one.
To God be the glory for another wonderful night!
It was encouraging to be joined by two new people on the team today for our outreach in Brisbane city. We were around King George Square handing out some of the Happy New Year tracts, which I find a lot people are happy to take one.
We got to chat to a variety of people throughout the afternoon, including one young lady named Nina. She had fluro yellow hair with a gothic type of make up. It turns out that she was at schoolies just this last year and talked to someone about God and it made her much more open to the things of God, but she still considered herself to be an atheist.
Since the Bible says everyone already knows that God exists because God has shown us all in the things that have been made (Romans 1), I knew I should remind her of His existence in that things made have a maker. For example, a building must have had a builder. And since the universe had a beginning, it to must have had someone that made it. That is who God is. She exclaimed, "That actually makes sense!"
She said that she had read the Satanist Bible before, and noticed that it was a very selfish way of living. She said it then started talking about sacrificing and got a bit weird. So we talked about how we have all been selfish and sinned in countless number of ways and therefore deserve punishment, but that is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
She seem to be grasping the message and then later asked, "But what about same sex marriage?" I explained that God is the one who defines marriage right in the beginning and it's not up for negotiation. She asked, "What if they can't help being like that?" I responded, "Yes, they can choose not to act on their desires. Just like a heterosexual person has to control their actions as well regardless of their desires." She agreed that that made sense.
She said, "I am going to have to start reading the Bible." Please pray for her and all the others who heard the gospel or took a gospel tract today. To God be the glory!
We praise the Lord that His gospel went out to people yesterday at Wellington Point. We found at first that the people coming across our path were quite against God, arguing things like "Why would God allow this or that to happen in this world?"
Questions like that stem from the erroneous idea that we deserve good things, when in reality the only thing we deserve is hell, and yet God is so kind that he hasn't sent us there yet even though we've all sinned countless number of times. And not only that, He has even provided the way of forgiveness through Jesus so we don't have to go there!
We handed out quite a number of gospel tracts throughout the afternoon and had a variety of different gospel conversations, even with a man who was a Franciscan monk for 12 years but had no idea how to get to Heaven.
Please pray that God would draw all these people to Himself. To God be the glory!