The Lord gave each one of us an in-depth conversation near the start of our time at the bus stop. Here are 2 summaries:
Peter did not believe in God. After listening to the builder/building analogy, he said that made sense. He could believe there is a God. (Later it turned out that he did not want to believe in the God of the Bible.) In response to the law and gospel, he proclaimed that he did not want anyone to fix his mistakes. Then he was taken through this analogy: A man was diagnosed with a deadly illness. He was then told that he had only 2 months to live. There was a very costly medical remedy which he could not afford. However a friend gave his all to raise the money and bought the cure for the dying man. The man left the cure sitting on his shelve for 'some' day. Likewise Jesus has already done all that is needed to satisfy God's justice on behalf of morally bankrupt sinners. Peter saw the point. His bus arrived. May the Lord break his pride and give him the grace of repentance and faith in Christ alone.
Mitchell knew the core facts of Jesus death for our sins and His resurrection. Going through the law and gospel to 'prove' that we are hell deserving sinners and only Jesus can save us and bring us to glory, all made sense to him. Meanwhile his workmate was quietly reading the tract. Closing with the Blondin illustration and the need to count the cost as there are difficulties in following Christ, they gave the impression they would check the message out. Pray they do. And if they take my advise to 'ask God to reveal Himself to them as they read His word', may they be wrapped up in His covenantal love - for now and for ever.
What else did our Lord of Glory do here today. Only He knows all but we know to ascribe all glory to Him.
Four on the team today; one on his first visit. The start seemed slower than usual as far as having conversations but God's timing is always perfect.
A lady, Rachel, who had never heard, had the gospel clearly presented before her bus arrived. She now knows that it is
Jesus merit that is critical. May the Lord bring fruit to bear in her life to His glory.
There are some teenagers who persist in treating the gospel with contempt. But they are hearing God's truth as the weeks roll by. Only God knows how long each one has before death claims them.
There was a backslidden Christian who appeared to be poorly discipled. He wanted to know about 'drinking'. So I took him through the issue of self-control and how idolatry develops when we abuse any substance. We also discussed moving forward as a child of God. He has his Bible with him and reads and prays regularly. I pointed him to Heb. 10:17, "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." He is moving into an environment more conducive to his growth. Pray he finds a Bible-teaching church nad Gods grants him 'ears to hear'.
The work continues and we keep on giving all the glory to God.
It was an unusual day but as always an interesting time witnessing as one trusts our Lord, our ever-present Helper. I met a string of people who were agnostic and not seeking for the reason why we are here. However, we trust our Lord that He perhaps planted a seed of faith from the brief encounters and/or the tracts that were received. The first young lass I met seemed astounded that anyone would think about God. Still she listened politely and she may meet other Christians to challenge her. There was a young man who listened to the builder/building analogy embellished with some data on the finely-tuned universe that scientists have discovered. Another young man was not interested but engaged in a short conversation after I mentioned Carl Sagan who did not want to think about the possibility that God started creation. We did not get far before his bus arrived. He persisted with his assumption that 'one should do his best to improve himself' but thanked me for the chat. The middle-aged man I gave a '150 year' tract to simply chuckled and said he never bothered with thinking about things like that. Then his phone rang.
May the Lord be pleased to awaken complacent deluded people who are content to drift through life. May we keep on thanking God for the privilege of serving Him and trying to tell others of His good news. Praise His holy name.
After praying, we headed to our initial contacts. There were some encouraging chats although quite short due to bus arrivals. e.g. Meghal works door-to-door and finds it hard. However she related her view that all religions teach the same basics. We agreed that God is perfect and so must heaven be; we are all imperfect. I had time to point out the uniqueness of salvation by trusting in the perfectly righteous Lord Jesus Christ whose death perfectly met God's demand for the offenses of his people. She agreed that most religions teach that we must do something to earn God's favour. She was most appreciative and will check it out some more. We pray that she sees that all religions are not the same and Christianity is unique and true so that she may seek the Lord while He may be found.
One particularly difficult middle-aged lady, A., had severely distorted God's revelation of Himself so that she claims to love God but to hate Jesus??? Thankfully a visit to the necessarium left Lee-Anne free to move on to a young man who said that we are born into sin and he wasn't too bad. Going through the law and gospel, he was encouraged to lean on Jesus alone.
Renee, an engaging young Buddhist, chatted freely. She asked for my testimony in which I stressed the Personality of God. I challenged her to seek the Truth that will set her free, cf. Jn. 8:32, and she said that she would check out the authority of the Bible.
God is at work and we give Him for helping us and using us: to Him alone be glory and praise!
It was another interesting day in our Lord's service. There was a young Lebanese woman who was most appreciative of our chat.
There was a young J.W. man who was a bit apprehensive at first but we ended with a respectful challenge to one another. I asked him to ponder Mt. 28:20 and how Jesus could keep His promise to be "...with you always...'' since He left and ascended into heaven. He gave me Ps. 83:18 which I rejoice to submit to in the light of progressive revelation!
Thanks for praying and remember the other outreaches and the team in Myanmar.
To God be the glory for He alone is worthy.
How wonderful to be entrusted with telling forth God's good news. How good is God to keep equipping us and using our frail efforts to glorify Himself. Today was another day of great and varying responses to the gospel:
- a young man Andrew said that his Dad was a Christian but he was not. As I took him through an overview of the Bible's content, he kept supplying facts such as our first parents' names, Adam and Eve. He seemed to understand how God's justice and mercy are perfectly satisfied in Christ's life & death. Pray he is thinking deeply about what he has heard because his bus arrived before he could be challenged to forsake all for the sake of knowing Jesus as his Lord and Saviour - forever.
On the other hand, there was Lyn: After getting her agreement to certain facts, she started to disagree with Lee-Anne. She has heard the truth that can set her free.. Pray that she will be tormented by the thought of having to pay the price for her own sins - forever - and flee from the wrath to come!
Another young lass didn't want a tract but when asked, replied that she was a Christian. On being asked if she worshiped the Lord Jesus Christ, she said "Occasionally". Then she indicated that she did not want to talk anymore. Pray that if she is converted, she will fall deeply in love with the Lord and commit fully to following Him.
The spiritual battle rages. The Prince of Peace is Victor. Let us serve Him with thanksgiving and keep on giving the glory to our great triune God through the one Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ.
How encouraging is our God and so gracious to us in our weaknesses! Lee-Anne was having a great conversation to a couple in their 20s who seemed to be receptive. A couple of us noticed this as we finished our own conversation and in one of those rare instances we prayed out loud, "Lord. Help Lee-Anne speak to their hearts." Their bus arrived and Lee-Anne comes to us saying that she wished she had longer. Look again! The couple is not allowed on that bus so Lee-Anne returned and resumed their conversation. We thank the Lord.
There was Remiole who thought he would get to heaven because he went to his R.C.church.After going through the gospel, he correctly answered the diagnostic question. Then he said that he would go to Church for His sake.
Rebecca had recently been to a friend's baptism. She has heard the truth and has a gospel of John to read.
God gave us many more conversations and perhaps a seed was planted in some of thos young lives?
Whatever the result, it is glorious because it is God's work and displays His character. To Him be all the glory, thanks and praise!
Another adventurous day at the 'original' Capalaba bus stop.
- A sad ending to one conversation went something like this: 'This is where you and I differ. Jesus may have died for your sins but He never died for my sins'. This was spoken by a mature aged man who said he was going to heaven. He also had decided that his R.C. priest would go to hell as he had absconded with the parish funds when he retired. How sin hardens the heart so that the good news is not even considered.
- an open door: Tallara, a young lass, was keen to hear God's good news. After hearing the law and gospel, she was challenged to count the cost (which might be for her leaving her friends who were mocking while she was paying close attention). She is armed with John's gospel, the apologetic tract, the Jesus tract and the comic tract.
- encouragement: A lady attending an interdenominational community church and her husband both want to draw closer to God. She needed to hear the gospel explained and after some time she was stating that one had to believe in Jesus to get to heaven. He is spending time in jail but claims he is wrongly convicted. May our Lord draw them to the Saviour.
- a few other chats with Christians helping them to grasp a firmer hold on their faith in Christ.
What a privilege to serve God giving Him all the glory knowing our own weaknesses and inability to regenerate anyone.
Some substantial chats were had:
- Aldrin understands the gospel. He said that the Bible speaks of 2 genders only but tells us not to judge. So why are some people told to repent of their lifestyles? God knows what is best. God does not target any one type of sin. One needs to trust Him and trust that He will renew anyone who comes to faith in Christ alone to save him. God has delights none but His children can experience.
- 2 young girls who didn't think they would get to heaven. Later on, they said they didn't believe in God. Their first statement was a work of their conscience. Further evidences were presented to them which they accepted. By the time that their bus arrived, they had heard the good news, and one expressed her thanks.
- a young man who had half an hour trying to defend his position, "I'm not religious."
- a young man who had a vague knowledge that Jesus was born to wash away our sins. He proved a keen listener and we trust a seed of faith may have been planted.
The work continues tonight through Thursday night in the city - Christmas lights. Please pray for God's strength and protection and clarity of thought for those involved. To God alone be all glory and praise.
There were some unusually 'hard ones' today, e.g. one lady who claimed that she had proof for reincarnation but would not listen to a white person because they are the cause of all the world's problems! Another man who made outrageous claims of what he knew then explained that his tattoo had the Hebrew name of God, Allah. ( wrong!) Providentially his bus arrived and whisked him away.
Ryan asked one lady if she thought she would go to heaven. She said that she did not believe in heaven and all that. Hearing the builder analogy, she said that made sense. Then she adapted this new position: I choose not to believe. The conversation continued until she asked how can one know what hell is like. Explaining that Jesus (who made hell - Col. 1:15,16) had died and rose victorious from the grave on the third day, the conversation ended there as her bus arrived. Pray God stirs her spirit so she seeks the answers and the gospel that she so desperately needs.
Lee-Anne met Katy, a good person type Christian. Pray she receives the gospel message as explained to her.
Pray for Jemma, a young lady who is open to learning God's good news and has her own Bible. May she read a gospel account to confirm what has been explained to her and find new life to the full in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise Him from whom all blessings flow and thank Him for using His fallible servants for His glory. Our sovereign Lord God Almighty always has the last word!!!