A young Samoan man, Tussi, who had recently moved here, but was not sure why he did so, had a long chat with Ryan and I joined in towards the end. He was a bit 'slow of understanding' because of a recent event in his life. He had a fair knowledge of salvation but had the common 'old nature' [false] idea that he would do his best and that would gain him entrance into heaven. Before his bus arrived he heard the message and we pray that God would complete the witness. We were able to correct a few of his erroneous views, e.g. someone had told him his past and his future via tarot cards. We pointed to the limited power of the false magicians who opposed Moses through whom God worked true miracles. Also that God's truth is unique and only He knows Tussi's future. How wonderful that he had arrived early so this long, cordial chat could take place!
Praise God for the work He does through his servants. What a privilege to serve the Almighty!
Pray for the Lord to draw Cody and Samantha to the Saviour. Initially he advocated reincarnation. Ryan asked him that if reincarnation was true, would not the population of the world be stable? For when someone dies, they go into a new body. However, the population is increasing rapidly these days. He conceded the point saying, "I have never realised that before. But that makes sense!"
Pointing to the Creator, and discussing how to get to heaven revealed that they were basically satisfied with their lives. Coming to the need for God to send us to hell because 'good enough' is not up to God's standard of righteousness, Cody exclaimed, "Surely not me!"
Proceeding to the gospel, they both gave a 'Wow' response. They had never heard salvation explained so clearly before (God's timing is always right). Challenged to count the cost as there is no quitting on Jesus, Cody said he was still in shock that that his belief in reincarnation had been obliterated and was now going to consider the claims of Christ. They were both happy to receive John's gospel and were asked to be like the Bereans, Acts 17 and check everything they hear with God's word.
Daniel described himself as a fencesitter. He had some objections to the Bible but could only remember that the planets, our solar system, were not described as created. The summary statement in Gen. 1:1 covers everything together and earth as separate because this is the focus that God desires to emphasize. He was invited to bring forward any further queries on the Bible at any time, either to one of us personally, or via the website. How the fact of eternity can be considered so lightly is always to be challenged. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and then comes judgment, = the verse before Heb. 9:28.
Praise God for enabling His servants and protecting them, and to Him alone belongs the glory.
God provided another day of challenges for us to call upon Him for wisdom & grace so that we may witness in a Christ-honoring manner. We had many polite conversations as the claims of Christ were presented and tracts were handed over:
- Beck, a churchgoer who gave a wrong answer to the question, "Why should God let you into heaven?" Then she said she believed the gospel as presented. Ryan pointed out her inconsistency and referred her to the study of Romans chapters 3-5 so that she might see the Biblical answer for herself.
- Jordan, who eventually said that because of his near death experience, he chose to believe in a goddess rather than the God of the Bible. Ryan pointed to the historical facts of Jesus life, death and resurrection and challenged Jordan to base his faith on a concrete objective Person rather than a subjective experience which might well have been an anesthetic-produced 'dream'.
- 4 young men who knew something of the gospel but were not letting it impact their lives (at least as far as they know -Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ, Rom. 10:17)
- a Vegan who heard part of the message before his bus arrived (this is all God wanted him to hear at this time). He received an eternity tract and a "Story of Mr. Eternity" pamphlet. He also later returned to catch another bus and was spoken to further.
...and for these and others we look to God to do according to His good pleasure in each person He led us to converse with. We give Him all the glory for apart from Him enabling us, we can do no good thing.
What did our Lord have for us today? among others:
- encountered again, a young man who cannot read but had previously taken a gospel of John because he had someone who could read it to him. He had handed this copy to someone he said who needed it more than he did. His mother is getting him an audio Bible. Pray he hears the Good Shepherd speaking to him.
- a young procrastinating man who evaded me but Ryan did not know this and approached him after speaking to the man above. He said he would count he cost as he knew that he deserved hell for his sins but has a 'fatal attraction' for them. Pray the Lord gives him a stir.
- a lady encouraged us by letting us know that when she saw what was going on, she got busy at the throne of grace. This is tremendously encouraging and she herself needs prayer as she invites overseas student home for a meal and then tells them how Jesus has saved her from her sins, then asks them what their religion has to get them to heaven. Pray without ceasing.
To God be the glory. We thank Him for the privilege and pleasure of serving Him.
"Lest we forget" - as we thank God for the blood-bought freedom we continue to enjoy now, we need to think often of the ultimate redemption, as members of "... the church of God which obtained with His own blood.", Acts 20:28.
How precious is this! David who is illiterate was taken through the gospel twice until he grasped the message. Then Ryan gave him a gospel of John as David said he would have it read to him. Please, pray.
A few samples of what some careless types 'believe':
- a man who claimed he did not believe in anything, but then admitted he believed his parents existed. He later retracted this statement and blamed God for all the world's troubles. How inconsistent!
- a young couple: he did not care and she had a 'higher power' she followed and had ideas like the gospel accounts were written by His disciples about 300 years after Jesus death. Perhaps a seed was planted before the guy lost his cool and the conversation had to be terminated so that Ryan could walk...
...around to the other side of the bus seats where he met a man he had witnessed to, together with his girlfriend, a few months ago. She has started reading the Bible but he needed to hear the gospel again. He concluded that he was not ready for Jesus yet; he had more sinning to do. He was challenged.
- a young man Kyle who had studied Buddhism since 14 years old but who felt an urgency to attend church last weekend, and did. He has since read Genesis. Good long conversation going through law ( he admitted he was a liar, same as everyone else, and I added the first 3 commandments to his list of sins as he had ignored God for years) and gospel which he is now going to check out from the Bible alone. He knows the need for his all-in commitment to the Lord. Please pray that as he continues to seek God ( because of Jn. 6:37) he will pray for the Holy spirit to teach him the truth!
- three young guys who heard God's good news in spite of their avowed love for drugs.
There is always more and let us be thankful that for each one who is eventually a recipient of God's gift of eternal life through "...repentance from dead works...", Heb. 6:1, and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ alone; this is "...to the praise of His glory," Eph. 1:14
By His grace, another day of witnessing of our God who is great without/beyond/above measure, Ps. 145:3. How did He answer our prayers this day?
- a young lady, Maddy, whose grandparents are Christians has now reached the point where she needs to count the cost and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ as her Redeemer. May God deal with her in mercy if it so pleases Him.
- a Chinese teen boy was given a tract and taken through the bus/builder analogy, then through to the consequences of Adam's sin before his bus arrived. May God stir his spirit to become a seeker after Truth.
- an older man who was so inconsistent that he did not even realize his view of reincarnation was internally flawed. May he be challenged by the truth of God's good news and forsake in true repentance his self-love.
- 2 teen boys that I gave tracts to and began to converse with until Jamie, a professed atheist, took out his phone and rang someone. I left them with a challenge. Soon thereafter, Ryan met them and took Jamie through the builer/building analogy that he admitted made sense but then wanted to still call himself an atheist. Ryan used the analogy that if one did not believe in gravity but one day went to a science class where he saw an experiment showing gravity had a repeatable effect and he became convinced that gravity was real, he would have stop to saying he was an unbeliever in gravity. Likewise he should not call himself an atheist any more. Going through the law and the gospel, Sam who had thought that he was good now understands he is not good enough to get into heaven. May they both hear more of the truth that they desperately need to trust themselves to for the remission of their sins and the gift of eternal life - with the God of all grace! Hallelujah.
- a young lass, Ruby who initially believed in some impersonal higher power who cares for us. We started from the agreed position that if there is a God, then we cannot treat Him like a scientific experiment Then while we are flesh and blood and have no knowledge of what a spirit can or cannot do, from His Self revelation we learn that He is a Spirit, tri-Personal, and Jesus is God in the flesh so that he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father. I concentrated on the pure selflessness of Jesus coming and dying in the place of His people while we were still God's enemies and how as a Christian one can begin to learn how to live for God's glory, in part, by becoming more selfless in loving our wife or husband, as the case may be. We parted amicably with my expressed wish to her that she would come to know God and how delightful it is to know and love Him - 1 Jn. 4:7!
Without your prayers, how could we continue to tell out the wonders of His good news. Thank you. Grace be with you each and every one.
A windy day, reminding us of the Holy Spirit's work, Jn. 3:8 "The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." What will God do through our witness today to:
Both these heard the gospel. May God do His sovereign work work in their lives. We thank Him for the privilege of serving Him; for equipping us to tell His gospel without fear or favor; and for wisdom when not to engage someone in conversation whom God had not prepared for today's ministry. To Him alone be glory and praise.
Isn't this aspect of our risen Lord's work fascinating? While I was engaging a couple with a baby, John, a regular user of this bus station and whom I could never understand, approached Ryan and stated that he reckoned no one would get to heaven because no one is perfect. (He had been given tracts before today). He initially would not accept the sinlessness of Jesus. I had concluded my meeting, and could concentrate prayer towards this situation. Ryan made the issue clear and stressed the urgency of it for none of us know when our time to expire will be.
Then Ryan called me over to add a few subsidiary Biblical facts including the prophecy of God's Messiah being born of a virgin, or sinless and so Jesus came to us precisely as God had said through His prophets. John has been invited to a local church which has wheelchair access and given the details if he needs any assistance. Pray the Lord reveal Himself to John and grants him the gifts of repentance and faith.
Now, back to the mother, Tony, and her baby and partner: Ryan had previously met them and gone through the law and gospel. I did so again as he perused the Jesus tract. Tony claimed to belong to Jesus and asked me what was the difference between us and the JWs. I started by explaining how they said that Jesus was less than divine. This means that He is incapable of saving anyone.
After this, he wandered away and Tony told me that he was atheistical. Then she asked me about the Mormons and I told her that their 'Jesus' was a sham who, they said did good to become a god. She agreed. Please pray that her commitment to Jesus would extend into every area of her life and for her partner's salvation, as well as the baby.
Grace is amazing as is our God of multi-faceted grace, 1 Peter 5:10. Thank you for your partnership in gospel work. There is room for another worker from 3:30 to 5p.m. Can you come?
"Count your blessings, name them one by one..." give God the glory for what He has done today, e.g.
- Sylvester, raised in a Christian home, fell into atheism for a time, and now saying 'Sorry' to his family and was unsure about God's existence. After he responded well to the builder analogy, Ryan took him through the law and gospel. Sadly he wants to sort things out with his family before he considers Christ. Pray that God would give him a sense of urgency - he is on the brink of the pit and eternal punishment.
- Teressa attends a church but some of her prayers are off-centre although she claimed to trust Christ alone. Pray the Lord would correct her thinking so that she takes the gospel as it is in the Bible.
- Jessu is a young man living by the 'golden rule' although he knew practically nothing of God's revealed will in the 66 books of the Holy Scriptures. After giving him an apologetic for why it is reasonable to accept the Bible as God's Word, going through the builder analogy, then going through the law and gospel, he said that it made sense. Pray that he downloads a Bible onto his phone and checks out the claims of Christ to be his Lord and Saviour, as he stated that this was his intention as his bus arrived.
So, in a small but important way (important because it is God's work) the good news is sent forth again. Thank you for praying and praise God that His greatness is unlimited - Ps. 145:3 and so praise is His due and His alone.
The Lord's work is glorious because He is, e.g. Acts 13:48 "... and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed." Thanks for those praying for His work this day:
- Some who had previously refused to take tracts, today took a tract. Pray that they, or others in their households, read the tract through and God stirs their spirit to seek Him out.
- Josh now appreciates intellectually the gospel; pray the Lord draws him to commit fully to being Jesus disciple.
- Alisha likewise; it seemed that she began to accept the facts of salvation but needs a sense of urgency. to respond in repentance and faith.
- Lily now appreciates the faith somewhat better understanding how trusting Christ, perfect Substitute, gives her acceptance with God that removes any fear of Judgment Day - 1 Jn. 4:16-18
And some people were 'good' regardless of what God says, and others were very imaginative in their excuses but we pray that God might be merciful to some...Thank God that in spite of our inadequacies, He equips us for the battle and He always has the victory - to Him be the glory and praise, now and for ever, Amen.