A cooler day today but so too seemed to be the general response to God's only Way of sinners becoming reconciled to Him.
However, God has His own way of presenting the claims of Christ, e.g. a young girl who had previously been given a tract and had had the gospel explained to her, had time to be briefly challenged before her bus came.
There was also another young lass who was very unclear initially but was taken through to the point where she knew she deserved eternal condemnation. As we walked the 10 steps or so to her bus, I was able to point her to the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ and have to be content to pray for others to meet her and complete the gospel message and challenge.
Dave, trained in a Roman Catholic institution, was told that this was the Biblical message that Protestants proclaimed. At the end, he was pleased to be prayed for.
Our pleasure is to serve the only One worth serving and that through the Mediator He has given us Thank God that He saves a people for Himself, e.g. Rom. 9:25,26. Let us pray that God will be merciful to many at this time in this land He owns (as well as the whole created order).
On the way to the bus stop where we evangelise, Ryan had a conversation with a J.W. bus driver. I saw this and began praying for him while he tried to get a gospel conversation going, and it prepared me for what lay ahead. However the J.W. was more concerned that it was the last days (which means they believe they have to put in more hours than usual), than wanting to discuss about matters of eternity.
We were then able to pray for God's work and went forth to the few people there - as many as our sovereign Lord had arranged to receive tracts and/or engage in 1:1s, e.g.
Jamie, a young Christian lady who could not defend the faith. If someone were to ask her ,"Why should God let you into His heaven?", she could not explain her faith. Going through the law and gospel, she responded most joyously. She received a sample of tracts, and was referred to our website, Jamie said that she would teach her friends how to defend the faith. Pray they respond in like enthusiastic manner.
Lorraine, an expert in creating a 'god' she could handle including Jesus as Mediator, karma and every other belief that she liked from various religions! Pray she reads the tract and God deals savingly with her.
Dana, a teenager who seemed to grasp the message and Ryan challenged her to count the cost. Jesus has told us what a lukewarm 'Christian' can expect - Rev. 3:16.
As always, what God did but did not reveal to us, is to the praise of His glorious grace. We are thankful that He enables us to serve Him in this manner and we are quick to give Him all the glory and praise.
The Lord be praised for enabling us to witness for His glory this warmish day. He provided a rich variety of people, including these people who claimed to be Christians:
- Shaun from PNG background recently moved here and not attending a local church. He had difficulty explaining his faith but as we went through the law and gospel, he had a sound knowledge of sin and the need for him to repent and trust Christ alone. After going through the law and gospel, he seemed to grasp how justice was satisfied by Jesus and a sinner now trusting in the Son could ask for mercy and receive forgiveness of all his sins from a righteous and merciful Father. We prayed as his bus arrived to take him home rejoicing. He also was recommended a local church.
- Tanya from a local church. Now seems to understand the doctrine of justification by faith and taking her need to trust Christ alone as a matter for serious thought today.
- James was struggling to express his reason that God would let him into heaven. He seemed to agree with the gospel but further questioning showed his confused ideas of sin and his own worthiness. This was repeated a few times before his bus arrived.
Pray that churches would shepherd their sheep with life-giving fodder and nurture. Pray also that Christians would be more concerned to do all things to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10:21; including outreach activities. Lord! Grant us grace to be better servants giving you all thanks and praise.
Today we had some re-contacts who had not progressed since the previous time; some disinterested; some tracts given with short encouragements to consider the claims of Christ, but also a few like:
- Jennifer, a young Mum with child who had not really considered eternal matters before. She heard and understood the gospel and is now considering what it means for herself.
- Zac had no Bible but some knowledge. Now seems to have understood the gospel and admitted it was reasonable. He was challenged to get a Bible and check out the gospel of John and/or Romans in order to verify the facts on the tract and then see us again.
- A few were issued the 'Valentine challenge', i.e. "Is Jesus Christ your first love?"
We are thankful for our faithful God enabling us to glorify Him in this manner and at the same strengthening our faith as we review His marvelous work of prevenient grace so His sheep can respond favorably to the Good Shepherd - Jn. 10:16.
May those who support the ministry of God's gospel through praying (and fasting for those able to), be strengthened in their own walk with the Lord by His grace.
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.
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 an encouraging afternoon of evangelism today in Capalaba (QLD). For after encountering a few people who were quite hardhearted, it was refreshing talking with a family who were very open to the gospel.
One of the daughters of this family, who is in high school, we've spoken to for the past 2 weeks. As it seems whenever she sees us she calls us over and wants to talk about eternal things. This has provided a great opportunity each time, not only to share the gospel with her, but also with whoever she was with each of the times. And today, she was with her mother and sister.
She called us over and so we gave each of them a gospel tract. We then got to share with them about the coming day of judgement, about our sin and also about the good news that Jesus has died on the cross for our sins if we would repent and believe.
They were very receptive, The younger daughter asked her mother, "Mum, can we get a Bible?" Later on, she then asked us, "Do you know where we can get a Bible from?"
So I ran to the car to get one for each of them. They were very appreciative that they could have one. The younger daughter then said, "Can we read it again after we have finished it?" We said, "Of course, keep reading it your whole life. You'll learn new things every time you read it."
Please pray that God would draw this family to Himself, including all the other people who heard the gospel today or received a gospel tract. To God alone be all the glory!
It was cold and windy at Capalaba during our weekly outreach there. One of the usual team members wasn't able to make it, but God graciously brought along two new labourers. So we had four of us in total.
It was great to see the team get into some extensive gospel conversations with the people waiting for their bus, some that went for half an hour!
After someone came off a bus that had arrived, I offered him a gospel tract and asked if he thinks he'll go to heaven. This guy recognised me, saying, "Did you know you spoke to me 2 years ago right here." I didn't really remember him but I asked if he remembers what we talked about.
He said, "I remember realising that I deserved to be sent to hell, and that I need to trust in Jesus, and then start reading the Bible everyday. In fact, after that conversation I started reading the Bible - I actually read half the Bible, but then uni got too busy and then I stopped reading it."
This provided then a great opportunity for me to recap the message with him, emphasizing that it's the finished work of Jesus' on the cross that saves us, and that we need to trust in Him alone, which will result in us then wanting to live the rest of our lives for Jesus. I also encouraged him to count the cost of following Jesus.
He was listening intently and my prayer is that he will come to saving faith in Christ. His name is Zac.
God's word never returns empty, to God be the glory!
Today we met for our weekly outreach in Capalaba. After praying together as a team, we started handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations.
Occasionally we come across some of the same people week after week and get to share a bit with them each time. Yesterday, something similar happened when I got talking to a young guy named Ryan. I remembered I had spoken to him once before, but I couldn't remember exactly what his response was then.
So I asked him what he thought would get him to heaven. He said that asking for forgiveness would save him and doing good things. So I gave a courtroom analogy, "Imagine if you've broken the law in society and you stand before a judge and say, 'Judge, I have broken that law but you should let me go because I am very sorry, and that same day I also did a few good things.'"
I asked Ryan, "Would that work?" He agreed it wouldn't. So I explained, "Same thing in the sight of God. If we sin against Him, merely saying sorry or doing good things won't erase the history of our sins. That is why we need someone perfect who take our Hell punishment for us - that is Jesus."
I reiterated with him that it is faith alone in what Jesus has done that saves us, and nothing of our good deeds. But he wasn't so sure about that, he had some more questions about that, however his bus came!
He wanted to talk further, but said he won't coming by this bus stop on Mondays anymore. So I just mentioned to him that he can contact me through the website on the back of the card (which is www.operation513.com).
Later that night, I got an email from Ryan asking some more good questions about how he can be forgiven. So I have been continuing my witnessing encounter with him via email.
Glory to God!
It was cold and windy as the team met this afternoon for our weekly outreach in Capalaba. The beauty of this outreach location is that it's a great place to have chats with people as they wait for their bus.
One of the people I spoke with today was a young man named Kevin. He's a high school student from China, and over the past 3 weeks I have been sharing the gospel with him.
It's amazing how over these few weeks he has really opened up, from initially not wanting to talk at all, to now calling me over when I am in sight of him.
Today I wanted to see if he remembered the gospel I had explained to him. Unfortunately, he still thought it was his good deeds that would save him. So I spent quite a bit of time explaining the gospel in different ways to him so he would understand it. And by the end of our chat today, he appeared to.
I had given him a gospel of John last week and he said he had read the first few pages so far. I encouraged him to start reading the Bible everyday, and to help him get into the habit, I said, "Say to yourself: No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed".
I think Kevin got the idea as at the end of our conversation today, he said "No Bible, no breakfast." Please pray for Kevin.
There were plenty of other good chats that the team had today, so to God alone be all the glory!