It is often said GOD does not need much to do great things and that is exactly what I had – not much; only a cross, tracts, a Bible and a street corner. True to the saying GOD did much with little. For just about one hour Saturday, the day before Easter, I was blessed of the LORD to reach those in my local with the gospel. It ended up being a fantastic day, a light breeze, sunshine, and moderate temperatures made for perfect weather to be out worshiping the LORD of glory. There is another saying among believers, “If you were on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Over the last couple of months the LORD has been placing a burden on me for the local church HE has placed me in and for our local communities. When I was in prayer seeking the LORD and where HE would have me to go out it came to mind there is a fairly busy intersection just outside of the apartment complex Holly and I live in. Sure, I have shared the gospel with my neighbors and spoken to a few who I have come across here. I have even been as close as a mile from where we live to proclaim the good news of JESUS CHRIST. However, I had not, as of yet, been through my apartment complex and/or just outside of it to make much of HIM who suffered bled and died. That was to change rapidly and afterwards rejoicing in the SPIRIT.
And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
Luke 14:23 NASB
If I had my way I would not go out by myself when witnessing. I have always enjoyed the fellowship with the LORD and others as we together seek to be poured out for the LORD’S glory. Besides, there is the pure logistics of the matter; two or more can cover more ground. There is also the intercessory prayer offered up as one witnesses. Oh the times of sweet rejoicing afterwards, as we recount the grace of GOD poured out to one another. The LORD, though, taught me very early in HIS calling me, that I must and do have to go when HE wants with as many or just myself as HE has determined. There have been days, the number of which I cannot count, I have been sent out by myself. Almost with exception, each of those times have resulted in a witnessing encounter where you see the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD acting upon a person. I lack the vocabulary to describe what goes on inside of me or what my eyes see as this happens and for a short time I am saddened that other had not witnessed what I had. This day, also, proved to be one of those days. Though I would have hoped in my flesh others would have joined in songs of praise with me it was not to be. Thus my prayer to the LORD is HE would grant this short recap to be empowered by HIS SPIRIT to make much of CHRIST and your hearts to rejoice.
As mentioned earlier I was blessed and granted of the LORD to spend just about, or shortly over, an hour cross walking. It was my hope the LORD would bring people along my path so seeds might be sown. There were those in their cars who took pictures, would look at me and then quickly turn away as though they had been exposed. One young man asked me through the car window, “Are you ready for what?’ One lady rolled down her window and asked me if I was ready. Her expressions did not appear to be those of a fellow believer. People would drive by, turn their heads, and read the cross. As usual, there were those whom the LORD encouraged through the cross and there were those whose hearts were hardened. But above all of this, I believe the LORD exalted and glorified HIS name…humbly I feel as though HE took pity on me and allowed me to be used for HIS kingdom. The LORD is faithful as it was HE who granted my request and brought to me two witnessing encounters which I would like to recount for you. Please pray for them and thank the LORD HE granted for these to occur.
First there was John. I saw John from about a quarter mile away. He was walking over the overpass and heading my direction. There were many places he could have turned off, but something in me let me know he was headed my way. When he finally arrived, I handed him a tract. After about a minute, I asked if he knew what the gospel was, had he ever heard of it. He relied that he had, so I asked him to tell it to me. John appearance was a mixture between the rad skateboard look and the southern boy going fishing. He was polite and attentive. When I had asked if he could tell me the gospel he said he could not. What happened from there was a reading of 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 and an explanation of them. A series of questions with answers leading up to his standing before GOD knowing he was guilty of not loving GOD or his neighbor as he should. He acknowledged it did bother him, but he was still going to try and do his best (works). I was granted to pray for him, leave him with our church information, and invite him to come. As he departed I knew not what the LORD had in store for him…I pray it was for salvation.
Then there was the couple. A man and I presume his wife came walking by. They were both fairly well dressed and groomed for an outdoors walk. They seemed casual in their strides as though they were just enjoying the time they had on this day. They were a bit older than me, which in my experience, did not always go well in witnessing. I suppose by my own appearance there is a tendency to assume things about me, as I have a young looking face, a baby face you might say. I reached into my bag as they came by me and I offered them a tract. The man said no thank you and informed me he was a Christian. I was actually a bit excited as I witnessed a seemingly confident posture, thinking I was going to hear a declaration of the LORD JESUS and HIS sacrifice. I just gave a heavy sigh, as I bring to mind his reason for assurance. He said that he was a Christian because he spoke in tongues. Well that came out of nowhere. He began to speak some sort of gibberish and then said it was my turn, I looked at him with, I am sure, a bewildered face and then he did it again and said once again, “Your turn.” To this I said no and asked him to show me in Scripture where speaking in tongues was the assurance of salvation. Now his face became a bit perplexed and he said somewhat hesitantly, “All through the book of Acts.” Now he and his wife were walking on and I said where in Acts and he kept walking…I called out to him, “Sir the LORD tells us not everyone who says LORD LORD to MR will enter the kingdom of heaven…do you not want to dialog?” They just continued to walk away. Though I felt a bit of anger in a person speaking and using the name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST in a wrong and blasphemous way, I still rejoiced the LORD had offered them the gift of eternal life and even went so far as to have them held accountable for their faulty beliefs. After they had vanished out of sight and I had spent a bit more time with the cross, I began my walk back home. As I entered the apartment grounds I started to rejoice that others might glimpse the cross and be posed with the question, “Are you ready?” I passed by a couple of people with their darting glances assuring me they had seen the cross and were offended by it. Arriving home, I opened the door welcomed by our dog…rejoicing and pray and thanking the LORD for this day and labor. Blessed be HIS holy name.
In closing you may wonder why I was upset at the couple. 1 Peter 3:15 is a command for us to be able to make a defense to everyone who asks us to give an account for the hope within us. It is a command meant for a declaration of the LORD JESUS and HIS finished work. This man when asked, I encourage you to listen to others when you witness to them, exalted himself and a supposed gift he had. Even if he were to speak in tongues he exalted himself and not CHRIST as he did not even interpret what was said thus invalidating the Word of GOD. Don’t be anxious when witnessing, listen to what a person says and if they say something which does not align with the Word of GOD politely and respectfully as them give account. You never know what the LORD is doing in their life. Remember Proverbs tells us that if we instruct a wise man he will love us and grow. If, however, they are foolish they will only speak their own mind and seek to be angry or laugh.
When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
Provers 29:9 NASB
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:8-10 NASB
Rejoice saints…the LORD has sent forth HIS Word and it will accomplish what HE has sent it out for. Grace and peace…the LORD richly bless you all who are in CHRIST.
Glory to GOD! Worthy is the LAMB!
© 2016 Shane Sands. www.unitedinchristjesus.org.
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Shane Sands is the founder and president of United in Christ Jesus. In addition to local and statewide outreaches, he has organized and participated in numerous evangelism trips around the world and helped to establish a Reformed home church in Norway. Shane is a devoted husband to his wife, Holly and together they desire to follow the Lord’s leading to be based in Northern Ireland.