Saturday, January 06, 2007tired and weary... but still preaching...
So much to blog about, but I'm so exhausted right now, I don't know how far I'm going to get. It's been a tough week for me, and without going into detail, let me assure you that physically, I'm absolutely and completely spent. I briefly wondered whether I should just stay home tonight and catch up on some rest, but the fact of the matter is, I've totally come to the point in my Christian experience where I know just how important it is for me to proclaim the Gospel, in strength or in weakness. Therefore, I soldiered on.
My pastor had a prior engagement tonight, so it was up to brother Laz and I to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the marketplace. Brother Laz's ability to preach has greatly improved over the last few weeks, which is a real blessing to me since we are now able to equally share the preaching time (which gives my voice time to recuperate). Thinking back at the Friday night when I first met brother Laz, it amazes me, just how wonderfully the Lord has worked in his life. How thankful I am that the Lord saw it fit to use me to add brother Laz to our small group.
We preached on our usual street corner for 3 hours tonight, and I'm pleased to report that, for at least half the time we were out there, I carried in my heart a sincere and tender love for the lost. This is something I have confessed before and continue to do so: I have a BIG PROBLEM with these verses:
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." (1 Peter 1: 21-23)
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I have trouble believing the veracity and beauty of these verses, my problem is with their application in my life. When I'm cursed, it doesn't come naturally to bless in return. When I am persecuted, there isn't a whole lot of good thoughts floating in my mind. When I am reviled... oh! the difficulty in keeping guile out of my mouth. But tonight, albeit for a short time, I was doing rather well.
As the night wore on though, I could feel my level of frustration increase. As people walked past me, I prayed to God: "Please Lord... please... let them refuse the Gospel... let them think I'm a fool... just please, let them not be vile... that's all I ask." Sadly, they were vile; and I don't use this word lightly. The things people cast in our teeth is absolutely... well... vile. Not only are the words despicable, but the harshness of the tone with which they are uttered emphasizes their obvious hatred of us, and the Gospel.
By eleven o'clock, I knew it was time to go. By this point, the evil of the market just vexed me too much. By God's grace, I'll do better next week.
I had two one-on-one conversations tonight. Not too sure if any of them were very profitable, time will tell. One of my conversations was with a Romanist who was quite obviously not looking for Truth. He was playing in the nightlife of the marketplace with all the other sinners, and he made it clear that he was quite comfortable being "catholic". He did however accept one of our Gospel tracts and I encouraged him to read his Bible. If he actually does this, he most likely will not be comfortable with being a "catholic" for too long.
The other one-on-one conversation was with a group of young people who told me they were from a "Missionary Alliance" church (a liberal assembly), but they were all attending a United church (calling the United church liberal doesn't cut it... the United church is one of Satan's favorite houses of worship) when they were in the city. I wondered whether I should come right out and say what I was thinking (which was: you are following Satan!), but instead, I opted to reason with them. I think I made some progress with one of them, the others clearly didn't have any interest in what the Bible taught. I was told that I was a bit "too edgy", but that I had "alot of guts to be doing what I'm doing", and at this point I stopped them and concluded my time with them with this:
"Friends, listen to me now. The Lord Jesus Christ saved my soul. He saved me through the power of His Word. Plus nothing. I stand on the solid ground of His Word and if that makes me 'too fundamentalist', so be it. And the reason I'm standing here tonight with the Gospel has nothing to do with guts; it has everything to do with grace. I'm 100 pounds nothing, and 5 feet something. With my small stature foremost on my mind, whenever I come out here, I'm afraid of what might happen to me. I'm the world's biggest chicken. But I come out because the Lord saved me. I come out because He laid down His life for me, and this is my reasonable service. This is what the Bible has done for me. Friends, read your Bibles. Wrestle with the Lord as Jacob wrestled with God and got the blessing. That's the key to success in spiritual matters. Stay in the Word. Don't look to man. Don't look to me. Anchor yourselves in the Word!"
I think one or two of them got what I was trying to say, but the rest of them remained clueless, though they did seem impressed at my passionate plea. One of the clueless ones started saying something to the effect that she "felt the Holy Spirit was bringing me close to a breakthrough moment". I just shook my head, said goodnight, and walked across the street to relieve brother Laz from his half hour of preaching.
I hope and pray that the Lord will save and sanctify these young people.
Okay, that'll be the notes for tonight, dear readers. It's 1:30 am and I'm absolutely dead. Have a great weekend, and a most blessed Lord's Day.
PS: Dear saints, I covet your prayers, for health and strength in the physical realm, as well as in the spiritual realm. God bless you all.
Labels: Friday evangelism