A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about the blessed opportunity of a local brother who is able to open-air preach in Uptown Charlotte every Friday on his lunch break. Uptown is a very busy, pedestrian-friendly city center populated with corporate businesses, shops, and restaurants, thus giving this brother potentially hundreds of people to hear the proclamation of the Gospel each week. As I thought about his personal ministry, I began to wish I was able to do such a thing – and then it hit me after a few moments – I DO have such an opportunity to engage the lost during my lunch break! I immediately rejoiced and thanked God for revealing to me another avenue for which I can share the Gospel with a dying world.
My workplace happens to be along a busy bus route that services local public health, social services, and a chemical dependency center. Any time I pass these bus stops, there’s anywhere from a handful to 1 or 2 dozen of people, so there’s usually always someone there to engage. Since last week, I’ve been able to get out there 4 or 5 times, spending anywhere from 10 to 35 minutes during my lunch break.
The challenging part about this type of witnessing is that you have a limited amount of time to share the Gospel with the buses coming every 20 minutes. I’ve realized I need to sharpen my delivery of the Gospel as I ran out of time on a couple of occasions, so this is going to bless me in that regard. When time allows, it’s wonderful to be able to share deeper truths with people, but oftentimes we must be concise and keep the focus on the essentials of the Gospel.
After meeting a professing Christian and encouraging her for about 10 minutes yesterday, the bus arrived and I was able to hand out 10 or so more tracts to those waiting to get on the bus. I proceeded across the street on the way back to my truck when I saw 3 men waiting for the outbound bus. I looked at my watch and saw that I had a few minutes left before I had to get back to work. I handed a tract to each one and told them the back of the tract contained the “trillion dollar question.” Anthony began reading the tract on the spot, reading it intensely in fact. I really didn’t know what to say as he was concentrating, then all of a sudden he cracked a slight smile and said, “man, I think I was fine until I got there” – he was referring to adultery in the heart, the sin of lust.
As God would have it, for the next 20 minutes I was able to share the best news that Anthony had ever heard. We talked about the Law of God and the fact we have all sinned against Him, and we all deserve the just punishment in hell. When I explained to Him the sacrifice of Christ and the beauty of the Savior to redeem a people for Himself, he was taken aback as he had never heard it explained like that before. It was apparent Anthony could feel the weight of his sin and the bloody price paid for sinners as he wiped tears from his eyes several times during our conversation.
I pleaded with Anthony that if he hears the voice of the Son of God speaking through me and the Word of God, if God had given him ears to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd to repent and follow Him, then don’t wait any longer. Today is the day of salvation, and the Lord of glory is worthy to be served, loved, obeyed, worshiped, and praised with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This Jesus who is coming back in flaming fire to take vengeance upon those who disobey the Gospel of Christ, who will show no mercy to those who refuse to bow down to Him today, is offering mercy to sinners now! I told Anthony if he believed everything I was saying as truth, and he wants to be set free from the bondage of his sin, putting on the yoke of Christ to learn from Him, then just cry out to Him calling upon the name of the Lord to save him from his sins. I told him he doesn’t need to repeat a prayer or go to the alter of a church, he just needs to get alone with God and be reconciled to him.
Then Anthony said,
I think I just did that.
what do you mean?
I didn’t cry out loud, I just cried out inside – in my heart.
“Hallelujah” burst from my lips in near unbelief, it was incredible.
To see the sovereign work of God in a man is indescribable if what had just happened was genuine. As the bus came over the hill, I gave Anthony my card and explained to him the resources found on airō. I told him I’d love to get up with him and talk more about this, and he was eager to send me his email address. Anthony explained to me he knew everything in his past had driven him to this point in time to speak with me, and I told him I expected to hear from him. I gave him a Gospel of John and also pointed him to 1st John, and he was on his way.
As you might imagine, I rejoiced the whole way back to work. I was so thrilled by this Divine appointment that I got out of my truck with the keys still in the ignition and the engine running. I can’t say in absolute terms that Anthony was born again yesterday, but if what I witnessed was indeed the manifestation of sovereign grace, I trust God will finish the work He started in Anthony regardless of whether he follows up with me.
This is just one amazing story of Grace working through me to touch the life of another potential sheep of the Good Shepherd. By taking a few minutes out of my day to reach out to others, God has blessed me richly through the proclamation of the Gospel during my day. I want to ask you to consider how you might be able to do the same during your day.
What kind of opportunities might you have throughout the day that you’ve never considered before? Are you also along a transit route? Are you near a shopping center or other type of pedestrian-friendly area? Can you take half of your lunch break to go out and hand a few tracts to people? Who is just right outside your door that you’ve never engaged? If you have this opportunity, won’t you consider getting out of your comfort zone, stepping out on faith to see what God will do?
Let’s hear about it!
Originally posted at The Speak:Truth Project