Never Heard

Blank stares met the mention of his name.

Again, I asked, have you heard of him?

Just a few blinks.

and the shake of a head.

Never heard of my Best Friend.  Never heard of my Encourager. Never heard of my Daily Strength. Never heard of the One who spoke the universe into existence, and sustains it there daily. Never heard of my Father, and the One who speaks to Him on my behalf.  The One who endured hell, so that I can experience love unlimited, and grace unmerited, and forgiveness abundant, and a Power that is not my own. The one who entered into the mess I have made with my stubborn, selfish heart. Dealt with the consequences of my rebellion of my Creator, took all the punishment and wrath I deserve for the sickness of my self-centered heart…and those times I’ve yelled at my kids and the mean things I think and the messed-up priorities I have and the pride that wells up in my heart. He took what I deserved, let me go free, free to be alive to the Source of Life. Free to live in a power and strength and a motivation that I could never muster in my own will.

I stood their desperately trying to eek out an explanation of Who He is.  How do you even start, when there isn’t even a frame of reference?  A golden opportunity to share with this man the greatest JOY of my life,  but at the same time utter chaos ensued, and I’m left pondering what I could have done differently. I’m left wondering how many others I pump gas next to, and stand in the check out line beside, and buy coffee from who HAVE NEVER HEARD the sweet name of

JESUS.

That afternoon on the way home, we met a Russian woman who didn’t have a place to live. She told us she was willing to work and help out with housework…well, we were in the middle of cleaning up from the mold and hauling things to the curb to be picked up  by the trash collector, so we told her we could give her some work and try to help her out.  We brought Lucy home with us, and I told her what I had on the agenda for that day…spraying down items with mold-killing chemicals and cleaning up inside my disastrous house.  While we worked she told me her “story”. Catholic in background,  A “mail order bride” who came to the States to marry someone who found her profile on the internet. A six year marriage ended in divorce, a few nanny jobs, and jumping around from house to house, whoever would take her in.  My mind is reeling as I work alongside her and I brainstorm how we can help her when we don’t even have a home to live in either. We take a water break as I regroup for the next task, and she tells me.

“I hope you don’t mind, but God doesn’t want me to do this work. Someone else can help you. God has important work for me to do. I want to leave.”

Ok, I think.  “Well, she can just hang out, while I work and when Danny gets back with the car we can take her wherever she wants to go”

I wanted to at least read Scripture with her, because despite her frequent mention of God, we can always benefit from reminders of the TRUTH.

As I sit down and get my Bible out, she tells me

“I don’t need to read that, God speaks to me already.”

and this is when I start to get suspicious. Of mental disorder, and other principalities at work.

It was when I was talking to “Kenny” (his American name) that I really knew there were other principalities at work….

We had headed outside after an around and around conversation on my desire to read some Scripture together for mutual encouragement, and her frequent interruptions to keep me from reading it.

Thats when Kenny pulled up, and started looking at the stuff we had put out on our curb.  I started talking to him and explaining what was wrong with the stuff, and we got to talking about how he had four daughters, and Lucy immediately said “Oh, he NEEDS this stuff! He has four babies! You need to give him this stuff!” I started explaining again about the situation with all the items and he said “Oh I don’t really need it anyways.”

While he was there, I wanted to make the most of the opportunity, so I started asking him questions.  From Vietnam. Buddhist. Been in the States eight years. When I asked him if he had heard of Jesus, is when I got the blank stares.

I was taken aback by him not knowing ANYTHING about Jesus.  My mind went reeling as to “where to start?” and I started explaining creation and the God who made it all.

This is when Lucy and whatever principality was at work in her, started bringing utter chaos.  She immediately started saying again, “This man needs these things! Let him take this bike! Let him take these clothes!”

He told me that he didn’t really want them, and I kept trying to share the story of creation, and Lucy kept saying that he was in desperate need and should take all the stuff I was getting rid of…this mad circle of conversation ensued for the next 5 minutes until, Kenny said “I think I need to go”. Lucy begged him for a ride, and she piled into his truck with him. and they drove off.

And I stood in my yard dumbfounded.

Dumbfounded about the bizarre scenario that had just unfolded before me.

Dumbfounded that a man who had never even heard the name of Jesus had been standing right before me.

Dumbfounded that I wasn’t able to share this incredible story of love, and redemption with him…..all because of a crazy, homeless, Russian lady who we had randomly picked up at the CVS.

and pondering how many more people live in my Atlantan-suburban city, who have come from countless other countries, and have yet to hear of my Savior, much less meet Him.

Do I have the eyes to see them? And the heart and mouth to engage them?

My friend, Susan Lytle, who graciously shares Christ with many people, has written up a little step by step way of taking the heart to engage those that haven’t heard, into the practical realm of actually engaging them . 

Notes on “Sharing Jesus Without Fear”
There is MUCH joy that we receive when we’re obedient to God in sharing the Gospel!
When we stop sharing our faith, things become routine and we can become spiritually lethargic, etc. This effects many churches.
It’s not about heaping guilt, its about the privilege of the process, about knowing God’s Word and obeying the Holy Spirit. Living our lives for Him, vs ourselves.
A few conversation starters..

1- Do you have any kind of spiritual belief?

2-To you, who is Jesus?

3- Do you believe there is a heaven and hell?

4- If you died today, do you know where you would go?

**follow up question: 

“If what you’re believing is not true, would you want to know?”

If they say “no”, you stop. This helps you to know if God is working in this person.

Using your bible (preferable a small one that you can have with you) Write down the next scripture verse in the margin so you know where to go next. Earmark or memorize Rom 3:23 to begin.

go to the first scripture (Rom 3:23). Try to avoid getting into arguments over statements like “the Bible has errors”, etc (you can kindly respond by asking them to please show you one)

Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Ask them to read aloud:

Romans 3:23.

Then ask, “what does it say to you?”

Them-“we’ve all sinned”

You- “you’re right”. Turn the page..keep going. Let GOD do the work..they can’t say it’s you.

Go to Rom 6:23  (The wages of sin is death (hell), but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ.” 
After they read it, say “Did you notice in the Bible, it reminds me (point to self) that even one sin would send me to hell? (Anywhere in the bible where it speaks of death/separation from God, it’s referring to hell) “In” reminds me that I need to be IN a relationship with God.”

Ask them to read John 3:3 aloud. Afterwards you can say “are you wondering how to get this relationship with God?”

Next verse- John 14:6 “I am the way , the truth & the life”)  “What does this mean to you?”

 (some verses that confirm Jesus being God: Luke 23:2-3, John 1:34-36, 3:36, 4:26, 5:24, 11:25, 12:3, 17:3, 20:31, Acts 4:12, 10:34-43, 26:18)

Romans 10:9-11, (“That if you confess your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” )read aloud. “What does it mean to you?”

2 Cor 5:15        (“And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”)

Isaiah 1:18       (“Come, now, let us reason together, “says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, ;they shall be as white as snow; though they are read as crimson, they shall be like wool”.

Rev 3:20  (“Here, I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and He

Additional verses that are good- Mark 1:15 (“…repent and believe in the gospel..”) “believe” means put your trust in.

Luke 10:25-28 “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Christian is often afraid of “the decision”, sometimes thinking it’s up to them, rather than the work of the Spirit.

Follow-up questions:

1- Do you believe you’re a sinner? 

2- Do you want forgiveness for your sins?

3- Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and rose again?

4- Are you willing to surrender your life to Jesus?

5- Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and follow Him? 

Whenever you ask #5, “shut up and pray’. This is a holy moment, the most important question they’ll ever hear. 

  2 Last principles:

“Read it again principal”- Don’t try to play theologian if they get stuck on a scripture. Just ask them to read it again & watch God reveal the truth to them. 
 

If they say “no”…use the “why principal”-

“I’m not sure this is the only religion, there’s a lot of them.”

Answer- There are really only two: 1-Christianity- Jesus is God, He had to come to us, we couldn’t get to Him. 2- Everything else- Jesus is not equal to God & you have to use some effort on your part to get to heaven.  One belief or the other is in vain.

“I’m not good enough.” (back to Romans 10:9-11 “..ANYONE who calls on the Name..”

“Do I have to give up relations with my boyfriend?” 

Do not wimp when answering biblically when conviction of sin is surfacing. They have a choice to make to follow Jesus. Never “force” a decision by making it easier or watering it down. Let them go. You’ve done what God has asked you to do. The Father is in control 🙂

Summary of verses:

Rom 3:23 (we’re sinners)

Rom 6:23 (penalty for sin)

John 3:3 (Jesus crucified) 

John 14:6 (I am the Way)

Rom 10:9-11 (Anyone who calls on the Name)

2 Cor 5:15 (turn from and turn to..I no longer want to live for myself)

Is 1:18 (Come let us reason together)

Rev 3:20 (Jesus is knocking at the door) 

 

 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jason Hill
    Oct 01, 2013 @ 13:04:26

    Wow. I see mental health patients every day, but this lady sounded like she had some spirit NOT from God working in her. That was not garden variety mental illness.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Lord, I want to see! | ...to the least of these...
  3. Trackback: How to STAY where God puts you | ...to the least of these...

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