Evangelism So Often Joy-filled & Easy
March 25, 2016
At the downtown bus and train stops today my 81 year old mom passed out the Easter treat bags she had worked on so lovingly all month. As usual, most everyone showed happy appreciation and many told her how wonderful they considered it to be that she was doing such a ministry. She exhorted those she conversed with and told me that she had asked many people if they knew what day it was today and why people were celebrating this Sunday. She said that some seemed unsure but that most knew today was Good Friday and that it was the day set aside to remember Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for mankind’s sins, and that this Sunday was the day to celebrate His resurrection from the dead. This is the great thing about living in the Bible Belt –people do know about the Gospel; so our main task has been to exhort them to learn more about it and to obey it.
I wore my signs, as I always do, and handed out homemade tracts (one paragraph messages I write, different ever time), also exhorting and encouraging people, sometimes praying with them. So many have heart-breaking stories to tell me, but others, smiling and giving God the glory, recount ways the Lord has come through for them in times of desperate need. One man I approached today smiled right away and said that he definitely did need to begin reading the Word. He said he had just gotten out of being “locked up for 18 months” but that he was seriously blessed by what I was doing. Certainly it is easy to minister when people are encouraging and grateful.
Another thing that makes my ministry easy is like what happened after I’d crossed the street to go to a further bus stop, and it was something that is actually not a rare occurrence in my experience. As I approached that bench to hand out my tracts, a man sitting there smiled and said something to the effect that he thought it was wonderful what I was doing. (Everyone can see what I’m doing as I’m fully advertising it by wearing signs and holding up my Bible. My mom is plenty conspicuous too, as she has see-through bags full of beautiful treat bags tied in ribbon that she’s handing out to people whose faces brighten as she does so.) So, as this man took my tract he began to speak of the Lord’s goodness and to mention some of his favorite verses. A lady next to him kept saying, “Amen!” and also gave her input about the importance of following the Lord. The man, very excited, then continued so that he was soon preaching a wonderful sermon of Truth to all who were near enough to hear. Now how easy and great is that?! Just make a bold statement about following Jesus and others may join in so that all the evangelist has to do is let others do the preaching and debating and exhorting and edifying of one another! It definitely is an exciting blessing!
But, if ever I feel discouraged, thinking that people aren’t making changes due to my exhortations (from my blog, on the streets, or anywhere else), I remember Jesus’ words in John 4:35 when He says, “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” It’s so true. Many are ripe to listen, to learn, to discuss, to believe, to accept, and to repent. Many indicate that it is so, and we have to believe them and trust God to work in them as He has worked in us. “One sows and another reaps”, Jesus says (v. 37), and with some people we may sow, while with others who are ripe, we may reap. But we all should be doing our part with everyone we encounter. The sowing is harder than the reaping (v. 38), but both sower and reaper should be glad together when the crop is being harvested unto eternal life. (v. 36)
Often it is easier than we think it will be –if we will just step out and do whatever it is God is prodding us to do. And undoubtably it will be much more enjoyable and exciting than we could have imagined.