There is a man in Nyack whom God has consistently pointed out.
When God does this, I know that He wants me to speak to him.
Our paths had never really crossed. When I have been on one side of the street, he was on the other. When he passed by, I was talking with another person. Yesterday, our paths for the first time crossed.
Approaching him, we struck a conversation.
After telling him that I was a pastor from Miami, I added, “You know that Jesus has been pointing you out to me since I got here. Whenever God does that it usually means that He has a call upon your life.”
Indeed, there had been a Christian upbringing in his life.
I told him that when my daughter left town I would take him for coffee.
His reply was, “You know I am still confused about Adam and Eve and whether God is a He or and a She.”
I said, “We can talk about anything you want from A to Z.”
We shook hands and left.
Why am I posting this?
There was a time that such comments about God would have caused a self-righteous knee jerk reaction. I would have been religiously offended at such a notion, and would have debated and or defended God.
Today, God has brought me a long way. The fact that my reply was calmly compassionate shows that He is working in me.
For one, God does not need to be defended.
But more important, if we are going to be the arms and feel of Jesus on the streets, we need to be the most authentic, and most accepting friend that the guy and gal will find. Our joy, our kindness, and our passion for Jesus must also reflect in a calm way.
Secondly, I am no longer embarrassed to proclaim the Name of Jesus.
There was a time that I was.
I found out that part of that embarrassment was not mine.
It was an attack of embarrassment on my thought life by a demon of fear.
People in almost all cases will respond positively when what you say, you say it with confidence, boldness and a holy pride, not in me but in the Jesus whom I present.
If people see embarrassment or ashamedness in what you offer, this is where negative reactions erupt.
I want to encourage all of us, I included, to ask God to free us from religious knee jerk reactions and the propensity to be offended when people unknowingly or even knowingly distort the truth about God.
We are to be bold, authentic, accept people where they are at, and keep a calm and joyous disposition which reflects God.
And enjoy people’s company.
Everybody has a story. Everybody has a history. Everybody has been through tragedy and difficulties.
Take a genuine interest, be a listening ear.
Be loving and calm, without watering down or sweeting up the gospel.
People need truth and want truth in a world of liars and lies.
Many who do not know Jesus, still want a prayer, and almost everybody wants a word of prophecy from on High.
I know one guy, that whenever he sees me, wherever I may be, blurts out, “do you have a prophecy?’