The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6-7 NIV
Mardi Gras came to an end. It is time for me to give my best friend Nancy back to her husband, Barry. It was a good four days and well worth our time and the money people donated to make it happen. We had 15 salvations, passed out tracts, and presented the Gospel numerous times. We met so many faithful Christians there doing the same thing. The Bible says to think on what is lovely and leading people to Jesus is lovely.
“If you get to heaven and God asked, ‘Girlfriend, why should I let you in?, 'what would you say?” I asked a woman who had just told me she was going to heaven. I’d guessed she was about 25. Her black skirt was so tight and short that I wondered how she moved.
She was silent for minute. Finally, she said, “I have no idea!”
“Good answer,” I said. “You’re honest. I can work with that. Do you believe in Jesus?”
“Yes,” she said. We confirmed the facts of His birth, death, and resurrection and she was well informed. I spoke scripture about how to get to heaven and she listened with rapt attention. Someone had taught her about Jesus but not the way to Him. When I invited her to pray, she was ready and eager.
I love telling children about Jesus. With the permission of the supervising adults, we gave out many children’s tracts and presented the gospel to several groups of children, using a picture cube that tells the story of Jesus.
One grandmother agreed to let me talk to her 5 grandchildren and said, “These 3 here're saved but these 2 ain’t. I told them about Jesus but their mama don’t take them to church.”
As I told the story of Jesus, I stopped at each section of the cube to make sure the two unsaved little boys, aged 6 & 8, understood. They not only understood, they believed. The grandmother had taught them well.
“May I ask them to invite Jesus into their lives?” I asked.
“Yes,” the Grandmother answered without hesitation.
I turned to the boys. “You know and believe everything you need to know to become Jesus’ friend. Do you want to do that now?”
They both nodded solemnly but when they repeated the simplified salvation prayer, they said it clearly and enthusiastically.
I long for every encounter to be lovely, but not all are. Many refused the tract. A few were rude and occasionally obscene. I heard several times, “I’m good. Don’t bother me.” I honored their wishes and moved on, praying for them as I left.
Several listened to the Gospel, took the tract, and promised to say the prayer later. I believe that at least two of those will really do it. Who knows, maybe more than that. I didn’t push beyond my invitation to pray.
My favorite, “We’ll See” are the intellectuals who love to debate. They pontificate about science, future lives, philosophy, other deities, or what ever book they have just read. I listen completely and do not debate. In fact, I try to express no opinion about their opinions. I’ve found opinions escalate debate and while they might enjoy it, we get nowhere.
When they finish their speeches, I usually ask, “If Jesus were the way, truth, and the life and no one could get to the Father except through Him, would you want to know it?”
One person this week said no so I moved on.
Most often, I hear something like, “That’s a silly question. I could never know that. It would be impossible to know.”
I smile and say, “I knew you were going to think it was silly but it is a serious question. If there were a way you could know beyond a shadow of doubt, would you want to know? If Jesus were the only way to heaven and you were going to end up spending an eternity in hell without Him, would you want to know it before you die?”
Most say yes. I then say, “I want to give you the Jesus Challenge. It takes courage but I think you’re up to it. Ask the Jesus you don’t believe it if He is real. Tell Him you need proof. Feel free to tell Him you don’t believe and how ridiculous you think the notion of there being only one-way to heaven really is. He has big shoulders. He can handle it. Ask Him if He is real and then watch with an open mind. If He isn’t real, you have nothing to lose. If He is real, you have eternity to gain.”
Two Mardi Gras clad confirmed atheists took the Jesus challenge this week. I gave them my card and said, “You’d better hang on to your hat and my card. Over the years, I’ve heard back from several people who took the Jesus Challenge. Their stories were astounding. Contact me and tell me your story about how Jesus proved Himself.”
Yes, it has been a lovely week. I love going outside to play with my best friend, Nancy. Evangelism is my favorite kind of play. Evangelism is not Nancy's calling but she is always willing support me in my adventures. When we wake up tomorrow, I’ll drive Nancy back to Atlanta.