Christian Devotionals

"Don’t Just Walk on By"

Our church is doing a small group Bible study created by Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church. It’s an evangelism program called “Just Walk Across the Room” and although we’ve just started this series, I know that God will use it in a mighty way to reach people for Jesus. The whole premise of this program is that Jesus commands us to “Go and make disciples” – unfortunately most of us feel ill-equipped or uncomfortable evangelizing (e.g. “That’s not my gift”). Yet we don’t need special gifts, talents, credentials or seminary degrees to share the love of Christ with someone. Hybels goes on to say that effective evangelism often starts with just a walk across the room, a handshake, a kind word or and offer to help. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He was a walk across the room kind of guy who sought out people in need and touched their lives. We can do the same. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Christ – dwells within us and He will lead us to those people who need to be touched. Hybel’s writes:

… evangelism is about submitting to God’s agenda in a social setting, in a conversation, in your moment-by-moment life. And, like Matthew’s gospel says, He will be with you every step of the way.”

The following is a very powerful and moving example of people reaching out and touching a hurting person with the love of Jesus. It was a tag team effort –unbeknownst to the people involved, orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.  I heard this story several years ago on Dr. Joseph Stowell’s radio program “Proclaim.” Paul, the creator of the “Jesus” movie was in an executive strategy session at Paramount Pictures determining the best way to market “Jesus.” After the session, one of the Paramount executives approached Paul and asked to speak with him privately. This man was Jewish and his wife had just delivered a child with major birth defects. Their child was not expected to live. This Jewish executive shared how he accidentally walked in on his maid who was in the middle of prayer. She told him that she has been praying every day for their son. He asked, “Why would you, a Christian, pray for a Jewish baby”? She told him that Jesus loves their baby and He loves you too. She went on to tell him that she had been praying for his family for a long time.

This man’s wife later contracted breast cancer and wasn’t expected to recover. That night her husband went to the synagogue seeking solace, but was turned away because it was bingo night. He continued walking and came upon a church with the doors wide open. He walked in and poured out his problems to a compassionate pastor. A few days later, this Paramount executive was at the hospital where his wife's doctor asked him, "Aren't you Jewish?” He replied that he was. “Then why was a Christian pastor here praying over your wife? In fact, he prayed over her all night long.” God did cure this woman of cancer, however some time later, their Christian maid went home to be with the Lord. After her death, this Paramount Pictures executive broke down in front of Paul (the creator of the “Jesus” movie) and said, "Now that she's gone, who is going to go to God on our behalf?" It was then that Paul led him to a saving faith in Christ. Our Lord is overseeing His master plan and we all have our roles to play. Some of these roles are big and some are small, but all of them are important. God used three Christian people – a maid, a pastor and a Christian movie maker – in a tag team version of “walk across the room.” The end result of their obedience and willingness to get involved: a Jewish movie executive experienced the love of Jesus during a very painful time and chose to put His faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit continues to work through tag teams of faithful people who are not afraid or too busy to just walk across the room and touch a life for Christ. Going forward, be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He brings people your way. You may or may not get the satisfaction of leading a person to Christ, but the seeds you sow may just get that person into the Kingdom at a time of God’s choosing.

 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)

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