Present today: Paul, Cristian, Frances, June, Maree, and Pastor Jarryd.
I opened with Ps 121:
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”
I made mention that in the first two verses, there are two things that stand out:
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?
Firstly, the Psalmist said that he will lift his eyes. This is a deliberate action on his part. Sometimes we can just get despondent, and brood in our own pity party. But our God is a God of salvation, and He takes delight in protecting His own. It takes a resolute, purposeful attitude to raise our eyes, and seek God’s help in time of need. Those that desire rescue know that it takes a conscious decision to seek out a rescuer.
Secondly, the Psalmist’s eyes are lifted to the hills. He doesn’t look for help in any direction but the hill of Jerusalem, the city of God. Too often we seek resolution or solace in the world around us. But the world can only help us to a certain extent. In fact, relying on the world to fix our problems just makes our situation worse. God has promised he will never forsake or leave us (Heb 13:5), so why would we look elsewhere for rescue?
We prayed that God would open the eyes of those we spoke to today. We also prayed for our love for the lost to be the main motivator of our witnessing the Good News.
Down at the centre, it wasn’t too busy. There was a very cold wind, and occasional rain. I arrived a bit later than the others, who were already out and about, so I went looking for people to interact with. Most were happy to take tracts off me, but I couldn’t get people to stay the course in a Gospel conversation. Here’s a couple that did stop and talk:
Julienne and Donna: These Maori ladies fought me all the way. They sarcastically challenged every point I made, like “How do you know what happens after death?”, “Are you God, do you know everything?”, “Who says I am accountable to God for lying?”. They were closed questions, just to divert the attention away from their guilt. I tried going pre-sup on them, telling them they already know there is a God, but are supressing this truth so that they are accountable for any of their actions. As expected, this just fuelled their anger more. They both said they were good people, that if there was a God, He would be happy with them, and stormed off.
Theresa: She was open to what I had to say. She admitted to lying, stealing, and lusting. I told her the great news of Christ taking her hell punishment for her. She was engaged all the way, even answering my checking questions correctly. I then asked her when she was going to transfer her trust in herself to Christ. She thought about it for a few seconds, then said “Nah. Not going to do that”, and walked away. I stood there stunned. Then I consoled myself with the fact that she heard the good news, and it was up to God to change her heart, not me. Please pray for Theresa!
One gentleman I gave a $1m tract to laughed, and asked if it would work in the mower shop. I said to give it a go, so he did! He walked in jokingly asking if he could buy a new lawn mower with the tract. I could hear the owner laughing. He is actually a Christian, and I have left tracts with him so that people can ‘find’ them on his counter. I guess everyone enjoyed the banter, but on a serious note, I pray he eventually read the tract.
The others mentioned they had some wonderful conversations as well, with some follow-ups.
I pray that God will get all the glory from the conversations, as He has promised that His word will not return void!