On the Street, 4th October 2014
When we take the message of Christ to the people we encounter all sorts of people. Some who stop to converse, some who walk past shouting abuse and others who stop in order to justify their unbelief. To the first group we take time to share and listen. We are conscious of the fact that these people often come with preconceived ideas about God and Jesus Christ; so it is our duty to dispel any misunderstandings that they may have. Jesus did not come with a mission to establish a religion called “Christianity” replacing the Levitical priesthood and Jewish sacraments with another form of priesthood with a different set of sacraments. Christ came to reveal His Father to this world and that the way to God was through Him alone.
With the second group we often ignore their shouts however sometimes we need to respond to their abuse. We can thank them for their “kind words of support” or, if they are using vile and profane language, we can bless them and tell them that we will pray for them. Whatever they say we must never let people intimidate us or fear them when they threaten us with physical violence. When faced with threats and intimidation we are reminded that, A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
The latter group often just want to debate, win an argument or ridicule us for our beliefs. It is common for people to deny that there is a God who created all things. They will argue that the onus is on us to prove that what we are saying is true. One question that we can put to them is, “How can you prove to me what water tastes like?”
Today one such heckler was challenged in this way. He began to speak about showing chemical equations, formulae and charts. “Yes, but that doesn’t help me to know!” To which he replied, “Well you’d have to taste it for yourself!” Upon this response John told him that this is precisely what God tells us to do, taste and see that the LORD is good..(Psalm 34:8). He then said, “but I can go into that store and get you a glass of water for you to taste.” John responded that he could offer him a way to know God. “How?” the young man responded. “Through coming to Jesus Christ!” was John’s reply. At this point he walked away in a huff.
A person who is thirsty will accept a glass of water, that person would never turn it down because of the type of container it is in! However people do this very thing with God. People want God on their terms and as someone who would overlook their sin. When they are told that it is only through Jesus Christ that they will come to know God most people will reject the offer because of the vessel that holds the knowledge of the Father–Jesus Christ.
Amélia engaged with people who she approached or who approached her. She speaks boldly with them concerning her family’s experiences with God when she was young and growing up in total poverty. She speaks of how God provided for her, her mother and 8 siblings when they had no money to purchase food, and of the miracles of healing that happened when their mother prayed with them because they could not travel to the nearest hospital which was too far away.
We have tasted and have seen that the Lord is good. Since leaving Portugal we have always been able to pay our bills and have always had food on the table, and have always had a roof over our heads–which was not the case in Portugal.
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
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