Monday, January 23, 2012

Mark 8:36

Wednesday 1/18/12

Mark 8:36 – For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

     There are people that we pass everyday that do not know Jesus as their Savior and are on their way to Hell. They have jobs, go to school, work, get money, and go about their daily lives not even aware of the peril of their eternal destination. These are our neighbors, our friends, our aunts and uncles, the guy that cut us off on our way to work this morning, the stranger we walked by in the store, and the sales clerk. And this past weekend, it was the sales clerk whom I came across.
     It was Sunday afternoon and we interns had headed into town. I found myself quite aware of the reality of how blessed we were to know God, His truth, and were saved and going to Heaven. However, as we stopped at a coffee shop and walked in, God opened my eyes in such a way to make me realize that while we were all set and going to Heaven, these people in the coffee shop around us had no idea what they were missing – or where they were going for all of eternity. At that moment, God burdened my heart for these people, and I felt the desire to pray for them and maybe even tell some of them about what Jesus did for them on the cross. Praying I could do, and did do, but sharing the gospel – how would I start a conversation without being awkward? How would I get enough courage to even start a conversation if I knew how? But above that, how would I even know which person to talk to or pray for – for all I knew, they were all on their way to Hell.
     Well, after everyone got their coffee and desserts, we sat down and noticed a small separate shop attached to the coffee shop. I walked in, looked around, and somehow God started laying something on my heart. The shop wasn’t too busy and the sales clerk behind the counter was just hanging out, standing around waiting for a purchase. One or two of my friends started talking with her. I started getting a desire on my heart that the young lady behind the counter would be saved. But I didn’t know how to start a conversation without sounding weird – or perhaps I wasn’t courageous enough. I lifted a prayer or two up for her and her salvation, and I hung around the area – always looking back at her, wondering if God would put something on my heart to say to her or if He’d open a door.
     Eventually, I saw Jesse near the counter, and he and the young lady were talking. I walked over thinking that maybe God would open a door for me to witness to her. Well, whether or not He did, you be the judge. Here’s what happened:
     Jesse and the girl were talking about stuff that I can’t exactly remember. After I joined them, the young lady asked why we were in Montana. “This was it!” I told myself. “Maybe this is the door I was waiting for God to open.” I gladly explained to her about Potter’s Field Ranch, the mission school, going to other countries – making sure to add words like Bible, church, etc. I was hoping that the conversation would take off from there. To my dismay, though, it didn’t. She started telling me about how she was in the Peace Corps. and went to poorer countries to help people – it was great, and I enjoyed talking with her, but it wasn’t exactly the direction I had planned for the conversation to go. We talked about other things, and I slowly started to give up on the hope that the conversation would turn to God and spiritual things. Eventually the sales clerk said she was due for a fifteen-minute break and we parted ways. But even when she left, my heart still went out to her. When we left the coffee shop and started driving away, my heart still felt for her. That night it still felt for her. The next day and the next, God would still put her on my heart, and I was faithful to pray for her and her salvation.
     Whitefish, Montana is not that big and there aren’t many coffee shops in town. I realize that chances are I might see her again next weekend when we go into town or some following weekend. I try to imagine what I will say to her next time I see her – if I see her. My heart is still burdened for her, and I want to tell her that God has been putting her on my heart to pray for and I’ve been praying for her to know how much Jesus loves her. I want her to know that the God of the universe who created her and knows every detail about her loves her so much and wants to spend eternity with her. He sent His only son Jesus who willingly died taking away her sin and every bad thing she has done and ever will do. He did this because He is a just God who is perfect and can’t even allow the tiniest sin into Heaven. That’s why Jesus died and took the sins of every person who ever lived or will live upon Himself – so that by simply believing in Him and His perfect and complete payment He made by His death, anyone can go to Heaven if they receive His free gift by believing in Jesus and asking Him to save them from their sin.
     Whether I get the chance to tell her or whether I would be too afraid of sounding like a religious freak, I don’t know. But I believe there is a reason God burdened my heart so heavily for her these past few days, and if it’s just to pray for her, then I’m excited and thankful to be a part of what God is doing in her life.

     Today, I will take a half hour out of the day just to pray for the sales clerk that I met and that she would know how much Jesus loves her and did to save her. I’ll pray that she would accept Him into her life as her personal Lord and Savior.

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