Sunday was probably the oddest, most Spiritually uplifting experience I’ve had since becoming a preacher. The Sunday began, as it always does, with the church gathering for corporate worship, for singing, for communion, and the reading of and preaching about God’s word. But somewhere in the middle of it all, a hand shot up, from a young man who I only met prior to service, and he asked, bold as can be “Can I ask a question?” ( You can see it all here, it starts at our communion meditation: https://www.youtube.com/live/QWJQdP-eqBA?feature=shared&t=999)
What happened next was a personal conversation between this man and myself, but it included all of the Church as well. He didn’t know if he believed or not, but wanted answers, and I knew in that moment, I had to do my best to give them from God’s word. I presented the Gospel to him, and after the church loved on him with a supernatural way that he said he never felt before. It all worked beautifully together, though it shouldn’t have, and to be honest I left feeling as if I had lived through a moment that could have easily happened in one of the four Gospels or in the book of Acts. The young man and I had lunch together after church with several members of our church family, and we got to more questions, and it was very much encouraging. I pray it won’t be the last of our conversations!
I’m still dumbfounded by it all. It’s been two days, and it’s on my mind. God is so good. And I continually pray for more “encounters” such as this one. I pray for the ability and means to continue to share the Gospel in a way that draws more to Christ. I want to always be ready (even in the middle of a sermon) to give an account for the Hope I have in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 3:8-22
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For
“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.