Have You Received Jesus Christ into Your Life?

young man

My lack in evangelism embarrassed me. Though I was a Spirit-filled pastor, I had gone months, sometimes years without leading anyone to Christ outside of church services.

One night God impressed me, “Lift up your eyes and see the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (John 4:35) Weeks passed until I finally thought, “If God said that, I better test it out.”

I Asked a Simple Question

So when a man came to buy a lamb I had raised, I asked him straight out, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

“No,” he replied.

“But you’d like to, wouldn’t you?” I asked.

He paused pensively for a moment and then stated, “Yes, I would.”

I gave him a brief gospel lesson, “Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead.” “Would you pray to receive Jesus Christ right now?” I asked.

“Yes, but I don’t know how,” he said with fright in his face. I led him in a simple prayer, which he repeated after me. After prayer, he looked up with the sweetest words and expressions of gratitude.

The next day I brought a Bible to his house. He was cutting down a tree, so I took the axe and helped. When his wife came out, I introduced myself and asked her, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” She replied “No,” but added that she wanted to. I gave her the same gospel message. She wanted to pray silently, so I acknowledged her wish.

This began a series of encounters with people I met in everyday life. I’ve been able to lead a girl to Christ at a flower shop, a young man at Wal-Mart and a fellow at an auto repair shop. Not everyone receives Christ on the spot, of course. Recently, while waiting for someone, a college girl named Cassie was in the same room. After chit-chat, I asked her, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” Unlike most, she couldn’t say yes or no although she admitted she was searching. This opened the door to give her a Josh McDowell booklet to help answer her quest and boost her along the road to discipleship.

Evangelism Adds Zest to Life

I’m still learning. Here’s what I’m discovering. Evangelism is a lot of fun.

Jesus is right—the harvest is ripe. People are ready; they just need to be shown how to receive Christ.

Surprisingly, this key question, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” does not seem to offend people; rather, they welcome the opportunity to talk about their faith. Almost everyone—more than 9 out of 10–answers the question yes or no.

The great commission is best translated, “As you go . . . make disciples.” I’m able to begin this discipleship process in the normal course of life without going out of my way.

A Simple Question

This simple question is a great opener, but more than a starter. It leads to salvation. We are called to reap, not just sow or water. (John 4:37) If appropriate I often ask, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to receive Jesus Christ into your life right now?” Some people are prepared and waiting. Other Christians have already done the legwork with them. We come along and follow up on their labor. Jesus gave this principle about evangelism, “One sows and another reaps.” Jesus said, “I have called you to reap.” (John 4:37-38)

A Simple Gospel

There is power in the gospel. Invariably, I give a clear gospel summary according to I Corinthians 15:1-4. Jesus Christ died for our sins. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The gospel is the power of God for salvation. Get a handle on this one if you can! Use the simple gospel. Use the name of Jesus. The gospel is the only power of God for eternal salvation. When I started stating the gospel clearly, people started getting saved!

Jesus didn’t follow up everyone. If He didn’t try, why should we? Let the Spirit lead.

When I’m filled with the Holy Spirit and have vision for people (seeing the fields), evangelism comes more naturally. The risk is still breath-taking–but what an adventure!

I have made a decision not to criticize but rather be supportive of various forms of evangelism. There’s a lot of variety. “Different spokes for different folks.” What works for one may not work for another. Find a style that works for you and use it.

The world is waiting. We’re winning not just “souls”. It’s Judy or Jim or Megan or Brett who are going to hell. We turn them around by caring enough to ask simple questions and giving the simple gospel.

How Hannah Received Jesus as Her Saviour

 wpid-img_20140608_123905.jpg

 

 How Hannah Received Jesus

While visiting some friends in Priest lake, Idaho, I got the opportunity to watch their 10 year old daughter, Hannah.  I had met Hannah one time before when she was a baby. She had grown to become a quiet and reflective girl with a jovial side that sometimes popped out. 

 

We were watching television and talking. This was our first alone time together.  

 

I took the time to share with her about Jesus.  I shared about how each person sins regardless of who they are. 

 

I explained, “Sin is doing the things that causes us to do something wrong like lying or stealing.  Sometimes we don’t mean to do it, but we do it anyway.  Most of the time for kids, it is the stuff your parents scold you about.  Anyway, sin is what will keep us out of heaven and away from God.  

 

 “God loves each of us and wants us to have a relationship, a friendship with Him, but sin gets in the way.  

 

 “So what God did God do to fix things?” Hannah was all ears, listening attentively and thinking about what I was saying.

 

So I continued, “God sent Jesus here to earth. Jesus lived here for a while and then he died on the cross for us. His dying on the cross was for our sins. What he did was make a bridge for us. The Bridge makes us able to reach God.  Now our mistakes and sins don’t keep us from God any more.   

 

“All we have to do is ask Jesus to come into our hearts and take our sins away.  After we ask Jesus into our hearts, he writes our names down in the Book of Life and that literally, we are in the spirit world changed from being on the side with the devil to the side with God.  

 

“Do you want to pray with me or do you want to pray to ask Jesus into your heart by yourself?”

 

“I want to do it by myself.” 

 

“OK,” I said, and that ended our conversation about Jesus for the evening.

 

The next day we were fixing lunch together. I asked Hannah, “Did you pray to let Jesus into her heart?”

 

She said, “Yes! 

 

I cheered, “Yeah!!!!” and smiled, of course.

Publisher’s note: Shelly Stalker teaches music and dance (and does the laundry!) at Casa Hogar, a children’s home for disabled children in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is commissioned as a missionary and sent out from The Church of Living Water in Muscatine, Iowa.

Precious Seed (by Debbie Kerr)

 

 

Every word of a gospel witness is a precious seed. What happens when someone rejects the word?

Read on to find out. . .

I was at my girlfriend’s house for prayer and lunch. After we ate, we sat down to talk. My friend seemed upset. She began to tell me her frustration. She was deeply concerned about her sister-in-law, who she had been trying to witness to. This woman would not have anything to do with God. In fact, she was adamantly opposed to even hearing anything about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She was strongly against any witness almost to the point of violence with anger.

My friend said she felt that her words were hitting a brick wall.

Suddenly, I saw it!

Debbie Kerr Intercessor

When the precious seed bounced off the wall, I saw a flock of white doves fly in and catch the seed in mid air. Not one of the precious seeds hit the ground!

In the Spirit I could see a very high cement block wall and the seed being thrown at the wall. When the precious seed bounced off the wall, I saw a flock of white doves fly in and catch the seed in mid air. Not one of the precious seeds hit the ground!

In the vision I was watching as one or two doves carried the seed up and over the wall, just dropping precious seed on the other side. Other doves glided in, caught some seed and flew away with it in their beaks. Nothing was wasted, not the gospel, not my friend’s witness, nor even her time. I realized every word from God returns to the Father and bears fruit.

 

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Later, this sister-in-law who was so firmly opposed to the gospel came to the Lord through other circumstances and the witness of another believer.

 

Publisher’s note. Debbie Kerr, pictured here dancing with her son Shaun at his wedding, “gets things” from God. She is a gifted intercessor with a heart for God Himself. She lives with her husband Dave in Muscatine, Iowa. Together they serve God as members of the Church of the Living Water.

Fred Herzog Evangelizes Woman

Publisher’s note. Fred Herzog travels in the supernatural realm. He has led many to salvation and deliverance in Christ. Here he relates one experience.

 I was looking in the mirror one morning and I realized, “Fred, you need a haircut. “ So I answered,”OK, Lord, where do You want me to get a haircut and what is your divine purpose?”

I went over to a barber shop here in Northfield. After I sat down in the barber chair I started telling the stylist God stories. She looked at me and said, “You gave me goose pimples all over.”

“Would you like me to take you for coffee after my haircut?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Okay, when would you like to go?”

She stopped right there and went to ask her manager if she could go to coffee with this gentleman. The manager said, “Yes, you may.”

I said, “Please finish my haircut first!”

Then we went to coffee. As soon as she sat down she began telling her story. “Have you heard about the car accident that occurred last year? The one when a car rolled over into the Cannon River and one of the people drowned. I answered, “Yes, I did” and wondered what had happened.

“She—the one who drowned—was in my car. I have a question why am I still alive. I have been in three car accidents and I should have died in each one of them. I was in the backseat with my boyfriend and the other couple was in the front. We had a picnic and we stayed too long. It got dark. Then it became important for us to leave and the driver was not able to see the big tree where you turn to go back up on the main road. We missed the road and rammed the car into a four foot embankment which turned the car into the river upside down.

“The car started filling up with water. I had my seat belt on and my window was open about three inches. Somehow or another something sucked me out of the car through that window into the water and I got to the shore. My boyfriend got out by breaking the window. The driver got out and the girl in the front also was able to get out.

“My boyfriend made it to shore, but what about his girlfriend? Could she find her way? I heard her making noise in trying to get to shore. She finally got close and I got a hold of her hand. But the embankment was so high and her hand was so wet and dirty from the muddy river that as I tried to pull her to shore her hand slipped and she let go. We found her body downriver.

“Because of that incident I have become so fearful that I won’t let my boyfriend out of my sight. I’m afraid to leave the house that he and I had bought together.”

I spoke aloud to her, “Jesus, I want You to come on her side. Lady, you’ve been on the wrong side all your life. By asking Jesus to forgive you for your sins you can come onto His side.”

She did that and asked Jesus Christ to come into her life and forgive her for her sins. Immediately a ton of weight lifted off of her as she became a new person in Jesus Christ.

There was more. She continued, “I think you should know that every night when I go to bed there is a visitor that comes into my room and I am so afraid.”

I replied, “I think the visitor is from the other side.” She agreed.

“I’m going to take authority and tell that visitor in Jesus name he can never come back.”

The next morning she texted me: “The visitor is gone! Thank you very much. Its changing my whole life!”

Soon she informed me, “Something very special happened. My boyfriend asked me to marry him and we are engaged to be married!”

Publisher’s note: Fred Herzog is an apostle and church planter. Find out more about him. 

Tell the World How You have Led Someone to Salvation in Christ

Use the contact form below. You will encourage others by telling your story.

 

Mercy Philip: Tribute to a “Chicken Evangelist”

 

Mercy Philip: Tribute to a "Chicken Evangelist"

Mercy Philip: Tribute to a “Chicken Evangelist”

 

Publisher’s Note: Mercy Philip was born on February 25, 1955 and passed away on Monday, May 26, 2014. God used her to bring many people to know Christ Jesus as Savior and friend.

A Chicken Evangelist is one who brings up Christ before he “chickens out.” Is it fair to call Mercy a Chicken Evangelist? Maybe not; it seems there was not a fearful bone in her body.

The following story by Lee Wonten is only one of her many witnesses. Mercy knew well the Law of First Encounter and approached many with love and the saving truth of the gospel.

My name is Lee Wonten. This is my testimony of how I came to know the late Mercy Philip.

When I moved to the United States of America in 2012, I started working at the Muscatine Community YMCA as a janitor. When I went to work one evening, I was sitting in a chair waiting for my supervisor to come have me get started with work.

Mercy was one of the cashiers at the Muscatine community YMCA. She came and tapped me on the shoulder with a smile, greeted me and asked me, “Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and  Savior?

As confident and conscious I am about my salvation in Christ Jesus, I responded to her question with an easy smile. “Yes! I am a born again Christian.” She gave me a warm hug and said, “You’re my brother in Christ”. It was from that time I started to know Mercy Philip.

During that same week we were having a revival service at our Church, Chapel Of Praise. I invited her. I also invited her to come over to our house so we can all have devotions together. She came and we had a wonder time fellowshipping together as Christian family. She began to tell me about how she came to the United States, how she went to school, bought her first house, how much God has blessed her and has caused people to favor her.

She gave me advice that is still at the back of my mind today.

As you are still in high school and will soon be starting your college education, life will bring you some challenging situations that will sometimes appear to be impossible to overcome.

 

But I want you to have this in your head, that no matter wherever you finf yourself, know that we serve a miracle working God. He will open strange doors of breakthroughs for his people anywhere and anytime. So stay connected to Jesus and know that He is God.

Mercy encouraged me a lot to walk in obedience and righteousness with the Lord. It is sad that she’s now passed away. But her words of encouragement still live in my head today. And it is my sincere prayer that God will give me the grace to walk right with him and that nothing will distract my attention from his presence.

lee wonten

Publisher’s comment: Thanks to Lee Wonten for sharing his report. Chicken Evangelism opens the door to friendship and discipleship as we see in Lee’s testimony. Jesus accomplished most of His outreach on the first encounter with strangers. Click here to learn more.

If you wish to publish your own story of personal evangelism, use this form.

 

Sue Cox Leads Family of Five to Christ

Sue Cox Leads Entire Family to Re-commitment to Christ

Sue Cox Leads Entire Family to Re-commitment to Christ

 

Sue Cox Leads Family To Reconciliation and Deliverance

Publisher’s Note: Sue Cox hails from Singapore and arrived in the US in 1989. Her article is reprinted exactly as she sent it. 

A couple of days ago I received a phone call from an acquaintance. She asked to see if I could go to the hospital to pray for her daughter (mother of five) whom OD the night before and was in ICU. I stated that no visitor allow in ICU. But Lupe said “if you tell them you are from the church they might let you in.” Simultaneously I heard Holy Spirit said “Go!” So, I went.

While I got to ICU the nurse told me no visitor, I said ” I am from the church and I am here to pray.” She said “O! This way.” She led me to Mari whom the minute she saw me she was weeping uncontrollably. I held her like a baby, praising God and thanking the Lord for her life. It must have lasted a good 5 minutes. She finally calm down.

We talked and Mari told me they were going to transferred her to Davenport or Iowa City for further evaluations. She will stay there for two days and she was concerned about her children. I said “don’t worry, God is in control.” 20 min. later the doctor came in and told us Mari can go home. We were very shocked and praising and thanking God.

I gave Mari a ride home to her mom’s house where her five children were. They invited me in. They were very happy to see me and Mari and we began to fellowship. During the fellowship, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to give them the gospel and was witnessing to them about Jesus Christ.

Through the testimonies and injecting the truth in them I began to see the chain of bondage coming off them, years of torment, hatred, misunderstanding, control  one by one just peeling off their relationship. The power of the testimony of Jesus Christ was at work. They repented because their eyes were opened. Suddenly they felt this deep hunger for Jesus  because they saw His glory and love. And they were ready for the Lord, they received the Lord and reconciled with God and each other. The curse was broken and heaven rejoice because seven more souls were added [re-committed] to the name of Jesus Christ.

Sue Cox is the mother of four children and a self-employed seamstress. She converted to Christ from Buddism in 2005 and is a member of the Church of the Living Water.

If you have a report of personal evangelism–no matter what the results–send it to us on the comment form on this site. Your report could help others–no matter what the outcome.

 

Hungry Heart Prepared to Receive Salvation

 

Hungry Heart for God at Any Age

Hungry Heart for God at Any Age

 

What a joy to lead a hungry heart to eternal salvation with Jesus Christ!

Here’s the story. My wife, Kari had made an appointment to buy some hog panels from a farmer north of Blue, Grass, Iowa. We drove up in our rusty, trusty F-150 pickup to his farm. There we met Gage*, an elderly farmer.

The three of us together began to cut the tie wires binding the panels before loading them in the truck. Removing the wires from the panels turned out to be time-consuming, but gave us time to talk. Gage had farmed for over 50 years and had been married for about the same length of time. He and his wife had three sons, one of whom had died of cancer four years ago. “There’s no greater tragedy than to lose a son,” Gage explained with grief in his voice.

We continued working, talking, untying and loading the hog panels.  After a bit I took a deep breath and asked, “Have you ever received Jesus Christ into your life?” Gage immediately stopped work, looked me straight in the eye and stated, “No, I have not.” By the way he said it, I detected an inquiry in his voice.

“We have really good news for you,” I announced. I stopped working too. We were facing each other on opposite sides of a hog panel which was lying on the barn floor. “Jesus Christ died for our sins—of which I have too many—and He rose again from the dead. He has a free gift for us, the gift of salvation and the forgiveness of our sins.”

The farmer listened intently. I had been praying, Lord send me to a hungry heart. Here was a good, hardworking man who had never received Christ as Savior. Yet God loved this man. Even through the tragic, cancerous death of his son, God had been preparing him. His hungry heart drew compassion out of me.

“Every now and then I look up to the sky and say a few words. Sometimes it even works,” Gage remarked with a faint smile.

I continued with the good news. “It’s not a matter of how good we are or even how bad we are; rather, the Bible says we are saved by faith and not by our works. We just need to put simple child-like trust in Him.” The farmer nodded and kept listening so I continued, “God has been preparing you for this, wouldn’t you agree?”

He breathed out a definitive, “Ye-ah!” that spoke volumes. With only one word he was saying, “You bet He has! No doubt about it. This is what I’ve been waiting for.”

“Would you like to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior right now?”

“I’ll have a talk with Him later,” was all he said and immediately went back to work.

“Yes, let’s talk later,” I replied.

We were only about half done with the job so we continued to visit about this and that. I told him I was seventy one years old and he turned out to be seventy-six. He asked about our family. He admitted farming was getting to be a burden at his age.

Finally, we had the truck loaded. Kari paid for the panels and we were ready to drive home. But I knew the most important business was not completed.

“Gage,” I said, “we talked earlier about Christ Jesus and His offer of a free gift of salvation.” I quoted Revelation 3:20 and explained how God had been knocking at the door of his heart for several years.  “Are you ready to accept Christ into your life as your Savior?”

There was no hesitation in his voice as he replied, “Yes, I am. But I want to do it when I’m alone, if that’s OK with you.” “Sure,” I answered, “When it’s dark tonight and you’re alone, go ahead and ask Him into your life in childlike trust.” He nodded affirmatively.

Will this man follow through? He was prepared by God, at least in part through the death of his son. He had a hungry heart for God. I am confident he met with Christ Jesus that night.

For more stories of Chicken Evangelism, click here.

Chicken Evangelism Mistakes I’ve Made

Chicken Evangelism Mistakes

Chicken Evangelism Mistakes

My Chicken Evangelism mistakes abound. Not everything works out the way we want!

Get a Handle on the Gospel

One of my greatest Chicken Evangelism mistakes is failure to make the gospel clear. Recently I was talking with a guy who came to check the fire extinguishers in our church’s building. After a bit of chit-chat I asked, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

He responded, “Yes, always.” That seemed positive, yet I wasn’t sure what he meant. I kept listening to his story seeking clues to what he really believed. It turned out Toby* had no solid idea of Christian truth. In his mind heaven is someplace with a little cabin in the forest where the sun always shines and deer walk across the grass. In his mind God is so good that everyone goes to this heaven regardless of his faith and no one goes to hell.

Not wanting to be confrontational, I let the situation pass. He went about his business to certify the fire extinguishers.

But I was troubled. How could l stand by and let this fellow walk toward an eternity apart from Jesus? (I still hesitate to say “hell.”) Before Toby* left I wanted to talk with him some more. He came to my office to present the invoice. I pounced on the opportunity, “Toby*, please sit down l couple minutes. I have something to share. As I look back, however, I’m not sure what I said. Whatever good things I did say, it was not the gospel. He left as a friend, but as confused as earlier.

I had made a classic evangelism mistake, not just one of the greatest Chicken Evangelism mistakes. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 the gospel is declared to be of first importance and is defined in a nutshell. Jesus Christ died for our sins, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The gospel is the power of God for salvation and I had not expressed it clearly. No wonder the guy left unchanged!

Follow Up As God Leads

Another of the Chicken Evangelism mistakes I made recently was not having some follow-up material handy. At an auto repair shop I presented the gospel to a grisly old worker who turned out to have a soft heart and open mind. He had never seriously heard nor thought about the gospel. It was new to him and he was not yet prepared to commit his life to Christ. I promised to leave him some more info. But when I searched through my wallet for a tract, I came up empty.

I amuse myself at my own ineptness. When I saw this guy later I went up to him announcing, “I have something for you.” I opened my wallet for a tract, but came up empty again!

Among Chicken Evangelism Mistakes, Here’s the Greatest

The greatest of the Chicken Evangelism mistakes I make is not bringing Christ into the conversation at all. Not that we should bring Him up every time we meet someone, but at least be open and ready. Some teach, “Share Christ whenever the Holy Spirit leads.” That’s true, but the Biblical mandate is better expressed,”Share Christ unless the Holy Spirit checks you.”

We are under love’s obligation to see people saved. Like Mary on resurrection morning, we are all called to “Go” and “Tell.” When we obey, God honors us and His word.

There’s a New Day in Evangelism

These times—they are a-changing! Angels and the Holy Spirit are waiting to make our words successful. The spiritual atmosphere in the United States has changed: People are ready to receive Christ! Here’s the evidence.

A Prophetic Poem for Our Time

I see an angel-usher standing at the door;

That demon power-blocker bars no more;

Every person you invite, God will speak to him—

So pray, my people; Pray! And invite them in.

He Came for Lamb–The Lamb Came for Him

 

Lamb Was On His Mind

He came for Lamb.  The Lamb of God came for him.

He came for Lamb. The Lamb of God came for him.

Two fellows stopped by the farm to buy a lamb. We sell grass-fed lamb but at that time we had none available. In the subsequent chit-chat I asked Handy, the man who did most of the talking, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” By this time both guys were sitting in their car getting ready to drive away.

Handy’s reply was immediate and with a smile. “Yes, I have.” He explained he attended the Catholic Church in a neighboring town whenever he wasn’t working. I commended him and encouraged him to keep it up.

Handy’s friend did not speak much English so I had not paid much attention to him. But I really wanted to lead another man to Christ, so it dawned on me to ask him the same question. “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

“No, I don’t go to church, “he answered.

“I’m not asking you about church. I’m asking you about Jesus. Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” The question made him pause and think. Antemeo, after a moment, admitted, “No, I have not.”

The Lamb of God Had This Man in His Mind

“I have really good news for you,” I announced with some excitement. I have learned to make the gospel both clear and glorious as much as I possibly can. I know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who will believe. So I proceeded to let him know Jesus Christ cared much about him, that Jesus died on the cross to save him from his sins, that He rose again from the dead and that He had a free gift to offer. The gift is eternal life.

His friend sitting with him in the car helped out by interpreting whenever needed.

The Lamb of God Was Working Inside

“Does all this make sense to you,” I asked. His friend interpreted and added a couple of sentences of his own that I didn’t understand. Then the friend informed me, “He understands.”

Good. Is there any reason why you would not want to accept Jesus and His free gift into your life right now while you are sitting in this car?” This was a new thought to Antemeo. His friend was silent but not disapproving.

I could tell Antemeo was open to God, but didn’t really know what to do. So much was happening so fast.

I quietly mentioned this decision to invite Christ into his life was really important and should not be delayed. “You could die on your way home tonight,” I said. “You never know when God could call you home. Why don’t you go ahead and ask Christ into your life right now?”

That spoke to Antemeo. He was ready. He nodded affirmatively, so I asked, “ Do you want to ask Him into your life out loud or silently. He spoke something to his friend the interpreter. The interpreter told me in English, “He wants to do it silently.”

“Ok, go ahead and talk to Jesus. Invite Him into your life. Just tell me when you’re done.” Antemeo prayed nearly a minute with head bowed. After looking up he announced, “I did it.”

I responded with an immediate prayer of thanksgiving and asked the Lord to seal and anchor the implanted Seed of Christ. Then I encouraged him to attend church with his friend.

“May I take your picture?” I asked.  Antemeo smiled and gave his OK. Nearly everyone who sees this photo notes the happiness on his face. Thank God!

Read more fascinating stories of others who have received Christ as Savior on a first encounter.

His Eyes Talked

His eyes talked to me. They shouted, "I'm open to what you're saying."

His eyes talked to me. They shouted, “I’m open to what you’re saying.”

His Eyes Talked to Me

I stopped at the hardware store to get some plumbing supplies. The first two clerks couldn’t help and gladly handed me off to a young bearded attendant who came walking down the aisle. Both the first and second clerk showed such respect for him that I suspected he was a boss or crew leader. The clerks followed him around wanting to learn.

The bearded man whom I’ll call Eldon knew exactly what was needed and began to fill my request with little delay. We talked briefly as he was locating the parts and moving from aisle to aisle. In one aisle I popped the question, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

Eldon replied conversationally, “Uh, I dunno. ”

Right then he found a part I needed and handed it to me. His job accomplished, he asked, “Anything more I can help you with?” “Not just now, you’ve done everything. Thank you!”

Before he turned to go I asked him again, “Oh, Eldon, have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” By now the other clerks had gone and we were alone. “No, I haven’t,” he confessed, “but I go to church.” He added that last part about church very hesitantly, making me wonder. So I said, “That’s great. Then you’ve probably heard that Jesus died for your sins and mine – of which I have plenty. (At this Eldon smiled faintly.) And maybe you know that Jesus rose again from the dead?

His Eyes Talked Louder Than His Lips

Eldon was focusing his eyes attentively on me. His eyes never wavered. He was drinking in every word I spoke. His eyes were speaking to me. His eyes talked. They were saying, “I’m open and I’m empty.”

“Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead? Does all this make sense to you?” Eldon nodded affirmatively, his eyes still fixed on me. Then is there any reason why you would not want to receive Jesus Christ into your life right now?” Eldon said, “No, but I haven’t really thought about it.”

My response was that he should go home and think about it. Speaking softly with him, I suggested he have a conversation with Jesus that night when he went to bed. “And go ahead and ask Him into your life. He will forgive your sins, write your name in his big Book of Life, and give you the free gift of eternal life. Would you do that tonight?” Eldon answered with clear unwavering words, “Yes, I will.” His eyes never wavered. I can say plainly: His eyes talked as loud his lips.

Perhaps Eldon could have been persuaded to pray right in the hardware store aisle. But we want disciples, not just decisions. Such an important step needs to be considered carefully and I wanted Eldon to embrace Christ when he had time to consider.

What was the outcome? Only God and Eldon know. What I do know is this: Eldon heard the gospel — the gospel that is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith. He stated that he understood it. He was shown the way to receive the free gift of God. And his eyes talked as clearly as piercing sounds They were telling  me he was drinking it all in. May God bless him today!

I have discovered more people are more open to the gospel than most of us recognize. Read some stories of strangers accepting Christ as Savior on our first encounter.