Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Spirit At Work 6/1/2013

This evening's team included Dr. Jack, Barbara, Paul, Sharon, Debbie, Mark, Steven V., David, Steve M., and Carol (taking the picture!). As we gathered at the Burbank PD parking lot, Dave announced his plan to move to Colorado (see post below), and he encouraged the team to continue preaching the Gospel. In a lighthearted but meaningful ceremony Dave passed the leadership "baton," which, in this case, is a handmade tract wallet given to Dave by Ray Comfort. Although it seems hard to imagine the team without David leading us, it is comforting to consider how the early church experienced so many such poignant transitions, like Paul leaving Ephesus on his journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:36-38). And because of such obedience many more came to faith. After a time of prayer giving thanks for Dave's ministry and asking for blessing upon him and his family, the team headed out to the mall.

Often, countless pedestrians pass by; indifferent, hostile or apparently unaffected by the passionate effort of the speaker.

Yet, it is the Holy Spirit who does the work of drawing souls. Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit, said: "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." (John 16:8-11) This photo shows three methods; preaching, free bibles, and one-to-one discussion.

Often, in spite of our well intended efforts to draw a crowd by engaging people with gospel proclamation from the box, it becomes apparent afterwards, when we look at the pictures, that the spirit mostly works on a one-to-one basis through the many conversations that go on in the vicinity of the preachers voice.

And so, the Spirit draws a very few to linger nearby and listen. That's when the real dialog takes place.

Many people, when confronted with the truth of the Gospel, will raise objections which they have received from some religious tradition or cultic belief. As we seek to respond with scripture, compassion and godly wisdom, our own understanding is challenged and strengthened.

Inevitably there is a competition for the hearts, minds and ears of men. This fellow specializes in making noises with his mouth which simulate musical instruments. Though he set up across from us, our prayers were answered when he decided to relocate further down the mall. Evidently, the business owners find his verbalizations far more tolerable than the preaching of the Gospel, as we are restricted from that area.

Jesus said: "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light, and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops."  (Matthew 10:27)

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and trough us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God, but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ."  (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)

Join us:  Saturday, June 8, 2013 @ 6:00pm at BPD parking lot!

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