Friday, February 24, 2012
The man who needed money to get back to his hometown
How many of us, almost every day, are approached by those who need to return to their towns and ask us for money? I do not know about the brothers who do not live in Brazil, but here it is quite common, especially in larger cities, to be approached by people who came to try life in the big city and, after being unsuccessful in their attempt, do not have money to get back home.
Our society catalogs these people as "dangerous"; and doubt establishes a wall between us and them. Who knows if they tell the truth or not? Who knows whether or not they will buy "pinga" (popular alcohol beverage) instead of the bus ticket? In fact, the one dollar we give for that individual is not something that we will miss. However, we normally wasted an unique opportunity to present the life of Jesus to these people. We are "trained" not to listen, and expel those who are "disturbing" .
But ... is that true the counsel of the society is the counsel that should be followed? Just answer this to yourself: with all the so called "evolution" of social, scientific and so on., can we see many signs of improvement in the condition of people in general? Certainly not. Rather, it establishes a widening gap between rich and poor. The counsel of God, however, we read in Proverbs 21:13.
(NIV) Proverbs 21
13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.
The other day while we were about to start an important church meeting, a gentleman walked in the door of the church to seek for help. Joel is his name. Badly dressed, smelly, maybe a little altered by alcohol. We could dismiss him and go on with our "spiritual gathering" and return to our homes very satisfied at the end of everything.
However, we heard what Joel had to say, gave him financial aid (not much, but a help) and after that we could approach him by saying: "Now that we heard what you had to say, please listen to us for one minute ". He had said he had been a crook and a waste. And I told him that I am a waste as well. Following the expression of astonishment in his face, I explained that everyone is bad, really, and knowing that no man can be good, God established a righteous one that could pay our debt and restore our relationship with God, and this righteous one is Jesus Christ.
I asked him if he wanted Jesus, if he wanted to declare his faith in Him and if he wanted to be cleansed from sin. He said yes straightaway, and knelt; I knelt and prayed together with him. We were also able to pray for his deliverance from evil, we gave him as a gift a little book with the first steps of the Christian life, and we encouraged him to participate in a church, when back to his city. That man left the place saved, free and happy. His expression of anguish turned into peace.
Behold: all in less than 10 minutes. A soul was saved from hell and received the potential of having his life completely transformed. There was no need to expose a biblical treaty, it was not necessary to bathe the citizen in a way he could become worthy to hear our words. It was necessary to pay attention to him, it was necessary to preach Jesus, it was necessary to pray, embrace and help.
As I once read a footnote written by the ministry of the evangelist Ray Comfort, in a bible, "the stones in our hands cry out for our own blood." We are not better than anyone. Our social position, education and finance doesn't gives us the right to reject or condemn a human being.
May we surrender, these days, to the work of the Holy Spirit of God; surely you will be rejoice to see that with a little attitude of yours, the light of Jesus can shine greatly and do a complete difference in a life that needs.
Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!
Saulo Oliveira Santos.