Thursday, April 2, 2009

Walking the Walk

Joe comes home from work a little early today and sits down in our rocking chair and proceeds to tell me this story about a man named John. John is the leader of a men's Bible study that Joe goes to each Thursday morning. He is a great big guy who is committed to a life of following Jesus.

Several months ago, John went to Las Vegas with his wife and family. John was given some free tickets to see the Penn and Teller Show. Amazingly, John gets chosen out of 10,000 to participate on-stage in a magic trick. After the show, John was given a prop from the trick and then went back to the hotel to catch some sleep.

In the middle of the night, John is woken up by God. Seriously! God says to John, "I want you to take a Bible to Penn."

John laughs back at God. "Are you kidding me? Penn is a vehement atheist. He hates Christians!"

"John, I want you to take a Bible to Penn. Tomorrow."

John obeys.

A few weeks later, as the men meet on a Thursday morning, John shares his story about the experience in Las Vegas. Then, it's forgotten about.

But then.. this YouTube video surfaces and Penn sits in front of his computer sharing the story about being given the Bible. I wish I could figure out how to imbed the video here - but I will post the link at the end of this entry and I encourage you to go see it for yourself.

What amazed me was this man, a professed atheist, was down right moved by a man giving him a Bible. Penn says, "I don't respect people who don't proselytize. If you believe there is a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell, or not getting eternal life...and you think it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? This guy....cared enough about me to proselytize and give me a Bible."

Did you get that? Here is someone who disagrees with everything I stand upon, and even he is saying he doesn't respect Christians who DON'T tell people about Jesus. And you now what, people? He is right!

On a side note, this reminds me of when Caiaphas says, "You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." That man had no idea the TRUTH that was coming out of his mouth, but it was indeed better for all of us that Jesus died on our behalf, so we don't suffer the eternal consequences of our sin. More on that another day.

As for Penn, he is speaking the truth here! If we know there is a heaven and a hell and that many, many people around us face the reality of spending eternity in either place, why do we think that is unimportant? If we thought it was important, we would tell people about Christ in a loving, sincere way. We shouldn't worry about being socially unacceptable, we should care about some one's soul and where they will spend eternity.

There are so many lessons here in this story. First of all, John was obedient! He thought God was crazy for asking this of him, but look at the result! Second, God used that gift of a Bible to teach Penn something. Third, Penn now has a message for Christians, even if he doesn't realize it. John was walking the walk. Can someone say that about me? Can someone say that about you?

I grew up in the 80s, but can remember a phrase from the 70s that was rampant among the church. If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you of the crime?

I am so encouraged by this video - on You Tube getting over 250,000 hits! Look at how simple the message was, "Here's a Bible I wanted you to have." That simple gift made a huge impact on a man. A man that God desperately loves!

I am encouraged to walk the walk, go around my block and give Easter gifts that share the good news, and continue to love my neighbors. I am encouraged to take every opportunity to tell someone of the hope I have in Christ. I am encouraged to take the chance, say the name of Jesus, and maybe, just maybe, plant a seed that will grown into a mature relationship with our Savior.

In our obedience, God can and will use us!

Watch for youself.....

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