Thursday, July 9, 2015

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I had the great privilege of being a part of Billy Graham's Congress on Evangelism in Amsterdam. After several days packed with challenging sessions, the 10,000 evangelists that were attending spent one entire afternoon in what was called a "Day of Witness." We were given box lunches to eat on the bus and then sent across Holland that day to do evangelism in scores of places.

I was asked to be the bus captain for the 40 or so people on my bus. When I men¬tioned those lunches to Richard, the bus driver, he was not a happy camper. He didn't seem par-ticularly sympathetic about what we were going to do. He sure wasn't going to have all those lunches on his bus. He said, "I always end up cleaning a bus full of garbage." The only way we ever got out of the parking lot that day was because I pledged to Richard I would clean the bus myself.

After we arrived at our venue and all the other delegates walked over to the plaza for the outreach, I stayed behind. I filled those trash bags as fast as I could so I could get to where the spiritual action was. It turned out the action was on the bus. Our driver, Richard, inspected the bus and he said in amazement, "It's clean. I can't believe it." Then he wanted to know in depth why we were there.

Suddenly this young man, who had greeted us with a lot of skepticism, wanted to know what made us tick. As I explained the difference between a religion and a relationship with Jesus, it seemed like his heart was opening up to that relationship. While everyone else was presenting the Gospel to crowds of shoppers, that bus became holy ground as our driver invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior. In a sense, that opportunity presented itself because of a guy who picked up his garbage!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Open Hearts to Jesus."

Somewhere in your world there are people who need to hear about your Jesus and you know that. You've thought about trying to tell them what Jesus did for them on the cross. But they don't seem to be interested, or they're off on another spiritual road that it's going to be hard to get them off of. How can you get them to care about Jesus? What can you do to help open the closed door on their heart?

Remember the bus driver and the garbage bags. Or, better yet, remember our word for today from the Word of God, 1 Corinthians 9:19. Paul said, "Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible." Wow! What a revolutionary strategy for getting people to heaven! If there's someone you want to win to Jesus, become their servant.

As you look at your lost neighbor or coworker, teammate, family member, fellow student, maybe a friend, ask yourself, "What needs does that person have where I could come alongside them and really be of service?" Maybe they could use your help on a project. Maybe they need practical help like taking care of their kids, helping with transportation, lending them some equipment, listening to them, being at the hospital or the funeral, or picking up the garbage. Our Dutch bus driver's heart wasn't opened by some clever approach I had to talking about Jesus. It was opened by love that did something about a need he cared about.

If you want to reach someone, find a way to serve them. You'll be demonstrating your message before you present your message. Their heart will be soft to the messenger, and hopefully to the message. You'll get close to them by getting down where they are to serve them.

Now, whether it's a bus driver with a messy bus or a neighbor with their own kind of mess, the way to their heart is to be the one with the garbage bag or whatever will serve their particular need. It's life-or-death business that those people hear about your Jesus. Their eternity depends on it. You need to serve them, as Jesus became the servant, when He gave up His life to meet our need.

Before you tell them about Jesus, why don't you show them how Jesus treats people.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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