Friday, August 30, 2002

I couldn't help but overhear the conversation across the aisle on this recent airplane flight. The man was dropping profanity about, oh, every third word or so; he even mentioned God quite a few times. He stopped only to work on his meal. Apparently, he needed some cream for his coffee, so he demanded the flight attendant get some with his usual colorful language. While he was waiting, he finally let his fellow passenger do a little talking. He asked him, "Well, what do you do for a living?" And his neighbor said, "Oh, I'm a minister," at which point the flight attendant returned with the cream. My profane neighbor across the aisle looked up at the attendant with the most angelic expression and said, "Oh, God bless you." Suddenly, the real guy disappeared, and this religious guy showed up!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Professional Salesmen and Satisfied Customers."

It's a funny thing about people, they suddenly get sort of weird when they're with a preacher. It's pretty hard to have a real conversation once a person realizes you're one of those guys who makes his living being religious. If you're not a preacher, that's where you come in.

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from John 4:39. It's about how most of an entire Samaritan village came to faith in Jesus. He had met this one Samaritan woman outside of the village of Sychar, and He shared eternal life with her. And then we read, "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman's testimony."

Now it's interesting that Jesus didn't reach this village by just going in and starting to preach there. Instead, He just shared with one person who knew the folks in Sychar. Her life was touched. She went back and told about Jesus in, uh, "Samaritanese." That generated a lot of interest. And it sparked a village revival. Which just serves to remind us that the most powerful witness for Christ isn't a crusade, or a radio or TV program, or a concert. It's the testimony of one changed life.

Think about it. We see lots of commercials with professional pitch men selling a product, but we're pretty much salesman-immune. But when someone you know tells you they love that car, or this shampoo cured their dandruff, or that pill relieved their pain, hey now, that gets through! The same is true in reaching people for Jesus Christ.

Many lost people are immune to what they perceive as professional salesmen. Meanwhile, many believers are thinking, "If only I can get this lost person I know to church to hear my pastor, or to watch this Christian TV program, to come to this outreach event, or to hear this Christian celebrity." But there's something much more powerful - seeing your changed life and hearing you attribute the difference to Christ.

You might say, "Yes, but someone more trained, more gifted can explain it better." The doctor or the pharmacist can explain better how a medicine works than my friend can, but I'll ask for that medicine just because they told me it helped them. That was the power of the blind man's testimony: "Once I was blind, but now I can see." "I used to be ______, but now I'm _______ because of Jesus."

So, don't depend on that person you care about being reached by some professional preacher. It's up to you. You live where they live. You feel what they feel. Jesus is sending you to them, not because you can present it best, but because you are part of their life! You are in a better position to share Christ with them than the best "professional salesman" there is - you are Jesus' satisfied customer!



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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