Thursday, April 21, 2011
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Going to Amsterdam for Billy Graham's great conference on evangelism has to be one of the most awesome experiences of my life. Billy Graham brought together about 10,000 evangelists from 174 countries. I mean, these huge meetings were unforgettable! And yet, I would have to say that one of the most special moments involved a crowd of a total of two people. It was me and the bus driver.
Yeah. See, I had been asked to be a bus captain for one of the 120 buses that went out loaded with evangelists. We were being sent out to many different sites in Holland to share Christ with people that day. So we weren't just talking about it, we were doing it. Now, our bus driver and I got into an argument over lunches. Yeah. See, we were supposed to have these box lunches that we were going to eat on the bus before we got to the site. That was the only time we'd have to eat. He said, "There's no way you're going to put those on my bus. I know who'll have to clean up the mess." I said, "Look, how about this? If I promise to clean up the mess, can we eat them on the bus? We really need the time." He said, "I know who will clean it up. It will be me no matter what you say." I said to him, "Look, will you just give me a chance? You inspect the bus after I'm done."
Well, he gave me the chance, and I took the garbage bags and went around and tried to make the bus as clean as I could. And that cleanup led to a two-hour conversation that changed the bus driver's life and taught me again what it takes to get a person interested in Jesus.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Servant Has the Key."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is found in Luke chapter 22, verses 26-27. I'll share that with you in just a minute. Let me tell you about Richard, my bus driver. See, we had worked on that garbage...rather I had, because he took my word for it that I was going to clean it up. And as I hauled the last garbage off, he said, "You know, you kept your word. I can't believe you would clean up all the corners of the bus." I really didn't think it was any big deal, but he did. Right after that, he began to talk about disappointing relationships in his life and the loneliness he had experienced. And the amazing thing is, not too long after that I got a letter from him. And in that letter he gave me the greatest news he could.
See, when we got on the bus, he told me he didn't believe in God. He thought it was kind of ironic that he was taking all these Christian evangelists around. He was very closed at the start. But you know what opened him up? The door was opened by somebody cleaning up the garbage. I got a letter that said, "Ron, I have given my life to Christ." Richard, in his broken English writing from Holland, told me that he will be in heaven with us some day. Wow!
Well, here's what Jesus said in Luke 22. He talked about this in one simple sentence. He said, "I am among you as one who serves." Jesus captured our hearts by coming here...not with a spotlight or a microphone, but with a towel and a basin. He came as a servant and we were overwhelmed.
Maybe you know someone who's closed to the Gospel. You're looking for a way to open them up, a new witnessing technique, or a book you can give them, or just the right meeting to take them to. Why don't you try being what Jesus was? Find a way to be a servant to them. You say, "Well, Ron, I want my family to know Christ." Then why not win the right to be heard by doing the dirty work around the house; by pitching in, by sharing the burden of the work there? At school, become the one who listens to your friend, who helps, who runs errands, who refuses to talk badly about people. At work be the one who cares about their load, not just your load.
See, in a self-serving world, a servant is really noticed. They're a non-threatening person, and a person can relax then around you. And then you can share your Jesus with them. How do you open up a hard heart? Well, the servant has the key.