I am overwhelmed with joy at the blessing God gave me today. We stopped in a little thrift store just to browse and as I was paying for a purchase I noticed a man walk in the door. He was dressed shabbily and had the appearance of a homeless person. It didn’t take much to realize the man had little.
I felt like I wanted to help him in some way, so as I put my change away I grabbed a couple of dollars and then pulled out of my purse a very good, colorful and clearly presented gospel tract, as well as a million dollar tract. I asked my husband if he would watch my cart as I headed through the store in search of that man. I went all the way through and headed back unable to see him anywhere.
A worker at the store, probably in his sixties, was seated on the side and as I passed him he asked if I found everything I was looking for. “No,” I said. “Did you see that man who came in the store who appeared to be homeless? I am trying to find him.” I He said, “Oh, yes. He asked if he could use the restroom.”
So that’s where he disappeared to! Walking over to this gentleman I said, “When I saw him I just felt I wanted to help him. When he comes out would you tell him a lady wanted to give him these couple of dollars? And would you also give him these gospel tracts? They tell all about how we can be saved and ready to meet the Lord.”
“I sure will,” he replied as he looked more closely at me. “His stare was intense and suddenly he blurted out strongly, “You’re a holiness woman, aren’t you?”
“Yes, sir, I am, all because of Jesus.”
Such an earnest look came on his face as he replied, “Yes…because of Jesus. You’re Pentecostal aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am….” I hardly got the words out of my mouth until I noticed his eyes begin to squint and tears begin to slip out….
“I could tell,” he said, as his body began to tremble with emotion. His quivering lips spoke with a voice broken by tears: “It’s all over you. I can see it.” His big eyes just stared up at me.
This was amazing! I had never seen this man before and I couldn’t help being awed at what God seemed to be doing right before my eyes. I had an immediate awareness of the presence of God, and of a divine moment in process. It all happened so quickly. I could feel the Spirit of God moving me as I stepped closer and put my hand on the man’s shoulder.
“What you see and feel is the presence of God! What about you? Are you ready to meet Him? Is your heart right with God?”
A cloud of sadness hung over him as he shook his head from side to side and told me, “No. I drifted away.”
I knew I was facing an event prepared by heaven. God was in control! It was powerful!
“Then what are you waiting for?” I urged him, “You need to pray now and get back to God.” And I started to pray for him: “Lord, help this man to repent of his wandering and return to you right now.”
He was crying and praying with me: “Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord.”
I kept praying. “Ask the Lord to forgive you and cleanse you from all sin.” I felt His power and knew that He was at work in this man’s life. “God brought me here, just for you. What is your name?”
“James,” he replied.
“Now, James, you prayed with me. Did you repent? If Jesus came tonight would you be ready to go with Him? Are you ready to meet the Lord?”
He hung his head and said, “No.”
“Then, we need to pray again, James. Whatever stands in the way, whatever you are holding on to that will keep you out of heaven, whatever is still sin in your heart…has to go. Are you willing to turn away from all sin and let Jesus come in and give you a new beginning right now?”
As he positively responded, we prayed some more until he victoriously acknowledged that he had surrendered it all, and was ready to live for God again.
His background was in good churches, and I urged him to come to the church where we were presently holding a month long seminar on “Commissioned to Discipleship; Commissioned to Ministry; and Commissioned to Evangelism.”
What great thrill filled my heart as I left that store and realized what God had done! And the story isn’t over yet. What about that homeless man! Wouldn’t it be an ironic twist if James gave those tracts to that homeless man, and then gave him his newfound testimony, and won him to the Lord!!
How many more are out there, just like James, away from God and ready to come to the Lord at the urging of someone who cares, someone who has a burden to see the lost get saved. Will you let the Lord lead you and use you today?
Psalm 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.