"Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:13)
So I should be really happy about Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
I rode my bike down US 19's sidewalk (no, I don't ride in the street on that road!) to go pay a bill, and the Lord had put it on my heart to stop by everyone I could (walking, waiting, or riding a bicyle) and give them a tract. Well, one guy I gave it to at a bus stop threw it down when I started reading it (upon his request), but I kept reading.
"Hey! I threw it down! That means, 'I'm not interested!'"
I kept reading.
"Hey! Now you're just cramming it down my throat."
Well, I couldn't argue with him there. So I just said, "Well, sir, death is gonna cram itself down your throat one day, and there will be nothing you can do about it!" and walked away. I don't know what impression that left on the other two guys who were standing there.
Another lady rejected my tract as I rode on. Then I ran into a missionary who tried to give the tract back to me, but I convinced him that he might need to give it to someone on his plane to Japan. He gladly agreed and asked me to pray for him during his time in Japan, and I did, and then he prayed for me, noting that this was the first time that he had ever been witnessed to on the streets of America. Sad. And happy, because I did get to meet him. His name is Rick.
Then I gave the guy on the other side of the gas pump a tract and then tried to give one to the clerk as he came out for some fresh air. He took one and then some more as we talked about Christianity and Islam, which he tried to say were the same. Um, sorry, sir: not so. Allah does not have a son, and Yahweh does (Proverbs 30:4), and off we were! He ended the conversation saying, basically, that we should still be friends even though we disagree. I didn't contradict him, because I still love him, even though he's wrong; besides, he let me hand Million Dollar Bill tracts to the five or six customers that came in (we went inside because of them). Still, he rejected the Gospel, so please pray for Mohammed. Now, I realize that thiat is the name of many millions of men across the world, but, hey, to pray for all their salvation doesn't hurt a thing! There is no way "the wrong Mohammed" could get saved!
I handed out more tracts, getting mostly acceptance, even though one guy gave the idea that he didn't want it (he still put it in his pocket) and one guy left his tract on the counter of the store where I was trying to pay my bill. (Never did; oh well).
Then Monday morning, I had the same focus: tract everyone I passed by on bicycle until I caught the bus, and then get the bus riders, too. Well, one lady was thanking the Lord profusely, but she said that He had told her to reject the message of the tract I was offering. God told her to reject? I had to recall my encounter with Rick to keep from being discouraged as she continued to rattle on about how ungodly she knew my message to be even though she had not read it. She wouldn't even let me finish the verse that she had started quoting: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his." She left out, and I tried to quote to her, "And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Timothy 2:19) Two other people passing by also rejected the tract. At first, I thought it was the approach, but I think they really knew what they were rejecting; many people do, because many people are confronted with tracts often.
The bus caught up with her and me right then, so I just boarded the bus, but I didn't hand out tracts to everyone as I passed them, not wanting her to rile up. This struck me as cowardly, and I did miss several people by doing so, but I really don't regret it. James 3:18 tells us that "Wisdom from above is, first of all, peaceable..." and I was definitely keeping peace! But after she departed, which wasn't very long, I did hand out tracts to everyone on the bus. Well, except the driver, but I was waiting for my departure, at which time I would give him one, too.
One of the guys I handed it to came down during the stopover at Shoppes at Park Place (aka, Park Place Mall) and reseated right across from me. I asked him what he thought of the tract, and he said that it was definitely true.
"So, you're a Christian?"
"Yeah, Southern Baptist." Sorry, sir, that doesn't mean anything. Former President Bill Clinton was also a Southern Baptist (by affiliation only, though, not by belief; I don't know many people who actually know what their denomination teaches), and he committed adultery while in office, whereas the Southern Baptists believe that such sin disqualifies a person from leadership (just ask a real Southern Baptist pastor who actually follows the dictates of his convention, not the rogues who participate solely to "bring about change." And, no, I am not Southern Baptist.)
"Well, I have a question for you: when was the last time you read your Bible?"
"Before I went to Iraq."
"Well, that must be a long time, because they have some really long tours over there!"
"Well, the reason I ask is this: Jesus said, 'If you continue in My Word, then you are My disciple indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.' So, if you are not continuing in His Word, then the question becomes, 'Are you really His disciple?' I'm not trying to make you doubt your salvation, necessarily, but I am trying to give you a sort of spiritual kick in the pants to get going. The devil is out there to get you, man, and ...[our armor has] a shield of faith and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, so you really need to get in it."
He nodded the whole time. I don't think he was offended as much as convicted. He didn't fire any barbs as he departed the bus. Actually, we exchanged pleasantries.
My stop came shortly after that, so I offered the bus driver a tract. And he rejected it. But I had been sitting right behind him while I was talking to the soldier about reading his Bible, so...=D
Thanks for your prayers. They really do mean a lot.