Be On The Lookout

Friday, December 6, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"1 (Lyrics)

Romans 1:16a – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. (KJV)

Do you ever wonder how many spiritually lost people you pass each day?

It was December 2018. I needed to run to the store to finish Christmas shopping. I felt a strong urge to grab a tract and a coupon that I had just received in the mail from the City Mission.

When I got to the store, I heard the Salvation Army man ringing a bell. A question suddenly popped into my mind, which I decided to ask him. "Could you tell me how a person can come to know Jesus?"

"I'm sorry, I don't know," he said.

"Aren't you saved?" I asked.

"No. And really, I don't know how a person can come to know Jesus. Do you?"

"Yes, I do. What do you believe about Jesus?" I asked.

He thought for a while, and then said, "Well, I was raised Baptist. But then, when I got older, I went into the Service, and I guess I fell away from church and just went my own way."

I told him, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, just like going to McDonalds doesn't make you a hamburger, does it?" Laughing, he said, "I guess not!"

I shared how I went to church for many years, but I still never really knew God. Years later, I heard a sermon, and God opened my eyes to the gospel truth with this verse:

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)

After talking a little longer, I asked if he'd like to receive Jesus. "Yes, but how?" he asked.

I said, "It's not by doing anything like going to church, or trying to keep the Ten Commandments. They are there to show us that we are all guilty of sin, except for Jesus — He alone is sinless. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins."

Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (KJV)

I led him in a simple prayer, confessing, "Heavenly Father, I believe and thank You for sending Your only begotten Son, Jesus, to come into the world to die on the cross for my sins. I believe that You have raised Jesus from the dead. I ask You to forgive my sins. Please help me to live according to Your will. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen."

I asked if he had a Bible, and he said yes. I encouraged him to pray, read it, and go to a good Bible-believing church.

Next, I gave him the tract and the coupon from the City Mission for a free bed and breakfast, to give away to someone.

He looked at the coupon, and with tears in his eyes, he said, "I actually have a friend who is standing at a store right down the street, ringing a bell just like I am. He just told me today that he is about to become homeless. Can I give him this coupon?"

"Sure!" I said.

He thought that his friend also needed a Bible, so I gave him an extra one that I had in my car.

I almost hadn't asked him my initial question, assuming that if he were with the Salvation Army, he must be saved. But the Lord knew otherwise!

How about you? Who has God placed in your path to share the good news of the gospel with today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we always be on the lookout for opportunities to boldly share Christ and His gospel truth. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rosemary Bruton <>
LaGrange, Ohio, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A great story and challenge, Rosemary.

    Thank you, Rose, for inspiring us today.

    Very nice devotional Rosemary. Many thanks.

    Thanks, Rosemary, for this excellent testimony and example.

    Thank you for this devotional…a message for me.

    Inspiring and challenging, Rosemary. A star in your crown! Blessings on your today.

    Thank you for your devotional. May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Dear Rosemary,
    What a super, warm, uplifting and heart-warming story. Thank you for sharing this!

    Hello Rosemary,
    That is a beautiful story you wrote that was published today in PresbyCan. It is so true; we need to always be in tune to God’s Spirit!
    Thanks, and God bless you!

    Dear Rose,
    I am inspired by the way you presented Jesus to this man. Your questions, your responses, and the humor wrapped within made this scriptural message just chime with your willingness to share the gospel. Blessings to your heart for sharing Jesus.

    Hi Rosemary,
    Yes, I do wonder about that at times. As far as going to church is concerned, hopefully when we do, we will hear the true gospel of Jesus brought in an easy to understand, truthful and meaningful way, which I am loath to say, is not always the case.

    Love your illustration of MacDonald’s.
    I have used a similar one of going and sitting in a garage and never being a car.
    A lot of people help the Salvation Army, but as you stated the connection has to be with Jesus.
    Thank you for reminding me to look for opportunities to share the Gospel.

    Thanks, Rosemary, for your clearly worded challenge to ‘be on the lookout’!
    You are so right in many of us assuming people know the Lord who may not but do long to!
    Your McDonald’s analogy is particularly poignant (like Papa Ten Boom saying “Just because you’re in a garage doesn’t make you a car”).
    Well done! Your message reminds me of the song that goes, ‘It only takes a spark’ from a ‘few years’ back. To me, that’s the summing up of your message! Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for your reflection.
    I know things are a bit more complicated, but I’ve always felt this is a BIG part of it. To simply accept Him, and then continue to sin, (not follow the commandments), doesn’t assure me of my salvation. (I wish it would). I wish I could accept Him and then continue to do as I wish in life, believing that I am ‘once saved, always saved’.
    Blessings to you,

    Dear Rosemary:
    God bless you! I am always so encouraged when I read beautiful passages like yours. Thank you so much.
    I spoke to a young woman who was cashiering at my pet store. I noticed a bracelet on her wrist, and she said she has an autoimmune disease. I took her by the hands and said I will pray for you. She said, “thank you”.
    God blesses us with so much, including people like you and I thank Him for these experiences that brings us closer to Him.
    Merry Christmas Rosemary.

    Thank you, Rosemary, for your beautiful devotional. I loved your MacDonald illustration. I am sitting here in the living room enjoying the beautiful very tall Christmas and a new big brilliant star reminding me that this is what Christmas is all about as it led the wise men to the place where our Savior was born. How we Christians love that story during the entire year. Praise Him.

    I pray that the man you talked with will really accept Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord and get into a fine church where he will grow in the grace of Jesus Christ as he fellowships with other Christians. And may he pass on the good news.
    In Jesus name. Amen.
    Thanks for writing as you did.

    Dear Rosemary,
    Thanks so much for the great devotional this morning.
    God is sooo awesome.
    Have a wonderful day with Him!

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