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.