Please, Don't Shoot The Messenger!

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

 
Matthew 28:18-20

It was 2:00 a.m. in the morning when an email arrived from a friend of mine who could not sleep. He was so excited about an encounter he had earlier that day he just had to share it. He wrote to tell me how the Lord led him to a hamburger stand where he and his wife ordered dinner and in the process he encountered a young girl who was hungry and asked my friends if they could buy them a plain hamburger and nothing else. Going the extra mile my friend asked if she would like some fries too and the young girl a little surprised by the offer said yes and then my friend asked further, would you like a Pepsi too? By this time the young woman realized she was standing before someone who genuinely cared and she dropped her guard and said yes as the tears she had been crying ceased and the frown she was wearing turned upward towards heaven and became a smile. Isn’t it amazing what a simple act of human kindness can do.

 
After my friend placed the order he decided to strike up a conversation about life and as he did the girl looked down at a young man who was seated on the curb near by and as my friend approached he noticed two things right away. First, the young man had a plastic Rosary necklace hanging from his neck with a white Cross and a plastic figurine of Jesus next to it and second, in his lap was a .45 caliber hand gun.

 
Staying calm my friend asked for forgiveness for enquiring but he couldn’t help but notice the Rosary beads and wondered if the couple knew what the Cross was all about and what it stood for. The young man said ‘no’ so my friend began to share Jesus with them and then walked back to his truck to retrieve some tracks he had there and returned gave them to the couple and then began sharing the love of Christ with this couple as they waited for their food to be prepared.

 
Oblivious to what was going on around them my friend failed to notice the handful of Sheriff cars that had pulled behind him but very quickly he picked up on the anger of a voice coming that said, “All three of you there sitting together, raise your hands up NOW!” As my friend looked up from where he was sitting on the curb there were now at least a half-dozen sheriff deputies with weapons drawn and pointed directly at him. His thought was, “Please don’t shoot the messenger” as all he was attempting to do was share the love of Jesus with a needy couple.

 
After further investigation the sheriffs determined my friend was just a “good Samaritan” just trying to help and as he shared with the sheriff that he was sharing Christ with the young couple the sheriff who had been using some pretty foul language himself during the encounter said to my friend that he was a Christian too and that my friend shouldn’t be talking to people “like this”. My friend, a little perplexed by the Sheriff deputies response said, “aren’t we suppose to share Jesus with everyone?”

 
The Sheriff released my friend to go and as he walked away he looked back and yelled to the couple who were still be held by the sheriff, “Remember what I told you about Jesus!” The couple said, both wearing a big smile now responded, “Thank you for telling us!”

 
My friends story reminds me of another story we read about in Matthew 9:10-13 where we read of the heart of not just evangelism but also the heart of ministry, period. Beginning in verse 10 we pick up the story,  “Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 
I remind our church family often that we are all broken people, living in a broken world among other broken people so finding people to minister is never difficult to do if you really desire to share the love of Jesus with hurting people. The question that begs to be asked in a world starving for hope is will we allow God to use us to accomplish His work.

 
Everyone who has been saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross is chosen to be an extension of His love and grace in the world, His hands and feet as it were. Walk with God today, allow Him to use you today, loved one. Reach out in love to someone in need today and watch how God can use you to turn despair into hope, a frown into a smile!

 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
 

John 3:16


I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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