This past week has been busy as I finish up graphics, deal with small electronic glitches with my new website, and work on a DVD to present in churches. I have a new desk set up at my new home which has been very helpful. Last Tuesday's Silent Ladies Bible Study went well (see my Silent Ladies blog post), and a fellow single lady missionary stopped by for this past weekend as she drove through the area. Lots going on... lots to be grateful for!
Several years ago I was listening to a sermon, and something convicted me. The preacher was talking about handing out tracts (pamphlets about Jesus, explaining how to go to Heaven according to the Bible) to people who are "different." As he mentioned several types of people, he asked, "are you too good to hand a tract to someone wearing a hijab?"
That was me.
I had never worked up the nerve to talk to one of those strict adherents of Islam, subconsciously considering them "too far gone." But the preacher was right. I had, in doing so, considered myself - and my Jesus - "too good" for them. Now, having approached many a Muslim with the gospel, I have found that they often are the most open. In fact, some of the strictest-looking Muslims have thanked me, seriously and repeatedly, when I have given them a Bible tract... something I rarely experience otherwise. I have had the privilege of leading 2 Muslims to Christ since that sermon.
This past Saturday I saw a family(?) who were clearly Muslims; one man, two women, and 3 or 4 kids with Muslim clothing sitting in an ice cream store. Not wanting to appear to undermine the man's authority, I handed the invitation to my church, and tract, directly to him, rather than to the women. He looked at me incredulously, "you see what they're wearing, right?" motioning to the women, to which I smiled, "yes, but we'd still love to have you at our church, the Bible is for everyone." He assured me the Koran, too, was for everyone, and shook his head, chuckling. We exchanged a few words, and I went to the counter to order, assuming our conversation was over. He immediately started reading the tract, and 5 min later called me over. He pointed to Romans 5:8. "Explain this," he demanded. He had fire in his eyes, but as I began to emphasize how much love it took for God to send His only Son - Who is, Himself, God - to die for our sins, he sobered. I asked if he would be willing to do the same with his son. He shook his head, deep in thought. English wasn't his first language, but I know from his expressions he understood. He let me share the gospel with him, and then ended our conversation with, "God bless you." He may have been referring to Allah, but I graciously assured him that my God, Jehovah, does indeed bless me. He and both women smiled and waved as I left. What a joy it is to share the gospel... way better than the chocolate ice cream I left with!
Muslims may not scare you as they did me, but who in your sphere of influence do you think Jesus is "too good" for?
Romans 5:8 But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.