Feb 28 2023 John’s February Message: A Bike Ride That Took An Interesting Turn
Last month, I explained my favorite way to share the gospel with people using the Four Downs. I think sharing your faith is easier than people realize or want to acknowledge. There’s a staggering number of Christians who have never led even ONE person to faith in Jesus.
Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere” — When you become a Christian, you receive the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 8:11). That means that you have all the power, all the resources, all the confidence, everything you need to point people to Jesus!
WHO CAN YOU POINT TO JESUS?
Here’s a story of someone that I recently pointed to Jesus. When Punky and I were in Charleston performing a wedding, we chose to ride in a pedicab to see the city! We had a great time seeing the city while chatting with our driver. He was a really sharp college kid, about 21 years old, with a great, outgoing personality. He did everything he could to make it a fun ride for us.
Just before he dropped us off at the hotel, I asked him to pull over. Following the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I said, “You may think this is weird, but turn around and look at me. Let’s imagine that after you drop us off, you pedal up to that corner, take a right and then you get blindsided by a truck and it’s all over. Where are you going when you die?”
He didn’t say anything, at first. But he began to tear up and Punky asked him about it. He told us how his grandmother had passed away not too long ago. I think he was beginning to see what I was getting ready to ask him. He was really thinking about how he loved his grandmother and wasn’t sure where she went. When I asked him what would happen to him, he said, “I hope I go to heaven.” I responded and said, “What if you could know that you would be going to heaven and wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore? Would you like to know about that?” When he responded with “Who wouldn’t?” I began to share the gospel as simple as possible.
Here’s what I told our new friend:
Jesus came to this planet – God in a body – and lived a perfect life. He healed people, helped people, encouraged people, and challenged people. The main reason He came though was because you and I have a problem. We have offended God who is 100% holy and can’t have anything that isn’t 100% perfect in His presence. And you and I are not 100% perfect. This is what the Bible calls sin, and the penalty for sin is that someday we’re gonna die. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” Jesus died on the cross and paid the penalty that we deserved which was death! But that wasn’t the end of it. The good part is that He rose up from the dead three days later. He overcame death.
Pulling out a $20 bill, I said, “I want to give you this as a gift.” He just kept looking at it and I said, “If you want this gift, what do you have to do?” He said, “I’d have to take it.” “Exactly,” I responded.
“The same is true with Jesus. He’s offering you a gift of forgiveness – of starting all over, living a different life now, and all you need to do to have that and know you can live forever with Him, is take the gift. So if you want to receive that gift, then all we have to do is pray a little prayer. Look at me, keeping your eyes open, and pray this with me.”
He simply didn’t know how to meet Jesus
This young man prayed with Punky and me and became a child of God!! He hugged us, with tears in his eyes, and I got his address and gave him my number. Within 10 minutes of him leaving us to continue his bike rides, he sent a long text to me. “I had to pull my pedicab over to write this to y’all. This is amazing – I have never known that I needed to do this. I didn’t know how to come to Christ! But it all made sense. Thank you!!”
I sent our friend a Swindoll Study Bible, The Four Priorities, Take A Knee and told him to start with reading the gospel of John. His response? “I can’t wait to get home tonight and start reading!”
Telling the gospel is that easy! So, what’s your story?
Please reply to this email and share with me the stories of you sharing the gospel with those around you. Remember, as Jesus said in Matthew 9:35-38, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
Let’s partner with Jesus to change the planet and be the Christians who live out Acts 1:8!!
HOW CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU?
Punky and I consider it a great privilege to pray for you — specifically, for a need or burden you might have, or to celebrate what God is doing in your life. This is one way we can stay connected to do you and do life together. Just reply to this email and let us know how to pray — and we will.
Warmly in Him,
More resources for the new believer
If you’ve just shared the gospel with someone, here are some resources to encourage and support them in their new relationship with Jesus.