Salvation Story at Wal-Mart
A couple weeks ago I met a lady in our new Wal-Mart who was wearing a t-shirt from Paris, France with a picture of the Eiffel Tower. We were both in the same aisle and my desire was to tell her about Jesus, so I was praying for something to say to start the conversation. When I saw her shirt I knew that was the open door. I made a casual comment and then asked her if she received the shirt as a gift or if she had actually been there. She turned toward me with a big grin and said, "My husband and I went last year - it was a fantastic trip!" She continued, "It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and something I wanted to do before I died. Now I guess I'm ready to die", she concluded.
My mind was spinning with thoughts and finally I just blurted out, "So what do you believe will happen when you die? Do you know where you'll be going?" We had a lengthy conversation in which she revealed her belief that the good live long lives and then die in peace and have a restful eternity. As I shared what God's Word, the Bible, teaches about eternity, salvation, and what goodness is, she listened intently and then asked several questions. I recognized this as one of those "Divine Appointments" that the good Lord had prepared her heart to hear and receive the truth. Her upbringing in a Catholic church and home gave us some common ground, but it was the Holy Spirit who did the convicting. Louise, with a repentant heart, surrendered her will and life to the Lord Jesus that morning in one of America's favorite "saving places" - Wal-Mart. Truly Wal-Mart is a saving place, as I have come to realize over the years. But salvation can occur in the local grocery store, post office, bank, at work, when we're on vacation, or wherever we are.
I encourage you to remember that we are Christ's Ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20) and when we are faithful in witnessing, He will use us and lives will be changed. I encourage you to look for similar opportunities as you go about your daily life because we never know who is in the same aisle or waiting in line in front of or behind us who needs to know about Jesus!!!
Salvation Story at Virginia Beach
Thanks to the blessing of one of my good friends, I was able to go to Virginia Beach for a few days. While there, the Lord gave me many witnessing opportunities and the joy of leading two men to salvation who had just finished their work day and were getting ready to head home. These men were probably in their late 30s or early 40s, and each one separately came to "see the light." With broken hearts and a genuine spirit of repentance, they prayed for forgiveness and asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. Tears filled their eyes and peace filled their hearts as they surrendered their lives to the Lord.
What started off as an inquiry about my trike turned into a life-changing experience for both of these men. One of the men, John, came up to my trike and asked what kind it was. When I told him it was a Honda Goldwing with a California Sidecar conversion kit, his next comment was: "Boy you and your husband must have a lot of fun riding this." I smiled and explained that I had been single for 35 years, and had a son about his age. Matt and John were both surprised, and that set the stage for me to share why I ride the trike.
As I presented the Gospel message in a very simple and personal way, I asked them what they believed. I learned that Matt had never gone to church, but had lots of questions. John, on the other hand, had grandparents who were in church all the time, sang the old hymns from the Baptist hymnal, and would often read him stories. As John grew into an adult and went out on his own, he told me he got busy living life and never thought about God. He mentioned that his mother started going to church years ago and had really changed. She asked him to go to church with her from time to time, but John never took the time to go.
As these men heard what Jesus did for them and why He died on the cross, they really wanted to know the truth about life and death – “the eternity thing,” as Matt put it. Matt was a big guy, tall, husky, and very quiet. However, when he heard the answers to his questions from the Bible, not just my thoughts or opinions, tears streamed down his face and he told me, "Judy, all my life I have wanted to talk to someone about God and Jesus, but I didn't know anyone who could give it to me straight." He continued, "I have never met anyone like you. Why do you care about us?"
Then with tears in my eyes, I told them I care because Jesus cares about both of them. He loves you, I said, and He died for you to pay the price for your sins. I gave them several stories and examples of Christ's love and how it related to them personally. Then I added, "I also care because I personally know Jesus' love, His forgiveness, and the real meaning and purpose for my life – and I want you to know Him, also." Then I said, "I have to share this message with you because in my heart, I have love and compassion for you that only Jesus can give. I also believe this is what all Christians are called and commanded to do. How will people hear about Jesus if we don't tell them?"
I pointed to the cross on the GOOD NEWS card they were each holding and asked if they would like to know forgiveness of their sins, have eternal security, and invite Jesus into their heart, turning from their way of living to God's way of life for them. Again, I saw teardrops fall from their eyes as each man acknowledged they needed a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus.
I suggested John call his mother and tell her he was just saved. I then told him that God had answered the prayers of his mother that day. “How so?" he asked. "Trust me, John, just call your mother and tell her what has happened, and you'll know. She has been praying for you for years, and God used me to be the answer to your mother's prayer."
We hugged and said our good-byes, and I said, "I'll see you at home – in heaven – if not before, and please bring some of your friends with you." They smiled and Matt looked back and said, "I'll never forget you, Judy, or what happened today."
"Happy Spiritual birthday,” I replied, "and always celebrate Jesus and the life He has given you. I hope you'll remember to share this message even with the strangers you meet, like I did with you. Because now we're no longer strangers, but we're brothers and sisters in Christ for all eternity!"
I thank the Lord for that wonderful experience, and I hope that story has encouraged you in sharing your faith.