A few highlights from the last few days:
Brian Brennt arrived Thursday morning and was teaching on ‘The Unoffendable Heart’, perhaps the most important piece of what these we Circuit Riders call ‘The Culture of Revival’. What is the unoffendable heart? In a nutshell, it’s the heart-attitude of Jesus: who even when he was being crucified, was still forgiving his enemies and excusing them to God the Father on account of the fact that they didn’t really know what they were doing. And in a series of uncomfortably insightful illustrations, Brian explained what this might look like in our lives.
One of his examples: You’ve been on outreach, you’ve been sharing the gospel with lots of people and you’ve been praying for the sick to be healed. But with no result. And another guy on your team comes and tells you that you’re lacking the power of God and you need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And because God is sovereign, and His purpose for you is to learn to be more and more like Jesus, the guy that tells you this is the guy who struggles with body odour and has few social skills. And after telling you that, he immediately (without waiting for you to give permission) slaps his hand against your forehead and begins shouting in your face for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. And what do you do? Well, because you have an unoffendable heart, you don’t critize. No! Instead, you admit that you had really been wanting to see more of the power of the Holy Spirit in your ministry, and so you thank him whole-heartedly. Simple 😉
Then, Thursday afternoon and we were going out again on outreach. I had a few lengthy conversations with some Muslims in Bury Park. While meanwhile Taryn was the one doing the work of an evangelist. And I have her permission to hijack her story, so here goes: She’d endured a few rejections from people uninterested in her offer to tell them about Jesus. And then was walking past a Chinese man sitting on a bench, when she felt the Holy Spirit urge her to talk to him. But he looked downcast and even angry, and so she continued walking. The Spirit’s urging continued however, so she turned back and walked again past the bench, but again he looked so unreceptive that Taryn didn’t dare interrupt his grim quietness. However, another man sitting on an adjacent bench suddenly stood up and told Taryn to sit next to him. Surprised, she did so — and tried to tell this other man about Jesus! But he wasn’t interested and so immediately made a hasty exit from the scene. Now sitting on the bench next to the Chinese man, Taryn finally plucked up courage to talk to him.
— Do you have five minutes for me to tell you about Jesus?
But she was undeterred.
— Do you have one minute?
He grudgingly agreed, and Taryn talked him through the simple gospel tract.
‘God loves you so much that He gave His Son to die for your sins’.
Suddenly, and for the first time, a flicker of joy lit up the man’s eyes.
‘Does that sound like good news to you?’ He nodded.
‘Would you like to give your life to Jesus?’
To Taryn’s surprise, again he nodded. Momentary shock on Taryn’s part ensued, but luckily the tract was still there in front of her, and she was able to lead him in reading off the Prayer of Repentance from the tract.
And when we got back to the Factory it turned out that that was just one of about two dozen stories of people coming to faith in Jesus.