I’m actually not talking about the Branch Birthday Celebration on Sunday, which was wonderful, by the way! Special thanks to Hannah Stonoha and Christine Theodore (and their teams) for making it a wonderful success.
I had a wonderful opportunity to talk with someone who attended one of the Cypress campus Easter services earlier today. They were visiting from out of town, but were deeply touched and recognized their need for Jesus. She saw the testimony video and wanted what Jeanette had in her life (the same video we showed at the Branch). I was privileged to lead her in a prayer to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. (I’m now looking for a good church to plug her into in Corona. If you know of any, be sure to contact me. )
The reason I’m telling you this is that it was a unique opportunity where God used me in spite of me. I had just played basketball with my son for over an hour so I was exhausted. I had put it off for much of the day because I didn’t know what this person was looking for, but I knew they were hurting. That was going to take emotional engagement on my part, which I put off. Finally, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer so I made the call. Hardly the ideal situation to “set myself up for success.”
Despite my reluctance and procrastination, God worked. It was a wonderful, hope-filled conversation where we discussed sin, regret, repentance, and new life … and then my new friend prayed to receive that new life in Jesus. It is her New Birthday today!
The reason God has called us to Los Alamitos/Rossmoor is to reach people with the message of Jesus’ love. Certainly we do that by showing God’s love in action with our interactions. We had a few great connections with community folks at the park last Sunday – one person even contacted me online and said she’s coming by because we seem to be a church that likes kids!
But we also need to stick our necks out there from time to time in our conversations and relationships. I was tempted to pray for my new friend and not explore to see if she wanted to make a decision for Jesus – what a tragic missed opportunity that would have been! We don’t want to be those people who are jamming a gospel presentation into every conversation – whether it’s the right time or not. But we also don’t want to miss opportunities.
I’m encouraged and challenged anew. God worked in spite of me today. I want to be a little more cooperative on a regular basis. Will you join me for praying for opportunities to point people to Jesus and the courage to actually do it?
May God bless you as you’re on His mission this week!
- This isn’t so much a reminder as a pre-Sunday announcement. We’ll be doing baby dedications on Mother’s Day this year – May 10. So if you want to dedicate your child (which is really a dedication of yourself as a parent to raise the child in the Lord), let me know!
- Pastor Ron Jackson, our Pastor of Counseling, will be preaching a message of Forgiveness in our new series, Revived by Resurrection. I’ll be preaching at the Cypress Campus, but I look forward to seeing y’all in two Sundays!