Monday, July 4, 2011

CWAS Excerpt Number Thirteen

The Mission

This excerpt is from the thirteenth chapter of Conversations with a Stranger by Larry Tate

A few weeks later I received notice that I was to be permanently transferred to the new office on the East Coast. The daily ritual of visiting my favorite coffee shop came to an end.

Occasionally I have an opportunity to return to my hometown on business. Before heading back East, I usually visit my old coffee shop one more time. I no longer expect to see Him at my table, but I enjoy sitting down and remembering the conversations I once had with the stranger, who became my Savior.

It’s not often that I tell people about the day I met my Lord face to face. I have learned that people tend to excuse themselves from my presence rather quickly when I say such things.

Now days, I am less driven by ritual. I visit various coffee shops. I make myself friendly with others. I now have a smile on my face, not unlike that of the stranger. Now, it is me who begins conversations with other people. I have learned from my own mistakes. Through conversations, I lead others to ask themselves if they know Jesus and if they have a personal relationship with Him. I encourage them to direct their thoughts and desires toward accepting Jesus into their lives. This has been a wonderful journey.

I keep my spiritual eyes focused on Jesus. As long as He is my passion, I can rest assured that I am actively involved in theKingdomofGod. I tell people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I tell them that He loved them before the foundation of the world and that He is the sacrificial lamb that saves the world from its sins.

Sometimes I think back to the Wager spoken of by the stranger and how every person will either choose to believe he exists or choose not to believe he exists. There is a great irony to that Wager. During life, every person can make a personal choice to believe or not to believe. But a day will come when, at the judgment, every person who made a decision not to believe, will confess with their mouths that He does in fact exist.

I am on a mission. My mission is to introduce everyone I meet to the Lord Jesus Christ. I ask them to choose to believe in Him and accept Him into their lives. Then they, too, will be assured of an eternal life with Jesus.

I have a mission. You have a mission. We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. When we do, we will be obeying His call to be fishers of men. We will be helping those in need. We will be feeding the hungry. We will be ministering to the distressed. We will be visiting the sick. We will be visiting those in prison. We will be encouraging the down hearted. We will be sharing the Gospel.

I have learned that religion is not accomplished by the act of sitting in a church. We go to church for fellowship, teaching, and encouragement, but that is not our purpose. Pure religion is caring for others.

Will others physically see Jesus as I did? I can’t say for sure that I physically saw Jesus that day. Perhaps it was a dream. Perhaps it was a vision. It doesn’t matter whether or not I actually saw Jesus with my own eyes. What does matter is that I saw Him with my heart. I am walking with Jesus by faith, not by sight. No, the people we witness to may not physically see Jesus, but I can tell you with certainty that they will see Jesus through us. When we truly love our neighbor; when we feed, clothe, visit and care for our neighbor, we are doing those things directly for, and directly to our Lord. When we love our neighbor and share His Good News, they will see Jesus in us. When they look on us, they will be looking on Jesus.

The above excerpt is from the copyrighted book Conversations with a Stranger by Larry Tate

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