On my Uber ride to work the driver asked me what I was going to do this weekend. I say: “I’m going to Church on Saturday, and idk what Sunday i’m going to do”.
He says ” You go to Church on Saturday?!”
“I’m a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I believe that all of Christ’s Commandments are still applicable to Christians. We also believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and He is coming soon!”
“When does Sabbath start?”
“Friday night to Saturday night!”
he then says: “Wow i’m Jewish and that’s when the Sabbath starts!”
Because we were about halfway there, I had to cut to the chase:
“So what is stopping you from becoming a Christian?”
“You know i’ve grown up Jewish and my parents are Jewish”
“You know your parents are Jewish, but you need to find God for yourself. You can’t get by on the faith of your parents. Faith is something that you need to have when you can have confidence in God. The Bible–especially in the book of Daniel– can give you confidence in God based on what He has done in the past”
I then find a tract in my backpack for “A Love Letter from Jesus” I need to start carrying more diverse ones but this one fit.
So many people interact with Faith based on the beliefs of their parents. The guy was Jewish (or claimed to be) based on his parents, but he didn’t have any conviction for himself. I’ve met many people who come from Jewish families and seem to be based on their parent’s faith. It is not an exclusively jewish thing, but it is prevalent.
Jesus is my Hero, and He has saved the day and my life.
But for some others, He is just a name.
Jesus stands at the door and knocks, but He waits until the person comes and opens the door. He doesn’t force people and His forgiveness covers a multitude of sins.
I interact best with people who are on a search for Truth. My Uber driver started reading the tract as soon as I handed it to him. Heaven must be in the business of causing encounters with people who are on the search and who have a little faith. I like talking with people who are atheists or people who are certain about their philosophy of Truth, because that is a common ground we can communicate on. People who simply don’t care, or who are too caught up in the cares of this life are really boring people. I came to have Faith in the Son of God through investigation, and that seems to be my vehicle for sharing what I have found.
God has to be your Treasure. He has to be the One in the center of your life. When God is in your Heart, He will be the thing that you keep closest to you. For some people it may be their car, their bike, their house; but for those who love God, God will be their Treasure, the thing they keep closest.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. –Matthew 6:21
My Jesus, I am Yours!
This is how the story goes:
There was a new church being built in his town that did not believe in dancing or speaking in tongues. And when they opened the doors of that church John joined that church. Everybody got disturbed, because John was dancing all of the church. When they held his hands his legs were going, when they held his feet they hands were going, it just like fire….
Well the board had a meeting about John. We have got to do something about john for something is wrong with him. Doesn’t he not we have dignitaries in our church, doesn’t John know we don’t act like that in our church. We are going out to see john.
Well when they drove out to see john. They were driving in their fine cars. There was this 86 year old man plowing behind an old beat up mule. They came up and spoke to john and said, if you can’t stop dancing, if you cant stop shouting, we are going to put you out of our church. “Well” John said, “Put me out! I can’t hold my peace. Did you see that Land you drove up on, God gave me all that land! Not one time, have I been to the court house! Not one time I have been to the cemetery. But you don’t want me dance in your church. Well if you don’t want me to dance in your church…hold my mule I am going to shout right here!
I first heard about this story as a basis for shouting and dancing at the Adventist Youth Service for Oakwood University on Friday, August 12, 2011. I’m not one who believes in dancing or shouting in tongues while in the House of God but this struck me. People can have right actions, but wrong motives. They weren’t concerned about the theological aspects of John’s dancing, they were concerned about the “dignitaries” in the Church. Worship should be constrained and regulated not because of respect for dignitaries or cultures, but for theological reasons only.
Another point: never use a story or a parable as a primary reason for why a action is wrong. Use it for illustrations and analogy, but not as a reason. Why? because parables and anthologies have to be interpreted, and if you use a story such as the one above as your reason, you neglect to see all sides of an issue and fail to make the Bible your standard of faith.