6/6/12 Elmer, about 17
A young man named Elmer walked up to us while I was talking with his friend about his spiritual beliefs. Elmer listened for a while, and when his friend left to answer a phone call he continued the conversation. He clearly enjoyed talking about different spiritual theories and beliefs. "It's really cool we can talk about these things instead of all the stupid s_____ me and my friends talk about" he said. Elmer is part of a Chicago street gang, and his gang buddies swirled around us, going about their usual posturing and drama, but Elmer was fixated on our conversation. What really got his attention was not only my use of the Ten Commandments to show him the true nature of his rebellion against God, but also a discussion of the excuses he uses to try to justify breaking them. The very fact that he feels the need to make up excuses helped Elmer to see that he already knows he is accountable to God. At first he had been questioning God's existence, but now he was more concerned that he does not have a right relationship with Him. Too often we fail to take advantage of one of the most important witnessing tools God has given us - the unbeliever's own conscience. Paul writes of this in Romans 2:15 - "....their consciences also bearing witness..." God's grace just doesn't make sense - or even worse, is seen as being cheap - without the use of the law to show people who they are without it and why they need forgiveness. Please pray for Elmer, that his conscience will help him see his need for God's amazing grace that was expressed at the cross of Jesus.