10/9/14 Miguel about 40
The book and music department at Target is usually a good place to initiate Gospel conversations - compared to other parts of the store people are less hurried and more open to conversations. A man named Miguel, for example, seemed very interested in browsing and listening to his music, but as soon as I asked his opinions about his spiritual beliefs he took off his ear buds and became very engaged in conversation. Miguel had no church background and his only knowledge of the Bible came from Hollywood movies he had seen. I used God’s laws to help him see his need for Jesus’ death on the cross as the substitute for the punishment he deserves – but the Gospel doesn’t just end there. Miguel needed to hear how Jesus overcame death in the resurrection, and the invitation to join God’s family in a local church. Why? Because for Michael, he couldn’t see past an addiction he had - which turned out to be cigarettes – and he sees this addiction as an obstacle that keeps him from a right relationship with God and a local church. Coming to faith in Jesus naturally leads to repentance, and Michael wanted to repent of his addiction. He needed to see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I showed him two – the resurrection and the church: “The same power that raised Jesus from the dead can help you overcome your addiction. And you also have a local church – people who have been there and understand your struggles. Don’t try to do it yourself - God wants to help you so gives you the Holy Spirit and His Church – you don’t have to go it alone. The Gospel is good news – good news of salvation, yes, but good news that we too can be freed from the chains of our sin by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the fellowship of God’s family, the church.