11/22/14 Gerald about 40
A sidewalk outreach conversation led to a man named Gerald, about 40, explaining how he once had actively pursued his relationship with God and been involved in church outreach, but has been “backslidden” for several years. “I need a dose of the Holy Spirit” he said. “I’ve wanted to get back involved in church, but just haven’t gotten around to it.” Our conversation really led me to believe that Gerald is indeed a Christian, but is in a spiritual rut that he believes he is powerless to get out of, so I talked about how, although our salvation is a free gift, our ongoing fellowship with God is something we must work at. “The Bible says as Christians we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t leave us just because we are “backslidden”, but what does happen is the Holy Spirit can become grieved within us. (Eph 4:30) We went on to talk about how he can work on getting back into fellowship with God, including spending time in God’s Word. Gerald said “You have to be careful not to just pick a favorite verse, or just read a random verse without looking to see how it fits in the rest of the passage around it” “Exactly” I said, “we can’t just read verses out of context. Did you know the Bible actually says ‘There is no God?’” Gerald looked shocked. “Yes, in Psalms it says ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God’. It’s a good example of how we need to sit down and spend time reading the Bible for ourselves. We need to work at it. It wasn’t meant to be read in sound bites.” Gerald was in full agreement, so I went on “Maybe God sent me to tell you tonight to put in practice what you already know.” “I think He did” Gerald said. I think so too.