FIRST PERSON PERSPECTIVE: NO MINOR DETAILS
Brad Adams - Columbia Avenue Baptist Church
PONTIAC, MI — God reminded me last month how He loves to use His children to share the Gospel message with others. I am privileged to pastor Columbia Avenue Baptist Church in Pontiac, and I received a phone call one evening in December from one of the deacons. He had a deep burden for his father-in-law to hear the Gospel message again, and he asked me to go with him the next day. I quickly agreed, and we decided to visit him at 2 pm the next day.
This was not going to be an easy assignment. I had been witnessing to this man off and on for the past two years or so. My church had been praying for this man’s salvation. He was a World War II veteran, and 90 years old, living in a nursing home. For many years he was very closed, and at times hostile, to those attempting to share the Gospel with him. The family considered it a great victory the first time I prayed for him in the hospital two years ago, because they were shocked he did not kick me out of the room! He tolerated my past attempts in sharing the plan of salvation with him, but he was not yet receptive.
I prayed hard before my appointment to visit him, as I knew it would take a miracle for this man’s heart to change. The next day the deacon called saying he thought 4 pm would be a better time to visit, because he thought his father-in-law would be more alert at that time. This change is no minor detail, God is at work.
At 3 pm, I was at the church and collected the mail. Inside was the newest Baptist Beacon. I opened it and was drawn to the article “Gospel Conversations” by Mike Durbin. In this article Mike described a way to share the Gospel I had never tried before. This method revolved around showing people how the brokenness in their lives can be healed by Jesus. I immediately sent Mike a text message telling him that I just read his article, and that I was going to try his proposed technique in an hour. He readily agreed to pray for us.
4 pm turned out to be a divine appointment arranged by God. This deacon’s father-in-law was very open to talking about spiritual matters, which was unusual. I combined suggestions from Mike’s article along with another method to share the Gospel. It was obvious this man’s heart had changed, and he then prayed a prayer with me surrendering his heart to Jesus!
I believe there are no coincidences in this story. This American war hero accepted Christ because people had been sensitive to the Holy Spirit leading them. Then, his son-in-law was sensitive to the burden of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel, and even designated the right time. Pastor Mike Durbin faithfully wrote the article that I was led to read at the perfect time. Miracles happen, and lives change, when God’s people listen to Him and work together!