“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. Today I want to explore the variety of means that God used to get yours and my attention resulting in our accepting Him as our Savior and Lord. I entitled the post “Evangelism Question 3: What Tipped Our Scales Toward Jesus?” I want to explore, the influences in our lives that helped direct us toward coming to Jesus.
The first obvious answer is that the God by His Holy Spirit drew us to Jesus, according to John 6:44. Who else, or what else did God by His Holy Spirit use to exert influence on you and me to help us decide to follow Jesus?
I came to Christ by myself, and the Holy Spirit of course, inside my car, driving around Holmes County on the day of my Amish Grandpa’s funeral. But there were other influences in my life before that time which I believe strongly were sent by God's Holy Spirit that tipped the scales for me toward Jesus. Here they are:
- Myron Weaver, my sixth grade Martins Creek Mennonite Church boys club leader: Myron didn’t come right out and share Christ with us boys, but he had a quiet, gentle spirit about him. I still remember the sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes of a campout on a farm hillside. Myron showed great patience teaching us crafts, and I especially remember weaving keychain fobs from plastic strands, although I wasn’t very good at figuring out the various weaving configurations. Boy, I wish I still had my woven key fob!
- The “Angels We Have Heard on High” song: Mom had a Christmas album sung by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. The song “Angels We Have Heard on High" had a profound influence on me with its story of the angels coming to the shepherds in the field to proclaim the birth of Jesus. I listened to that song, and still do, repeatedly.
- A set of Bible encyclopedias: I remember scrolling through the pages of the books of that set and being fascinated at the many pictures. I was never much of a reader like my brother Merv, but the pictures of Jesus, the apostles, the Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, and again the wonderful pictures of angels captured my imagination.
- The Brunk Revival tent meetings: Almost every year two fields away from us in the flat valley near Berlin, Ohio the Brunk Revival meeting drew my ear as my brother and I played ball in our big front yard, and as Mom sat contentedly on the front porch listening to the music and the sermon, which boomed from the loudspeakers across the fields.
- A church revival meeting: In my early twenties I attended a revival meeting at Martins Creek Mennonite Church during the time I was running from God. I remember being so convicted of my sins that I kicked up stones as I sped out of the parking lot in my brand-new Camaro before the service was completed. I had a good job, plenty of money, but still felt extremely empty.
- Grandma Miller with her kind smile and acceptance: I could never understand, however, when she repeatedly said that she was ready to die and go to heaven to meet with her husband, my Grandpa Lee who died before I was one year old.
- My Uncle Eddie and Aunt Mary: My uncle and aunt didn’t share with me directly about the love of Jesus, but the fact that they followed Him was evident. And whatever you think of it, right or wrong, the fact they were very involved in the PTL Club in North Carolina. Uncle Eddie and Aunt Mary repeatedly invited me into their home when I was single after their children left to start their own families. I can still hear them saying whenever they saw me, “Stop by anytime!”
- Uncle Bob and Aunt Ellene in Indiana: I knew that Uncle Bob and Aunt Ellene shared a faith that I didn’t have, or just had a semblance of. I went to visit them a couple times during my searching years. I wanted to explore why they and their children, Steve, Bruce, and Beth carved out paths of faith so different than what I experienced in my sheltered Amish/Mennonite community.
- My Amish Grandpa, uncles, aunt, and all their families: My Amish relatives were not open, as is the case with most of the people listed previously, to share about their relationships each had with God, His Son Jesus, and the Blessed Holy Spirit. But I have very fond memories of each and their love for their families and God, and I look forward to meeting them again someday in heaven.
The next time I want to explore how to change from being reluctant sharers of Jesus with others, which I experienced much of growing up . . . to open sharers of His great love . . . with the goal of expediting instances of family members, friends, and others following Christ!
See you next time,
See you next time,