Yeah, I felt so privileged to "witness" as they call it to this man, an officer, about spiritual matters, over a cup of Starbucks coffee for about an hour this morning. It started when he told me that he had no hope for our country, for his kids, or for himself personally. He feels that he's been working hard, but is getting nowhere—basically existing in this tough economy.
Among other things, he'd lost his wife who came from a wealthy home and decided she didn't like his low income anymore ..so she up and left him. No anger or hate there. He said that he really tried his best to land a better job, but couldn't find one anywhere.
His children mainly stay with his ex-wife now and he misses them dearly as you can imagine.
Kelly was very open and reasonable to talk with, but in his younger days he felt disillusioned and even burned by some religious hypocrites from his stiff religious and traditional church.
We were discussing how a small or large people group or even any individual can gain and experience ongoing hope and peace in a two way relationship with the Lord as we looked at this verse "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17"Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'" John 4:13-14
"Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off." Proverbs 24:14
"While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, 'Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?' But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, 'Do not fear, only believe.'" Mark 5:35-36
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
"Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise." ~ C.S. Lewis
"God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?" Numbers 23:19
It was interesting to hear him tell me the whole story how earlier he had a mother who prayed for him daily and was so brokenhearted when he ditched his church and quickly ran off to marry that upwardly mobile young wife.
I can't even imagine the rending, disappointment, and deep pain that he and his kids went through as a result of that divorce. But what joy it was to share about the living hope that I have. Got to tell him how I was in the 70's (a selfish, empty partier without any hope), what happened to me when I admitted it and quit it—I mean the sinful behavior I used to enjoy and how I had a little talk with God about it all, inviting Christ on in. And I also explained how things are now in my life.. told him how my life ain't always easy or problem-free, but it sure is much better, my needs are met, I'm forgiven, I have a deep abiding peace inside with hope, and even fulfillment in the Word of God as I seek to follow Him.
What's so cool is that Kelly now trusts Christ as his Savior and Lord. I'm talking about the real Jesus in the Bible, not some of the off-base get-cha-monetarily-rich kinda Christs, that people hear about over the airwaves.
Yeah, I know this might sound so hyper-churchy to you and all, but Kelly now has a hope that is real inside. He has chosen to believe in God's Son, Jesus Christ, and in His finished work on Calvary's cross as the full payment for his own sins. It happened – he was regenerated - after verbalizing a sincere prayer of repentance and faith.
I have a new friend today (Kelly) ..who has a much better new Friend today (God).. and I have invited him to a sound church with, yes, an imperfect spiritually born again, but mature pastor that teaches the Bible accurately and with grace. Do you need to go to God today, and then to a sound church that preaches Christ and all people should repent and believe? I call such, "Hope Central." It's a place for finding new hope. www.facebook.com/shareJesus