“so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 ESV
As I approached a red light on my way home from running errands, my attention was turned to a man sitting on the corner. Indeed, not an unusual sight, but something caused me to focus on this man. His face was weathered and thin, his long hair needed cutting, and he held a sign that read, “Anything will help. God bless.”
I only had a split second to decide if I was going to ignore or do something about the compassion I felt for this stranger. I knew the light would soon turn green, so I grabbed a New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs and slipped some money between the pages. Then, as I rolled the car window down, I quickly said, “Sir, this is God’s Word, and I just want you to know He loves you very much.” Taking the Testament in his hand, he smiled and said, “I know He does.” That was all the time I had to interact with the man before the light turned green.
I don’t often feel compelled to help these downtrodden folks financially, but this time I did. As I’ve said before, everyone you see on the street corner has a story. That person is someone’s son, daughter, father, mother, brother, or sister. Surely, once they were loved by someone, and perhaps they still are. Thinking about that aspect of their situation breaks my heart. But I know what I told the man is 100% true–God loves him. Rich or poor, saint or sinner, God loves those He created. And He desires a personal relationship with them through His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of that knowledge, I knew I couldn’t go wrong by giving one of God’s creations His Word, which was the real motive for what I did.
Many would say that all I did was waste my money. After all, don’t we mostly have preconceived notions about these street folks using the money to buy alcohol, drugs, etc.? Yes, we do. And we’re probably right in most cases. But I don’t want to feel that way because if I do the spiritual aspects of how I view others become jaded. And besides, the money was secondary to that of giving God’s Word to this man. Isaiah 55:11 shown above gives a promise that God will accomplish His purpose when His Word goes forth.
As the light turned green, I prayed that the New Testament would be used to bring a lost soul to Jesus, whether it was the man who received it from me or someone else down the line. And I thought about the untold mercy, forgiveness, and grace my loving Heavenly Father has given me all of my life. As I glanced at the man one last time through the rearview mirror, all I could think of was, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me this divine appointment with a man who needs your grace and help. Thank you for holding the light red while I conducted Your business of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Father, I know that even a brief moment such as the one I experienced is never wasted. Help us to be more sensitive to all people around us and to do what we can to encourage them in the ways You lead us. Thank You for the many blessings that continually pour into our lives. We love You and praise You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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