Waiting For a Flight = A Glorious Gospel Opportunity

IMG_6463 While waiting for a flight one evening, I stopped into an airport Starbucks and ordered an over-priced coffee. As I loaded it up with cream and sugar, I noticed a Japanese man sitting alone working on his computer.

I hesitated to approach him because I was unsure of how I’d start the conversation, but I knew this could be such a blessed opportunity for the Gospel. After several minutes of hesitation, I finally walked over to him and said hello and asked where he was from. He immediately began to tell me about himself and how he was in the States for work the past few weeks and was now heading back home to Japan.  He invited me sit down, so I took a seat at his table and we began to talk about his spiritual beliefs.  He was Buddhist, but as I shared the Gospel with him, I could see that he was very intrigued by the Bible.

Together, we went through the Scriptures and looked at the terrible condition of our hearts and the only way a sinful person can be reconciled to a holy God.  I showed him what it means to look up Scripture since he didn’t know what the numbers next to the verses meant – For example the “3:16” part to John 3:16.  I had him look up several verses on his own and read them out loud.  He asked me to write down all of my favorite Bible verses so that he could look them up when he got home.  I was stunned!

I wrote down several Scriptures that had to do with the Gospel.  A few days later, Yoshi sent me an email thanking me for talking with him and included a picture of the list of verses I provided him that he had looked up and written down in English!

Remember that when you have the opportunity to share the Gospel with someone, God can use that small encounter in a mighty way! Don’t let fear stop you from sharing this Gospel of God’s grace with anyone! And don’t let yourself believe that the Gospel seed you planted in someone’s heart is too small for God to grow. The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!

A helpful tip to get into Gospel conversations in the airport or anywhere is to always carry Gospel tracts with you and hand them out whenever you have an opportunity. This will help start conversations with people about eternal things. I usually hand out a tract and then say something like, “Make sure you get one of these! It’s got a very important message on the back. I have an interesting question for you. If you don’t mind me asking, what do you think will happen to you if you died tonight?”

Now the door is wide open for a great conversation!  Rarely does a person refuse to answer that question. In fact, I’ve found it to be the easiest way into a witnessing opportunity.

However you can, seek to get into meaningful conversations with the people that God has placed around you, and share the Good News of the Gospel with them!

The Lord is with you!




A Well-Watered Garden Makes For a Well-Prepared Evangelist


We have a small garden in the front of our house. It’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s special to us. Like any garden, we have weeds that often sprout up, and they spread very quickly. We’re constantly having to maintain it. I started thinking recently…

Our hearts are much like gardens. Before Christ redeemed us, they were so darkened that nothing good could grow. We had no light. Our soil was bad. The only thing that sprouted from our garden was sinfulness – anger, pride, lust, selfishness, etc.

The same God who once spoke to a formless world, “Let there be light” spoke again to a lifeless soul and shined His light into our hearts, raising us from the dead! We have great soil anchored on the Rock of Christ, and we have brilliant light since we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Now we may bear fruit! Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

The thing about gardening is that it takes work on our part. Fruit doesn’t just appear. One of the things we need to do daily is remove the weeds of sin from our lives. They will grow rapidly and spread all over destroying the good fruit we might have yielded. This is why Paul said, “Put to death what is earthly in you” and then proceeded to give a “hit list” of different sins we need to kill. (Colossians 3) It’s important to note that you must pull weeds out by their root or they will grow back quickly. We must not merely deal with sin at a surface level (managing it); we must destroy it! Pluck it out. Rid yourself of it. Put it to death or it will put you to death! Jesus said, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:30) That is far deeper than managing sin; it is killing sin.

Gardening also requires daily watering. We need to be watered by the Word of God every single day. His Word nurtures our soul and grows us into the image of Christ. As we make His Word our meditation and our great delight, we will be like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season, and its leaf does not wither. (Psalm 1:3) Peter said, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2-3)

We must cultivate the garden of our hearts so that we may give to God the fruit He is worthy of. Solomon said, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Just as a gardener keeps his garden with all vigilance, protecting it from weeds, pests, and malnutrition, so we must also guard our hearts and ensure they are nourished with Christ, and protected from spiritual pests.

From our heart flows our words, actions, thoughts, and the motivations behind the things we say and do. 

A well-watered garden makes for a well-prepared evangelist. When we tend to our hearts – ridding ourselves of sin, watering our souls with the Word, growing closer to the Lord  we will be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and more tender to His compassion for the lost. We will also have a greater sense of urgency with which we carry the Gospel into the world. As Paul spoke of being Christ’s ambassadors, he made this distinction, “For the love of Christ compels us..” (2 Corinthians 5:14) If our garden is not tended to, the love of Christ will be waning. We must be compeled by the love of Christ as we fulfill His Great Commission.

May our gardens blossom and bear rich fruit for all the grace that has been poured into it!


Allison and the Orlando Shooting


While waiting to be seated at a restaurant this afternoon, I started talking with our hostess Allison about her day. She immediately mentioned how awful it was hearing about the mass shooting in Orlando last night that killed 50 people and wounded many others. I told her I was very saddened by it as well, and then handed her a Gospel tract mentioning it was a card that contained life-changing information.

I said to her, “If you were to talk with any of the guests seated in this restaurant right now about where they’re going when they die, I’d be willing to bet that most of them would tell you they’re going to Heaven because they’re good people. Sadly, this is not the case. The Bible shows us that no one is good from God’s perspective. He sees us in truth. When we compare ourselves with the Orlando terrorist, we appear good; we don’t shoot people. When we compare ourselves with rapists, we’re great; we don’t rape. However, God will not judge us compared to other people; He will judge us compared to Himself. He is the standard of righteousness, and we fall short. Very much so. We have all sinned and turned our backs on God to do our own thing.”

Looking very surprised, she said to me, “That’s crazy! I’m that person! I’ve always considered myself a good person and I’ve always thought that God would forgive me based on my good works.”

I started to go through some of the Ten Commandments to help her understand the nature of her sin, “We’ve all lied to people and taken things that don’t belong to us. We’ve taken the name of God and used it flippantly, or even as a curse word in moments of anger. In fact, Jesus told us that when we hate one another, we commit murder in our hearts. Likewise, when we lust after someone we’re not married to, we commit adultery in our hearts. Nothing is hidden from God’s sight, and that is terrifying for us when we are covered in sin. If God simply swept our sins under the rug as if they weren’t a big deal, He would be corrupt and unjust. But God is perfectly holy and perfectly just. Because He loves you, God went on a rescue mission to save you from your sins and grant you everlasting life. The only way He could do this without compromising His holy character was by becoming one of us, a human being, and being punished in our place. Jesus, fully God and fully man, lived a life of no sin. This perfect, spotless Lamb of God was mocked and mutilated and nailed to a tree that He Himself created. He was spit on and humiliated. While He painfully hung on the cross, God the Father poured out His fierce anger toward sin on His very own Son and crushed Him. Jesus paid for your sins with His own blood shed on the cross. This is why you can never work your way to Heaven. Jesus paid your debt by His sacrifice, not by your good works. Three days after He died, Jesus rose from the dead proving that He is God. After showing Himself to over 500 people, He ascended to the right hand of His Father. He now offers you forgiveness of your sins, but you must recieve this gift. Jesus commands you to turn from your sin to Him, placing your complete trust not in your good works, but in the work that He did on the cross.”

Alison listened intently the entire conversation and then said to me, “Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It’s perfect timing! I’ve never been open to these things until recently. My mom is battling stage 4 colon cancer right now and it has caused me to feel so helpless and hopeless, but I’ve started to read the Bible and pray lately, and now you’re sharing this with me!”

I would never have known these things about Allison if I hadn’t spoken with her. So many people are struggling with the issues of life and eternity. They aren’t ready to take their final breath, but it will come upon them suddenly just as it did for 50 people last night in Orlando. The Lord has commissioned us to preach His Gospel of salvation to all the world. He desires to use us in people’s lives, but we must open our mouths.

The Gospel shared with a shaking voice of fear is infinitely better than the Gospel not shared at all.

How To Turn A Trip To Wal-Mart Into a Missions Adventure!


It’s the holiday season and many people flock to Wal-Mart to get their gifts and groceries. Imagine if every Christian were to make the most of every opportunity this holiday season and boldly testify about our Lord! Faithful ambassadors speaking Truth in and out of season! (2 Tim 4:2) That kind of obedience to the Great Commission would turn our cities upside down. (Acts 5:28) Here are a few tips you can try next time you visit your local Wal-Mart for the glory of God:

1- This first tip is the most important because without it you won’t be motivated to witness to the lost. As you leave the comfort of your home and journey to the store, arm yourself with the mindset that people are perishing. Remind yourself of the fact that the whole world lies under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19) Remember that unbelievers are blinded by the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Realize that lost people are taken captive by the devil to do his will and that unless the Lord grants them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the Truth, they will perish. (2 Timothy 2:26) If this does not shake you up, there is something terribly wrong in your own heart. Paul had unceasing anguish and great sorrow in his heart at the thought of people going to Hell. (Romans 9:2-3) The horrifying reality that people live as enemies of God drove the Apostle Paul to tears. (Philippians 3:18) If we are not sober-minded, then we will are simply drunk in distractions and we will not open our mouths for the Lord.

2- Park towards the back of the parking lot so that you can pass out tracts on your way into the store. When I go to Wal-Mart,  I will sometimes place tracts on driver’s side doors of cars.  Sometimes on my way into the store, I will see people loading groceries into their car so I’ll offer to take their cart back for them and leave them with a gospel tract.  I did this for a man once and we talked for a long time right there in the parking lot.

3 – Smile and be friendly! After all we are celebrating a day of giving thanks and the glorious birth of our Lord! The joy of the Lord is our strength, right? When you smile and greet people around the store, it can open a door into a conversation and it will help you get out of your comfort zone. Let’s be honest, sometimes smiling at someone you don’t know is challenging simply because we live in a culture where it’s practically a crime to say hi!

4 – Find people to chat with and be intentional about it. When you see someone standing around, just say to them, “Happy Thanksgiving!” or in a few weeks, “Merry Christmas! Hey, did you get one of these yet? It’s a gospel tract. What do you think happens after death?” Most people will answer with what they believe and will be willing to have a conversation. I did this in the magazine secion to a girl last week and we had a 15 minute conversation. She was convinced she was a good person so I took her through the Law to show her the true nature of her sin and then shared the Good News. I didn’t get stoned or beheaded. It was great.

5- Often times when we venture out to witness, we think of worst-case scenarios: What will they do to me? What if I get yelled at? What if I get punched? Change your thinking – Instead of thinking of your worst-case scenario (rejection), think of their worst-case scenario (Hell for eternity). Swallow your fear and go for it! Let compassion for the lost drive you.

6- Place tracts in soda and beer boxes. Nice little gifts for them! Tis the season for giving, right?

Remember that you are Christ’s ambassador as though God were making His appeal through you. Plead with people on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

I love the testimony of Paul when we he was in Athens. It says that he reasoned  in the marketplace (Wal-Mart) with those who happened to be there. (Acts 17:17) Paul knew that God placed them there for a reason, so he was faithful to share the Gospel with them.

Go for it, friend. The Lord is with you.

May the store intercom blare out, “Revival on aisle 7!”

Acts 5:42, Philemon 6

Blood Bought Freedom


I was in Washington DC last month sharing the Gospel with 100 other Christians. It was a glorious time. The Gospel went forth to thousands of people. We grew tremendously in our love for Jesus, and inevitably, in our love for the lost.

One afternoon, I went walking around the front of the Capitol building to spend some time in prayer. I saw a young woman from the Middle East taking pictures of the Capitol so I went over to her and handed her a Gospel tract. I explained that it contained the message of true freedom. She was very curious so a conversation began…

I learned that Rifat is from Bangladesh and is a strong Muslim. She told me she is a flight attendant for Saudia Arabia airlines and was in DC for a few days for a long layover.

Nice place to spend a layover!

I asked her if she ever had a close call during a flight and she told me about a time when she was a little girl and was on a frightening flight where the engine burst into flames and they had to make an emergency landing. Once safely on the ground, flight attendants deployed the inflatable slides that shoot out from the emergeny doors to the ground. Rifat told me she slid down, but fell off the slide before reaching the bottom and broke some bones. To this day, she suffers pain from her fall. Now she is a flight attendant!

I asked her where she would have gone if she had died that frightening day. She did not know. I asked where she would go if she died today and she did not know. She told me that as a Muslim, she works hard to do good hoping that her good will outweigh her bad so that Allah might allow her to enter Paradise.

What a tragedy – To work for something you can never earn. Salvation is a gift.

I went through a few of the Commandments with Rifat to show her that the Prophet Moses understood we are not good people because we cannot keep the Commandments. I shared with her how the prophet Isaiah said that our good works are like filthy rags in the sight of God. If we were allowed into Heaven because our good outweighed our bad, which it doesn’t, then God would not be just.

She asked me a lot of questions and I did my best to answer them.

Obviously, Rifat could not accept the fact that Jesus is God. To her, this was blasphemy. She was willing, nonetheless, to hear me out.

“Rifat”, I said “You believe that God is all powerful, do you not?”

“Oh yes, of course He is!” She exclaimed.

“So you believe He can do anything. He is absolutely all powerful, right?”

“Yes!” She answered.

“With that in mind, that God is all powerful, is it not possible that God could become a man in order to be a sin offering on our behalf?”

She didn’t know how to respond.

“Rifat, that is the beautiful message of the Bible. You see, God is so holy He cannot forgive sin without the shedding of blood. If God simply swept our sins under the rug, He would be corrupt and unjust. Because He loves you, Rifat, God devised a special plan to rescue you from your sins and grant you everlasting life. The only way He could do this and still remain holy and just was by becoming one of us, a human being, and being punished in our place. Rifat, Jesus was fully God and fully man. He lived a life of no sin. This perfect, spotless Lamb of God was mocked and mutilated and nailed to a tree that He Himself created. He was spit on and humiliated. On the cross, God the Father poured out His fierce anger toward sin on His very own Son and crushed Him. Jesus was punished in your place. He paid for your sins in His own blood shed on the cross. This is why you can never work your way to Heaven. Jesus paid your debt in His sacrifice. Three days after He died, Jesus rose from the dead proving that He is God. After showing Himself to over 500 people, He ascended to the right hand of His Father. He now offers you forgiveness of your sins, but you must recieve this gift. Jesus commands you to turn from your sin to Him, placing your complete trust not in your good works, but in the work that He did on the cross.”

She was silent.

Remembering that it was the Fourth of July, I smiled and said,

“Rifat, Jesus purchased your freedom!”

The two of us talked for nearly an hour at the foot of the Capitol that day.

She told me at the end of our conversation, “There is a Bible in the drawer of my hotel room. I will read it tonight.”

I pray for her often.

I am traveling back to DC tomorrow for a friend’s wedding and I’ve been earnestly praying to run into people I spoke with last month, Rifat included!

Please join me in prayer for this precious soul.

One Of The Greatest Moments of My Life


One Sunday afternoon a few months ago, a couple of brothers and I went to a mall to share the Gospel before a Bible study. My friends and I had been going to this particular mall almost every Sunday for months and had some really great opportunities to share the Gospel. Malls are great fishing holes for evangelism because they are usually filled with people.

After arriving, I separated from the others because I needed to use the restroom. When I came back into the mall hallway, I immediately noticed a teenage boy running toward me to the exit. As I watched him make his way my direction, I wrestled in my mind whether or not I should give him a Gospel tract. Part of me thought, “Ah, he won’t take it. He’s in a big hurry. It’s not even worth a try.” But I felt the Lord impress on my heart the value of this young man’s soul. I don’t know his heart, but he certainly could be in danger of Hell.

Just before he passed me, I extended a tract toward him. He grabbed it and stopped right in his tracks and just looked at it. He finally asked me, “What is this?”

“It’s a Gospel tract!” I replied and realizing what an open door I had, I continued, “Hey, can I ask you a quick question?”

“Sure.” He agreed.

“When you take your final breath, where do you think you will spend eternity?”

He thought about it for a moment and then said, “I really don’t know.”

Most young people have at least some idea of where they will spend eternity, so I was somewhat surprised to hear his answer. I was also very saddened because it revealed that he was not born-again and I had almost passed him by.

“What’s your name?” I asked.


“Nice to meet you, Cameron. Do you have any sort of hope of where you’ll spend eternity?”

He answered, “Well, I guess I’d like to go to Heaven.”

“What do you think it takes to get there?” I asked.

“Be a good person, I guess.”

My heart always sinks when I hear this answer. The enemy is the great deceiver and his deceptive work is very apparent when you witness to the lost.

“So I’m assuming you’d consider yourself to be a good person?” I asked.

He thought for a moment and then told me he was.

“Okay. God’s standard for good and bad is the Ten Commandments. Let’s see how you do compared to them, okay?”

He agreed so I asked him, “Have you ever lied before?”

“Yes” he answered.

“What does that make you if you tell a lie?”

“A liar.” He answered.

“Have you ever stolen something?” He paused and answered reluctantly, “Yes, I have.”

“What does that make you?” I asked

“A thief.”

As I began to ask him about another Commandment, I noticed that his eyes began to fill up with tears.

“Are you okay, Cameron?” I asked. He assured me he was and tried to play it off like he wasn’t crying. I didn’t want to say or do anything that would embarrass him so I just continued on, “Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain?”

He nodded his head.

I explained to him that when we take God’s name in vain, we are committing blasphemy because His name is holy and worthy to be praised and not to be used as a cuss word or just another conversational word.

By now tears were running down his face. I didn’t know what to say so I continued, “Cameron, here’s the deal – You and I are both guilty. Completely guilty. We deserve to go to Hell because we have turned our backs on God and have gone our own way.” He nodded in agreement and wiped tears from his face.

I continued, “But it’s absolutely amazing that despite all of our sin, God loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ into this sinful world. He took our sins upon Himself and died in our place on the cross. The wrath of God that was reserved for us was actually poured out on His own Son. Jesus died and three days later rose from the dead! He offers forgiveness to anyone who will turn from their sin to God. If you come to Him, Cameron, with a humble heart full of faith and ask Him to save you, He will. He will wash your sins away as far as the east is from the west.”

As the tears continued to stream down his face, he could no longer contain his cries, so he began to weep. I waited for a few moments and then gently asked him, “Cameron, what’s the matter?”

He wiped his face with his shirt and replied in between his cries, “I just don’t understand why God would do all of that for us when we don’t do anything for Him?” His weeping immediately turned to sobbing. Standing there with him, I began to cry as well. You can imagine the scene: The two of us standing right in the middle of a busy mall crying together while people walk around us giving curious looks. It was a beautiful sight!

I said to him, “Cameron, God is opening your eyes up to the Truth. He is convicting you of your sin and drawing you to Himself.”

He agreed.

“Cameron, why don’t you right now in your own words ask God to save you and then I will pray for you.” He agreed and immediately began to pray out loud. He said a couple of words and then began to sob again. He apologized to God and asked Him to save him from his sins. He was so broken and full of faith. It was absolutely amazing to see such a contrite heart.

He was so emotional that a mall security guard came and stood near us to make sure everything was okay.

We prayed together and hugged and talked some more.

It’s been 7 months since that glorious afternoon and I haven’t heard back from Cameron. Perhaps he went home to be with the Lord shortly after our encounter in the mall. I don’t know. But I greatly rejoice in knowing this – “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

The Lord is awesome. Blessed be His name.

Diane Sawyer and The Gospel


Just after I started sharing my faith regularly, I moved to Philadelphia for a summer. I was involved in a solid local church ministry and was able to learn how ministry is done in an urban setting.

One particular day I was supposed to go to a brother’s home for a barbeque but I felt the Lord impress on my heart to not go. So instead, I went downtown and witnessed for a while and then went into a hotel lobby to read the Word.

As I was reading my Bible, I was suddenly very burdened to go to New York City and share the Gospel. It was already around 5 in the afternoon and I knew that if I were to go to New York I would need to stay the night and I couldn’t afford it. I prayed for a while to make sure the Lord was leading me and not my flesh. God reminded me of what He told Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

About 45 minutes later, I was on a China Town bus filled with Chinese people en-route to New York City! When we arrived 2 and a half hours later, I was dropped off somewhere in lower Manhattan so I walked to the waterside overlooking New Jersey and spent some time in prayer. It was a beautiful evening and the sun was just going down.

After praying for the Lord to give me boldness and direction, I found a couple named Torio and Tamara who were taking a walk and enjoying the sunset. They were both young and very friendly. After some small talk for a few minutes, I asked them where they would go if they died today. They both agreed they would go to Heaven because they are good people. That is a very common lie from the enemy. So I walked them through the 10 Commandments to show them their sin and their need for the Savior and then shared the Good News of what God has done for us. They were very attentive and appreciated our conversation.

I caught a subway to Times Square and began witnessing to all kinds of people from all around the world. It’s amazing how many people you can meet in one evening in one city! After hours of great conversations with people, sometime around 3 in the morning I struck up a conversation with a man in an alleyway. He wanted nothing to do with me and told me to leave him alone, so I began to walk away but as I turned around to leave, he called for me to come back over to him. I didn’t know what to expect! He asked me, “Okay, what question were you going to ask me?” Startled, I began to witness to him and we ended up having an amazing conversation. 30 minutes later he said to me, “Josh, you have no idea how much this conversation means to me. Your trip to New York City was not in vain!” I was stunned. As he was saying those words, I heard someone call out from behind us, “Josh?!!” I turned around and it was Torio, the boyfriend from the couple I had spoken with at the beginning of the night! This was 8 hours later and more than 60 blocks up-town in a city of hundreds of thousands of people!

It turned out that Torio happened to be playing in a band at a club nearby. We got to continue our conversation where we had left off back in lower Manhattan. He was shocked that God had crossed our paths again – So was I!

Just a few hours later I walked past the ABC studios where they film Good Morning America. I could see they were setting up for the show which would begin in an hour, so I went over and watched them get ready. A line soon formed to get in the building and be a part of the live audience. All of the people in line had reserved tickets months in advance to be a part of the show and were excited to be on television. After a period of waiting, a woman who worked for ABC came out of the studio and collected tickets and gave instructions to the audience members. She noticed that I didn’t have a ticket as she walked past and asked if I had reserved one. I told her I was just there to watch from the outside if that was okay. She said to me, “You know what? You’re the only one here without a ticket and we have space inside so we’ll go ahead and let you be a part of the show!” I was amazed! I went inside with the group and we were able to be on television several times throughout the show. Kevin Costner was the guest that morning so the ladies behind me were very excited!

At the end of the show they give you the opportunity to meet and take pictures with the news anchors and guests. I really wanted to share the Gospel with them since God obviously wanted me to be there that morning, so I waited until every member of the audience had gone up and met the anchors and taken pictures. Once everyone had left, I walked up to Diane Sawyer and gave her a tract booklet and got to share the Gospel for a few minutes with her and the Good Morning America weather man! It was such a blessing! They were both very nice and listened to me and thanked me for sharing with them.

God truly orders our steps. Both mine and yours! Today He has placed specific people on our path that we have the privilege of sharing the Gospel with. It is simply a matter of obeying the Lord. We must recognize that time is very short and people are perishing, and we must understand that God has called us to share His Gospel with them.

The Lord is with you today, friend. Go find someone and share the message of salvation. This Gospel message is urgent and is backed by the power of God.

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16 Let us not be ashamed!