August 9, 2016
Be ready always to give an answer to every man. – 1 Peter 3:15
Because my father received salvation through the literature of the Apostolic Faith Church, I have always valued the effectiveness of printed material in witnessing to men and women. I try to carry a few tracts and other pieces of Gospel literature with me all of the time. Three instances from this past year particularly highlight the value of being ready in this way.
While sitting in a salon, waiting to have my hair cut, a neighbor came in and got in line. I told her she could go ahead of me, and she sat down and began to tell me about a relative who was an alcoholic and really needed help. I told her to wait a minute and I went out to my van and retrieved two copies of the tract, “When You Need a Friend.” After we had talked and she had left, I went to my van and found a beautiful note on my windshield thanking me for the tracts and my prayers.
On another evening, I was washing water stains off the windows of my van when a lady came by walking her dog. She struck up a conversation and we began chatting. Eventually, she confided that she ministers to many women, but wished she had some decent literature to give them. I opened my van door and gave her a stack of the “When You Need a Friend” tracts. She wanted to pay for them and asked if she could have more!
Finally, the other day, I drove up to the church dumpster and found a car parked in front of it. I was not pleased with the situation, as I needed to unload some debris. Then, I noticed a lady looking into the back door of the church. When she saw me, she asked if I knew anything about the church. I told her I was on the maintenance crew. She confessed that she had used our dumpsters recently when she was moving and had no place else to put her debris, but she said wanted to make a donation to the church to repay us. I refused the donation, but introduced myself and told her I just happened to have a copy of the church magazine, The Higher Way, if she wanted to know more about us. By chance, there was a sermon I had preached in that copy, so I told her my name and pointed out to her that she had met me firsthand. She wanted to know if she could keep the paper, and told me, “This is wonderful!”
There is an old saying, “You cannot sell goods with an empty wagon.” How true! Something as simple as carrying literature can enable us to share the Gospel in a special way. If we are faithful in doing our part, God will do the rest. It pays to be ready!