Whilst visiting another European city on holiday recently, my wife and I decided to call into a café for a cup of coffee. There were no other customers in the café and the young man behind the counter started chatting (in rather halting English) with us. He told us that he was only recently in that city, having come with his wife from a Middle Eastern Islamic country in order to have a better life, as they had found their previous Muslim environment too restrictive and very controlling. He expanded on his dissatisfaction with the religion he had grown up with. When we told him that we were involved with a Christian organisation and ministry he asked the amazing question “so what must I do to become a Christian?”
With delight we proceeded to explain the Christian Gospel very simply to him. He then said that he would think very seriously about what we had said, and go home to discuss the matter with his wife. Our recommendation was to get to an Evangelical church and find out more about Christianity as we had no Bible with us. We finished our coffees, concluded our conversations and said our good byes.
Just up the road, we were further amazed to find a Christian bookshop, which had on its shelves just one simple booklet about what Christianity means for Muslims. Having bought the booklet, we returned to the café and gave it to the young man, who received it with delight and promised to read it (it was in simple English, with Bible verses).
Amazingly that morning in our Bible reading we had come across this verse; ‘But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give reasons for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15).
Being prepared doesn’t just mean learning lots of strategies and Scripture passages. Sometimes all God asks of us is to have listening ears, receptive spirits, and a profound conviction of who we believe in. You never know when someone will ask that key question, and maybe you will never know what the outcome will be to your answering it, but it may well change a person’s life. Lord, save that young man, in Jesus’ Name!
Prayer: Help me Lord to be always aware of the needs of others – especially of those who are in need of knowing you. Give me the courage to be always ready and willing to be an ambassador for the Kingdom of Heaven! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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