Hey Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope your day was blessed and you are finding a way to sanctify a use of Halloween. We’re giving out candy and pouring out compliments to the peeps at the door, though we often have no idea who they are mocked up to be. Zakia prayed to receive Jesus today, so I had a good day at school. A couple black girls who prayed to receive Jesus last year (they did not know each other) came to Bible study with us. I’ll do another on Wednesday with a guy who trusted Jesus last year. Zakia’s interesting story is below if you have the time. Please ask the Lord to bless her efforts to know Him by the Spirit. Thanks for your prayers.
Zakia was sitting in the foyer outside the book store. She was African American, had fair skin and her hair straightened and pulled back into a short ponytail. She wore a mostly white print blouse and leggings and a cardigan sweater. She had mostly round glasses and a nearly perfectly oval face, a bit heavy set. Nice, mature presence but young face, she said she was approaching 40 years old. She’d not been to Church much lately but recounted a story about her mom saying the pastor said they all needed to get back to Church (after Covid had them all watching him on line, which he was glad for). She turned off her phone right away so I knew she was interested. I asked her what she would say to God if He asked, “Why should I let you into heaven?” She said, “Hmm, it’s up to Him. I did my absolute best. Though it’s always a work in progress, I made a conscious effort to grow and be acceptable to Him. I made an effort to live my life in a way that would be acceptable in His eyes.” When I asked her how likely it was she would get into heaven she said she’d have, “…at least a 90% chance I hope.” I began to go through the Gospel with her and asked her what Jesus had done to take away her sins. “He leads you and guides you to good choices,” She replied. I realize now she hadn’t had a context for the question but was answering the question, “What does Jesus do to help you not to sin?” I explained the cross to her and the blood of Jesus that cleansed her from all sin. She said she had almost been shot. This was the catalytic event to get her practicing a more moral life. I explained the righteousness of God and that Jesus having earned it was now her Robe of Righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). I then explained that on a Spiritual level the Blood of Jesus had cleansed her but on a practical level God forgave her because He got paid. She like that as I explained we owed God a perfect payment for the things we’d wrecked that belonged to Him. The Gospel seemed completely novel to her. I asked if she would want to be forgiven for her sins or thought something else. She said no to them as I explained the other options said she would want to be forgiven. I said there was a prayer she could pray and explained it to her and suggested she could pray it silently. She then said “Me and God we are on a first name basis,” She went on to explain that she listened to a certain pastor “Skip Heitzig” often and spoke of some other good things she did. She explained that she had been involved with a bad guy who was now in cook county lock up and had been for months with a half a million bond he could not come up with (10% so 50 grand) to get out. She was not even sure what the charges were yet. He’d gotten his hooks into her when she was 15 and he was 23. “Had some kids by him.” She’d been parked on a one-way street where cars were parked on both sides. Her boyfriend had pulled up next to her in his pickup and they were talking. A car had been behind him and began honking, really leaning on the horn, which she thought was strange they’d only talked a second. This ticked off her boyfriend who pulled a couple spaces in front of her. The other car had stopped and a guy got out of the passenger side with a gun. Her boyfriend got out his side also armed placing her in their crossfire. She quickly went to the floor, as they began to shoot, on the passenger side door as they exchanged fire and prayed she would not be shot. She hadn’t seen it but it turned out her boyfriend had shot the other guy in the chest, he’d run off but only made it a couple blocks and fell dead. It later came to light these guys were sent to kill her boyfriend for something he’d done. She was not sure if the shooting had anything to do with his being behind bars now as she was not staying away from him. She went on to talk of a couple other things she did that would be described as good, even Christian. I said I was sure God was pleased with her life and that certainly God had been with her. I suggested possibly an angel had even shoved her to the floor of her car, as she’d thought she had gotten out of harm’s way at miraculous speed. But I said the prayer was a little different and kind of the next step for her. It was placing her trust in what Jesus had done to forgive her and live inside her to give her strength. I explained that God was with everyone, (Acts 17:27+28) even those that do not realize it. I was sure God had been with her and probably even had her sit here sending me by because He wanted her to understand a little bit more. He wanted to be inside her with His Spirit. Somehow my explanation, and my prayers for her to see as she was talking, helped her to the right realization—that I was not asking if she felt close to God or was trying to live a good life now but if she wanted to be forgiven for her sins trusting in Jesus. She said something like “Oh OK.” And took the booklet and said, “Should I pray out loud?” I said, “No, you can pray silently it’s just between you and God.” She prayed then to receive Jesus. I explained living the Christian life “Inside out” by the Spirit’s power. I wrote Ephesians 1:13 saying God’s Spirit entered her the moment she believed and then sealed her and would not leave her. I gave her a Bible Study and Strobel’s The Case for Christ Answer Booklet. I gave her Bible Promises for You writing her name and the date and “forgiven!” on the inside. I told her now trusting in the righteousness of Jesus to be her righteousness the likelihood she would go to Heaven was 100%. She was cool and I was glad to have been able to tell her the Gospel. I got up to go saying, “I’ll see you in Heaven.” “Ha, ha, ha.” She said, “Appreciate it. You take care.” I said, OK I would and I headed out.
So thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism if you had a chance today, God truly blessed.