Walking in the Neighborhood

DSC01732Thursday I dropped my boy off at soccer practice. Now I had a whole hour available! I was in San Mateo’s most interesting neighborhood, North Central. In this neighborhood, people hang out on their porches, in front yards and open garages. People stand around on street corners and actually use the sidewalk. Walking past an open garage, I noticed a guy sitting in the studio he had made out of a garage, complete with couches, rugs, hard rock posters, beer bottles and television. As I walked by he greeted me from his couch, beer in hand. He left his beer, came out to the sidewalk and God turned our conversation to the spiritual. Once again God amazed me as I witnessed the humble attitude of a person prepared by Him. The man told me he basically gave up all hope of trying to be right with God since he failed at being a “good Catholic”. We talked about sin, righteousness and judgment; the Atonement of Christ, and the manmade ‘righteousness of religion’ vs. the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus for all those who believe. This rough looking humble man softened even more in response to hearing such good news.

Now you “step out” in faith! Go alone or with a friend. As you walk through your chosen neighborhood, ask God to lead you to the persons to whom He wants you to bring His message of Grace.

How lovely on the mountains (or the city streets) are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace…Is.52:7

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10 thoughts on “Walking in the Neighborhood

  1. Good on you for caring enough to chat with this fellow. Who better to give the gospel to a disgruntled Catholic than a former Catholic person who is now a Christian?

    I was brought up in the Catholic faith myself and I have a heavy heart for those in that particular faith system because “I was there”. Knowing where they come from is of great benefit when sharing the truth with them.

    I love to hear about (and see) how people, like that fellow you were talking to, show signs of softening at the hearing of the gospel. That, I believe, is the convicting and humbling work of God the Holy Spirit in that person’s heart.

    And, yes, walking through various neighborhoods ihn hope of sharing the good news with people is a great idea, so long as we don’t forget our very own. If our next door neighbors don’t know our connection to Christ and why, then we are not doing our job to the degree that we should.

    Thanks, Loretta. And, oh, by the way…you’re left shoe lace is untied. 🙂

  2. Paul,
    You bring up so many great points, thanks! Yes it is helpful to know a little about the various religious or worldview backgrounds of the people we share with, but regardless of the cultural/belief background, it is good to know we do not need to (and must not) ‘contextualize’ the message- it is the same message of the Gospel for all the peoples/nations/cultures.

    Yes, ‘religion’ convinces people they are “good” if they think they are keeping the laws, rituals or traditions of the religion. When someone is humble like this, it is surely a miracle of the work of the Holy Spirit, who humbles and convicts of sin.

    Walking through neighborhoods is one of my favorite ways to “seed sow”. : )
    I’ve been in my neighborhood 11 years now, and have been through it several times. There are not as many people who hang out in front in my neighborhood though. Our city alone has 100, 000 people in it, and my greater “neighborhood” of the Bay Area has I think, seven million. It’s a pretty big fishing pond. I don’t like being negative on my blog but the truth is, i have been rejected or ignored by my neighbors. One family on my street are believers and they fellowship in an assembly in another language.

    Oh and by the way, the feet in the pic belong to my sweet 11 year old son. We took that pic when we went on an “urban hike” the next day through one of S.F.’s most interesting neighborhoods, and had a few conversations with folks there, like the one in this post, except the conversations were in Spanish.

    My heart is burdened for everyone I see- especially the young, the poor and the folks from other countries (we have tens of thousands!) ….pray the Lord raises up more believers to labor in His urban harvest fields.

  3. Wayne
    Yes brother! God has people He has prepared- and He has sent “all” of us out to them as carriers of the message of Grace. It is HE who does the preparing, and HE who sends His people as ambassadors and HE who does it all in bringing His lost sheep into His fold. Some plant and some water, the LORD makes all the increase and growth. All glory and praise to Him!

  4. “My heart is burdened for everyone I see”

    My wife, Kim, and I share the same kind of heart. Everywhere we go it seems we are among this mass mobile assembly of lemmings headed for a cliff they do not know or believe exists. And us, like you, are burdened with a desire to share the good news with them in hope their eyes would be opened to that reality.

    If we would do everything we possibly could to wake and warn those who do not know their house was on fire, how could we remain quiet about their firey eternal destiny and sleep well at night?

    It’s a good burden to have. And the Lord is kind in sharing that load with us. Praise Him!

  5. Oh Sister!
    This is what is about! Getting out there on the “pavement” and letting The Spirit lead you!
    I am praying that more believers will experience this kind of life in the Spirit. It makes life worth living!
    Keep it up!
    Richard

  6. Richard,
    Amen! I’m also praying for other believers… I love your comment about “it makes life worth living”… truly the privilege of sharing the Gospel is one of the most wonderful joys of life in Christ. Let us pray together for more courage among believers and that we will labor in the Spirit and that the Lord will send forth more laborers. This is quite a burden on my heart at this time. Praise Jesus!

  7. Dear fellow worker of God,

    I am blessed and happy knowing your ministry and it is my prayer that the Lord God Almighty help to sustain the ministry so that many people will know Him and return to Him with confession of sins. God bless

    in Him,

    Pastor Jesse O.otoc
    Philippines(North Cotabato)

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