A few years ago, I intentionally made myself a little uncomfortable. Honestly, up until then I had never bought a beer in my life and certainly not a six pack. However, I was faced with a strange request that I believed could open the door of someone’s heart. Let me explain…
One day, I met a very nice lady who had been happily married for over 30 years and has two grown daughters. Some months back doctors discovered her husband had a very progressed cancer. In recent days, tests revealed that after heavy treatment the cancer had only spread and things didn’t look good apart from a miracle.
I asked this lady was there any chance I might meet her husband to provide some sort of encouragement. She politely told me that he was not religious and would not feel comfortable with my visit. After she denied my request, I found myself praying daily for this man, his wife, and his two girls. I prayed that God might give me an opportunity to share hope and light amidst his dark report. Today, God answered that prayer and opened that door.
This man’s wife told me she would love for me to check on her husband, but she just wasn’t sure if he would even let me in the door. I then asked, “Is there anything I could get him that he would like and might make his day?” She replied, “I know you can’t get this, but he did ask me earlier to please stop by and get him some Bud Light on my way home.” At first, I pondered whether it was ok with God if I picked him up some beer. Then, I actually will this be alright with my Mama. I left this lady saying, “I’ll see what I can do.” No matter what, I knew from this lady that time was not on her husband’s side and I needed to get to him very soon.
As I made my way to this man’s house I decided that God could use the beer as a possible bridge of opportunity. So, I stopped by at that town’s local Piggly Wiggly and purchased my first ever six pack. As I laid it on the counter I could just feel the condemnation of religious freaks who were raised to think, “You can’t do that, you’re a Christian and a Pastor.” Even as I made my way back to my car one lady seemed to stare right through me. I just kept on walking believing that God had me on a mission.
A few miles later I arrived at this man’s house, while his wife and kids were at work. Honestly, I didn’t know what I would use as my excuse for coming by his house. We had never met or talked by phone. He had no idea I was even coming and his wife told me I better not tell him she sent me. All I could do was hit my horn and hope he would come to the door. When he did, I grabbed that six pack of Bud Lights and said, “Sir, your wife told me you might like these.”
As I handed him the beer and introduced myself the man said, “Come on in.” After entering the house we talked about two things I knew for sure about him. One, I knew he loved his family. Two, I knew he had recently received a not so good report from the doctor and was pretty down in the dumps. We talked about the joys of family and the goodness of God. Eventually conversation led me to ask some very important questions. “Sir, if you were to die today what do you think happens to you? Where do you think you will spend eternity? Do you even think there is an eternity?”
This man was not sure, but said, “Well I think the “Good Book” says there is life after death. And, that if a person lives right they have a chance of going to Heaven.” As we continued to dialog I simply shared with this man the simple gospel.
#1: We’re all sinners. (Romans 3:23)
#2: Sin Separates Us From God Eternally and Destines Us To Hell (Romans 6:23)
#3: Jesus died so that we could have the assurance of Eternal Life in Heaven.
(Romans 5:8) (John 3:16) (1 John 5:13) (Romans 10:9)
Now, understand that I did not come into this man’s house with a Bible in my hand. I did not come into this man’s house with a hidden agenda. I came into this man’s house to show him the Love of Jesus and in hopes of pointing him to Jesus. Well, God took it all from there.
This man said he wanted to give his life to Jesus Christ. He said, he wanted the assurance that when he died he would go to Heaven. He realized that this would bring great comfort to not only him, but to his family as they face uncertain days going forward.
Together we prayed with the a six pack of beer between us. “Dear God, Please forgive me of my sin. I believe in your son Jesus. That He died on the cross for my sins, that he was buried, and he arose on the third day. Jesus come into my heart. Save my soul. Be the Lord and Savior of My life. In Jesus Name, AMEN.
After our prayer together this man was beaming and smiling ear to ear. He said, “I now have peace. I now have hope. I now have a future. Thank you so much pastor for coming by to see me and for that Six Pack. Please come back any time.
Less than three months after I led this man to Christ, I preached his funeral. I wanted to make it very clear to everyone that day that God can use anything and anyone to open someone’s heart. And, that sometimes he can even use a six pack of beer.
Now, I don’t know what God wants you to know from this story, but I hope you realize that there are dying, hopeless, and hurting people all around you. I’m not saying you need to buy them a six pack, but I do believe God has called us to do whatever we can to take HIS LOVE to them.
The Apostle Paul said this, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)(The Message Bible)
Craig Crosby is Pastor Of Refuge Church. Their new facility is located @ 203 Eddie Chasteen Drive, Walterboro (Across from Wells Fargo). You are always welcomed to come as you are, but never expect to the leave the same. They have two morning worship services for your convenience @ 9:15 & 11am.