Hello fellow drafters of Jesus (Oct - Nov 2016)
A year ago I waked into my favourite coffee shop in Hamilton, 541. 541 café & Eatery is much more than a coffee stop; it’s a place that brings neighbourhoods together. Augustine was volunteering behind the counter when I got there. He saw my Steel City Bike Festival T-Shirt and immediately started asking questions. I invited him to sit down and chat. We had the chance to talk about his own hopes to run a social enterprise and we got to talk about the good news and my own calling to ministry. Gus, as I began to call him, became very interested in serving the cycling community through New Hope Community Bikes and about chatting further about faith, spirituality and how that specifically plays out in the business sector.
Over the next year Gus and I became friends. He helped me with Spanish, I shared with him my perspective on the incarnation and how it can impact even the business world, and we often ran into one another at the shop.
Eventually Gus began to come to our popcorn prayer nights and the occasional Shop Talk. Over that year I learned about Gus’s spirituality and worldview. He was open to anything and everything. He valued coexistence (in fact that is what is written on his bike with all world religion symbols) with all belief systems and practiced religious activities from various cultures. There were many times that I was able to ask questions at the right moment and challenge the logic and assumption of such a worldview.
I knew Gus was being drawn by God when he said he considered himself a Christian who believed in Jesus but just not as extremely as someone like myself.
Last week however, something changed. Gus had an encounter with some Mormon evangelists. But the foundation of conversation God had built over the last year plus a clear work of the Holy Spirit spoke to Gus. Gus realized that something about Mormonism was not right. Something didn’t sit well with him. So Gus called me up and asked to chat. We talked in his kitchen for about an hour about the authority of God’s word and about the claims of Jesus. And we saw how the claims of Joseph Smiths don’t line up to the bibles nor do Joseph’s claims come with the evidence of a resurrection. We jumped around a bit to address a few Mormon claims including all people becoming gods and the belief in a pantheon of god’s. And we concluded together that God is one and that He is transcendent and holy from creation.
From there we narrowed in on a transcendent God becoming flesh. We talked about grace and works and how there is no step ladder that can get us into right relationship with God only faith in the works of a God who loved us enough to die for us.
We read Ephesians 2 and looked closely at “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
#RestorationWorthCelebrating then happened. Gus said “I believe that” and I said “Then I have to ask…do you want to give your life to Jesus?” and Gus said “I do…But how do I do that?” from there we looked at Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I then asked Gus to admit his sin to God, declare his belief in Jesus (including his death and resurrection) and then commit his life to God by the grace of God. And Gus did just that.
God has clearly done a great work in Gus’ life. The Lord has opened his eyes and shown him the clear contrast between the way of Jesus and all other ways. And Gus has put his faith in Jesus’ way.
Pause with us this week as we praise God for saving the lost.