Posted by: Matt Norton | December 8, 2008

One of the Many Unexpected Conversations

As I was at the front desk of the Day Shelter checking people in I was able to meet someone I had formerly only known by face.  As this man, Adolphus was checking in one of the other Day Shelter guests was telling me about a church he was planning to go to that Sunday morning.  Adolphus heard him and said he planned to go there too.  No one said much after that but Adolphus lingered around.  In my past experiences, Adolphus had seemed very shy.  Now though, he seemed like he wanted to talk and after a minute he did just that.   He started up conversation with me about God.  We had started talking about the physical church he was going to, which then as one would hope led nicely into talking about Jesus and how we can better serve him as “the church”, the members of the physical church.

This conversation which I was honored to have was not one that I would have ever expected.  Adolphus started talking about churches that he had been to in his past.  He said that as believers we need to have the ability to discern whether a church is following Christ or not.  We need to be able to go to the service and hear the gospel preached and Biblical teachings taught.  He continued by saying that although the pastors and deacons are not spiritually elevated above the members of the congregation they need to be examples to them and the world.  We talked about 1Timothy, where Paul was telling Timothy the qualifications for different church offices.  We agreed that they are strict standards that can only be followed with God’s power and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  He said that a congregation and its leaders cannot be living of the world and for God.  We are called to be set apart from the world.  All this time he was reciting scripture from memory to validate his points.  I sat listening to him as he let the Holy Spirit lead him.  In that time he reminded me that to be a Christian is a difficult task but it is worth it.  Jesus paid the price and we are set free from sin as a result in trusting and following him.

As I said I never would have expected that conversation, but from it I was encouraged and strengthed.  I now know of one more brother in Christ who is earnestly seeking the Lord.  He is reading scripture and trying to apply it to his life. He is getting involved with a church, the body of Christ, to strength him in the Lord and to gain rest.  He is constantly vigilant trying to avoid false teaching and temptation.  He is not afraid to speak of Jesus and how Jesus is working in his life.  He is a blessing to me and he is sharpening me as it says in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”. I am so blessed to be serving down at Jeff St.

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