Dear John

“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind …” – Colossians 1:21

Observantly he sat. Silently. He wore a heavy cardigan. In June. Walking past this elderly gentleman, I sensed the Holy Spirit’s nudging to speak. Kneeling down, I initiated conversation. And we were off. One sentence led to another, and eventually God opened the door for me to share the Gospel with this 89-year-old man named John. He spends his daytimes in an adult daycare center, but where will he spend eternity?

Surprisingly John echoed a prevalent modern day teaching: people need to decide on their own how to come to God. I didn’t expect this perspective from a man his age. Powerfully God gave me courage to kindly yet firmly reply, “No. Who are we to tell God how we can come to Him? Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6, my paraphrase). John looked at me … thoughtfully.

Crotchety but attentive, John listened. We carried on an intelligent discussion–at one point considering what it means to show Jesus’ love. He seemed to have no clue. In answer to my question about whether he had a relationship with God/whether he was saved, he replied that he attended church. Glaringly and grievously he appeared void of understanding what being a Christian entails: a personal relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

I still picture John peering at me with inquisitive eyes. I remain appreciative that he listened to my God-given words. I pray with hope because he agreed to read the Gospel of John. How fitting: his name is John. May God continue to speak powerfully–directly to his heart. Dear John. May God open his eyes to the truth and draw him to His Son, Jesus Christ (see John 6:44). Please join me in praying for John’s salvation. What a thrill it would be to meet up with him again … in heaven!

Going to church doesn’t make one a Christian. Belonging to a particular denomination doesn’t secure our eternal destiny. Neither our works nor our “goodness” can save us.

Only Jesus Christ.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

Dear friend, perhaps you share similarities of thought with my friend, dear John. Maybe you’ve been deceived into thinking God will accept you according to whatever way you choose. Please think again. God Almighty has already provided a way into relationship with Him. Salvation freely becomes yours by accepting His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Won’t you place your faith in Him today?

photo credit: xavi talleda via photopin cc

12 Replies to “Dear John”

  1. Thank you for this post that gives a fresh perspective to sharing our faith. I pray the Holy Spirit will open John’s eyes and mind to the truth of Jesus Christ and his own need for the gift of salvation that Jesus offers him. We praise God for your continued ministry.

    With love,

    Sylvia

    1. Dear Sylvia,

      Thank you for praying for John. I am hopeful our Father will draw him to His Son.

      With love & gratefulness for you,
      In Christ’s Love,
      Emily

  2. Sandy Dunbar says: Reply

    Emily,
    Thank you for the beautiful reminder of our need to stop and speak tenderly as you did to John–to lovingly and unashamedly present His simple plan of salvation. I fear that so many who have spent years “in church” have not yet accepted Christ. God help us to be sensitive to His Holy Spirit and share the Good News until HE comes! Grateful for your witness and God’s salvation! Sandy

    1. Dear Sandy,

      Thank you for your kind words. The Lord blessed me so much by introducing me to John. I reflect on that brief time conversing with him and wish for more moments to speak with people. Yes, people need the Lord! I’m grateful for you as well – so glad God has brought our paths together.

      In Christ’s Love,
      Emily

  3. Melissa Smith says: Reply

    Thank You for for sharing an inspirational and witnessing story that all of us needs to hear time and time again. My heart goes out to John because my son Clay does not believe at all right now. He has been raised to believe his whole life. He is an adult now and it is so hard for my husband and I to watch him struggle. God does comfort me, because I can;t control this. He does watch over my son and he dearly loves him more than me. Thank you for your blogs. I so need them and enjoy them! In his Grip, Melissa

    1. Dear Melissa,

      Thank you for sharing from your heart. I will pray for your dear son, Clay. I know this must be an exceedingly difficult experience. May God the Father draw Clay to His Son, Jesus.

      In Christ’s Love,
      Emily

  4. lisa doucette says: Reply

    Emily:

    My heart was really touched by your words, and I am praying for John. It breaks my heart that one his age does not know that we do not come to Jesus on “our” terms. I pray that the Holy Spirit will touch his heart, and he will come to know Jesus. I am thankful you stopped and spoke to this man!

    1. Oh Lisa,

      I know – so sad to see him so close to eternity without Christ. Thank you for your prayers! God is able!!

      Much love to you in Christ,
      Emily

  5. Emily,

    I love it that you didn’t just walk on by John. I love that you kindly and boldly shared Christ. I love that you are praying for him. I am too. Maybe all of us who read your blog could put him right at the top of our prayer list and when God answers, we can add another name to the top.

    Thank you for telling us your dear John story.

    C

    1. Dear Colleen,

      Thank you so much for your comment. You know, I’d thought about asking readers to pray for John, so your suggestion prompted me to add that request into the post. Thank you!!

      Love & Blessings to you in Christ,
      Emily

  6. Linda Troutman says: Reply

    Emily ,as I read this excitement went through me. Loved it. I thought of the song “I Love To Tell The Story”. .

    1. Dear Linda,

      So glad. What a wonderful story–about our wonderful Savior–we have to tell! Thanks for sharing.

      In Christ’s Love,
      Emily

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