What do you know about poverty?

Last night we had the opportunity to go down to Horizon Urban Ministries to eat dinner with about 100 homeless folks.  I was asked to speak the message for the evening.  Now, I have spoken to churches and youth groups, leadership groups and mercy ministry gatherings, but not many times to a group of homeless men and women.  For about an hour leading up to dinner, I began getting nervous, the Evil One began whispering – “what exactly do you have to say to a bunch of homeless folks?”  As one young man asked Serenity earlier this week, “have you ever been in poverty?”  I didn’t feel very qualified to speak to this group of people. Satan was trying to render me useless and back me into a corner.

As the live worship music was playing and not a single person was worshiping other than Serenity and I, the talk and the chatter which was threatening to overwhelm the guitar began to intimidated me; “will it be like this when I am speaking up there?  Will I have to yell the message?”  But as I prayed that the Lord would fill me with His Spirit and speak through me, He laid the words on my heart and gave me the message.  About 10 minutes prior to walking up in front of these men and women a peace washed over me and I knew that although I have never experienced poverty on this earth, I have experienced a period of “eternal poverty”, where I didn’t believe and wasn’t sure of my salvation in Christ Jesus – probably where many of these men and women were.  So I told my testimony, which is really the story of God in my life, which is His story, so basically I was telling the simple Gospel of God’s saving grace.  Nobody can deny that.  Nobody can deny my story, and what God has done in my life.  Your testimony is one of the strongest tools you have to tell people about Jesus, and it is irrefutable.

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12

And the sick are economically both rich and poor.  I have authority to speak in front of homeless folks because many of them are “sick” and at one point I was too, and although I am not the doctor, I know who the Doctor is, and my testimony shows how I met Him and got healed.  As many of these men and women came up to me afterwards and encouraged me with kind words of how my words spoke to them, I was encouraged and knew that the Lord used my simple story to speak to a handful of broken people in the basement of a church in San Diego.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow. Andy. That is so true your story is so strong! You have a great testimony and I am so glad you can share freely. We love you.

  2. Thanks for sharing about your story. I told you that you should be able to give a message. It can be simple yet powerful.
    We all need to hear our stories of how we came to begin “the walk”! I think that the church needs to hear more stories of how individuals in the leadership, elders, ministry etc. have come to their walk of faith in their lives. It is encouraging and follows Paul’s strong words ” for sake not the gathering together….. gather together to exhort and edify. What better way than to share how God has worked or been working in our lives.
    Dad.

  3. testimony…………………………….glad you know what I mean!!

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