Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders. Acts 14:3-4
What a coincidence! The couple in line behind us had just graduated from my nephew Bill Milligan’s high school, Douglass Anderson School of the Arts. 100,000 people at a concert in Manchester, Tennessee and Bill met people that attended his high school in Jacksonville, Florida. Ali Bruce and I listened as they shared teacher tales and school gossip. The tickets to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival had been the young couple’s graduation present. I fretted that because of all the connections, Bill might decide not to give them the Gospel but I shouldn’t have worried.
“Let me ask you a question,” Bill said. “Do you know where you will go in the next life?”
“My grandfather asks me that all the time,” the girl said. “He says Jesus is coming back and is always calling to ask if I’m ready.”
The boy, a film major in the arts school, said that he used to be an atheist but now was more open to spiritual matter. Bill gave them the complete plan of salvation but neither was interested in meeting Jesus. No – matter. We planted seeds. The word of God convicts hearts. Only about 3 out 10 encounters result in a salvation. Our job is to give the Gospel. God’s job is to convict the heart. It was then that I noticed that the young man had a cold.
“Are you sick?” I asked.
“I am,” he said, sighing. “I was looking forward to this and now I’m sick.”
“I am an evangelist,” I told him. “The Bible promises me that I can call on God to demonstrate His power through wonders and miracles. May I pray for your healing?”
“Absolutely,” he said enthusiastically. I prayed for his healing in the name of Jesus. In my prayer, I gave the Gospel as second time.
“God is going to heal you,” I promised. “When he does, I want you to realize who healed you and accept Jesus to be your Savior.” The skeptical young man nodded. We handed him a tract and showed Him how to meet Jesus.
I walked off a little nervous. I had boldly claimed the power of God through what the scripture promised but in my flesh, I didn’t feel nearly so bold. God, I prayed. Your word is faithful. I’m counting on it.
Ali, Bill, and I had a great day leading people to Jesus. Many called on the name of the Lord. With over a 100,000 people in attendance, we didn’t expect to meet the couple again but coincidentally, about mid afternoon, there they were, sitting on the ground under a tree.
“How are you feeling?” I asked the young man.
“I feel wonderful,” he said excitedly. “I am completely healed.” His face glowed. Surprise washed over me and it is only through the grace of God that I didn’t exclaim, “Really?”
Aloud I said, “Of course you are. We called on Jesus to demonstrate Himself to you. I’m really happy we ran into you again. We usually never see people again in this crowd. That was God working as well. Are you ready to meet Him as savior now?”
“I am,” he said firmly. Ali sat down on the ground beside them and Bill and I joined her. The three of us made a circle with our knees touching.
“What about you?” I asked the young lady. “Are you ready thrill your grandfather by meeting the Savior that he loves so much?”
There on that dusty ground, we held hands and led that talented and formally skeptical couple to Jesus. When they finished praying, they looked completely different. Gone were the cynical expressions, replaced by what I call the Holy Spirit glow.
“Call your grandfather as soon as you can,” I instructed. We got their contact information said our goodbyes.
Coincidence? Exactly how many coincidences does it take to make a miracle? Was it a coincidence Bill stood in line with people from his high school? Did the young man coincidentally recover from an illness right after we prayed for him? Did we coincidentally meet them again in a crowd of 100,000 people? I think not! When we go out into the world, God opens the doors and prepares the hearts. When we speak boldly for the Lord, God confirms our message of grace by enabling us to do signs and wonders. When we witness those miracles, our faith soars as if on eagle’s wings. God is in the business of sending miracles when we obediently share His love with the world.