Every year that passes by, the Easter season comes and goes. Some people celebrate it with baskets filled with colorful eggs and bunnies. While other people celebrate it with a family gathering galore. However, there are a few people who celebrate it as a time to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made in taking-on the sins of the world to demonstrate the love that His Father had for all of humanity.
In my lifetime, the year 1997 is a year that will remain prominent upon it. It is the year, in which I can now observe how God was drawing me closer to Him unto a commitment of accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in the month of July as I struggled to earn a degree at Texas A&M University. Nonetheless, between the months of January to April, I was not saved. God used these months to escort me through a process of learning about Him, studying His Word, and learning what it meant to have true fellowship with Born-Again Christians (without the focus of denomination or exclusive church). However, it was through "Resurrection Week", a week in which Born-Again Christians, of all tribes and tongues, would work together as the "Body of Christ" to reach out to people with the message of Salvation to everyone and anyone who was willing to listen to His message. Furthermore, it was at this time that I came to appreciate evangelism and spirit-driven ministering at its best!
Although there were many ministry events that occurred through this week, this is the one that impacted me the most, open air speaking. Outside of the courtyard of the "Academic" building (oldest building on campus), there was a man, an evangelist, that would be speaking from about noon to sundown, sometimes a little earlier or later; depending on the demand. At the place where he stood, he had no podium, no public announcement equipment, nor electronic device to assist him; they were not permitted. Yet he boldly spoke with His natural voice as the Spirit of the Living God led him to do so; the crowds attentively listened. He had someone close to him, an assistant, to look after his gear; a backpack with some Christian leaflets (tracts), Bibles or New Testament books, and bottles of water. The assistant also watched his back; in case someone tried to hurt him as he spoke. You see, not everyone desired for this man to be there and at times they were very vocal about it. Nonetheless, as he spoke, people were drawn close to him. A concentric circle of people (standing within inches of each other) surrounded Him as he addressed issues that most university students had in mind or deep within their hearts. He had a unique manner of relating these issues to God's Word. In between topics, he also allocated time to answer questions people presented to him. This was a man who had prepared well spiritually and it was noticeable in the manner by which he spoke and responded to the concerns and thoughts that students had presented to him.
There was something more to this gathering of people though. There was activity within the concentric circle. The Spirit of the Living God was on the move within the hearts of the people who were present at these gatherings. There were no set times for this gatherings, people simply attended in-between classes, as they made their way from one class to the other, during a snack break, or simply being drawn into them. At these gatherings, the attendees were university students, faculty, staff, workers, and some ministers. They all spiritually worked the crowd because they already had a personal relationship with Jesus and were led to do so by Him. They moved in synchronization with the speaker; it is was a supernatural movement. These people held the presence of the Holy Spirit within them that when they looked into each other's eyes, they knew they shared the same Savior. They could also listen to the hearts of people within the crowd and speak with further clarification, to the questions some people were pondering within themselves as the Spirit led them to do so. When and how they did so was kept in reverence as to not drown-out the voice of the speaker nor distract other people who were around them; they complemented the speaker's work. There were also Christians, whom in their quite form, would be praying for the non-saved people of the crowd; or even those that had lost their way and were seeking a way back to their Savior. Some were within the crown, while others stood outside of it. Furthermore, there were Christians who carried tracts, or Bibles with them to freely give to anyone who would willingly accept them.
Although I was not saved at this moment in time, God used this as an opportunity to reveal to me what it meant to be devoted to a relationship with Jesus and working for Him; of which He would use me in a great manner before the end of the calender year. At this point in time, I was a Christian by title and religion ... I knew about God, prayer and the Bible, but I had no personal relationship with Jesus or God. Salvation was never presented to me in manner in which I could understand and make a decision to accept or reject. However, while I was at this campus, I looked for a church congregation on and off. I had visited several church congregations, but none of them really "hit the spot" in comparison to the one I visited on Palm Sunday. On this Sunday morning, as I stood right outside the doors of the temple, I felt an incredible presence, of which I had not felt at any other temple nor church congregation I had previously visited. At that moment in time, I knew, without any doubt, that this was God's presence and that He desired for me to be a part of what He was doing within and through this congregation; of which I met with for the remainder of that year. At the end of this "Resurrection Week", I had delighted in having been given the opportunity to witness God at work in a great way, but also receiving from it; such was the impact, that I am still testifying of it 17 years later!
Let Us Pray: God, You Who are Great and Grand, thank You for loving me in such a way that both You and Your Son had me in mind for the divine gift of Salvation. Thank you God for preserving and escorting me unto my day of Salvation, through Jesus. Lord God, I ask that You please continue to draw people to You and extend the gift of Salvation; especially as the day of Jesus' return approaches. Additionally, I ask that You please continue to preserve and escort all those people that lay in similar "shoes" that I used to wear; they need You ... please lead them unto Salvation. I ask for all of these things in Jesus name ... Amen.
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R. A. Gómez