The time a homeless man showed me Jesus!

The title of this post might seem paradoxical.

Shouldn’t I be the one showing Jesus to a homeless man? Isn’t that what I’m called to do?

 

Allow me to explain the exchange that happened last night. My heart was blessed and I want to share it with you, in hopes that it might encourage your walk with the Lord.

 

I was leaving the crisis pregnancy center where I have been training to be a counselor. (That is another story for another time, but let me just tell you, I don’t think I’ll ever leave that building with dry eyes.) My friend and I were taking the metro home, and as we were walking down, a homeless man asked us for some money in order to get a metro card.

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We stopped and chatted with him for a few minutes. He told us that he wanted to get to the local homeless shelter to get a bath and spend the night in a warm building instead of sleeping on the sidewalk in the freezing cold weather. I happily put some money on a metro card for him, and started to walk away. The man started talking about how he hoped the shelter still had some food left, because he was hungry. (At this point, it was about 10:00 pm, and highly unlikely that they would still be serving dinner.)

 

Let me pause in my story….

Ever since arriving in D.C., I have been struggling with how I should properly respond to the homeless. They are literally everywhere. I probably pass at least 8-10 between my office building and the metro station. It is literally impossible for me to help them all. I am a single woman supporting herself in a large city. I’ve gotten so overwhelmed, because I know that I can’t help them all. As a result, I haven’t done anything. A famous quote from the beloved Mother Teresa has been swirling around in my mind recently…..

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Resume story…

 

The Holy Spirit urged me to offer to buy him dinner. I asked if we could provide dinner for him, and he immediately answered a resounding, “yes”. My friend, and I headed up the escalator with our new friend. He told us that his name was Charles. On our way to get food, the conversation centered around him currently looking for a job. The conversation seemed to take a natural turn towards spiritual matters. I asked him very bluntly if he knew Christ as his personal savior. He immediately got a huge grin on his face and said, “Yes, yes I sure do”.

 

We stopped in a local pizza joint and he ordered himself a pizza. While we were waiting, he shared about his relationship with the Lord. The restaurant was empty except for the staff, and while we were talking, I noticed that the staff was intensely listening to our discussion.

Wow, this man knew his Bible inside out. He shared one spiritual truth after another. One thing that he spoke about was how we as Christians have a duty to show Christ to the world by our actions. Obviously, we are saved by faith alone, but how will the world know that we belong to God if we never show them HIS love.

 

One thing that Charles said that will stick with me for a long time is this:

 

“We can’t out give God!”

 

I’ve heard this cliche saying before, but coming from a homeless man, who told me how he has sought to give out of the little he has and how God has continued to bless him. Now that is powerful! You would expect a homeless man who literally has hardly any earthly possessions to hold onto what he has with clinched fists. Instead, this man has chosen to give thanks and see how God multiplies. He has chosen to trust God.

 

I don’t understand the circumstances that lead to homelessness. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know why Charles was homeless. All I know is the Lord asked me to buy him dinner and have a conversation with him.

 

What resulted was Charles, my brother in the Lord encouraging my faith. He showed me Jesus. He reminded me that I can trust God with everything – my finances, my relationships, my job, my love life, my past, my future, my time, my resources, etc.

 

Don’t get me wrong, just because I give, doesn’t mean that God is going to immediately bless me with material resources. I am not an advocate of the prosperity gospel, in fact, I think that is heresy! What I am advocating for is the truth in these verses:

 

 

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:40

 

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6

 

My Jesus paid for my salvation in full on the cross of Calvary. He shed his innocent blood for the satisfaction of the wrath that I was deserving. Because I have been given everything, I want to seek to give everything. Who am I to be stingy with my time, talent or treasure.

 

Beloved, I urge you, slow down, take a few moments to notice those around you who might need someone to talk to, a hot meal, a word of encouragement, or most importantly, who need Jesus!

 

The fact is, you might be the only representation of Jesus that someone ever sees! How do we represent God if we brush people off, act like we are more important or can’t be bothered! No one is perfect, and we have grace to fail, however I desperately want to show Christ to a dying and hurting world!

Will you join me?

 

 

“A man there was, and they called him mad; the more he

gave, the more he had.”

– John Bunyan

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The Lord will be faithful!

This time next week, I will be an alumni of Liberty University! It is strange to think about the fact that my time as an undergrad have come to an end. I’m not going to lie, the fact that I’ll be graduating in less than a week and have no clue what my future plans are is a bit overwhelming. I’ve called my mom countless times crying because I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going to work, or what my future holds. One of the things I appreciate the most about my mom is she doesn’t allow me to throw myself a pity party for very long. She’ll listen while I pour out my heart, and then challenge me to put things into perspective. Something that she has reminded me constantly is the Lord’s faithfulness.

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Beloved, my God is not going to stop being faithful to me when I walk across a graduation stage. He has never forsaken me, yet here I am questioning His goodness and faithfulness. Oh how quickly I forget who He truly is. When I pause and reflect on the character of my God, I am reminded that…

He is my strength.
He is my anchor.
He is my constant.
He is my sure foundation.

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The word faithful means…

“True to one’s word, promises, vows, etc. Steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant; reliable.”

This accurately describes our Heavenly Father. Dear One, I don’t know where life finds you as you read these words. Maybe you’re in the same boat as I am, where your future in uncertain, or maybe you just need to remind yourself who the Lord is. I encourage you to press in and seek the Lord’s character and His promises. Over the past semester, I have come to the Lord countless times and reminded Him of His promises. Remember, God never makes a promise that is too good to be true. If He said it in His word, He will uphold it. Search out those promises and pray them!

Recently I was reading the devotional, Come Away My Beloved and read these words

“You need never fear whether I will be faithful to you, for if I have never failed anyone else, why would I fail you? You have an innumerable company of spectators cheering you from the ramparts of heaven, reminding you of what I did for them and encouraging you that the struggle is not in vain; it will soon end in victory for you also – if you endure faithfully.”

Go grab your Bible and read Hebrews 11. (Known as the “faith” chapter) After I read that in my devotion, I went and read Hebrews 11, and my mind was blown. God’s character stands not only in my own life, but also in the lives of millions of other people. I pray that you will join with me in declaring that our God is great in His faithfulness!

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Give this song a listen!!

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

The ugly monster of jealousy!

“Chelsea…Chelsea!! Are you listening to me??”

A friend of mine recently caught me daydreaming while fully immersed in telling me a story. I shook myself, and refocused my attention back on the conversation at hand. My mind has been wandering quite a lot these past few weeks. What is the topic on my mind?

The future…

The unknown of what lies ahead for me has been weighing heavy on my mind. To be brutally honest, life seems to be happening for so many people. I’m attending a wedding this weekend, my best friend just got engaged, one of my close friends just landed her dream job…and the list could go on. As I’ve been watching all of these great things happening to my friends, I’ve been a little bit jealous!! Yes, I have had emotions well up inside of me that I am ashamed of. The big green monster has been rearing its ugly head in my life lately. I’m not proud to admit it, but this is the struggle I’ve been battling. As a result, my prayers have been self-centered and selfish sounding something like this…

“Lord, when are you going to bring a significant other into my life?”

“Lord, when are you going to reveal to me what I’m supposed to do after I graduate?”

“Lord, I feel so restless!”

During my recent time at the beach, I was spending time in the Lord’s presence. It was one of the rare moments that I stopped talking and just listened to what He said. After the tears started flowing, I heard the tender and gentle voice of God speak. He reminded me of His faithfulness and commitment to me. The Lord also commanded me to be faithful with what He’s given me right now. So often, I look around at others and compare what I have to what they have, resulting in a restless and discontent heart. Instead of throwing myself a personal pity party because I don’t have _________ (fill in the blank), the Lord asked me to pour myself wholeheartedly into what He’s given me.

I have  people in my life I can choose to love relentlessly.

I have a job that I can produce excellence in.

I have friends I can practice intentionality with.

I have a mind I can grow and expand.

With a shift in perspective, the Lord has given me new eyes through which I can view my world. Instead of my spirit becoming jealous over the triumphs for others, I can look at the abundance that I have and choose to be faithful. Beloved, this is a choice I am choosing to make. It’s not easy, and it’s not my natural reaction. I’m struggling, but I have the Lord fighting with me. I keep reminding myself, if the Lord can’t trust me with small things, He isn’t going to trust me with bigger things. I desperately want to develop my character into one of faithfulness, so that when people look at me and question why I am so faithful, I can point to the Lord, and bring glory to Him by discussing His faithfulness.

  One day when my life ends, I want to hear my Savior say,

Well done, good and faithful servant!