By Michael Tummillo
Years ago, I “accidentally” sent one of my eMinistry broadcasts to a certain individual who ran a business in my hometown. After he received my message, he wrote and shared the story of how he and his wife of many years had separated and how, on one attempt to see her in Mansfield, he was crying so hard he could hardly see the road in the rain. He was repenting before God as he drove – repenting for ignoring Him; disobeying Him. You see, many years ago, this man felt God was calling him into the ministry. Well, he wrecked his car that night. Rolled it three times and flattened it down to the steering wheel. But he emerged without a scratch. While this was happening, his wife was also hearing from the Lord and became convicted about leaving him.
He admitted that his life had become so career-oriented and that he was in mad pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. He neglected her and he ignored his true calling from Heaven. The couple is happily back together and he is attending Truett Seminary right now. He recently had his first preaching gig at a Cowboy Church in Mansfield. I could sense his excitement and his strong desire to serve God as if the man had finally discovered his reason for living. He promised we will do lunch and meet in person for the first time in a week or so. I can’t wait!
Who is this man? Perhaps you know him. His name is Lyle. The business he owns? It’s a much-despised tattoo shop on the town square in my hometown. He’s selling the business actually, having become convicted about running “that kinfd”of business. I’m glad he’s following his convictions. When he attempted to market his business as being “Christian-owned and operated,” his staff protested. Long-time friends gave him a hard time and asked that their names and artwork be removed from his website. Some would say his livelihood was coming apart. Others would say it was finally coming together. God is Lyle’s Provider. He knows that now.
Do you know anyone who seems far removed from the things of God? Perhaps a liquor store owner, a bar owner, the guy who runs an adult book store in your town? Question: are you praying for him with a heart filled with love and compassion, as I’m sure many did for Lyle, or is it a heart motivated by hatred? Are you loving him, meeting him at the point of his needs? When he meets your church representatives, are they pointing an accusing finger in the spirit realm, or does he see Jesus? I know a club owner who said that Christians are repeatedly condemning him and brow-beating him for running “that kind” of establishment. Fortunately, other Christians ARE loving the man. I see this guy as an Apostle Paul one day. He recently spent a great deal of money to book a Christian band that had the hottest song on the planet. I MC’d the event. An embarrassing 18 teenie-boppers showed up. There will be no more Christian concerts, I’ve been told. The local Church missed an opportunity, in my opinion. We could have filled that place with so many saints he would have HAD to take notice. Anything that impacts a person’s pocketbook WILL get their attention. Sadly, the mighty Army of God was motivated by hatred, fears and prejudices or simply too preoccupied with its own agenda to notice what it was God might have been requiring.
We WILL get another chance to pass that kind test. You can bet on it. Again and again until we pass.
Lyle’s testimony gave me a renewed hope. How about you? Whether it’s a bar owner, a drunken street person, a backslidden drug addict, God’s arm is not so short that He can’t reach the down and outers among us.
Jesus died for them, too. He wants US to show THEM what He is like.
Pass this around if you like. If you dare. It seems to minister conviction to everyone who hears it so far.
Satan ALWAYS shoots himself in the foot. God WILL be glorified by the seemingly “hardest cases” in our midst.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael’s mission is to bring Discipleship and Encouragement to the Body of Christ. Since 1999, he has broadcast nearly six hundred inspirational articles and a dozen booklets on subjects that will interest the thinking Christian, all designed to accelerate the process of spiritual development in God’s people.
He is the founder of t.e.a.m. ministries ([email protected]). An Author, Pastoral Counselor and Teacher, his eMail broadcasts, known as “Your Town for Jesus” are reaching millions around the globe WEEKLY.
A licensed/ordained minister, a Certified Workplace Chaplain, and a Professional Member of NIBIC, he has ministered in Methodist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, College and Cowboy churches. He is also a Speaker on the Christian Speaker Network and may be available to speak to your church or Christian group.