Passion For Jesus Leads to Compassion For Others

“We can only evangelize out of an overflow of our intimacy with Jesus.” Those words ran through my mind as I awkwardly walked down the streets Shibuya, a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan. Earlier that Friday morning our team had met to spend time in worship and pray before going out for street evangelism.

We split into teams and then we headed out. My team planned to go to the park, play worship music and talk to people as they walked by. We took a brief stop at the local family mart and I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to buy bread and water. So, I picked some out and continued on my walk to the park. Near the entrance I saw a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk. The Holy Spirit told me to talk to him. Fear of man suddenly overtook me as I walked on ignoring that small whisper.

My group continued on and got to the spot where we would set up camp to worship. At that time Holy Spirit whispered again to me telling me to talk to that homeless man. Fear came over me again, but this time I did not let that stop me. Before Jesus would minister to people, the Scriptures say he was filled with compassion. At that moment I began to understand what He felt. So this time I decided to obey the Holy Spirit and began to walk back through the park to talk with that homeless man. When I found him I awkwardly sat down beside him, said konnichiwa (good afternoon in japanese,) and asked him if he spoke any English. Of course to my luck, he could not speak any English at all, neither did I know any Japanese.

I took out that piece of bread and broke it in half and ate together with him. I went back to the store to get some hot food for him. After giving it to him we then sat for 2 hours trying to communicate through hand signs and facial gestures. I think we talked about basketball, Obama, and World War 2. What started out as an awkward meeting turned into a great time!

My friends (who spoke Japanese,) thankfully stopped by to translate for me. The homeless man expressed his shock of how people would stop just to talk with him, especially foreigners. He talked about how his own people looked at him with shame and disgust. We were able share the love of Christ with him and view him on our level, not some worthless homeless man that society told him he was. My eyes began to water as it was time for us to depart. We prayed for him and gave him hugs as we left.

Passion for Jesus fuels everything. We cannot even attempt to love people without first loving God. So many times have I disobeyed that small whisper to show love and share Truth with someone. If we were really in love with Jesus, wouldnʼt we want to always introduce others to our great passion? I believe there is a good reason why Jesus listed the 2 greatest commandments in the order He did.

~Dave Crabb

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