Recently a couple within Vintage Church were married. The newlyweds, Josh and Sarah, had an incredible God-honoring wedding. Vintage’s lead pastor, Rob Wilton, led the ceremony and he openly and frequently shared the Gospel message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He also shared what one must do to be saved. Josh and Sarah wanted this to happen at their wedding. Josh was very much aware that most of his family were lost without Jesus…including his sister.
It’s incredible where God brought Josh and how he and Sarah began dating, fell in love, and married. I met Josh almost two years ago. He was dating a girl within our church and he didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. That all changed rapidly however. After a few times of attending some of our worship gatherings God began to rock Josh’s world. He saw his sin, his need for a savior, and knew that savior was Jesus. Within weeks he repented of his sin, turned to faith in Jesus, and was baptized in obedience to Jesus. Josh’s life was turning around. Through some ups and downs, breaking up with the girl who he was dating, and other things, God began to shape and mold Josh more into the image of Jesus. And then enters Sarah. After a while they began to date. All this time Josh and now his new girlfriend were beginning to live out their faith in front of Josh’s family. They noticed a difference.
Let’s fast forward to this past Sunday. After preaching at both of Vintage Metairie’s Sunday morning gatherings I had the opportunity to meet Josh’s sister. Josh shared with me that their wedding had messed with her in a good way. So I introduced myself and simply asked her what God had been showing her about Jesus. Immediately she began to tear up. I knew something was going on. She went on to tell me that she was lost and searching and knew she was in need of a savior…in need of Jesus. I shared with her how she could find salvation in this savior through faith and repentance. Very bluntly I asked her “what’s stopping you right now from giving your life to Jesus and accepting him as your savior?” It was her sin. Without going into too much detail, she told me she had done some things in her past and had sinned. I went on to share with her the reality of Romans 5:8, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. I then asked her again what’s holding you back. Through her tears, she said “nothing.” I knew then Jesus was going to save this woman. She was broken of her sin and in need a savior.
So we prayed. I prayed for her and then she called out to God, begging for salvation. The incredible thing about it all was that she prayed out loud using her own words. She prayed from her heart. The other incredible thing about this moment was who was there. Circled around her holding her was her brother Josh, his wife, his mother-in-law, his father-in-law, and even his brother-in-law. This was a family affair. When she was done praying tears of joy fell from all their faces, everyone hugged her, and people were truly praising God. What an experience! I never get tired of seeing God bring people from darkness to light, making people new creations. They peace, joy, hope, and countless other emotions expressed are incredible to see.
I was so thankful to be a part of this small moment where God did a massive thing. Now we have Josh’s sister set up with a Bible, a Bible reading plan, a community group, and we’re talking about baptism. God reminded me of several things this Sunday. First, he reminded me that he’ll move regardless of what is going on. I preached on giving Sunday, not exactly your typical evangelistic sermon. It was also after the gatherings when people were cleaning up and leaving. It wasn’t exactly the best time. God also reminded me that he is working in all things. Josh’s witness and wedding had laid the groundwork. God simply placed me in her path to harvest. God is working even when we do not see it. God reminded me of the importance of being Jesus to those we love and know. God used Josh to bring his sister to faith. And I believe God is going to use him and his sister to bring the rest of their family to faith in Jesus. Finally, God reminded me of simple faith. Josh’s sister didn’t have all the answers. She didn’t say the “perfect” prayer. But she had simple, yet deep faith in Jesus to save her from her sin and give her abundant life. There simply isn’t anything like hearing someone lost call out to Jesus for salvation. It reminds me of how great a savior we serve and worship.
I’m thankful for Josh and Sarah. I’m thankful for God’s love. I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful God can use a wedding…to bring someone to Jesus.