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What a Good Friday

Some may call it rude, some may call it annoying, some may say he has gone mad; but I tell you this, I heard the call and obeyed. This past Friday, (Good Friday) the Lord lead me to do something I had never done before; preach the gospel in open-air. Shortly after the Lord saved me, I knew that I had to go out and tell people about Him; what He had done for me and what He had done for them. So I began to pour over His word and pray seeking His will in evangelism; in spreading the gospel (the good news) to a lost and dying world. You see, I had been a false convert; sitting on a pew in a church, listening to sermons, going to Sunday School classes, going to church functions even reading my bible. But I was lost and living a life of sin, I read my bible and didn’t even know what sin was. The Lord through the knowledge of my sin, (“for by the law is the knowledge of sin” Romans 3:20) and through the preaching of His gospel, (“that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4) my sin was vividly displayed before me as I watched the movie “Fire Proof” while home alone the evening of December 19th 2009. The main character’s father then preached the law and the gospel to his son (Kirk Cameron’s character was the son). I found my-self on my knees confessing my sin to God and putting my faith in Jesus Christ. After a week long battle with my sin nature, I came to full repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. He really had saved me; he yanked me out of my sinful state, awoke me, and graciously gave me a saving faith in Him as Lord and Savior. On the last Sunday of 2009 (December 26th 2009) my Sunday school teacher Dan Sala gave us a challenge; he wanted us to write down goals for 2010 and seal them up in an envelope, opening them up after the completion of 2010. What I had written, I didn’t think of as goals but instead what I knew God wanted of me.

There were two things I wrote down:
1. I would give God complete Lordship, I would follow Jesus wherever He lead me.
2. I would love my neighbor as myself.

(I had no intention of writing a testimony but I guess the Lord did, I asked Him to write this blog and this is what has come out of that prayer.)

This is the first time I’ve given this testimony. Why? Because I hate my sin! I hate that I sinned against my Lord. I hate what my sin did to my wife, children, and everyone else I hurt all of those past years. God really saved me; I was drowning in a cesspool of sin and I was enjoying it, and He reached in, jerked me out, and used the law to bring the knowledge of sin, then through the preaching of the gospel, the Holy Spirit brought me to repentance and faith. One week later under the direction of the Holy Spirit I made a dedication to the Lord written for my own keeping and by prayer. At the time I had no idea what the Lord was going to do with that.

I began to pour over the word of God and it opened up to me like it had never done before, the word of God was alive and God spoke to me on every page. The Lord’s words: “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you” (Mark 5:19) and “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), was speaking directly to me. So what to do, I was compelled to be a witness but how? There was no evangelism training at church and I had heard Kirk Cameron was involved in ministry so I looked him up on the internet; which lead me to a TV program by Kirk Cameron & Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministries, in which they would instruct believers on how to go out and evangelize, I also studied some other methods as well, but they didn’t seem as biblical. I began with passing out trillion dollar bill gospel tracts that I purchased from Living Waters ministry. I was learning so much from scripture, I needed an avenue to share with people, so this blog was born in June of that year, 2010. Later that year, I with the help of my daughter created a Christmas gospel tract on my computer, printed 100 of them. Prayed, shared with one of my accountability partners what I was going to do, I headed out to the Mall on black Friday with the gospel tracts in hand. Pulled into the Mall parking lot, prayed, went into the Mall more scared than I had ever been in my life, passed out the 100 tracts and left the Mall rejoicing in the Lord. The Lord continued to grow me in evangelism the following year 2011, I had read a blog written by one of the staff members (Tony Miano) of Living Waters called “Why I Carry A Cross”, the Spirit of the Lord stirred within me as I read that blog, I thought now that’s something I could do. So I ran out to Lowe’s, bought the materials and made a cross, but made a mistake, I told my friends and family what I had planned to do with that cross, so it sat in my garage for the remainder of that year unused. I had become bolder in my witnessing, passing out tracts by the hundreds, witnessing to people in person and on the phone but God began to tell me more was to come.

I began to think about preaching, I would think about it often as I ran. One of the things I enjoy doing is running and while running I talk with the Lord. I probably thought about and preached the gospel a hundred times while running, but not to people, it was just me, God, and His creation. Then this year 2012, the morning of January 29th 2012 I read a facebook post by an evangelist named Shawn Hole, he and a team were preaching the gospel in Nepal and they were stoned. They didn’t know if they should leave the country or stay. So what did they do? They did what the Apostles did in Acts when they were threatened; prayed to God for boldness and went out and continued to preach the gospel. Then I’m in church that morning singing worship songs, then we began to sing a song called: “I Surrender All to You” and I knew I did not. The following day I wrote a blog post called sick of church, later that week grabbed the cross that had been sitting in my garage for months, went out to the corner of Rice & Broadway in Tyler, TX for one hour and knew that this was the right thing to do, the Lord has had me out weekly since and I am so thankful for the ministry.

But there was that continues thought, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). So the week before Resurrection Sunday, I relented and had an extreme desire to preach the gospel in a public place on Good Friday. I picked the court house because I knew people where pouring into the court house at about 8:00 am every morning, I arrived there and no one was to be found, the entire downtown area was devoid of people, then I went to the park, no one was there as well. Went home, planned to go out with the cross that afternoon after sleeping, having come off a night shift. Woke up around 2:00 PM, read my bible and spent time in prayer, I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling to go to the University of Texas at Tyler and do what I had planned to do that morning, Read aloud the trial and crucifixion of Christ from John 19 and then preach the law and gospel. I arrived and parked by the tennis courts, filled with much fear I prayed, stepped out of the car, the tennis courts and around them were full of people. So I walked away from there and walked around the campus, there were a few people at the swimming pool but otherwise the rest of the campus was devoid of people. I really don’t know what I was looking for as I walked. I made my way back around to the tennis courts and walked down to the tennis courts.

Before I knew it I was reading aloud John chapter 19 about a third of the way through a woman walks up and says, “Can you stop? You’re bothering our tennis game.” I replied, “No I can’t” and continued to read aloud. About two thirds of the way through a man walked up and said the same thing the women had said, and then another man says, “I’m enjoying it, you can read here.” I continued to read aloud, but I began to move towards the man who had enjoyed what I was reading, I guess out of comfort. By the time I had finished reading I found myself on higher ground and my voice had gotten louder, so that my voice carried even further. I began to use the law 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th commandments to bring the knowledge of sin, preached the gospel of my Lord in open-air, then told them all that they could be saved if they would, Repent and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I departed got into my truck, thanked God and prayed for the salvation of all those who heard. I wrote this for one reason, to glorify my Lord. The same reason I stand on the corner with a 4 ft cross, the same reason I read aloud the crucifixion of my Lord and preached His gospel, to glorify Him and the hope that some will be saved as He saved me. Thank you Jesus!

Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ

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