Posts Tagged ‘tract distribution’

“My Word Shall Not Return Unto Me Void”…… On Sharing Tracts and Christian Literature

January 27, 2019

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I have felt burdened in recent times to share the many tracts in my possession. Some of these I have written over the years, others have been given to me to distribute and some I have purchased a quantity of in the past. I am aware that for those who don’t know the Lord there is something very convicting about being handed a tract in the street, especially when they know the nature of what is being given to them. As for the Christian who distributes tracts… this is not an easy task.

Jesus said: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9v26) If we love the Lord, have a burden for souls and want to distribute a convicting message to souls who are outside of Christ, then we must reach them as the Lord leads and directs us personally, as individuals.

We may not always feel led to distribute tracts at certain parades, festivals or crowded events where they are thrown everywhere and trampled underfoot; those in authority will instantly blame the tract distributor for the “litter,” although not all individuals at these events are like this. Some people feel that they should put tracts in letterboxes and others feel strongly that this should be more of a “one to one” activity, where they reach out to those they know, live beside, do business with, share a flat with – or work with, although our words of witness and our actions and reactions as Christians will sometimes play a larger role in this instance. This tract sharing activity may be extended to all sorts of people, some of whom we may only ever come in contact with once in our lives.

Whatever we feel about of all of this, one thing is sure – our own hearts and lives must be right with God, before we begin sharing His Word and we must also be convinced about the nature of the literature we are distributing. Not everyone feels happy about distributing certain types of tract; for example those with cartoons, or those which bring in doctrines which we are not happy about.

Reactions will vary. The worst reaction I have ever encountered is where someone I gave a leaflet to shredded it to pieces in front of me. Another instance was when my husband once left a tract in the glove compartment of a car we had hired on a Greek island. We had left that car back clean and in perfect order, with the same amount (if not more) of fuel in it as when we had received it. Subsequently we got a phone call to our hotel room. Someone from the hire company called us in a fury to wrongly accuse of us of all sorts of things he had no grounds for, regarding the car. We subsequently worked out that this employee was not Greek and, we believe, of the Muslim faith… Of the fact that the tract had somehow angered him greatly, we had no doubt.

Most tract recipients, who receive one directly, will just politely say: “No thank you,” or “thank you,” while hurriedly stuffing it into their pockets. I remember years ago giving out tracts at an open air rock concert, when I spotted a young relative of mine walking along there with some friends. When he spotted me engaged in this activity, he actually looked quite embarrassed and convicted. Who knows what may be achieved in the future because we have felt led to be in a certain place at a certain time!

It is good to use opportunities too, when travelling. I have often felt strongly led to leave tracts in unusual places, as the above photograph illustrates. I was walking once in a scenic area of Ireland when I discovered a little grotto of Roman Catholic significance with many pieces of idolatry left there. Here was an opportunity to leave the tract “This is my Story,” by ex-Roman Catholic priest, Henry Gregory Adams.

I believe it is true to say that there are apt tracts for specific occasions and not all tracts are suitable for particular occasions or individuals. I would not see the point, for example, in giving out the aforementioned tract at certain events in Northern Ireland, as many may agree with it – but be blind to their own need for salvation!

I once found a crumpled gospel tract thrown into a shopping trolley, picked it up, smoothed it out and put it in my handbag. A long time after that my husband and I were visiting a really old graveyard where we had the opportunity to talk to an elderly man about spiritual matters. He told us that since retirement he had an interest in history and had been travelling around, recording all the old graveyards in the rural areas of Ireland. He had joked that his wife had lectured him… “You’ll spend long enough in a graveyard without devoting the rest of your life walking around them!”

Although we talked with him, I also wanted to leave him with a tract and thought that I had none available. But then I remembered the one in my handbag… The person who threw it away into the shopping trolley probably thought: “Well, that’s the end of that…” But we must never forget that the Lord’s Word travels and touches other souls, even if it has been discarded. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55v11)

May the Lord bless and guide, as His children seek to distribute His Word to souls young and old; souls that we may never encounter again in the unique journey of each of our lives… but souls that we would dearly love to meet again someday in heaven.

 

On Pennies, Paupers – and the Pope’s Recent Visit to Glasgow

September 23, 2010

I had occasion to travel over to Glasgow in Scotland recently, to visit my daughter who will be spending a year in that city. When I discovered that my visit there was to coincide with that of the Pope’s, I immediately thought of a certain tract that I have in my possession… “This is my Story – a Personal Testimony by converted priest Henry Gregory Adams,” has been printed in tract form and used extensively in Ireland but now I felt led to bring a quantity to Scotland. This tract is taken from one of the shorter testimonies in a book of ex-priests testimonies: “Far from Rome, Near to God – the testimony of 50 converted Catholic priests.”

I feel that the change in my original plan, which would have meant flying over the previous week, was no accident, because a week later I found myself on a plane where my fellow passengers included some young nuns. The young man who sat nearest to me during the flight refused a tract and then my attention was drawn to the young nuns and somehow, one in particular. She smiled and thanked me for the tract as I made my way down the aisle to disembark at Prestwick Airport. I pray with all my heart that somehow the message of salvation would dawn on the souls of these young women.

My witness for the Lord, for the couple of days that I stayed in Glasgow was to continue in this manner. I didn’t somehow feel led to stand on the street giving out tracts, as the quantity that I had was limited anyway, but wherever possible I gave them to those I came in contact with. The airline pilot, the taxi driver, the owner of the B&B where I stayed, shopkeepers and many people on the street who kindly gave me directions all accepted one. I even left one in a Roman Catholic Church.

One incident stands out from all the rest, concerning my tract distribution. It was my last morning, bright and breezy with a warm sun glinting on some fallen leaves and I was dragging my case around to my daughter’s accommodation to spend the last day with her, when a young woman came out of a side road and smilingly said “hello, isn’t that a lovely morning?” I had been praying just then that the Lord would show me who to give that last morning’s tracts to and I felt that this young woman should get one. However, she walked briskly on, overtaking me and I felt that I really could not shout after her. “Lord,” I prayed as I vainly tried to walk faster, “please help me to reach her.” Then something unexpected happened. I saw her hesitate and stare down at the footpath, after which she bent down to pick something up. Waiting for me, she turned to me with it in her hand and cheerfully said: “Here take this. It’ll bring me good luck, if you do.” She held a copper coin out to me, a two pence piece, not worth much these days – although most people appreciate every penny in a recession! “Thank you,” I said, “but you keep it. After all it was you who found it.”

“Oh no,” she said, “if you don’t take it, I won’t have good luck.” Not wanting to make an issue of the ‘good luck’ theory, I saw my opportunity, accepted the coin and said: “Will you then, take this from me?” I held out the tract and she happily accepted it. After thanking me, she resumed her fast walk in the morning sunshine. The Lord had answered my little prayer in an instant in this city where there is often hostility towards the gospel!

The previous evening I had been thoughtful after watching a televised account of the Pope’s visit to Glasgow. I remembered words referring to Jesus that had very recently been part of my daily reading: “who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords;” (1Tim. 6v15) In the Bible the term “Holy Father” (John 17v11) is only used to address Almighty God. All men (including every Pope who ever lived) “have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3v23) Why then, do men revere an unregenerate man like themselves? He is a man who has been elected by other men to the position known to men as ‘pontiff,’ but like all men he needs to come the humble way, by admitting his need of a Saviour.

What would happen if the Pope discovered that he was in error? Somehow I sincerely believe that he would be in a very dangerous position. Yes, his life would definitely be in danger but… “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16v26) On my first day in Glasgow, my daughter and I had visited a museum which displayed some artist’s impressions of the paupers of the time. Many well-known characters in Victorian Glasgow relied heavily on the mercy and generosity of passers-by, who would take pity on the fact that they were blind or crippled and so had to beg for a living. ‘It would be better to be a pauper upon this earth and know the Saviour,’ I thought, ‘than the most acclaimed person in the world who has never found the truth of salvation.’ All the applause; all the worldwide fame, riches or accolade of a lifetime can never make up for the eternal loss of my soul – or yours.

Praise God for the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ – the ultimate and final sacrifice for the ransom of all the souls of mankind. How, then, “shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” (Heb. 2v3) and “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul…?” (Matt. 16v26)