Day 2: The Frequent Merchant - Praying & Going

Day 2: The Frequent Merchant

“I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison.” (Philemon 10)

I am an introvert.

I become emotionally drained around people, especially people I don’t know very well. But I am fine if I am with one or a few people that I like and know well.

You see, my introversion could become a convenient excuse to opt out of evangelism. But God showed me many years ago that I could develop relationships with people I see often, particularly those with whom I do business. I call them “frequent merchants.”

My best opportunities take place when I get a haircut. I make it a point to get my haircut each time from the same person if he or she is not a Christian. I get to know them well, and our conversations typically turn to spiritual matters.

Roy was one of my favorite frequent merchants. He cut my hair for over five years. I really got to know him well. It became easy to share the gospel with him since he trusted me.

Eventually, Roy became a follower of Christ. It was a time of great celebration for both of us.

The Apostle Paul developed a deep friendship with a runaway slave named Onesimus. Somehow, Onesimus learned Paul was in prison. The slave visited Paul often. He got to know Paul. Paul shared the gospel with him. Paul became Onesimus’ “father in the faith” as he notes in his letter to Philemon in the Scripture above.

Onesimus was more of a frequent visitor than a frequent merchant, but the principle is the same. Get to know someone. Become friends with someone. And look for opportunities to share Christ with them.

Years after I left the town where Roy cut my hair, I received a call from my former barber. He wanted me to know he had terminal cancer. He was not sad. He was ready. Roy knew where he was going.

Roy had a simple request of me. Would I speak at his funeral? Would I tell his family and friends about his Savior Jesus? Would I let them know he was in heaven and experiencing total joy?

The funeral was a celebration. It was my joy and honor to speak.

You see, I knew that my frequent merchant, my friend Roy, was in the hands of the One he had accepted as his Savior.

Pause for a moment and think of the people you see often, perhaps a frequent merchant. Ask God to put you in a place where you can get to know them and, eventually, share the gospel with them.

Prayerfully find your frequent merchant and see what God will do.

From the Book: