Turn The Light On

Turn The Light On

In this blog post, Mike Barko recounts a series of events that led to an unexpected opportunity to share the gospel. It started with his car being accidentally damaged by a student, which eventually led to a conversation with a J.M.U. police officer who expressed interest in accepting Jesus. When the insurance process seemed complicated, Mike prayed and received counsel from a friend. Ultimately, the insurance issue was resolved, and Mike's car was repaired, albeit with a minor lighting problem. During a visit to the body shop, Mike met a friendly technician named Mike. Seizing the opportunity, he shared the gospel, addressing the technician's belief that being a "good person" could secure a place in Heaven. Through the "good person test," Mike illustrated humanity's inherent sinfulness and the need for divine redemption. The technician, Mike, came to understand that he couldn't pay his spiritual debt, but God had already done so through Christ. Mike explained the concept of Jesus as God and offered the invitation to trust in Christ alone for salvation. The technician accepted and experienced joy and forgiveness. The blog post underscores the power of faith and divine guidance, showing how opportunities to share the gospel can arise unexpectedly in everyday life.


Mike Barko

5/28/20195 min read

Six weeks ago, after a day of sharing the gospel at J.M.U., I returned to my car to find that someone had backed into it. Thankfully, the J.M.U. student left her insurance/contact information on my dashboard.

That particular evening, I got to share the gospel with the J.M.U. police officer who showed up to do the accident report. I mentioned in the last email that he had gotten excited when he saw me and found out that, "I was the guy who held the cross on route 33."

With that favor, I was able to share the gospel with officer Michael and he wanted to put his faith in Jesus as Savior that evening. God had immediately redeemed a difficult situation.

Her insurance company began to drag their feet. They told me that because she/her dad was not returning their phone calls, they were not going to be able to pay the damages. I was not happy, but I put it in the Lord's hands and moved on.

After church one Sunday, I shared the situation with a dear brother in the Lord. He told me that he experienced a similar situation, and had put his foot down with the insurance company, threatening a lawsuit. They called him the next day informing him that the check was in the mail.

After sharing this situation with me, my friend told me, "Make sure you follow the Spirit, not me." We prayed about it. Honestly, I was not sure what I was going to do.

The very next morning, during my prayer time, the phone began to ring. I did not answer it, since my prayer time was not complete. It was her insurance company informing me that the check was in the mail.

Sure enough the check came, and the car was fixed last Friday. They did a tremendous job, and the car looks nicer than before.

Just one minor problem...

That night, when I turned the lights on, the dashboard lights came on, but the headlights did not. So, I went to turn the headlights on, and lo and behold the dashboard lights went off.

When one would come on, the other would go off. So, I chose the lesser of two evils and drove home with no dashboard lights.

Today, I took the car to the body shop. I prayed for God's favor before entering the shop. What happened next really blew me away.

The moment I walked in, two ladies simultaneously greeted me. The one in front of the counter smiled said, "Hi Mr. Barko, how can we help you?" (How did she know my name?) The one behind the counter also smiled and said, "What can we do for you Mr. Barko?"

I was caught in the middle of a very tough spot. Which smiling friendly lady would I choose? (lol) To make matters worse, a male technician also added to the cacophonous uproar, "How can we help you sir?"

I explained the situation to the lady behind the counter and she instructed the technician Mike to go out to my car and find out the problem. With absolutely no delay, he walked outside with me.

We exchanged pleasantries, I gave him the keys, and he instructed me that he would drive the car around back to assess the situation. I came back into the waiting room.

Before I even had time to sit down, Mike returned to the office and explained that he had fixed the problem. A simple switch on the instrument panel had been turned the wrong way when the car was cleaned.

I made some stupid comment about being an idiot to which everyone responded with laughter and assured me that I was not that, at least not for that reason. (lol)

Mike took me back out to the car, showed me the switch, and explained what happened. Just like that, the light problem was fixed.

Well, I thought, it is 15 minutes before closing time, and I am standing outside in the parking lot with Mike. Why not share the gospel with him?

I did. Mike was initially 'not 100 % sure of getting into Heaven, still working on it' Why did he think he might get in?

"Because I am a good person."

Before sharing, I made sure he gave me permission. I also wanted to make sure he would not get in trouble since he was at work. Mike assured me that all was well and to proceed accordingly.

We took the good person test. Like the rest of us, Mike failed miserably. Liar, thief, adulterer, murderer, blasphemer. No one was good, but God alone.

The penalty? Spiritual death in Hell. The solution?

Mike proposed, "I will admit my wrong to the judge."

Mike had previously gotten a speeding ticket, and the fine was $200. Would admitting guilt pay the penalty demanded? Hardly.

What one thing would the judge demand? A $200 payment.

What one thing would God demand? Spiritual death.

How could Mike possibly pay that debt?

Mike saw that he could not pay (he could, but who would want to?), but that in love God had already paid his debt 2000 years ago.

Because God was just, a payment had to be made. If he required Mike to pay, Mike would go to Hell. If God did not require a payment at all, God would not be a just judge and would cease to be God.

So God did what only God could do. He paid the debt that Mike owed. He sat in the electric chair with Mike's name on it and was executed in his place.

If Mike did not have the $200 to pay for the speeding ticket, he could end up in jail. If I paid the $200 for him, could the judge let him go?

Yes, simply because the penalty was paid. Justice was satisfied. What little white piece of paper would give Mike the assurance that his debt had been paid?

A receipt.

After God paid Mike's debt at the cross, He rose on the third day to give Mike the receipt, 'Paid in full'. Mike could have the assurance that the work was already done.

What was left for Mike to do? Place his trust in Christ alone.

Mike understood that he had been trusting in 'his goodness' to get into Heaven. Doing this meant hell.

To be saved, he needed to repent, or change his mind, and transfer his trust from himself to Christ alone.

Before doing this, we needed to make sure that Mike understood that Jesus is God, God the Son. Because of his Catholic background, Mike knew immediately that Jesus is God.

I gave the invitation and Mike wanted to place his trust in Christ alone. We prayed and Mike told me.


"He forgave me and came into my heart today."

Mike was very happy. I left him with a few follow up materials and then I shared my thought...

"The light switch got fixed and God turned the light on!"

We both laughed and I drove home.

Pretty neat how God redeemed this entire situation. I grew in trust and He brought two people to faith.