Select Page

Hidden Reefs

Shipwrecked Faith from a Shipwrecked Church
Spiritual Resolution for 2014

Spiritual Resolution for 2014

georgemuller-200On April 13th, 1832 George Muller received a letter from Henry Craik, his friend and co-laborer in ministry, to come to Bristol to join him in the work there.  One week later, on April 20th, George Muller left for Bristol encouraged by the preaching, teaching, witnessing… you know, all the ministry stuff— that he was soon to be engulfed in.  The air was full of excitement and anticipation, much like we are as we plan for a two week summer mission trip.

“Boy, when we get to the mission field, we’re going to win the area to Christ!”  Right.

Question:  But what about now?  What about your preparation for that mission outreach?  How are you preparing today for the harvest tomorrow?

Answer:  Oh I know, it’s the classic “bloom where you are planted” thing.  “I’m looking for every opportunity to tell people about Jesus right where I live.”

Good.  Excellent, in fact.  But what about your private time with the Lord?  What about your personal accountability and relationship with Him?  Are you too enamored, too giddy with the “doing” that you have neglected the “abiding”?  And if so, what are you prepared to do about it?

Be encouraged, for this is exactly the lesson that our friend, Mr. Muller, learned on his way to Bristol.  In fact, Arthur Pierson, Muller’s biographer, reflects on this very lesson the young man of God learned and, so it seems, never forgot.

The following is from Pierson’s book, George Muller of Bristol:

big_lines

On April 20th, Mr. Muller left for Bristol.  On the journey he was dumb, having no liberty in speaking for Christ or even in giving away tracts, and this led him to reflect.  He saw that the so-called ‘work of the Lord’ had tempted him to substitute action for meditation and communion.  He had neglected that ‘still hour’ with God which supplies to spiritual life alike its breath and its bread.  No lesson is more important for us to learn, yet how slow are we to learn it: that for the lack of habitual seasons set apart for devout meditation upon the word of God and for prayer, nothing else will compensate.

We are prone to think, for example, that converse with Christian brethren, and the general round of Christian activity, especially when we are busied with preaching the Word and visits to inquiring or needy souls, make up for the loss of aloneness with God in the secret place.  We hurry to a public service with but a few minutes of private prayer, allowing precious time to be absorbed in social pleasures, restrained from withdrawing from others by a false delicacy, when to excuse ourselves for needful communion with God and his Word would have been perhaps the best witness possible to those whose company was holding us unduly!  How often we rush from one public engagement to another without any proper interval for renewing our strength in waiting on the Lord, as though God cared more about the quantity than the quality of our service! *

big_lines

Wow.  Point blank, slam-dunk, “slap-ya-up-side-da-head” for me.  How about you?  I am guilty of this very act— continually.  So much so that I’m beginning to realize that I must crave the pleasure and acceptance of men, mere humans like myself, more than the pleasure of God.  I must be a card-carrying man-pleaser and not a God-pleaser.  Ugh.  Like how stupid is that!

Resolution #1 for 2014 – actually for the rest of my life.

I will strive to keep the good subordinate to the best.  Let’s flesh that out. It means that ministry, being good, will always take second place to intimacy with the Lord, which is, obviously— best.  I will seek His face first, and allow ministry to follow as an after effect or a result of that intimate relationship.  I will place abiding where it should be in my spiritual life and try to live the years I have left as a Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, and not as a Martha, working in the kitchen too concerned about putting Cheese Wiz on Wheat Thins.

After all, as an old preacher once counseled me years ago, “Son, you take care of the depth of your ministry (intimacy with God) and let the Lord worry about its breadth.”  Exactly.  Couldn’t have said it better.

* George Muller of Bristol by Arthur T. Pierson, page 90. Proverbs 29:7,18,23.

big_lines

Proverb for Today:

The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern.

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.

A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor. *

big_lines

        

Podcast 233:  The Timeless Message of Haggai, Part 2

Podcast 233: The Timeless Message of Haggai, Part 2

The entire message of Haggai can be summed up in these three words: Consider your ways.

After all, consider this warning given five times in Haggai:

Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!” – Haggai 1:5

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!” – 1:7

“And now, carefully consider from this day forward.” – 2:15

And again, “And now, carefully consider from this day forward.” – 2:17

There is something – something important – the Lord is trying to tell us through the words of Haggai. Keep listening to find out more.

The following is a study of Haggai 2:1-23.

Download this episode (right click and save)

big_lines

            podcast-25-25

Podcast 232:  The Timeless Message of Haggai, Part 1

Podcast 232: The Timeless Message of Haggai, Part 1

After 14 years of doing nothing the Lord finally sent the prophet Haggai to confront the apathy and laziness of His remnant. First, the Lord rebukes them for their excuse.

Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: “This people says, ‘The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.'”

Really? But the Lord responds to their excuse this way.

“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”

In other words, you can’t find the time to build My house but you have plenty of time to build your own house.

Sound familiar? I thought so. Keep listening for more of Haggai’s message to us today.
The following is a study of Haggai 1:1-15.

Download this episode (right click and save)

big_lines

            podcast-25-25

The Seeker-Sensitive Sham

The Seeker-Sensitive Sham

martiynlloydjones-200In the midst of the current onslaught, the hostile takeover of mainline churches by the seeker-sensitive hoard of mega-church devotees, the following quote rings clear and true.  It stands as one of the many unheeded warnings from those a generation ago who looked into their crystal ball and saw the logical outcome of a church who has lost its bearings – a church swimming in the sea of cultural acceptance.

A church living large in the land of Laodicea.

“The world today is laughing at the church, laughing at her attempts to be nice and to make people feel at home.  My friends, if you feel at home in any church without believing in Christ as your personal Savior, then that church is no church at all, but a place of entertainment or a social club.  For the truth of Christianity and the preaching of the gospel should make a church intolerable and uncomfortable to all except those who believe, and even they should go away feeling chastened and humble.”

– Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Christian entrepreneurship has infected our seminaries to such an extent that we now mass produce, in assembly line fashion, an army of current and wannabe church CEOs and not Spirit-led men of God.  Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds us of just how far we have fallen.  For me, it’s sobering to see what we, as the salt and light of the world, will do to prostitute ourselves for the prize of worldly acceptance and cultural relevance.  “After all,” we say to the laughing world, “we just want to be loved.”

Pray that you will be different.

Note: This quote is from The First Forty Years 1899-1939; Banner of Truth, p. 142

big_lines

        

What happens when false prophets actually deliver?

What happens when false prophets actually deliver?

Good question.  What does happen?  What does it mean when false prophets actually do what they claim they can do?  What does that mean?

What happens when “signs and wonders”— no, real signs and wonders accompany the preaching of a false prophet?  What are we to think?  What does that say about what they are saying?   The implications are mind-boggling.

For example, does it mean that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t false prophets anymore?  Maybe they’ve repented and finally seen the light and God is confirming their ministry with “ooo la la” kind of stuff.  Or maybe we were too judgmental towards them in the first place and had them all wrong.  Worldly logic would conclude, “If God weren’t blessing what they say, then their churches wouldn’t grow so large and they wouldn’t be so popular.”

So, maybe the problem is with us, and not them.  After all, as the mantra of false prophets go: “Touch not the Lord’s anointed!”  Maybe we’re just too blind and deceived and misguided and don’t recognize that God is moving and doing a new thing in our generation.  Or possibly God just lowered His standard of truth so as not to offend the post-modern culture in which we live.  Remember the enlightened by-line of most false prophets, “Doctrine divides, but love unites.”  Maybe the Scriptures are not the standard of truth today and God is using these men to teach us that He is not the same “yesterday, today and forever” but actually changes with the times and adapts, like a divine chameleon, to whatever culture He finds Himself in.  Maybe the false prophets are right.  Maybe God is nothing more than a cosmic genie in a bottle waiting to serve us, bless us, prosper us and make us the “head and not the tail.”  And maybe, just maybe, these men the Scriptures define as false prophets are really God’s pied pipers to the New, and better, 21st Century Christian.

Maybe.  Then again, maybe not.

So, if a false prophet delivers the goods, does it mean that we slide them into the category of “Former False Prophets” or rename them as “Prophets formerly known as False”?

I think not.

Have you ever read the following words from Moses?

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods whom you have not known and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” *

Oh, so it could be a test— a testing from the Lord to see if we love Him more than we love the cool things the false prophets are saying about us, our finances and our future. Looks like another classic battle against our flesh, doesn’t it?

Are you prepared for that battle?  Are you prepared to win?  Because the age of false prophets is upon us.

big_lines

        

Bad Day at Black Rock *

Bad Day at Black Rock *

A report was just released from the Barna Research Group.  Among other things, the new data from Barna shows, based on the most recent stats from a random sampling of more than 1,200 adult respondents across the country, that one of every five households has decreased its giving to churches or religious organizations in recent months.

What does this mean for the future trend of ministry today?  Simply this.

For the compromised church, the church living large in the land of Laodicea, this trend could be the beginning of bad times.  And I mean, real bad times.

rich-poor-250Think about it, the entire modern, mega-church movement was born on the back of unbridled prosperity and rabid consumerism.  Only in the land of plenty can masses be coaxed into attending a religious service (or show) where personal accountability and individual relationships are neither fostered nor encouraged.  How could they be?  How do you build a lasting relationship with someone you really don’t know?  With someone you only meet on Sunday?  Maybe?

When one group is ushered into the auditorium, like docile cattle, as another quickly exits, where is the format for building relationships, for bearing one another’s burdens, for… well, anything other than… “Here’s your playbill, enjoy the show, pay for your ticket on the way out.”

People become little more than the proverbial ships that pass in the night, totally unaware of each other’s presence.  They are like commuter traffic at rush hour.  All going in the same direction, they suppose, yet totally disconnected from those in the other cars.  A wave, a smile, an occasional nod and relationship building is done.  How sad.

Over time, they end up serving the machine, the monster, the professional troop on stage and never each other.  Or the Lord, for that matter.

Odds are you won’t even sit next to the person you sat next to last week.  So even the patented, “Hey, how are you?  Just fine, and you?  Great!”  type of deep conversation cannot build from week to week.

But what happens when the casual Christian, the core base of most mega-churches, has to sacrifice in order to attend?  Oh, one’s true priorities will always rise to the top.  Vacations and designer jeans will win, church and non-profits will lose.  After all, “Why should we give to the church?  We don’t really know anybody there, do we?”

Nope.  You really don’t.  And that’s been OK with them, thus far.

But as giving declines, tough decisions must be made.  Business decisions.  Management decisions.  Cuts and budget readjustments.  Cost and benefit analyses.  And they must be made by men who haven’t had to make tough decisions in the past and, quite honestly, are ill-equipped and ill-trained to make them.

“We’ve never had to cut back before?  What are we to do?”
“We’ve always budgeted expenses, not income.  I thought people would always give.”
“Whaddaya mean no Christmas bonus this year?  That’s unfair.  It’s not Christ-like!”
“Yada, yada, yada… whatever.”

Enough said.  I’ll let you be the judge of what the future may bring.

Just think, the days of unbridled consumerism may soon be over.

I sure hope so.  Don’t you?

* Just in case you were wondering, Bad Day at Black Rock is the title of a 1955 movie with Spencer Tracy and Robert Ryan.  It’s a great little film.  If you saw the movie, you’d understand why I chose it for the title of this post.

big_lines

        

Podcast 231:  The Mistake of John the Baptist

Podcast 231: The Mistake of John the Baptist

When John the Baptist saw the sky crack open and the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove all he could utter was, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” And then John sent two of his disciples to follow Jesus.

Did you ever wonder why John didn’t also follow his Lord? Did you wonder why he continued to baptize after he revealed Jesus to the world? And did you ever wonder why his message changed from, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” to “Herod, it is not lawful for you to take your brother’s wife as your own.”

How is that preparing the way for the coming of the Lord?

Want to know more? Then keep listening.

The following is a study of John 1:19-37.

Download this episode (right click and save)

big_lines

            podcast-25-25

Reasons to Stop Evangelizing My Friends… Not!

Reasons to Stop Evangelizing My Friends… Not!

By now you have probably guessed that I firmly believe we are currently living in the Laodicean age, the last and final age of church history.  Every day I am bombarded with more evidence of that fact.

megachurchToday is no different.

Think about it, the Laodiceen church age is defined by its glamorous and perverted view of itself and its desire to worship God in a way that is pleasing to the worshipper, and not necessarily to the One being worshiped.  The church in this age talks a good game, has all the bywords and slogans down pat, yet is so offensive to the Jesus of the Bible that He literally “vomits them out of His mouth” (Rev. 3:16).

That’s some pretty strong words from the Lord Himself.

First, the perverted view of the church as it evaluates itself:

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17a).

Did you get that?  The church in this age, the very age in which we live, the health and wealth and favor age, says they are rich and wealthy and need nothing.  They are successful, self-sufficient, influential, dependent on no one, and growing with an entrepreneurial spirit not seen since the days of the dotcom craze.  We have mega churches that remodel basketball arenas and pack in each Sunday enough people to fill half a stadium at an NFL playoff game.  We have purpose driven authors that sell millions upon millions of books and promote their latest “40 Days of Lukewarmness” programs in churches world-wide.  We, the self-proclaimed religious elite, now rub elbows with the likes of Bono and Oprah and Obama and dine at the table with the the upper echelons of society.

“No more hiding in the catacombs for us.  We’ve arrived!  Change is coming, baby!”

Yes, it is.  But not the change you may be counting on.

The church is no longer offensive to the culture because its self-help message could be just as easily preached during prime-time without making the viewing masses feel uneasy or uncomfortable.  Words like sacrifice, sin, crucifixion, atonement, hell, holiness or the exclusivity (one way only) of the message preached by Jesus have been carefully edited from our Laodicean church vocabulary.  In their place, we now speak of favor, financial blessings, divine healing, getting the best parking spot at the mall, praying for God to bless your 401k, and having Your Best Life Now.

evangelismWe don’t need the Bible and its cumbersome commands to restrict our personal freedoms.  Why?  Because it’s all about us!  We’re rich and wealthy and don’t need anything.  No doctrine, no moral imperatives, no righteous living, no absolute truth, no right or wrong, no consequences for our actions and, of course, no guilt-producing compulsion to share our faith with others or be the “salt and light” of the world.

“Nope, none of that stuff.  If we preach that message, people won’t come and we’ve got a building to pay for.”

We are truly living in the age of the Laodicean church that, if you read the Scriptures, turned our Lord’s stomach to the point He wanted to spit or vomit them out of His mouth.  I think He was pretty sick at what He saw.  And you know… so am I.

Yesterday I ran across the following post that seems to be resonating with Laodicean church-goers (I will refrain from calling them Christians for reasons that should be quite obvious by now) because it is cloaked in deceptive spiritual language and just plain feels good.  It’s simply another pitiful picture of the perverted, self-centered mindset the church has now adopted.  Rather than obey the command of Jesus to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”— we now come up with felt-need reasons not to evangelize and feel-good excuses to justify our disobedience.  And as you read these reasons you’ll see, as I did, that they are all about us and how we feel.

Because after all, we’re rich, we’re wealthy and we don’t need nuthin’.  Remember?

The post goes like this…

big_lines

Years ago, I decided to stop evangelizing my friends. Here are 14 reasons why you might consider doing the same:

  1. It makes them uncomfortable.
  2. It makes you uncomfortable.
  3. It makes you think about how to twist every conversation to Jesus rather than seeing how Jesus is already there.
  4. It makes you believe you’re bringing God to them, rather than seeing how the Holy Spirit has already been active in their lives.
  5. It pressures you into showing an unrelatable happy, plastic face rather than letting God’s grace shine through your struggles.
  6. It makes you focus on talking rather than listening.
  7. It leads you to answer questions they aren’t asking.
  8. It makes you think about what to say rather than how to love.
  9. It makes you think faith is a list of statements rather than a different way of living.
  10. It puts you into the role of “teacher,” causing you to miss things your friends can teach you.
  11. It makes them see you as a religious salesman rather than an apprentice of the Master.
  12. It hurts your friendship.
  13. It robs you of a good time.
  14. It makes you think their lack of interest in your evangelism means they are not interested in Jesus or spiritual questions.

big_lines

Wow.  More post-modern drivel.  A whole puddle of it.

Lord, I will willingly disobey Your commands and not do what You have told me to do because it makes me and my lost friends feel uncomfortable, and we can’t have that.  Plus, if I obey You it will rob me of my friends… and then what will I do?  ‘Cause I obviously value their friendship more than I do my devotion to You.  And, most important, it will also rob me of a good time and hinder what I want to do.  “Hey, if I’m with my lost friends and we’re doing something fun… geez, the last thing I want to do is interject You into the conversation.  You’re such a kill-joy.  No fun at all.”

But the second part of the verse we began this post with says something altogether different.  Whereas the church sees itself as rich and wealthy and self-sufficient— the Lord sees us as we truly are.

Finally, the view of the Laodicena church from the vantage point of the Lord:

“And you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17b).

Did you get all that?  Wretched, pretty strong word.  Miserable, even stronger still.  Poor and blind and naked… uh, that kind of flies in the face of riches or wealth or self-sufficiency, doesn’t it?

Be Warned

Be warned: God will not sit back and watch His bride, the church, be turned into a brothel or a secular, self-promoting, feel-good show.  He will always defend His honor and His glory.

Always.  Without fail.

If you are part of the church system that puts more emphasis on the people rather than the Lord, I have two words for you: Leave Now!  Like Lot fleeing from Sodom, you need to leave that church now and seek out true Christian fellowship.  Why?  Because His day of judgment is coming and you won’t want to be connected at the hip with those whose future can be described as vomit on the floor.

Leave now!

Adveho quis may.
Come what may.

big_lines

        

Rock Star Christianity

Rock Star Christianity

As a former Events Coordinator (that’s concert promoter in the real world) for a Christian radio station for almosts ten years, I have seen both the good and bad side of Christian music.  Uh, let me elaborate if I may.  When I say the good side of Christian music I really mean “the good” side and when I say bad, well… I really mean bad.  No, make that bad in bold and all caps. BAD.


nauseaYeah, BAD.  Real BAD.

But as I look back in time, what I see today is something Keith Green and, a decade later, Steve Camp also saw— the selling out of ministry for the almighty buck.  I could tell you stories, boatloads of stories, about secular rockstar wannabes who try to “make it” in Christian music because they believe the industry standards are lower.  And, to a degree, they might be right.  These artist often parade around as spiritual giants— makeshift religious Goliaths, talking about fasting and the importance of prayer in their life and how it’s all about God and not about them, yada, yada, yada— but when I dare to mention the need for a gospel presentation at one of their Christian concerts, God forbid!  Like a werewolf at full moon, their secular side slides out from behind their carefully placed mask, and the real spirit behind the music shows itself.

“Sorry.  I don’t feel comfortable speaking about my faith publicly.  It takes away from the ending of my show, you know.  We really want to end the set with a bang!  And, well… sharing the gospel might make some of the ticket buyers, my fans, feel uncomfortable.”

Oh, I see.  And we can’t have them feel uncomfortable, can we?  That might hurt record sales.

Heave, gag, vomit, splat!— one more time.

If I insist, the road manager loads a silver bullet in his gun, points it towards my chest, and says, “Hey, we’d love to help you out.  It’s all about the Lord you know.  But there’s nothing in the contract or rider that says he’s got to allow the gospel to be shared at his show.  Sorry bub.  Maybe next time.”

Right.  Maybe next time.  That is, of course, if I negotiate beforehand with the artist’s management the need to share Christ at a Christian concert.  Am I missing something here?  Or does that seem like something a Christian artist would want to do at a Christian concert anyway?

My take on it is that there are many artists who happen to call themselves Christian.  But there are very few (I can actually count them on one hand) who are Christian artists— with the emphasis on Christian first and artist second.

Very, very few.  To the shame of our industry.

Anyway, read what Keith Green said about the same issue over thirty years ago.  Not much has changed, has it?

big_lines

So You Wanna Be A Rock Star
by Keith Green

keithgreenToday, so many people ask me if I can tell them how they can start or enter into a music ministry.  At concerts I get countless questions about this, and I also get lots of letters and even some long-distance phone calls from many people who feel they are only “called” into the music “ministry”  One day I began to ask myself why so few have ever asked me how to become a missionary, or even a local street preacher, or how to disciple a new believer.  It seems everyone would prefer the “bright lights” of what they think a music ministry would be, rather than the mud and obscurity of the mission field, or the streets of the ghetto, or even the true spiritual sweetness of just being a nobody whom the Lord uses mightily in small “everyday” ways.

Are You Willing?
My answer to their question is almost always the same.  “Are you willing to never play music again?  Are you willing to be a nothing?  Are you willing to go anywhere and do anything for Christ?  Are you willing to stay right where you are and let the Lord do great things through you, though no one may seem to notice at all?”  They all seem to answer each of these questions with a quick “yes!”  But I really doubt if they know what their answer entails.

Star Struck
My dearest family in Jesus…why are we so star struck?  Why do we idolize Christian singers and speakers?  We go from glorifying musicians in the world, to glorifying Christian musicians.  It’s all idolatry!  Can’t you see that?  It’s true that there are many men and women of God who are greatly anointed to call down the Spirit of God on His people and the unsaved.  But Satan is getting a great victory as we seem to worship these ministers on tapes and records, and clamor to get their autographs in churches and concert halls from coast to coast.

Can’t you see that you are hurting these ministers?  They try desperately to tell you that they don’t deserve to be praised, and because of this you squeal with delight and praise them all the more.  You’re smothering them, making it almost impossible for them to see that it’s really Jesus.  They keep telling themselves that, but you keep telling them it’s really them, crushing their humility and grieving the Spirit that is trying to keep their eyes on Jesus.

Ultimately, what we idolize we ourselves desire to become, sometimes with our whole heart.  So a lot of people who want to become just like their favorite Gospel singer or minister, seek after it with the same fervor that the Lord demands we seek after Him!  And again, we insult the Spirit of Grace and try to make a place for ourselves, rather than a place for Jesus.

A Thankless Job
How come no one idolizes or praises the missionaries who give up everything and live in poverty, endangering their lives and families with every danger that the “American dream” has almost completely eliminated?  How come no one lifts up and exalts the ghetto and prison ministers who can never take up an offering, because if they did they would either laugh or cry at what they’d receive?

How Come?
Because (1) we’re taught from very early on that comfort is our goal and security… and (2) that we should always seek for a lot of people to like us.  Who lives less comfortably and has had less friends and supporters than the selfless missionaries who have suffered untimely, premature deaths trying to conquer souls and nations for the whole glory of God?  Do you really believe we’re living in the very last times?  Then why do you spend more money on Gospel records and concerts than you give to organizations that feed the poor, or to missionaries out in the field?

There are ministries all over the world where “penniless” people are being saved and transformed.  They are broken people who have promise and qualities, but just need someone to bring them God’s light during the times when their lives seem so completely hopeless.

keithgreen-180I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy (Romans 11:11) or to sell out more completely to Jesus!

Quit trying to make “gods” out of music ministers, and quit desiring to become like them.  The Lord commands you, “Deny yourself take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). My piano is not my cross, it is my tool.  I’d never play it again if God would show me a more effective tool in my life for proclaiming His Gospel.

Conclusion
To finish, let me say that the only music minister to whom the Lord will say, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant,” is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life.  Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister’s most important goal!

Let’s all repent of the idolatry in our hearts and our desires for a comfortable, rewarding life when, really, the Bible tells us we are just passing through as strangers and pilgrims in this world (Hebrews 11:13), for our reward is in heaven.  Let’s not forget that our due service to the Lord is “… not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29).

Amen.  Let us die graciously together and endure to the end like brave soldiers who give their lives, without hesitation, for our noble and glorious King of Light.

big_lines

        

Coming Close to the End of an Era: Billy Graham

Coming Close to the End of an Era: Billy Graham

On Monday I had the opportunity to visit the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC.  While there I noticed the following engraved on a plaque in one of the display rooms.  It reminded me of the words of Paul to a much younger Timothy.

Paul’s words went like this:

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2)

It seems that obedience to the Lord, even in the smallest of matters, can profoundly impact the world for years to come.  You don’t agree?

Then consider the following chain of obedience that led to the salvation of Billy Graham.

big_lines

billygrahamOn July 1, 1885, Edward Kimble felt constrained to share his faith with a young shoe salesman he knew.  That day Dwight L. Moody prayed and received Jesus Christ as Savior.

Several years later a pastor and well-known author by the name of Frederick B. Meyer heard Moody preach.  He was so deeply stirred by Moody’s preaching that he himself embarked on a far-reaching evangelistic ministry.

At one of Meyer’s speaking engagements, a college student named Wilbur Chapman accepted Christ.  He later employed a baseball player to help him prepare to conduct an evangelistic crusade.

In 1924 a group of businessmen invited that ballplayer, Billy Sunday, to hold an evangelistic campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina, which resulted in many people coming to Christ.  Out of that revival meeting a group of men formed a men’s prayer group to pray for the world.

They prayed for Charlotte to have another great revival.  God sent another evangelist named Mordecai Hamm to the city in 1934.

On one of the last nights under the big tent, a lanky 16-year old walked up the aisle to receive Christ.  That young man’s name was Billy Graham.

From generation to generation… may we be faithful as well!

big_lines

From Kimble to Moody to Meyer to Chapman to Sunday to Hamm to Graham and to hundreds of thousands more.  Praise the Lord for the faithfulness and obedience of one, Edward Kimble.

big_lines