Text: Eph. 4:6,13
And as I entered into it I thought of my own life as a student. When I went to Baylor University I was seventeen years of age and a young minister. When I went to the university every afternoon I took my Bible and I visited those slums between the school and the Brazos River. All up and down that Brazos River were slums. I would knock at the door, knock at the door, and I would introduce myself with a Bible in my hand. And I would say my name and that I am a Christian. “Are you Christians here?” And if they said “Yes,” I would say, “May I come in and pray with you and read the Bible with you?” If they would say, “No. We’re not Christians here,” I would say, “May I come in and show you how to be saved, how to go to heaven and how to have Jesus in your heart and home?” I did that the years I was at Baylor every afternoon in those slums from house to house.
This week, in Dr. Brad Whitt’s “Mondays are for Ministry” video, he discusses both the pastoral sensitivity and spiritual discernment needed in determining when a child is ready to profess faith in Jesus Christ.
To see the 4-minute video, click HERE.
Dr. Whitt is pastor of the Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga.
by Walker Moore
Awe Star Ministies
The older I get, the more my conversations with friends seem to center around our hopes and dreams. Hope and dreams go hand-in-hand in this walk called life. Dreams are a place we want to take our hearts, and hopes are the driving winds that lift us up to those lofty goals. When the two come together, we have ourselves a journey.
One day, you’ll wake up and realize your journey is nearing an end. The sand in your hourglass is quickly running out. I’m beginning to realize Bette Davis was right when she said, “Old age is no place for sissies.” Eventually, we realize we won’t get everything done that we had hoped and dreamed of when we were younger. But that’s all right. I would rather die with a dream still unfulfilled than run out of dreams before I run out of life.
I’m not going to get the mansion with the commercial kitchen that my sweet wife has always wanted and, more than that, deserves. I won’t be like my peers who retire early and spend a year on a private yacht going from island to island. (Actually, I don’t have friends like that. They’re all poor like me.) I like where I am, in the midst of battles for the lives of students, and I’m praying I can stay there as long as I can. I would still like to get my wife a commercial kitchen, even if it comes inside a pop-up camper. But there are some things I would still like to accomplish, so you might say I have a mini- bucket list. Here it is:
1. I would like to spend an hour with Chuck Norris. He doesn’t know it, but his television show, Walker, Texas Ranger, has been a great asset to my life as a missionary. Ten Years ago, I went to work in the village of Maje in the jungle of Panama where the Choco people live. After the boat ride upstream, the people stood on the banks waiting for me. As I climbed up the hill, the interpreter introduced me. When he mentioned my first name, the tribe broke out in chatter.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
The interpreter told me, “They want to know if you’re Walker, Texas Ranger.”
“How do they know about Walker, Texas Ranger?” I asked. This village, a primitive place, has no electricity or running water. But the chief took me back to his hut. In the corner was a tiny TV set connected to a car battery and a crude antenna.
Once a week, the villagers come to the chief’s hut to watch Walker, Texas Ranger. And that’s just one of the many stories of how my name has been connected to that TV show. In some countries, the people just call me “Walkertexasranger” as one long word. I would like to share with Mr. Norris how God has used that show for His glory.
2. I would like to live long enough to take my grandson, Titus, on his rite of passage mission trip. I’ve taken thousands of other students on this journey, but the one person I want to live long enough to take is Titus. I can imagine us serving Jesus together for a season: the setting sun walking hand-in-hand with the rising sun, as the work of the Lord passes from one to the other.
3. I would like to see my Baptist Messenger articles become a series of devotionals. I started writing this column on March 5, 1998. That was 5,720 days or 15 years, 7months and 27 days or 817 articles ago. These articles address timeless issues with biblical direction along with a tad bit of humor. They could be passed down from generation to generation, right along with Great-Grandma’s suitcase-sized family Bible—the one that contains a life-size foldout picture of Jesus.
4. I would like to go home. Of course, this world is not my home. If we get caught up in thinking it is, we miss the whole point. Jesus-followers live and act in eternity, not in the present. We must consider how we serve in the context of eternity, how we use our money is in the context of eternity and how we marry in the context of eternity. If we live with eternity in mind, we will have hopes and dreams that matter.
Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).
I may not finish my bucket list, but I’ll settle for completing the last item. As I round the corner, I’m keeping my eyes on home.
submitted by Pastor David Worley
Bethel Baptist Church, Greenfield, Tenn.
We have seen several great results from our Awana program. I had the privilege of leading a young girl to the Lord Jesus a few weeks ago. She has come to our Vacation Bible School through the years, and she and her family have attended our church from time-to-time. The Lord used all of these things to bring her to salvation.
After she got saved, her older sister came to me, telling me that she had gotten saved at a youth conference less than a year ago and she knew that she needed to be baptized. So, we baptized both sisters together. What a glorious day, which only got better, because their mother also joined our church.
Things like this — good and glorious things like this — still happen when we reach out to people with the glorious Gospel of Jesus. VBS, Awana, youth conferences and other events, which are evangelistic, are still worth doing. God uses them to save people, people whom God loves and wants to save.
The following is an excerpt from a sermon on John 3.16 preached by W.A. Criswell in 1987.
He recalls an incident in the life of the great evangelist, D.L. Moody.
“Have you ever read the story of Harry Moorehouse? One of the most unusual providences I’ve ever heard of; when Dwight L. Moody finished his revival meeting in this last century in Birmingham, England, to bid him goodbye among the throngs was a young man named Harry Moorehouse. And he said to Moody, “I hope to come to America. And when I do, I’ll preach for you.” Well, you don’t preach for somebody on your own invitation; you have to be invited. He wasn’t invited. “I’ll preach for you.” Moody was gracious and said, “Well, when you come to America, you be sure and speak to us. Let us know. We’ll welcome you.”
About six months later, D.L. Moody in Chicago received a telephone call from New York City. It was that young man, Harry Moorehouse. And he said to Moody, “I’m here in New York and I’ll be in Chicago Wednesday, and I’ll preach for you Wednesday night.”
When Wednesday came, Moody had to leave on another assignment, and he told his deacons, “This young fellow in New York, from Birmingham, England, says he’s going to preach for us tonight, Wednesday. Now you ask him to say a few words in kindness and courtesy.” So Moody left.
That night, Wednesday night, the deacons invited the young fellow to say a few words. He stood up there and he began pouring out his soul and heart on John 3:16. And when he gave an invitation, there were about ten people saved.
Well, the deacons were overwhelmed! So they said, “You preach for us tomorrow night, Thursday night. We’ll have services.”
The young fellow stood up there Thursday night, preached on the same text, John 3:16. And there were about fifteen people saved. They were overwhelmed! And they announced, “On Friday night, we’ll have services again. And this young man will preach.” And only Friday night, they had about twenty people saved. They announced services for Saturday night.
And on Saturday, Mr. Moody came back to Chicago. And his wife said to him, she said, “Husband, we’re in the midst of a great revival. And this young fellow, Harry Moorehouse, will be preaching again tonight.” And she said to Moody, “The people are being converted, and you’re going to be converted!” Moody was astonished at what his wife said. He replied, “I’ve been preaching over twenty years and you say I’m going to be converted!”
“Yes,” she says, “and you will see. You’ll understand.” When the service began on Saturday night, Moody sat on the front row, highly critical. The young fellow began preaching again on John 3:16. And there were about twenty-five or thirty people saved on Saturday night.
That continued every night for six solid weeks. And when it was over, Moody said, “I got converted, changed.” He said, “Heretofore, I have been preaching on the Sinai side of Calvary—been preaching hellfire and damnation and thunder and lightning! But,” he said, “after those six weeks, I began preaching the other side of Calvary: grace, and forgiveness, and love, and salvation in the outpouring of the loving heart and saving blood of our Lord.”
Copyright © 2013 The W. A. Criswell Foundation.
All Rights Reserved.
Posted with permission.
Visit www.wacriswell.org to view/read hundreds of sermons by Dr. Criswell.