Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 23, 2017

one single act of obedience

Within the last hour my wife and I completed a twelve-hour road trip to finish our vacation. It was a great time with our daughter, but a long day of driving. And so rather than write words that may not make sense, I am sending you an archived article from our ministry. Our full confidence is in the fact that God is in control, and therefore there is someone who may need to be encouraged by this article. So please read the words in a very personal way!

Do you ever wonder how much value you add to the lives of those around you?  I certainly have. Another question you may have asked is, “Am I doing anything that has eternal significance?” We all want to add value, and as Christ-followers it’s only natural to want to make an eternal impact on others. In that desire, our tendency is to focus on our weaknesses and what we can’t do rather than accepting God’s special design and purpose for us. I am writing this article for anyone who has ever had those, “What can I do?” or “Am I making any difference?” negative thoughts. Place yourself in Edward Kimball’s position and realize that God can take your small gestures for Him and multiply them exponentially.

Edward Kimball was a Sunday school teacher from Boston. I am so excited for you to hear this story that started with his faithfulness. I am not sure where the writing originated, but the content is simply profound.

Edward taught Sunday school at his church because he felt called to invest himself in the lives of young boys and men. To get to know his students better, he would often visit them during the week where they lived or worked. One Sunday, a challenging teenager showed up in his class. The boy was seventeen, a bit rough-hewn, poorly educated, and prone to outbursts of anger and profanity. Edward considered how he might reach this boy, and one day decided to visit him at the shoe store where he worked for his uncle. Kimball passed by the store once, trying to get up the courage to speak to the boy.

What would he say, he wondered, and how would he be received?  Finally, he entered and found the boy in the back, wrapping shoes and putting them on the shelves. Edward went to him, put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and mumbled some words about Christ’s love for him. Apparently his timing was just right, because right there in the shoe store, the boy was moved to commit his life to Christ. This teenager’s name was Dwight L. Moody. He grew to become the most successful evangelist of the nineteenth century, preaching to an estimated one hundred million people during his lifetime and traveling perhaps a million miles before the time of radio, television, automobiles, and air travel!

But wait … the story gets better! Moody (in 1879) led a young man named F. B. Meyer to Christ, who later became a minister. Meyer was instrumental in J. W. Chapman’s conversion to Christ, who later started a ministry to professional baseball players. One of the players, Billy Sunday, started working with J. W. Chapman in his evangelistic efforts. Billy Sunday would go on to become, perhaps, the greatest evangelist of the first two decades of the twentieth century.

One of Billy’s revivals (during the 1920’s) in Charlotte, NC was so powerful that one of his associates (who accepted Christ at one of his crusades) was asked to come back a few years later to hold a second series of meetings. And wouldn’t you know it; on one of the final nights of that crusade another young teenager came down the aisle to commit his life to Christ. The young man’s name was Billy Graham!

With one single act of obedience and a few mumbled words, a humble school teacher became God’s instrument to reach untold millions.  Why not you?!  Your story belongs to you and God. It does not need to read like Edward Kimball’s in order to matter for the kingdom.  Be open and sensitive to God’s prompting, and then be obedient.  God can and will use you!

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