He is aggressive and uses awful language

download (6)He never preached a sermon but was always reaching out to the lost. He was a wonder. John Vassar was one of the greatest personal evangelists of the nineteenth century. John was invited to help a preacher do outreach in his town. This preacher met Vassar at the railroad station. As they were walking to the hotel where John was to stay, they passed a blacksmith shop. The Pastor said to Vassar, “There’s a blacksmith in there. He’s got a huge influence over the people here, but he will never come to church. If we could only win him for Christ, he would bring many to Christ.” 

Vassar asked, “Have you talked to him?”

“Oh no, we are afraid of him. He is aggressive and will use awful language on any preacher who comes near him.” He said,

“Just a minute, Pastor,” Vassar said, “Let me try to talk to him.” Vassar went in. The blacksmith was busily shoeing a mule — that is not a good time to talk about faith because they must concentrate on the job! But Vassar had the good sense to wait until the fellow finished with the work. By that time, he had disarmed the blacksmith’s harsh prejudice. In fifteen minutes, John had him on his knees, weeping like a child in repentance to God.

Vassar continued walking to the hotel where he was to stay. He registered, then strolled around, looking for somebody to witness to. He found a little reception room, and there sat a finely dressed lady. He walked up to her and said, “Lady, are you a Christian?” She said, “Yes, I am.” “I beg your pardon,” he said, “I didn’t mean that kind. I mean, have you been born again?”

“Oh,” she said, “we’ve gotten over that here in Boston.”

“Well,” he said, “lady, then you’ve gotten over Jesus Christ in Boston, too. That means you’ve gotten over God.” He talked with her until her prejudice was disarmed and tears trickled down her cheeks; then he said, “May I pray for you?”

She said, “I wish you would. God knows I need it, even though I’m a member of the church.”

Vassar prayed with her. As he did, sincerely wept in repentance. When he was done, he slipped out.

The fine lady’s husband came in and noticed that her eyes were red. He said, “Has anybody insulted you?” She said, “The strangest little man was here a little while ago, and he talked so nice to me about Jesus.”

He said, “If I had been here, I would have kicked him out and told him to mind his own business.”

She answered, “I wish you had been here. You would have thought he minded his own business. His business is a mission for his King to bring people to Jesus Christ.”

 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV

 

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More than you can imagine!

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Years ago, a man went into a shoe store in Boston and found a young fellow selling shoes and boots. He talked to him about Jesus Christ and won him for Christ. The name of that little boy was Dwight L. Moody. Do you know the name of the man who won Moody for Christ? I don’t think many who do. His name was Kimball. God used Kimball to win Moody, but He used Moody to win the multitude. (from Billy Sunday)

Dr. Ham relates: “Two young high school boys attended our meeting. They thought that everything I said was directed their way; so they decided to take seats in the choir, where I couldn’t point my finger at them. They didn’t pretend to be singers, but they wanted to be behind me. One night a man spoke to them during the invitation and said, ‘Come on; let’s go up front.’ Billy Graham went to the altar.  Who was the man that spoke to Billy during the altar call? Nobody really knows, but everyone knows Billy Graham.  The “man” won the one, but God used Billy to win the multitudes.  (from billygraham.org)

Andrew won Peter and brought him to Jesus; Peter turned around and won three thousand for Christ at Pentecost. Andrew didn’t have the gifting to win the multitude, but Peter did. That is the way God works!

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,… (Zechariah 4:10)

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History changing prayer

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Every man and every woman that God has used to halt the devastating process of sin in this world has been a Christian of prayer. Martin Luther got up from his bed and prayed all night, and when the break of day came, he called his wife and said to her, “It has come.” History records that on that very day King Charles granted religious toleration, the exact thing for which Luther had earnestly prayed. 

John Knox, whom his queen feared more than any other man, was in such agony of prayer that he ran out into the street and fell on his face and cried, “O God, give me Scotland, or I’ll die.” And God gave him Scotland and not only that, he threw England in for good measure. 

Jonathan Edwards prayed for days as he was about to preach his greatest sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” As he stood before the congregation, and preached it, men held on to the seats in terror. Some fell to the floor and cried out in fear of God, “Mr. Edwards, tell us how we can be saved!” 

The critical period of American history was between 1784 and 1789. There was no standard coinage, no common defense. When the colonies sent men to a constitutional convention, Benjamin Franklin, a man in his forties, asked that the convention open with prayer, and George Washington sealed the bargain with God. That winter in Valley Forge, Washington led his men in prayer. He got down on his knees to do it. 

When the battle of Gettysburg started, Abraham Lincoln, was on his knees with God; yes, he was on his knees from five o’clock in the afternoon till four o’clock in the morning, and Bishop Simpson was with him. (from Billy Sunday) 

Never underestimate the power of prayer!  Your prayers can truly change the course of history. 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).  

“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1) 

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Carried to the altar every day

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The crusade in Wote, Kenya had already been going on for several days, but on Saturday, which was my birthday, God did something extraordinary. 

 

Mwikali Muthoka had been coming to our meetings since they had started. She was lame and had to be carried to the altar every day for healing prayer. For over 22 years, she had to be taken care of by her mother. Every time I saw her struggling, my heart felt so heavy and sad. When she was carried, her feet were dangling behind her. On Saturday, 21st June 2008 (my 12th birthday), I went quietly behind the stage and prayed. I said: “Lord, today is my birthday, and I have only one birthday wish: please heal this lady!” The power of God came upon her, and in the blink of an eye, she was healed! For the first time in 22 years, she could stand up and walk on her own two feet.  

 

 That was the best birthday present I have ever received! The Lord answered my prayers and gave me my birthday wish. (Melody Franz) 

 

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; James 5:15 KJV 

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The king of the forest came thundering down

download (4)massive treeSeveral years ago, a massive tree in Colorado fell to the ground with a resounding crash after having stood majestically on a hill for more than 400 years. It was a mere sapling when Columbus landed in San Salvador. Over the centuries it had been struck by lightning 14 times, braved great windstorms, and even defied an earthquake. In the end, however, it was killed by some little beetles. Boring under the bark, they chewed away its mighty fibers until one day that lordly king of the forest came thundering down. Like these small beetles, that seem so insignificant, sins make substantial inroads into our spiritual lives, and if left unchecked will cause our downfall. The idle word spoken, the prayer time omitted, and the occasional fleshly pleasure indulged — these things can bring down our lives faster than we realize. (from http://www.sermoncentral.com) 

How can we tell if we are backsliding? These are some of the symptoms. 

  1. You don’t really like to be around highly spiritually people. 
  1. Christianity has become very formal; you no longer enjoy your walk with God. 
  1. You lack love for God and for people. 
  1. You have little or no interest in evangelism or world missions – the conversion of souls to God.  
  1. You have little interest in personal or corporate prayer. It is a duty not a joy. 
  1. You have no desire for the word of God. 
  1. You have a critical fault-finding spirit that often turns into gossiping about others. 
  1. You have an uncontrolled temper. 

If any of these points apply to you, or if you are getting angry as you read this devotion, then you are in the process of backsliding. Don’t let the “little beetles” bring you down. Confess these things to Christ today! Turn and go God’s way. 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8 ASV) 

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What causes men to take giant steps in faith?

download (3)I stood on the platform that first crusade night and saw crowds of people before me who urgently needed a miracle from God. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Call someone with an injured knee up on the stage!” I was obedient, but when I saw an elderly man break down at the foot of the stairs, unable to come to the platform without assistance, I realized that I was not just dealing with a painful knee, but with a man unable to climb stairs at all. It dawned on me that – if the Lord did not intervene – this could turn out to be very humbling for me.   

What causes men to take giant steps in faith? In Acts 3, Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray. There at the gate, they came across a beggar who was lame from birth. Something grabbed Peter’s heart. He could not pass this needy man. After commanding him to walk in the name of Jesus, he put his reputation on the line by taking the lame by his hand and pulling him up. At that very moment, the power of God flowed through him, and the lame man was totally healed!  What makes people take risks for God? 

Peter had prepared himself in the prayer chamber (upper room). But he was also willing to take a risk in public.  I am convinced that there are two requirements for Christians to witness God’s mighty miracles. First, God shares His heart with you when you are alone in HIS presence. There you learn to recognize His incredible voice. Then, when you are in the public eye, you will be willing to risk looking like a fool if necessary. The desire to please God will be so much greater than any desire to be accepted by men. 

The man in Waliso who had broken down at the foot of the stairs stood so frail, looking at me with great expectation. Hundreds more were watching from the crowd. I laid my hands on him and prayed a simple prayer. As I opened my eyes, I noticed no improvement whatsoever. Then suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke again; “Take him by his hand and walk!” I immediately took him by his hand and said, “Come on, let’s walk.” With the first step, the power of God came upon him, and he was completely healed! He was jumping up and down and ran across the stage. We all looked on in amazement. The next day he ran up the stairs to the platform to give his testimony again. God is so willing to do so much more in our generation – if we will just let HIM! 

 

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Dare to believe!

download (2)A Baptist lady was weeping at the back of a Gospel tent in Sacramento, California. She had come in early while the men were still setting up the tent for R. W. Schambach.  Schambach heard her crying and went to the back to see what the trouble was.  He asked her, “What’s the trouble, mother?” 

She answered, “I came hundreds of miles from San Francisco, and now I was told there will be no prayer cards for praying for the sick today!  I just knew that if I could get my daughter under the tent, her eyes would be straight, but now I can’t even get a prayer card!” 

“Where is your daughter?” Schambach asked. “Here, she is.” She said, still weeping.  Schambach looked into the eyes of the little girl and saw two straight eyes.  He asked, “You sure this is your daughter?” “Of course, I know my own daughter,” she replied.  “But you said she had crossed eyes.  This girl has perfectly straight eyes!” 

The mother knelt down and looked at her daughter and began to shout.  She didn’t need a prayer card.  She grabbed her girl and began to run and shout for joy. God had taken her at her word.  “I just knew that if I could get my daughter under the tent, her eyes would be straight!” That is precisely what happened! 

The lady in the bible with an issue of blood also made a bold declaration, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:21 

God will meet us when we dare to believe Him! 

 

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