Friday, September 15, 2017

YOU Can Change the World

Don't underestimate your potential.  You have the ability to change the world.  It's been said that one person with purpose makes a majority.  Think of the amazing difference single individuals have made throughout history.  And you don't have to be wealthy or famous.  Ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference.  Consider the following story told by Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas.

Edward Campbell was a mere carpet salesman in Boston in the 19th century.  And he taught a Sunday school class at his church for high school boys.  Just an ordinary Christian.  There was one young man in his class, 18 years old, who he was especially concerned about.  So one day Mr. Campbell decided to go to the boy's place of work, which happened to be a shoe store in Boston.  Mr. Campbell asked the young man if they could talk for a moment, and so they went to a back room, and Mr. Campbell led the young man to give his life to Christ.  That young man was Dwight L. Moody, who went on to become the greatest evangelist of the 19th century.

Under the ministry of D.L. Moody, another man came to Christ by the name of J. Wilbur Chapman, who went on to become a pastor and evangelist.  Under the ministry of J. Wilbur Chapman, another young man came to Christ -- an ex-baseball player by the name of Billy Sunday.  Billy Sunday went on to become one of the biggest evangelists in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  In 1924 Billy Sunday led a crusade in Charlotte, NC, and as a result an organization of Christian business men was formed.  It was called the Charlotte Christian Business Men's Club.  Ten years later, in 1934, that club sponsored another evangelistic crusade in Charlotte, and they invited an evangelist to speak by the name of Mordecai Ham.  During that crusade, a young teenage boy became a Christian.  His name was Billy Graham.  God used him to preach to more unbelievers than anyone else in history.

Twenty years later, Dr. Graham did a crusade in Dallas, TX, where Dr. Robert Jeffress's parents lived.  Dr. Jeffress's father was a Christian, and a member of FBC Dallas, but his mother was an unbeliever and refused to even attend church.  (One reason was that she hated the pastor, Dr. Criswell.)  But she agreed to attend the crusade, and one evening she got saved.  It was announced at the crusade that Billy Graham would be preaching at FBC Dallas the next Sunday, so she finally agreed to visit the church with her husband.  That Sunday, after the service, Billy Graham joined the church (and remained a member of FBC Dallas for the next 54 years).  When he did that, Dr. Jeffress's mother said, "If it's good enough for Billy Graham, it's good enough for me," and she joined the church.  A year and a half later Dr. Robert Jeffress was born.  And years later he would grow up to become the pastor of that very church.

The point of the story is that many, many lives were impacted and transformed because of the faithfulness of an ordinary Christian, Edward Campbell; a carpet salesman; a high school boys Sunday school teacher.  Don't ever underestimate your potential to impact the world for Christ.  Stay faithful.  Keep planting the right seeds.  Nothing you do for Christ is wasted.

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