Earlier this year, at Daystar Church, Pastor Allen taught from 2 Cor 4 starting with the verse below . The reminder to confess our full dependence on Him alone to accomplish His will, shook some cobwebs in my mind.
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Cor 4:7)
I placed my full knowledge of salvation and my resting in the finished work of Christ on October 5, 1991. I won’t replay the details here. What I want to do is back up a few years to look at how The Lord was calling me to Himself before that eternal day. Having been raised in a religion to which I had pledged my undying loyalty, The Lord decided to plant the gospel seed in unexpected ways, using unexpected people. My heart was not fertile ground and needed softening.
I can never undervalue the role my brother Joe had in turning my thoughts to the gospel of grace or the importance of the radio ministry of the late Dr. Oliver B. Greene. I have written and spoken of these elsewhere. The short story I am about to share is not meant to glorify the things of the world. My hope is that it will accomplish two things:
- give glory to a patient God who sought to reach me even through my foolishness
- give encouragement to those who plant seeds, but who may not see the fruits of their labor immediately (or in this life)
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. (1 Cor 3:7)
God Disrupts Life Behind the Curtain
When my family moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in 1980, I was in quite a cultural conundrum. I didn’t fit in, in any way, and my only social outlet, baseball, only covered a limited part of the year. Fortunately, I met some other transplants in my neighborhood also looking for new social outlets. With new friends from New York, Chicago and Boston, we created a makeshift street hockey league. We pooled equipment, drafted some locals, and set about to play some street hockey!
The games went on from the fall into the winter months, until baseball came along again in February. One of my hockey mates, another Italian kid, this one from Boston, was also on my baseball team. I kept up with the other kids during the school year and one day they came around my house with an adult friend to take the whole gang over to little Luper Park in a nearby Greensboro neighborhood for a little backyard baseball. I was eager to join.
Another Faithful Servant
The other thing I remember is a girl named “Amy." I was a very shy boy, but I took a shine to Amy. We became retreat friends and spent a lot of time together. I had a big crush on her. When we returned to Greensboro, we tried to stay in touch, but being at different high schools, we eventually drifted.
The latter list of teachers lists six men who were all deceased at the time their words affected my life (most dead before I was born). Not to mention the witness of men like Wycliffe, Tyndale, Hus, Gaebelein, Scofield, Anderson, Chafer... and so many more that I cannot list them all.
You may never know in this life how merely being faithful to the truth has affected the lives of others. So strive to be faithful and let God give the increase!
Remember: So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. (1 Cor 3:7)
God testifying of his gifts; and through it he [Abel] being dead still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4)