Friday, April 04, 2008

Experiencing The Greatest Thrill


(Healthy Habits by Luis Palau, June 2001)


As a young man I was excited about preaching the Gospel of

Jesus Christ at street meetings, children’s meetings, and

rallies. I prayed and studied and preached, but felt frustrated.


The day came when I finally decided I didn’t have the gift of

evangelism, after all. It was obvious. No matter how zealously I

preached, no one was coming to Jesus Christ. Nothing I did seemed

to make a difference. I was inspired by the things I read and

heard about Billy Graham’s ministry, but I knew I didn’t have

what he had.


I gave God a deadline: “If I don’t see any converts through

my preaching by the end of the year, I’m quitting.” Oh, I would

still be an active Christian, but I would dedicate myself to

teaching believers rather than evangelizing the lost.


The end of the year came and went. No converts. My mind was

made up: I was through preaching. Now I was sure I didn’t have

the gift.


On Saturday morning about four days into the new year, the

small church I attended held a home Bible study. I didn’t feel

like going, but I went anyway out of loyalty to the elders.


The fellow who was supposed to teach the Bible never showed up.

So the man of the house said, “Luis, you are going to have to

say something.” I was completely unprepared.


However, I had been reading a book by Dr. Graham called “The

Secret of Happiness,” which is based on the Beatitudes. So I asked

for a New Testament and read Matthew 5:1-12. Then I repeated

whatever I remembered from Dr. Graham’s book.


As I was commenting on the beatitude “Blessed are the pure in

heart, for they will see God,” a lady suddenly stood up. She

began to cry and said, “My heart is not pure. How can I see God?

Somebody tell me how I can get a pure heart.” How delightful it

was to lead her to Jesus Christ!


I don’t remember the woman’s name, but I will never forget

her words: “Somebody tell me how I can get a pure heart.”

Together we read in the Bible, “The blood of Jesus, his Son,

purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). This woman found peace

with God and went home with a pure heart overflowing with joy.


When you win people to Jesus Christ, it’s the greatest joy.

Your graduation is exciting, your wedding day is exciting, and

your first baby is exciting, but the most thrilling thing you can

ever do is win someone to Christ. And it’s contagious. Once you

do it, you don’t want to stop.


I challenge you to pray, “Dear God, I want that experience. I

want to know what it is to serve as your ambassador and win

someone to Jesus Christ.”


Whatever our place in the body of Christ, let’s enlarge our

vision to invite one more person into God’s kingdom. After all,

God doesn’t have a Plan A, a Plan B, and a Plan C for

evangelizing the world. He has only one plan -- and that’s you

and me.

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