Friday, October 8, 2021

Does It Really Matter If People Know Who You Are?

Many, today, are concerned with their legacy. Will they be remembered? How will they be remembered by others? Have they made a difference?

Sometimes we wonder if our lives have even mattered. Have we had an impact in any way on those around us?

Perhaps we look for something tangible to see what impact our lives have had. Often we walk away disappointed.

The fact is, in many cases, only eternity will tell the impact our lives have had on others. Let me share a story, if I may. The story is about a man named Edward Kimball. His name doesn’t sound familiar? Let’s take a look at what impact his life had on others.  

The year was 1855, April in America, Mr. Edward Kimble who was 40 years of age learned that he was going to die and had very little time to live. He was a man of very little education but taught a Sunday School class of 15. After the pastor of the church where he attended had preached on evangelism he went out to lead all of his class to the Lord. Mr. Kimble had to overcome fear to go into a shoe store to talk to one of the boys named Dwight. He did so and it was in the stock room of this shoe store he lead D. L. Moody to the Lord.
Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899) was an American evangelist. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts. His father died when he was four years of age. He left school at the age of 17 to find work. Moody was led to Christ by his Sunday School
teacher, Edward Kimball, and later began his own Sunday School class with 13 street kids. This class increased its enrollment to 1,500 in four years. Moody did personal work with the soldiers during the Civil War. He traveled in Europe and America, holding campaigns, and personally dealt with over
750,000 individuals. He preached to more than 100,000,000 people, and had over 1,000,000 first time conversions to Jesus Christ. His work continues today through the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

Dwight L Moody rocked the world with his preaching. Moody was preaching in the British Isles, and a lady teacher was so moved by his testimony that she told it to her class. She, in turn, also told her preacher Frederick Brotherton Meyer that every one of her students had given their heart to the Lord. The report of the teacher had a profound effect on his life. He realized
for the first time what it meant to be brokenhearted about sin and point people to Jesus.
Meyer came to America and preached at Moody’s school in Northfield, Massachusetts. He said, “If you’re not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” That remark changed the life of a young preacher named J. Wilbur Chapman.
Chapman went on to be a great evangelist in his era. But when he decided to return to the pastorate, he turned his ministry over to a YMCA clerk who had been his advance man. The young man’s name was Billy Sunday.
Billy Sunday is one of the twentieth century’s best-known evangelists. By the time of his death in 1935, he had preached to millions, and it is estimated that three hundred thousand men and women were led to faith in Christ at over 200 campaigns. His campaigns were known as “The Sawdust Trail”. His career spanned five decades.
In 1924, Sunday conducted a revival in Charlotte, North Carolina. Out of those meetings came a group of laymen that formed a permanent organization to continue witnessing for Christ in their city. Eight years later in 1932, that same group brought an evangelist named Mordecai Ham to town for a citywide meeting.
Mordecai Ham lived from 1878 to 1959. He was a Baptist evangelist. During the first year of his ministry Mordecai saw more than 33,000 conversions. In 30 years of ministry more than 300,000 new converts joined Baptist Churches in the south.

The author of the amendment for prohibition stated that Billy Sunday and Mordecai Ham nearly put the saloons out of business. Mordecai exalted Christ and fought sin with all his might.
It was at Mount Gilead, Kentucky he encountered two incidents he could never forget. First, a strange power came over him. It was much like that which Charles Finney and D.L. Moody had experienced. It was the power of the Holy Spirit, and Ham always preached in that power from then on. The next day after that Ham visited a dying girl named Lulu. As Lulu, who apparently was unsaved, closed her eyes in death he called to her, “Lulu how is it?” A voice came back, not hers “ dark… dark.....”
Ham established a pattern that was to follow him the rest of his days. He went after the biggest sinners in town, and often saw them saved. A typical story is in a Southern town he was directed to a certain cornfield to seek out the most notorious sinner. The infidel saw the feared preacher coming and hid. The evangelist began to hunt his prey and hearing a suspicious sound from under a corn shock, hauled him out. “What do you want with me?” The atheist quivered. Ham retorted, “I’m going to ask God to kill you! You don’t believe God exists. If there is no God, then my prayers can’t hurt you. But if there is a God, you deserve to die because you are making atheists out of your children and grandchildren. The infidel begged him not to pray that way. Ham said, “Very well then, I shall ask God to save you.” He was saved, and before the meeting was over, all of that
infidel’s family was baptized---forty of them.
In November of 1934, in Charlotte, North Carolina, during a fall crusade, Ham was having a trying time. The place was a temporary tabernacle on Pecan Avenue on the outskirts of town. A total of 6,400 were saved at this crusade.  A young man was there and was amazed as he saw more than 5,000 in every meeting, and every seat was filled. People were getting saved all around this young man. It seemed to the young man that the only safe place from the evangelist’s wrath was to join the choir. So that is where he and his friend sat the next night. As the evangelist came up to speak, his first words were, “There is a great sinner in this place tonight.” The young man thought “My mother has been talking to him about me.” That night he turned to his friend and said, “Lets go.” He and his friend were saved that night. His name is Billy Graham and his friend is Grady Wilson.
This all came about from one unknown Sunday School teacher to 15 young people who had a passion and a determination to see them saved. Just think of the men, women and young people who were won to Jesus because of this one unknown man.

Let me ask you, Are you willing to be made willing? Are you willing to allow God to change your heart? Just imagine what your legacy could be. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey,


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