Friday, December 30, 2016

Do Great Things in 2017

By Ada Brownell

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Recently in our Sunday school class, a missionary told how he grew up in a dysfunctional family three doors away from a church. His alcoholic father found another woman and left his family. His mom and his stepfather didn’t live righteous lives, either, but one day his mother visited the church and took her children. She accepted Jesus as Savior and the young lad did, too.

They were empty-pockets poor. The boy didn’t receive great grades in school, but suddenly he had a desire to study. He decided to go to Bible college, and there God called him to be a missionary, and he obeyed. Eventually, Jerry was able to take the Gospel to a village where the people had never heard the story of Jesus. There now are more than a hundred churches there.

Martin Luther brought the world back to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus when he began to preach salvation is by faith instead of works. Evangelists such as Charles Finney, John Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, and William Booth won thousands of people to Christ. Turning from sin changed nations for the better.

Women have even been used mightily by God. William Booth’s wife, Catherine, used to gather women, and they would go down the streets of London and other European cities with a band and bass drum, calling people to Jesus Christ. Catherine would climb on a soapbox and preach. Soon men joined them, and they literally became an “army” drawing people from prostitution, crime, drunkenness, and other sin. Catherine pointed them to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who gives deliverance, joy, and peace.

In one small town a man told another that if the women went on much longer all the publics (saloons) would have to close.  “I went to almost every bar in town the other night and found only four men in them all,” he said.[1]

The Booths and their Salvation Army continued preaching and helping the poor. The Salvation Army still reaches out to the spiritually and physically needy more than a century after the Booths’ deaths. Catherine Booth’s life touched so many, an estimated fifty thousand people attended her funeral![2]

David stood up to negative peer pressure when he fought Goliath, who kept threatening the Israelites and gloating over their cowardice. Daniel stood up in faith when he was ordered not to pray, but kept praying. The lions he had to sleep with didn’t even show their teeth. Three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were the only ones who would not bow down and worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. They were thrown into a fiery furnace, but God delivered them without even the smell of smoke on their clothes. Their act of boldness brought recognition of the one true God to Babylon, which was about fifty-five miles from where modern Baghdad is today.

If we call upon the Lord in faith and correct motives, God will still do mighty things today.

PRAYER: Lord, increase my faith so that I can reach at least one person with the gospel so he will have your gift of eternal life.

[1] Roger J. Green, Catherine Booth (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 191.
[2] Ibid. 291.