“When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NLT)
To me the most vital characteristic a Jesus follower must have in order to influence others for Him, is compassion. We fret and make excuse for not reaching out to our neighbors, friends, and even our family, because we put so much emphasis on ourselves. “What should I say?” “What if they get upset with me?” and on and on we go.
We’re asking the wrong questions. What if we asked things like: “Could that little rascal that let’s his dog do its business in my yard be the next Billy Graham?” “Could God be grooming that shaggy haired little girl to be a spokesperson for the homeless?” “Could that crotchety old man down the street be a channel through whom God could fund ministries to help people in my city?”
Our responsibility isn’t to determine if someone “deserves” to be invited to Jesus, but simply to be obedient to Jesus and invite!
“The story of Billy Graham’s conversion is well known. In the fall of 1934, Mordecai Ham, a Kentucky-born Baptist revivalist, came to Charlotte and preached a powerful sermon. The revival stretched over weeks, and for the first week or so, the Grahams didn’t attend. Billy was persuaded to check out Ham by Albert McKain, one of his father’s most trusted employees. There, in response to Ham’s powerful teachings about sin, Billy famously made a decision for Christ.”
You very likely haven’t heard of Albert McKain, but God used him to help one person to find Jesus. And because of Albert’s faithfulness it’s estimated that 2.2 Billion people heard Billy Graham preach the Gospel. Untold millions have yielded their lives to Jesus because of Albert McKain’s willingness to be persistent in inviting a young farmer’s son named Billy, to church.
We berate ourselves because we’re not a “Billy Graham,” leading thousands to Jesus, but the truth is, few and far between are the caliber of men of God like him. Yet, we’re also reluctant to see ourselves as an “Albert McKain.” But, you’ve got to wonder, had there not been an Albert McKain, would there have been a Billy Graham?
My college roommate was a Golden Gloves champ. He was only about 5’7” but he was fast as lightening. We had many conversations about the Lord, but he was resistant. It wasn’t unusual for him to come in all hours of the night, but one morning about 2 a.m. I was awakened by a knock on the door. I didn’t think it was Dale because he had a key.
But when I opened the door, he literally fell into my arms. It was evident he’d been drinking, and based on how he looked, he’d been fighting. But he said: “I’ve got to change. Please pray for me.” We knelt and I prayed, and he gave his heart and life to Jesus. I’m not going to lie; I had my doubts anything would come of it. Given his condition, and based on our previous conversations, I wasn’t optimistic.
It was near graduation, and though I tried to stay in touch, I lost track of him. Years later I met someone who knew him and his family, so naturally I asked about him. It so happened that our miracle working God turned this drunken, fighting, “wild man” into a preacher who served for many years to the praise and honor of our wonderful Savior.
Rather than beat ourselves up because we’re not a “Billy Graham,” let’s rejoice because we can be an “Albert McKain.” We just have to get over ourselves, submit to the Lord’s directives, obediently reach out to the people He puts in front of us, and leave the results to Him.
Think of all the people who will line the balconies of heaven in your honor because you chose to share with one person, who shared with another person, who shared with another person, and on and on it goes.
Whose heart might God be preparing to receive an invitation from you? The next Billy Graham? Or, perhaps, the next Albert McCain? Both are vitally important in accomplishing God’s Kingdom business.
Blessings, Ed 😊
One thought on “The Exponential Effects of Your Witness”
“Our responsibility isn’t to determine if someone “deserves” to be invited to Jesus, but simply to be obedient to Jesus and invite!”
That’s a powerful statement, especially as I reflect on the truth that there were people in my life that were obedient to share JESUS with me. What if “they” didn’t take the time or move in obedience to God’s call on their life to share with me, about His redemptive gift to me?
And, thank you for the story of encouragement, Ed, of how God can use any of us that puts a “YES” on the table to be used for His Kingdom and purpose – a most humbling blessing!