God is Great! I had the blessing of growing up in a Christian home. My brother and I were raised where we knew that on Sunday morning, we would be attending Sunday School and church with our parents. There were countless activities we attended at church as our parents made it priority that we had a relationship with God. Prayer before meals and daily devotions were a routine for us. As I grew up, I remember my father teaching us that we should sift any preaching or teaching we heard thru the Bible. God’s Word will always stand. (Isaiah 55:11) And God keeps His promises. (2 Corinthians 1:20) I have never learned to doubt God. Rather, over time, I have asked God to give me a Word when I need it.
I was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in May 1982. Our class was one of the few classes that at the time we did not have a pastor. Normally, the pastor would pick a verse for each of the confirmands. This was the verse I was given:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 29:18-20 (NKJV)
For many years, I really wondered who picked that verse for me. Little did I know then that God picked it, and He knew what would be on my heart years later. I seriously considered going into Christian Education for a career. My mother was the one who encouraged me to go into accounting. God graced that endeavor. Thank you, Jesus! I have had the privilege to work in both private and public accounting. God opened the doors for me to work in marketing, manufacturing, banking, and healthcare organizations. God always worked within the schedules where I could attend Bible class and Worship on Sunday as well as use my accounting skills to help the church. Plus, along the way, God had Christians in each of the workplace settings. During my life, I have had the privilege to serve the Lord in youth ministry, stewardship (financial tasks), evangelism (sharing Jesus with others), teaching, and Strategic Ministry teams.
I started to attend St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in 2011. Our pastor has always held to preaching and teaching the Word, despite what is going on in the community, state, or country. Our pastor also uses technology, so members can get a Word or prayer any time of the day. St. John’s is a diverse congregation. Anyone is welcome, any time, any day. I value all these aspects.
For years, I have spent time studying the Word. There are Christian programs on cable, and I routinely tune in to pastors and teachers that I know are solid Christians who stand on the Word. The study that has made a big impact on me was the study of Revelation. Our pastor recommended John MacArthur’s books on Revelation. It is absolutely wonderful! It is a verse by verse study with countless scripture references. I would recommend this study to anyone. I had also grabbed by father’s Barkley study guides on Revelation. When I finished reviewing both study guides, there was a deep conviction in my heart that people need to be Christians. No one would want to be on this earth when the Tribulation occurs that is described on Revelation. This will literally be a hell on earth. And, in the meantime God has angels and the equivalent of 144,000 Billy Grahams on earth still working to save those who are left. Did you think about God as a rewarder? Here is a nugget out of Revelation that I love and enjoy:
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12 (NKJV)
I had the privilege of serving the Lord with Kelvin Hughley, a member of St. John’s. Kelvin had agreed to teach on Evangelism, and he had been diligently studying Paul’s letters in the New Testament. Kelvin was impressed how God used Paul to start churches and encourage members in their everyday walk with the Lord. During that time, I had written the ABC’s of Walking the Talk. This is the back half of the Walking the Talk book. I recall how God would simply give me illustrations and scriptures. The Holy Spirit would remind me of part of a scripture or an actual verse. There were two parts that I knew simply had to be included. Under A was the Authority of the Believer. Under B was for Battles. I knew the two parts had to be included, but I really did not know what scriptures to include. God is Great! Thru His work, there are nearly 25 references on just these two topics. I would spend time during evenings or weekends with a concordance and my Bible putting it all together. As time passed, Kelvin asked me to teach Evangelism class with him. I agreed and enjoyed each of our classes.
I believe that God can speak in any manner He wishes too. First will always come thru His Word, the Bible. When people give their lives to the Lord, the Holy Spirit takes residence in them. I have simply loved what God did during Evangelism classes. Kelvin and I would be studying what the Lord laid on our hearts during the week. We often did not discuss the upcoming weekly class. During class time, what we both studied complimented each other. Then, when we went to Worship service, God echoed it somewhere during the service. It did not matter who was preaching, or if we had visitors. Kelvin and I had this every Sunday we did class. We do not say God if Good. We say God is Great!
I must share this. I think my favorite class was when we had a Sunday School class join us the Sunday before Christmas. We did not know we would have them. We were able to take the Christmas story and tie it to sharing Jesus in the world. Within a 45-minute timeframe, we took youth from 3rd – 8th grade from the Christmas story to the Crucifixion and Resurrection at Easter to Heaven in Revelation. We had a group of kids asking if Heaven could run out of room or what happened if kids die. Got the questions answered, and each of them participated in a prayer at the end. Thank you, Jesus, for doors opened and an opportunity to share. Kelvin and I loved seeing what the Lord did in our partnership. (As a special download for you, I have included a church Christmas program based on what we did with this class.)
I have developed a passion for people giving their lives to Jesus and growing with the Lord. Walking the Talk, A Lifestyle of Sharing Jesus, was written to help all believers share Jesus in their everyday life. Souls are won, one at a time. Each believer has the opportunity each day. This book is a tool to help any believer in this mission.
God does not just want everyone saved. He wants an intimate relationship with each person. Becoming a Christian does not make life perfect. This is a broken world. We all have issues with relationships, health, finances, etc. My life is no different. I wanted to give any Christian a tool to help their growth with the Lord. Heaven Bound, Walking with the Lord, became that book. This book takes a believer from being saved to being in Heaven with the Lord. The back of the book includes some special scriptures and a journaling area to use. I had the pleasure of working with Christian Faith Publishing on both books. All you need is a Bible to go with either of them.
I love the Lord! It is by God’s grace, mercy, and love that I am where I am today. God has grown me. He is continuing to work in me, and my prayer is He continues to work thru me. I love my Bible, and I make it a priority to get good study time in each day. My favorite Christian radio station is KJIL. Nothing like some great praise music that gives glory to the Lord. (You are welcome to get it online too.) Prayer just goes on thru the day. I have learned prayer does not have to be the perfect words as God knows our hearts. He wants the conversation to be honest. What is going on, what do we need, what do we want. Then, take time to listen for His voice and direction.
There is a day in the future where I look forward to seeing Jesus face to face. I want to run and hug Jesus. Would love to have a hug from Him and to hear “Well done, though good and faithful servant”! (Matthew 25:23) My prayer is there are many joining me.
God LOVES us! And, yes, GOD IS GREAT!
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
Numbers 6:24 (NASB)
The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.
Numbers 6:26 (NASB)
The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;