UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

November 2006 Monthly Letter

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth."3 John 4

It was last Sunday morning, October 29th, 2006, the day of the seasonal time change. But the Holy Spirit had some other "time changes" in mind.

I was preaching on GRACE as God's Righteousness At Christ's Expense. The minister of music had carefully punctuated the worship with grace-laced songs. One I had never heard referred to surrendering to God's grace.

After expounding on Romans 3:21-26, and in particular the phrase "We are justified by His Grace as a gift" a few "grace" stories were told, and "an opportunity for people to respond to Christ's call" was given. With everyone's head bowed and eyes closed, I led the congre-gation in a prayer to receive by faith Jesus, the gift of God's Grace.

As an outward sign of those who silently prayed with me, I asked each to raise both their hands as one does when surrendering. When they had done so, I requested the congregation to keep their heads bowed and eyes closed but each whose hands were raised to now raise their heads, open their eyes, and to do so until I had individually acknowledged them. Over 40 persons responded!

After a closing prayer of thanksgiving, the congregation enthusiastically sang, My Hope is Built on Nothing Less Than Jesus' Blood and Righteousness. The benediction was said and the pastor and I walked down the aisle to the back of the sanctuary. An elderly gentleman quickly approached me with his reddened face absolutely glowing!

He placed both hands on my shoulders and said, "This is the most wonderful day in my all my life in this church. A moment ago during the prayer, my 64 year-old son, was one of those who raised his hands! He surrendered his life to Jesus. I can't tell you how many years I have prayed for this day to happen!"

In response I said, "Sir, may I ask how old you are?" He replied, "Ninety." I said, "God has graciously blessed you today. He has answered your long-time prayers AND allowed your eyes to see the wonders of the working of the Holy Spirit!" "Yes!" He said, "He has!"

"There is one more question I have to ask you", I continued. "How did you see your son raise his hands when everyone's eyes were supposed to be closed?" A big grin swept across his face as he replied, "I confess, I peeked!" We both let out a hardy laugh, hugged, and rejoiced in the Lord together!

Since the pastor was with me, he overheard our conversation. He, too, joined us in the celebration of this good news. Later in his office, he told me that many in the church were praying for this 64 year-old man. This was indeed a "major breakthrough." After the father had been in touch with his son, the pastor was going to immediately contact this man to help him grow in his newly found faith in Jesus Christ.

This occurred at the end of a full weekend for me. I was weary. But the Lord used these few sentences from this joyful father to revive me! Thank you for your part in helping a father's elongated time of prayer to be answered! There is joy in Heaven and in a praying father's heart in Indiana!

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