In Joseph M. Stowell's good book, 'Simply Jesus' he wrote:
"I was seated next to Billy Graham who was 80 yrs. of age at that time.
I asked him 'Of all the experiences in your ministry, what have you enjoyed the most?
Was it your time spent with Presidents and Heads of State?"
He replied, "None of that; by far the greatest joy of my life has been the fellowship with Jesus, hearing Him speak to me, having Him guide me, sensing His presence with me and His power for me. This has been the highest pleasure of my life."
Stowell wrote further: "A helping experience with Jesus is about getting far enough beyond self that we can see Him more dearly and desire Him more completely."
I thought of the old chorus, 'If Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere."
This we have personally experienced and have found Him satisfying and fulfilling...
wherever and whatever!
By Scripture, faith experiences, and commitment, GO WITH JESUS:
1) Go with Jesus (of Whom it was said when He was 12 yrs. of age):
"Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man."
(Not a bad motto for us!)
2) Go with Jesus through the Sermon on the Mount...
You'll find that He blesses our faithfulness as we accept and live the Blessed Attitudes...
and become Salt and Light. He closes the Sermon by challenging us to build our lives....
upon The Rock.
3) Go with Jesus to Jerusalem to do God's Will.
He found, as we must, that the Will of God is the greatest discovery in the world...
and doing it, is the greatest achievement.
He did as Corrie ten Boon wrote in her book entitled 'Don't Wrestle-Nestle'.
Jesus set His face like flint toward Jerusalem and in Gethsemane...
He said, "Not my will, but thine be done."
It helps us when we say this....if we then back it up with the life He helps us to live.
4) Go with Jesus to The Cross.
He went all the way for us, now we have the privilege (and calling) of going all the way...
with (and for) Him.
This conviction was written by Amy Carmicheal concerning....
'Keeping our eyes on the Cross':
"Lord, turn our gaze upon Thy Cross, counting all else not gain, but loss.
For this we pray, this is our plea. Lord keep our eyes on Calvary."
5) Go with Jesus to the empty tomb and find Victory.
When they laid Him in the tomb, God was not through with Him yet.
Whatever happens to you, even death, God is not through with you yet.
I like the old hymn:
'All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread.
Gives me grace for every trial...
Feeds me with the Living Bread'.
We often quote from our daily devotional book, 'Streams in the Desert' by Mrs. Cowman.
Mrs. Charles Cowman and her beloved husband served for many years as missionaries in the Orient.
She wrote: "One evening while doing Evangelistic work in the mountains of Japan like a bolt out of the blue, came the stroke that completely changed everything in our lives.
The Dr. said, 'Your husband's work is finished. Take him to the Homeland immediately,
if you would not bury him in foreign soil".
'Worn out' was the term that the Physician used."
While sailing by steamer, we wondered what lay ahead of us?
We could only trust and wait. What a change for this keen, active man!
From the din of the battle to the sickness of the sick chamber.
From the glow and glory of the work he loved so dearly, to the abandonment of it all.
A triumphant faith was needed, just when God gave it.
I found that it was possible to praise God in the darkest hour.
One day when lonely and sad, a sweet voice whispered to me, 'Pass on to other troubled hearts some of the messages that were helpful to you throughout the years of testing'.
The rest is history....in the annuals of Christian publications. 'Streams in the Desert' became a devotional classic. There have been 30 editions and it all emerged from an experience of pain and suffering.
How marvelously God's Grace comes to us in our hour of need.
For each of us when we trust Him, He'll turn our pain into gain...
and our fears into pearls."
Our time in Korea was cut short due to medical problems, but God has used us in churches in Oklahoma, California, Texas and Hawaii. Someone has well said...
"God chooses what we go through, but WE choose 'how' we go through it."
A good example of this is given in Wm. J. Reynolds' book 'Songs of Glory':
One of the songs he chose for his book is 'It is Well With My Soul'.
This song was also chosen as a favorite at the Seminary I attended.
It was written by Horacio Spafford ( a wealthy businessman) who suffered 2 major traumas in his life.
The 1st was the Chicago Fire in Oct. 1871 which ruined him financially.
Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, all four of Spafford's daughters died in a collision with another ship.
Spafford's wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, 'Saved alone'.
Spafford himself had been delayed by business and planned to join his family later in England. When he finally reached England, it was under much different circumstances.
In the middle of the Atlantic, the ship's captain said to Spafford,
"To the best of my calculation, this is where the tragedy occurred".
Spafford contemplated the loss of his daughters, then went to his cabin and wrote the poem that became this great hymn, 'It is Well With My Soul':
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
The tune/music was written by Philip P. Bliss who ironically died in a tragic train wreck shortly after writing the music to this great old song.
The words of this song speak to the Eternal Hope that all believers have....
no matter what pain and grief befall them on earth.
So my friends, GO WITH JESUS.....and it will be WELL WITH YOUR SOUL.