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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: Guarantee Only For Today
By Beckie Stewart
03/12/08


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What did he do? What had been the cost of his choice that night? The Evangelist D.L. Moody sent his congregation home on the evening of October 8, 1871 with the challenge to consider following Jesus as their Savior and return the next Sunday with their decision. Even as fire whistles sounded at the conclusion of Moody’s sermon, the sirens caused little concern to most that evening due to the recent outbreak of fires.

While traveling home, Moody could not miss the illumination of the dark night sky.
The fire burned through the night and into the following two days. It would leave the city of Chicago in ashes taking the lives of three hundred and leaving one hundred thousand without a home. Moody’s congregation did not gather again the following Sunday, since the fires destroyed their church building and claimed the lives of some of those listeners.

Moody grieved as he recalled his delayed call to commitment to salvation. History records on this evangelist tell us that the Great Chicago Fire was a pivotal event in the life of this godly man. He re-evaluated his ministry and the Lord’s call on his life. From this experience, Moody vowed never to send people home for the night until he had called them to make a decision regarding their personal relationship with Jesus first.

In the tragic loss of three hundred people, Moody saw firsthand the truths taught in God’s Word. “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away,” (James 4:14, NASB.) In a moment our life may be over. We have no guarantees for tomorrow. We only hold today loosely in our hands. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.” (NASB) A delay in our decision to accept Christ as our Savior could cost us our eternity in heaven.

Moody Bible Institute was started because this man desired a place to train students in the Word of God in order to impact the places the Lord took them to serve him. As a student there in the eighties, I attended the required evangelism class. We were reminded of the Chicago fire and the importance of asking a person to make a decision at that moment. Years later while presenting the need for a Savior to a teenager in my neighborhood, I relearned this lesson from my seven year old son. As he listened to me share the scriptures, my son displayed wisdom beyond his years when he asked this teenager if she was ready to ask Jesus to be her Savior now. She did not make the decision for another year, but I realized it was still important to ask her that day.

*http://www.moodyministries.net and http://www.believersweb.org


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This article has been read 568 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 03/13/08
This is a very good devotional! You have an Historical fact/Bible verses to go with it/personal story... Great job!
Laury
Sally Hanan03/13/08
Thank-you for the history lesson. Many times, people are ready to commit and we assume they are not.
Peter Stone03/15/08
Your story brings out a good message, that we do not know what is coming tomorrow, so why put off an important decision such as giving our lives to Christ, when we may not get another opportunity.
Jan Ackerson 03/16/08
Very interesting! I didn't know this story at all, and I love the personal note you added at the end.
Shelley Ledfors 03/16/08
This is a perfect illustration of the topic, and tells us some very interesting history.
Marlene Austin03/16/08
Great example to build this topic on. Good job. :)
Arlene Showalter 03/16/08
excellent devotional material
Mandy White03/16/08
I learned something about D.L. Moody that I didn't know. Right on topic. Good job!
Marita Thelander 03/17/08
Good piece of history. Would have liked to see this expanded.
Loren T. Lowery03/17/08
Well written devotional and such an important message. Moody's heart most certainly was grieved, but the insight he gained has saved countless souls. It is amazing how God can transform tragedy into triumph, if we are but willing to listen.
Jeffrey Snell03/18/08
Interesting glance into Moody's life and walk. Thank you.
Debbie Wistrom03/18/08
Thanks for the history lesson. Nice take on the topic. Keep writing.
Joshua Janoski03/18/08
Your personal experience with the Moody Bible Institute really added to this story.

I like how you intertwined the history with your own personal experience and added some relevant scripture.

This is a great devotional piece. I hope you expand on this one.
Celeste Ammirata03/23/08
This submission certainly makes me think. Thank you for sharing your personal history, as well as the history lesson. Congratulations on placing ninth. Keep writing :-)