Published November 3, 2015
"Keep On Keeping On"
This is for singers and songwriters. Preachers, too. And if you're not one of those, you're welcome to eavesdrop.
One of the most fulfilling things about what I do is hearing regularly from listeners and readers who tell me how something on the broadcast or here in the newsletter has touched or ministered to them in a special way. It's always encouraging.
But the greatest blessing surely is hearing from someone who heard something on the broadcast that helped prompt them to accept the Lord.
During a routine interview recently with the Old Paths, I was surprised and blessed by something that group member Chuck Pettyjohn said. Talking about a current song of theirs, he mentioned that this particular current song really touched him, personally. But when I mentioned that it's great for a singer to sing a song that even ministers to the singer himself in a special way, Chuck told me this:
"I was brought under conviction and saved by a song, actually listening to your program, February 13th, 1994. You played Phil Cross & Poet Voices' Jesus Built A Bridge.'"
Jesus built a bridge to heaven,
So that I could have a way up to Him.
Jesus built a bridge the only way He could.
With only three nails and three pieces of wood,
With one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge.*
Chuck told me that, after hearing that song, "I walked into church and I knew that I was lost. I was able to get my dad to lead me to the Lord." That's why, Chuck said, he continues to sing: "I want to make sure that I can carry on that message."
For any Christian, finding out that something you've done has had some part in a soul being saved is one of the best things that can happen in this life, after one's own conversion. So I was thrilled to hear this testimony.
But then it occurred to me that the incident Chuck recounted happened more than twenty years ago! And from then until now, I had no clue this had happened.
It struck me once again how, if we faithfully deliver the Gospel message if we faithfully plant those "Gospel seeds" in whatever context God has given us we must absolutely trust God to provide the increase. God says His word "shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please..." (Isaiah 55:11). And what He pleases is that all the world should be saved (John 3:17). Some plant those "Gospel seeds," others water, but it is, indeed, "God who gives the increase" (1 Cor. 3:7).
Rodney Griffin's song "Faces" comes to mind as illustrating that faithful servants of the Lord singers, songwriters, pastors will undoubtedly be astounded when, in heaven, they find out how many souls came to the Lord through their efforts and the hearts they opened up for the Holy Spirit to convict sinners of sin. Until then, they may have no idea what impact they've had.
In this particular case, it took more than twenty years for me to hear about the impact of one particular song that I played on one particular program way back in 1994. Happily, I do receive other such testimonies from time to time. But I have no doubt that they are just the tip of the iceberg. Someday, Lord willing, I'll find out. But it should be and certainly is an encouragement for us to "keep on keeping on," sharing the Gospel, every day in every possible way.
- Singers keep singing songs about the Lord and His love and grace, giving God the all the glory.
- Songwriters keep writing songs that open hearts to the pleadings of the Holy Spirit and encourage Christians with the truth.
- Preachers keep earnestly and powerfully preaching the unchanging, ever-true Word of God.
Do it faithfully even when it seems there is no immediate response. Just do your part as well as you can, as you allow the Spirit to enable and empower. Then place it in God's hands and trust Him to use it.
*Chorus of "Jesus Built A Bridge," written by Phil Cross, Bridge Building Music/Chris White Music, BMI. Lyrics excerpt used by permission.
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