Jump Start # 2808
Hebrews 11:38 “(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.”
Last Saturday I watched a video tribute to a great man of faith. I knew this man personally and was honored that he remembered me. A giant among scholars, known throughout the world as a first class historian, author, editor, but to most of us, simply a preacher of the ancient ways. His words were, “I’m seeking Zion,” which reminded all of us what we are about. His name was David. He had a PhD. But most of us simply called him, “Ed,” from his middle name. He passed away last week.
On his tribute video spoke some of the giants of faith in our times. Great gospel preachers. Each of them would deny that claim and simply like to be known as nothing more than servants of Christ. But each of them have preached to thousands of people worldwide and have kept the flames of pure N.T. Christianity burning brightly in a time and age when so many are crying for change.
As I watched that video, I was so thankful to not only know each of these men, but to be known by them. And, I realize from our verse today, that these men have not slept in caves, holes in the ground or wandered about in deserts, however, in many ways the world is not worthy of the wonderful sacrifice, enormous love, and unending dedication that each of them have to the cause of Jesus Christ. Cooperstown is the sacred home for Baseball’s greats, and in Hollywood, there is the “Walk of fame,” but among brethren, dear to our hearts ought to be the names of men who for decades kept us close to the book and moving in the direction of Heaven. A generation is passing through that doorway of death. Their work here is nearly done. We wonder who will fill these shoes that they have worn for so many years. Who will carry the torch to remind us that we are primitive Christians following that path first walked by those early disciples?
When you count your blessings, among them ought to be that you in your life got to hear noble preaching from men like Sewell Hall, Brent Lewis, Bob Owen, Paul Earnhart, Dee Bowman, and now on the other side, Ed Harrell. What a blessing these men have been. What good they have done for us. As they round third base and head for home, that heavenly home, this generation ought to be thankful to the Lord for them and grateful for their example and love for us.
There are some simple threads running through the hearts of all of these men. Humble, kind and seeking to strengthen the kingdom of Jesus Christ, is what you’ll find in their DNA. They aren’t famous as the world defines that vain word, but they are uniquely dear to the hearts of God’s people.
My life, my work, my heart has greatly been influenced by these men. I love them all. And, I’m saddened that a generation is now upon us who do not realize the good that these men have done. To many, these are a group of old men, which they are. But to Heaven, they are soldiers of Christ who helped a generation stay true to the Lord.
We owe it to them to thank them for their impressive and tireless work in the kingdom of Christ. We owe it to tell their stories to those who do not know them. Stories, not about them, but about how much they loved the Lord, preached His word and would not stop until the Lord called them.
One must wonder what shape the church would be in today had it not been for the powerful preaching and writing that these men did. Pouring their hearts out, night after night, all over the country and all over the world, they have left footprints that lead straight to the Cross of our Lord and on to Heaven. We do not worship these men. We do not hold these men as better than anyone else. They would not stand for any of that. But we can’t help but recognize a lifetime of good that they did.
And for this generation, we have been blessed to have our lives intersect, crisscross and be touched by the good that they have done.
God bless each of you. Heroes in my book.