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  • Pastor Ralph

A Thankful Handshake

When Dr. Broadus was a boy, in a little town, he was converted to Christ. He had been attending some meetings, and he went to one of his playmates, Sandy Jones, a red-haired, awkward chap, the next day, and said to him: “I wish you would be a Christian. Won’t you?”

Sandy said, “Well, I don’t know, perhaps I will.” And sure enough, after a little while, one night in the little church, Sandy Jones accepted God. Straightway, he stalked across that little meeting house, held out his hand and said, “I thank you, John, I thank you, John.”

Dr. Broadus went out from that little town and became a great scholar, a great exegete, a great theological president. Every summer, when he went home to that little town, and he hardly missed a season, I am told, this awkward, red-haired old farmer, in his plain clothes, with red sand on his boots, would come up, stick out his great bony hand and say: “Howdy, John. Thank you, John, thank you, John. I never forget, John.”

When Dr. Broadus died, his family around him, he said: “I rather think the sound sweetest to my ears in Heaven, next to the welcome of Him Whom having not seen I have loved and tried to serve, will be the welcome of Sandy Jones, as he will thrust out his great hand and say: “Howdy, John. Thank you, John.”

As we close this week, may we reflect and give thanks for those people in our lives who pointed us to Christ and who continue to encourage us in our spiritual walk. I don’t know about you, but for me, I was encouraged by many different folks: my Mom and Dad, my Sunday school teachers, my wife and her family and my church family over the years. By sharing the message of Christ and His love, we are sharing the most precious gift available. As Paul says, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:11 NIV)

Out of God’s love he gave. His giving is not based on merit or worthiness. It is based on grace. “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10 (NLT) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16a NIV)

Someday, we will have the opportunity to thank those people that touched our lives and learn of many others who were part of the process. We will receive each other in joy and, together, praise our Saviour (and be able to shake hands LOL). “What a glorious day that will be!” Until then, thank those that we have around us who have touched us with God’s love. Remember, we can all share the “most precious gift” with others as we live honestly and openly for Jesus.

God bless you. May Christ’s love empower you this day and be encouraged!

- Pastor Ralph

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