The 76-year chain reaction started one Sunday morning in 1858. A Sunday school teacher, Mr. Kimball, led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ. The shoe clerk was Dwight L. Moody.
Moody became an evangelist whose powerful preaching awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Frederick Meyer, pastor of a small church in England.
While traveling and preaching on an American college campus, Meyer brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman. Chapman, who worked with the YMCA, employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work.
In 1924, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Billy Sunday held a revival, out of which grew the Christian Men’s Club. Ten years later, the Christian Men’s Club invited Mordecai Ham to town to preach a revival series. During that revival, 16-year-old William Graham heard the gospel and yielded his life to Christ. William Graham … better known as Billy Graham.
Could Mr. Kimball know the chain reaction he started by his conversation with a Boston shoe clerk?
Can any of us anticipate the chain of linked events we set in motion down the road when we connect and embody the gospel’s good news? When we love the unlovable, touch the untouchable, or extend a helping hand to the helpless. When we just share our story.
Can we ever know how our small gesture to connect and embody the gospel’s good news sets off a ripple through history that builds into a tidal wave of faithful followers? I doubt we ever fully understand how far or deep our witness reaches into the future when we let God work through us to make known the extraordinary power of His love and grace.
What chain reaction are you setting in motion today with your children and grandchildren? Your neighbor or the grocery store clerk? Your hair dresser or the waiter at your favorite restaurant?
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-15, NIV)
©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.