Who's In Your Family Tree?
This week in our daily readings we've had the great honor to read all the genealogies in the first chapters of 1 Chronicles. These list were important to Israel because the Abrahamic covenant's fulfillment depending on the decedents of Abraham leading to Jesus. Their families trees also proved who was truly a member of God's people if they could be traced back to Abraham.
You may have studied your family tree to discover the origins of your family. Mine has primarily English roots. More important is your spiritual family tree. I don't have a lot of information on mine, but I know that Ruffin Snow led me to the Lord. I've often wondered what that tree would like tracing back to Jesus and see just who led who to the Lord down to me. It would make a great story.
You may never know who your spiritual decedents will be, but don't stop sharing the gospel because that has eternal implications. For example, a man named Edward Kimball was faithful, and in 1856 led Dwight L. Moody came to faith in Christ. In 1879 while he was preaching in England, an evangelistic fervor was awakened in the heart of Frederick B. Meyer, the pastor of a small church.
Years later while Meyer was preaching on an American college campus, a student named J. Wilbur Chapman professed faith in Christ. Chapman went on to hold evangelistic meetings across America. He later hired a new convert (and former major league baseball player), Billy Sunday, to work as an advance man in his ministry. In a few years Chapman went into the pastorate, and Sunday began to lead his own evangelistic crusades.
In 1924 Billy Sunday held a crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina. After the meetings about thirty men formed the Charlotte Men’s Club, which met on a regular basis for prayer. Ten years later the club met for a day of prayer and fasting in a grove of trees at Frank Graham’s dairy farm. The main focus of the day was to prepare for an upcoming crusade to be held in Charlotte. One of the men, Vernon Patterson, prayed that “out of Charlotte the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.” Patterson had no idea that the answer to his prayer was a few hundred yards away, pitching hay into feeding troughs. During the crusade led by Mordecai Ham, Frank Graham’s son Billy committed his life to Christ. (James P. Eckman, Exploring Church History (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2002), 92.)
As always, Onward and Upward!