My granddaddy was a bi-vocational pastor. He pastored small churches around Stanley and Union County while also running a little shop behind his house. He would fix tires, golf carts, and tractors. I spent many of my teen and early adult years working in the office of the shop. The smells, sounds, and images are still vibrant in my mind and heart. My granddaddy worked in two worlds, the church and the shop, but to him they were not mutually exclusive. I could never quantify the number of conversations I heard where he was sharing the gospel with someone or a member of the community would walk in for advice or counsel. Regardless of whether the person was a stranger or a neighbor, one specific question my granddaddy always asked was, “Are you right with God?”. This was not a matter of church attendance, baptism record, or sword drill stars, it was simply are you in a right relationship with the Lord.
My granddaddy, like the prophet Joel, understood the truth of eternity and that tomorrow is never promised. Joel, the minor prophet, had a theme in his message to humanity – the day of the Lord! Joel knew the truth that there was a day the Lord would come to this earth as the sacrificing servant and return again as the conquering king.
“Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near”
Joel 1:14b-15a, (ESV).
As much as I remember so much about the life I saw my granddaddy live for the Kingdom of God, there is one thing I don’t remember. I don’t remember how each person who was asked that question responded. I am sure many responded affirmingly of their love for the Lord and joy in relationship with Him. Likewise, I would suppose others responded with reluctance or even refusal.
Today I want to remember the commission to encourage everyone I meet to experience a right relationship with the Lord should never be thwarted by their response. Why? Because there are many who need Jesus and the day of the Lord is near!
“Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” Joel 3:14.
By Mika Edwards
Used by Permission
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