These Moments Made a Difference

I was thinking this morning about some of the most memorable and important moments I’ve had in my life.  Yet, at the time, they didn’t seem all that memorable or important.  God used these moments in some way to move me toward Jesus.  To be honest, I am not exactly sure why some of these moments were so impressionable to me.  I just know these moments made a difference.

 

"Don" was a big, burly ex-Marine.  He was a former aircraft mechanic who now worked at our school.  He taught our Sunday morning Bible class. That class seemed to be a mix of people.  Some were in high school and some were in college.  One day, he stood before our class and said that many people had reduced Christianity to certain things you don’t do — "no drinkin’, no cussin’, no chasin’ women."  That was it as far as some people were concerned.  He then said that what many people had missed was Jesus himself.  He talked to us about how Jesus might treat someone who was a 60s radical (this was the late 60s).  He described such a person in great detail — long hair, protesting, etc.  He went to Scripture and talked to us about what Jesus might do with such a person.

 

That was a moment that made a difference.

 

"Silas" was the preacher for the church I attended in Denton, Texas.   I was a student at the University of North Texas.  I didn’t know him then.  Still don’t know him today.  However, I do remember him coming to a retreat our campus ministry hosted one year.   What I remember is that we were staying at a retreat center where all the guys slept in one room on bunk beds.  On a Saturday morning, all of the guys were in this room and Silas came in to speak.  Here we were, scattered all over the room, sitting on various bunk beds.  Silas spoke of going to a seminar somewhere and someone asked him about his relationship with Jesus.  As I recall, he said that was one of the first times he had grappled with that.  "A relationship with Jesus."  He then began to talk with this little of group of guys about Jesus and what it meant to walk with him.

 

That was a moment that made a difference.

 

"Lynn" preached in Abilene, Texas.  I was a student at the University of North Texas.  I was dating a girl who went to Abilene Christian University.  One Sunday morning I went to church with her in Abilene.  What I remember is that this man asked everyone to open their Bibles to the Sermon on the Mount.  He began talking about the words of Jesus in one section of this text (Matthew 5-7).  He was passionate about Jesus.  I remember that.  What I also remember is that he spoke in everyday, conversational English.  I remember paying attention to this particular text in my Bible while he spoke, I could not recall doing that before.  He then ended the message.  I recall feeling disappointed that I did not live there and could not return the next week to hear more.

 

That was a moment that made a difference.

 

"James" owned a Western Auto store.  He taught the Sunday morning Bible class for singles at a Dallas church.  Most of us were in college or single and working.  It was a small class.  One Sunday morning, I visited this church and even went to Bible class.  I had not been to a Sunday morning Bible class in a number of years.  I remember that he had large, black-framed glasses and wore cowboy boots.  Most of all, I remember that he was passionate about Jesus.  He was not intense in a way that made me feel uncomfortable.  Rather, he was intense about Jesus and his relationship with Jesus.  He did not come to Christ until he was an adult and wanted others to know the joy he had experienced.  He paid attention to me and showed that he genuinely cared about me.


That was a moment that made a difference.

 

Each of these moments is important to me.  In some way, God was at work in these moments to move me toward Jesus.  What are some of the moments in your life that made a difference to you? 

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  • http://www.liambyrnes.com Liam

    I remember standing on the shores of the straits of Gibraltar a few years ago, looking over at the continent of Africa just at sunset/dusk before the first time I had ever been there, and I shared something intimate with God in looking over at the vastness of what I saw before me. I still find it hard to describe quite what was communicated to me about the heart of God at that time, but I had an over awing sense of the adventure of life God had set before me, and the hope he was calling me to. I have had many other moments which where more "people/relational" but this is a moment I often return to when I feel like I loose vision, and begin looking at my feet.

  • Jim Martin

    Liam,Thanks for your comment.  I could just picture the setting as you were describing it.   I have had several moments like that one as well.  Those are are certainly special, not to be forgotten moments.  Thanks– Jim Martin 

  • http://www.liambyrnes.com Liam

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for the comment on my blog, my move to wordpress, although previously considered will be done through thebloggers who I found through this blog, so I have you to thank for that. I noticed that they have a referral thing, I didnt look into it but I guess they give you some money, so Ill make sure I mention you referred me.
    Also I love this template, especially the comments section has some great ajax, though I wont use it because its doesn’t seem edittable enough for me. Where did you go looking for template though as I am struggling to find one I really like.
    But anyway, keep blogging Jim, I enjoy and am refreshed by your reflections.
    Thanks
    Liam

  • Greg England

    Were I to name those people in my life, I would mention a preacher at the old college (now Creekside) church in Florence. You probably know him.

  • Jim Martin

    Greg–I’m really humbled by what you said.  You have blessed my life many times through your encouraging comments on this blog.