11 May Edward Who? – Jay Rivenbark
Recently I had the opportunity to visit the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C. and came away with numerous things that have resonated over and over in my mind. Perhaps the most profound was the fact that Billy Graham came to know Jesus Christ through the preaching of Mordecai Ham, who was inspired by the preaching of Billy Sunday, who was inspired to preach by Wilbur Chapman, who was inspired by D.L. Moody who was lead to Christ by his volunteer Sunday school teacher, Ed Kimball. The hundreds of millions who have been reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ through the preaching of these famous men would have never taken place had it not been for the faithful service of a Sunday school teacher whose name practically no one knows today. He could have never imagined the chain of events that God would set in motion to eventually raise up perhaps the most effective evangelist to have ever preached in the history of the world. Ed Kimball served where he was called and gave his best to reach those under his influence. The results of his faithful commitment can only be measured by God. Often we may feel unappreciated or that our efforts to serve God and share His love with others is having little or no effect. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Matthew chapter 13 Jesus taught about the sower who planted seed. Some fell by the road and were eaten by birds, some fell in rocky places, some among thorns and were choked out, and some fell on good soil and yielded a crop. Some produce 100 fold, some 60, and some 30. The point being we sow the seeds of the gospel, some will take root and grow, some will not. Our responsibility is to sow.
The next time you are tempted to give up, remember Edward Kimball, whose persistence and faithfulness has been honored by the Lord. Mr. Kimball’s single seed, success in reaching D.L. Moody, eventually has multiplied into millions being harvested into the kingdom of God. As Galatians 6:9 reminds us, “Don’t grow weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not”! Keep Sowing!