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Spiritual Dominoes

posted Apr 29, 2013, 4:22 PM by John Noel

Have you ever heard of Edward Kimball?  Not many have.  Do you know that Billy Graham would not have been saved and would not have preached for all those years, influencing millions across the world in stadiums, on television, and through books without Edward Kimball.  And they never met.


1854 was the turning point in the life of a 17 year old boy working in a shoe store in Boston.  That 17 year old knew Edward Kimball.  Kimball was his Sunday School teacher.  One day, Kimball felt urged to talk to the boy, so he went to the shoe store.  He said something like, “Hey, I’m worried about you. I want to talk.” So, they went into the basement to do just that.  In his biography, D.L. Moody traced his conversion to that conversation. 


Moody went on to become one of the world’s most influential evangelists.  He preached to over 100 million people in AmericaEnglandScotland, and Ireland.  He founded the Moody Bible Institute and MoodyMemorial Church in Chicago.


Moody went on to influence a man named F.B. Meyer, a London pastor and an intellectual who preached religion. Meyer’s congregation told him that they wanted this newly famous evangelist, Moody, to come speak to them. So, Meyer reluctantly agreed to let his congregation bring in Moody.


When Moody showed up, Meyer immediately took a dislike to him.  He didn’t like him because Moody was not dressed very well, and because he was poorly educated and sounded like it.  Meyer had doctorates, and he was brilliant, but was ashamed of the name of Jesus.  But, Moody got up to preach and he focused on Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.


Hundreds were saved there in Meyer’s church under the preaching of Moody.  Meyer was embarrassed and consumed with jealousy and anger.  A couple of weeks later, one of his Sunday School teachers told him, “You know, I used to focus on all kinds of stuff and never focused on Jesus, but Moody taught me to focus on Jesus. So, I’ve been focusing on Jesus over these last two weeks and I want to tell you about this boy who accepted Jesus during my class.”


As he told the story, Meyer began to weep.  The Holy Spirit broke through; he was convicted and supernaturally changed.  For the rest of his life, he preached Jesus to all who would listen.


J. Wilbur Chapman was not converted at one of Moody's meetings.  However, while a student at Lake ForestCollege in the late 1870s, he attended a Moody meeting in Chicago.  After the service he received personal counseling from Moody that helped him to receive certainty of his (Chapman's) salvation.  (that’s the way it used to be before “say this prayer with me”)  Later Chapman became a friend and co-worker of Moody's.


Billy Sunday, a famous baseball player in the 1880’s, grew up in an orphanage.  He was saved at a street corner meeting held by the famous Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.  Sunday later worked for Chapman for a short time as an assistant, organizing his evangelistic meetings. 


Sunday had held an evangelistic campaign in Charlotte in 1924 and a men's prayer and fellowship group, originally known as the Billy Sunday Layman's Evangelistic Club and later renamed as Charlotte Businessmen's Club (CBMC), grew out of those meetings.


This group was later instrumental in inviting Mordecai Ham to Charlotte for his 1934 meetings.  Ham was born on a farm in Kentucky.  He moved to Chicago, where he engaged in business from 1896-1900.  In December 1900, he closed the business to devote full-time to the ministry.   He entered the ministry in 1901 and in 1936 began a radio broadcast reaching into seven southern states.  Ham concentrated on the larger cities of Texas, where he had witnessed the greatest numerical success.  He had great success also in TennesseeNorth Carolina, and Oklahoma.  It was in CharlotteNorth Carolina that Billy Graham was saved in 1934.  


Do you see the domino effect?  Kimball influenced Moody, who influenced Meyer, who influenced Chapman, who influenced Sunday, who influenced Ham, who introduced Graham to Jesus in 1934.  The chain began in 1854. 


Billy Graham was "sowing his oats," as lots of us have done. He had a 16-year-old buddy, and they were just hanging out when they thought, “Hey, let's go into this tent and hear what this whacko has to say.”


So they were just clowning around when they went into that tent.  The story about what happened goes like this.  Once inside, they realized that there was no room for them; they couldn’t find any seats.  So Billy said to his buddy, “Let's get out of here.”  As they turned to leave, an usher standing there saw them and said, “Hey, guys.”  He put his big arms around their shoulders and said, “You know, hey, welcome. We’re so glad you’re here. Let me take you to a seat.”  So, the usher took them to a seat and the rest is history.


And so, an unnamed usher continued the chain.  Billy Graham met the Lord Jesus that night.  That usher could never have known how God was using him that night through his simple yet faithful service.  I do believe we’ll get to meet that man, who was faithful in little, who will be given great recognition at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ.  The jewels in that man’s crown will be something to behold!!!!  Not because he had a part in the great Billy Graham’s conversion, but because he was simply faithful to what the Lord Jesus put him to doing that night.


Not many of us become world renowned evangelists or pastors or teachers.  “24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”  1 Corinthians 12:12-25  Remember Jesus said the first shall be last and the last first.


It may be that you get the honor to stand next to Edward Kimball and that unnamed usher from a meeting inCharlotteNC and toss your crown at the feet of Jesus.


So, serve the Lord Jesus every moment of every day.  You may never know what God is doing through you.  “17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. … 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:17, 23-24


Start your own domino effect for the Lord Jesus!


Hand out a Gospel tract.  Get some and walk up to people wherever you’re going and simply ask them, “Have you gotten one of these yet?”  Rarely have I ever been turned down.  When you pass one of those folks at the exit to Walmart asking for help, pass along a dollar or two wrapped in a Gospel tract.  When you’ve got a doctor’s appointment, stick a Gospel tract under the windshield wipers of a few cars.  If you don’t know where to get good Gospel tracts, write me and I’ll tell you about several places to choose from.


Get some pocket Gospels of John from the Pocket Testament League.  You’ll find them on the internet or write back to me and I’ll put you in touch with them.  Or get in touch with Bearing Precious Seed Ministry.  They print booklets of John and Romans that I do the same thing with as I do with Gospel tracts.  They are marked with verses underlined to be read in order.  Take to carrying some John/Romans with you and hand them out. Tell the people that God has written them a personal message and you want them to have it.  The underlined passages lead them through the Gospel in Romans and then the Gospel of John.  Powerful stuff, folks!!!


Do a kind deed.  Somebody drops some papers.  You bend over and help them pick them up.  Tell them, “Bless you in the name of Jesus.” 


Say thank you.  A waitress serves your meal.  Tell him or her, “Thank you in the name of Jesus.”


We, the saints of God, are the only ambassadors He has down here.  If we don’t speak up, do you think anyone else will?  So, I pray for you today that you will boldly declare the Gospel in words and actions.