April 5
Today's Bible Readings
     Leviticus 8
     Psalms 9
     Proverbs 23
     I Thessalonians 2
''For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy." (I Thessalonians 2:19-20)
            Our memory verse should be a great motivation and source of great joy for every child of God. Some day, at the Bema Seat (the Judgment Seat Of Christ) our dear Lord will be giving out the crowns. This one is the crown of the faithful soul-winner. I am anxious to receive the biggest, best, and brightest crown for my Lord because I will be laying it at His feet, and He alone is worthy to receive it. (Revelation 4:10-11)
            The greatest work you are privileged to do for the Lord is to bring others to the knowledge of Christ as Savior. Much of your joy in Heaven will be determined by the souls you have had a part in bringing to Christ. That is why Paul tells the Thessalonian believers that they are his “glory and joy” now and when Jesus comes.
            There is but one will of God for the church and that is to bring in the harvest. When Jesus had led the woman at the well to drink the water of life, she returned to her city and to her sinful past with great joy because of her Savior. The Disciples, returning from town with lunch, saw her leaving. They said to the Lord, ''Master take and eat. Jesus said, 'My food is to do the will of Him that sent Me." This is the one singular will of God for the church--to follow the example of our Commander and Chief to bring in the harvest.
            The Bible gives us several reasons to make soul-winning the priority of our life: It is wise to win souls to Christ. (Proverbs 11:30) It is an attack on sin to win souls to Christ. (James 5:20) It is a cause for joy in heaven to win souls to Christ. (Luke 15:10) Soul-winners will shine as the stars forever. (Daniel 12:3)
            God has promised that your labor will not be in vain in the Lord. The soul winner will not rejoice alone - all of Heaven will rejoice with him when he receives the ''crown of rejoicing." Dwight L. Moody was led to Christ and became an evangelist and went to England. There, a man named F.B. Meyer was embarrassed that a man who murdered the King's English was in the pulpit. After the message, he saw a fine lady in his church and, with tears, she said, ''Oh, Bro. Meyer, my heart has not been so touched in years." F. B. Meyer's life and ministry was greatly changed. He came to America and preached at the colleges and universities. A man by the name of Wilbur Chapman surrendered to evangelism under F. B. Meyer's preaching and preached great meetings all over the country.
            He had a young assistant to whom he turned over the responsibilities of his ministry.  His name was Billy Sunday.  Billy Sunday went to a crusade in North Carolina. At that meeting, a group of men prayed for revival. As a result of that prayer meeting, a hell-fire and damnation preacher by the name of Mordecai Hamm came to Charlotte. A long, lanky, country boy was saved. His name is Billy Graham. He has preached to more people than any man in history.
            These names are all familiar to you, but do you remember the name of the Sunday School teacher who led D.L. Moody to Jesus. I believe, in Heaven someday, the Lord is going to say, ''Stand aside, boys, and Mr. Kimbell, you come get your crown to lay at the feet of Jesus." That was Mr. Kimbell, who was a simple, shoe salesman who led a young man to Jesus.  What an impact he made on the entire world.
            Guyana is in Latin America, and only about l million people occupy 215 sq. km.  God has been answering prayer in this place with complete religious freedom, increased responsiveness to the Gospel, and Christian leaders are having greater unity and unprecedented influence at every level of society. The response has been good to Christian missions from overseas.  There are a growing number of full-time missionaries representing several missionary groups. There are many other independent missionaries and, of course, the wonderful national pastors who are the most strategic people involved reaching their own people for Christ. So perhaps the greatest need today is to pray for these leaders, for God to give them courage, strength, and vision for the task He has given to them.
            “. . . that is why, at every point in history where the church of Christ has been carried on some wave of revival, back to reality and self-consecration, thousands of men and women have rediscovered Paul and thrill again to the music of his message.” Selected