You Could Be The Next Dwight L. Moody

Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

I had the blessed privilege of attended Hyles-Anderson College (1985-1993). It has been without comparison the greatest blessing and joy of my life. I decided as a teenager to enroll in Hyles-Anderson College for one reason alone—Pastor Jack Hyles!!! I loved and admired the man, because Dr. Hyles was a modern-day Dwight L. Moody, reaching the Chicagoland area with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. ...

Chicagoland Youth Reached by Pastor Dwight Moody for Jesus

I had the wonderful privilege of voluntarily serving in the Bus Ministry for all 8 years at Hyles-Anderson College. I dearly cherish my memories of those times, and all the thousands of broken families, hurting lives and needy people who were impacted for Christ by our ministry labors in Chicago. I could tell you hundreds of great true stories of my years working in the Bus Ministry. May I say, every church should have a Bus Ministry! It is bar none the most effective method of reaching families and building men for Christ!

If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.

I remember a particular day in class at Bible college. The teacher was teaching, smiled and looked at me, saying: “You David, could be the next John R. Rice!” I was humbled in my soul. I blushed a bit in front of my classmates, captivated by what my Bible teacher had said. I would never dare to compare myself to such a great man of God as Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980). The Bible teaches that it is not wise to compare our self to others (2nd Corinthians 10:12).

Yet, I know that God's indwelling Holy Spirit can do the same great work through me that He did through John R. Rice, making an eternal impact for God. It is not about you, or me, dear friend, but about God. Zechariah 4:6, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. I love a precious sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles called: THE SPIRIT'S ABIDING, in which Brother Hyles makes this excellent statement: All is vain unless the Spirit comes down!” Yes, amen! I cannot do anything on my own to make an impact for eternity. I need God's Holy Spirit power.

What saith the Scripture? John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” We don't hear enough preaching from today's lifeless pulpits about praying down the power of God. Before I sit down to write and work for hours each day on the ministry God has entrusted to me, I pray for two things: God's wisdom, and God's Holy Spirit power. The Bible says that God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace (help) to the humble. James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” We are only humble when we are on our knees before God. Dear reader—GOD ANSWERS KNEE-MAIL!!!

After our class ended, we all exited the room and entered into the college hallway. One of my class peers approached me and sarcastically said: “The next John R. Rice, yeah, right!” He wasn't kidding, made evident by his unpleasant demeanor. That struck my heart with sadness, not because another student doubted my potential, but because he doubted God's potential. Dear reader, is there anything too hard for God? No, there's not!

What a great quote!

Pastor and Mrs. Moody and their children

Dwight Moody as an elder preacher.

Dwight Moody as a younger preacher

Here is some helpful biographical information about Pastor Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899):
Dwight L. Moody didn't attend school beyond the fifth grade; he couldn't spell, and his grammar was awful. His manners were often brash and crude, and he never became an ordained minister. Once, before his conversion, he so outraged an Italian shoe salesmen with a prank, that the man chased him with a sharp knife, clearly intending to kill him. Yet, Dwight L. Moody was used by God to lead thousands of people to Christ. Moody's life of Christian service began with his conversion on this day, April 21, 1855.

Dwight came to Boston as a teenager from Northfield, Massachusetts, and he felt all alone in the big city. The boy was desperate for work. An uncle took him on as a shoe salesman--on condition that he be obedient and that he attend Mt. Vernon Congregational Church. The young man had been raised in a Unitarian church which denied the full divinity of Christ and did not emphasize human need for salvation from sins. Now Dwight heard about those things. But he decided that he wanted to enjoy the pleasures of the world and wait to get saved until just before he died.

However, the kindness of his Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimball, turned young Moody into his life-long friend, and encouraged him to persist in his church attendance and regular Bible reading. Though Moody did try to read the Bible, he couldn't understand it. Kimball later said he had never seen anyone whose mind was as spiritually dark as Dwight's.

That changed on this day, April 21, 1855. Kimball came to the shoe store to ask Dwight to commit his life to Christ. Dwight listened closely and became a Christian that day. Immediately he began sharing his faith with others, including his own family. They wanted nothing to do with his faith. "I will always be a Unitarian," his mother said. (However, she converted shortly before her death.)

And at first Dwight Moody wasn't allowed to become a church member. Asked what Christ had done for him, the nervous boy replied that he wasn't aware of anything particular. Leaders felt that was an unacceptable answer.

When Moody later moved to Chicago he wandered the streets to find young boys to bring to his Sunday School class. He had a passion for saving souls and determined never to let a day pass without telling someone the gospel of Jesus Christ. Often he irritated strangers on the street by asking them if they were Christians -- but his pointed questioning stirred the consciences of many. God used the converted shoe salesman to become the leading evangelist of his day.

Estimates vary, but Dwight Moody is thought to have led as many as a million people to confess faith in Christ. Among his many achievements on either side of the Atlantic was the founding of Moody Bible Institute.

Amen and amen! You my dear friend could be the next D.L. Moody! Now, let me say that God DOESN'T want you or me to become the next Dwight Moody. Yes, you read that correctly! God wants me to be the best D.J. Stewart that I can be by His grace and power. God doesn't expect me to try to be anybody else.

I love musical instruments! Specifically, I love all kinds of stringed instruments. I love harps! I bought one and started to learn to play it, but ultimately gave it away because it just wasn't for me. I started playing acoustic guitar at age 15. I also tremendously love playing the 5-string banjo. By God's grace, I'm pretty good at it. At age 25 I took up pedal steel guitar, which has been (and continues to be) the musical passion of my life. I can jump in with a band and play along, with no practice whatsoever. God has given me a good understanding of the steel guitar, and an equal burning passion to play it! I absolutely LOVE the steel guitar!!! When I someday get to Heaven, God knows that my great heart's desire is to make music with other musicians and singers, playing pedal steel guitar, banjo, lap steel and guitar on a regular basis (Romans 8:32).

My favorite lap steel guitar artist is Jerry Byrd (1920-2005). My favorite pedal steel guitar artist is Lloyd Green (born 1937). Having said that, I learned a long time ago that I shouldn't try to become these men in my playing. It is as frustrating as it is impossible!!! But what I do is learn from them, by studying their techniques, licks and song arrangements. By doing so I can incorporate their ideas into my own steel playing, to enhance my knowledge and skills.

Humbly said, I think this is a good illustration of the Christian life. I cannot be Dr. Jack Hyles, who is my hero of the Christian faith. But I can learn principles, wisdom and character lessons from him, to apply to my own life. That is why I love listening to Bible preaching so much, because I am learning valuable truths that I can apply to my own life, and also to share with others. Believe me, it is well worth the time spent listening to preaching during fair weather, so when tragedy strikes and the storms of life suddenly come, you will have a reserve of Biblical truth to guide you through the storm.

Dear friend, God can use you in a great way, just as He did Pastor Dwight L. Moody. That is my message to you in this blog. I am just a humble guy with a website. I make no claims of being an apostle, or even of being a good Christian. I am just a struggling redeemed sinner, who desires in my soul to help others, and be a blessing for God. I like what the Gospel preacher John Wesley said: 
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” ―John Wesley (1703-1791)
I feel exactly the same! I just want to be a blessing for Christ to everyone I can. God can, and desires to, use anyone who is yielded to Him. James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

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