Luke 9:2 – And [Jesus] sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (NIV)
Archie was a great preacher, and many of the young people in Glasgow, Scotland, whom I knew in the late 1970s, were drawn to Jesus through his straightforward, no-nonsense style of preaching. He was a heating engineer by trade and originally worked in the great Glasgow shipyards on the Clyde. He was skilful at his job, so eventually, he set up his own firm and became quite successful. At some point in his life, he met Jesus and gave his heart to the Lord.
Like most people who go through a dynamic conversion experience, Archie wanted to tell everyone about Christ. He became a part-time preacher at the Gospel Club that I attended each Wednesday evening.
I can still see and hear him preaching about God's kingdom with a confidence and strength that came from the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. As he preached his message, Archie held a large Bible in his hands and often flicked through its pages, quoting book, chapter, and verse to back up his gospel message. His strong, clear voice and candid preaching reached into the hearts and minds of my friends, as well as mine. At the end of the meeting, new souls were saved, and old sinners were changed. To all who heard him, Archie exuded Christ's authority and preached with the power of the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus sent out His disciples to other areas during the winter season, He gave them His power and authority to preach the gospel and heal the sick. It must have been a remarkable time for His faithful followers, as well as for the people in that region. Lives were changed, sicknesses were cured, and souls were saved. It was really the beginning of Christ's church in the world.
The world still needs powerful preachers and healing miracles today. Instead of being distracted and divided by the devil, Christianity could empower people with hope, and heal the brokenness of humanity. If we would open our hearts and minds to being revived by the Holy Spirit instead of reviling one another, this entire planet could be saved within a couple of generations. The challenge that we all have today is this: are we willing to set aside our theological woes and simply work for Christ?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know what the world really needs and what Your church needs to do. Help us to reclaim our faith, renew our commitment to You, and revive our spirits. May we preach with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as well as healing the world through Your loving way. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.