He stood tall, at one time. A strapping man, with land and livestock. And a Bible by his chair.
Today I saw him. And I walked right past him.
He was stooped. Frail. Aged.
With assistance, he hobbled up the stairs of the church. Dressed in a suit and a tie, with not just one Bible, but two, and a legal pad of notes.
When he was introduced, the church stood and clapped. The front rows were filled with men. Farmers. Families. Men who would normally don a pair of overalls rather than a suit for a day at church, came dressed to the nines. Men who cleaned up a bit and honored him by dressing in a suit. Because they knew he would see and know. That they were there for him. Because he had been there for them.
At first, he couldn’t speak through his tears. But when he started, his words held power. Power – because they might. just. be. his. last.
Wednesday he was released to hospice care. Sunday he was in church preaching.
He’s not a preacher. He’s just a man. A man who loves God. A man who loves to teach the Word. A man, going to church every Sunday. A man with something to say.
What were the words of this man, stooped low, yet a giant in faith?
1. Know that God loves you. The creator of the Universe loves you. Loves you so much he gave his son to die for you. YOU ARE LOVED.
2. Know the Word. But don’t just know what the word says. Know the Word. Dig into it. Live it. Read it. Cherish it.
3. Go to church. Connect. Why? Because when tribulations come – AND THEY WILL – You will either turn to God or you will turn away from Him. If you are plugged into church, you will have a place.
He read from Romans 5. Have you read it lately? Meditate on it a bit.
By the chair in his home are stacks of Bibles and commentaries. Next to the medications lay devotionals and prayers. He did not loose faith in the trials. He clung to it with both hands.
He told his story. The past three years of his life have been the hardest. The past three years of his life have been the best. Why? Because he poured into the word. He went from knowing what the Word says to KNOWING.
In that step, he became a spiritual giant.
A frail man, with no earthly reason to rejoice, SHOUTED with glory because he knows God, is saved by God, and is loved by God.
And it is well with his soul.
With his last breath, he will praise God.
A spiritual giant.
*Vernon fought cancer for three years. Four short weeks after he preached this sermon, he met his Savior. Face to face.*