Last Sunday, I preached on the subject of praying for the lost (unbelievers). One of my greatest gifts in praying for the lost is the conversion of my grandfather.
My grandfather became a Christian at the age of sixty-five. His lifestyle change after his conversion represents one of the most immediate transformations that I have ever seen. He quit smoking, drinking, and cursing on the same day that he got saved. That same day he started attending church every Sunday, reading the Bible every day, witnessing, and even tithing. As unusual as this is, that kind of transformation is exactly what the Scripture says ought to happen when a person is saved. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) God truly did change my grandfather’s life in this way.
As I think about his conversion, I stand in awe of our great God and the power of the Gospel to change lives. Though my grandfather never attended church prior to his conversion, he watched Jimmy Swaggart on television. Eventually he developed a friendship with a pastor near his home. That preacher died shortly after my grandfather’s conversion. In addition to these two influences, I had a childhood Sunday School teacher who awarded stickers for praying for someone who was not saved. I chose my grandfather. After I got too old to get the stickers, I kept praying because that had become my habit. One glorious Sunday, my grandmother called with the news that my grandfather had believed in Jesus for salvation.
Amazing how God works to bring someone to Himself—a preacher some would call fallen, a small-town preacher nearing retirement who refused to grow weary, and a preacher who was looking for stickers as a child.
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