This summer, Linett and I visited one of friends from our first church. James Stewart was a pastor’s friend. James is the kind of man that every pastor needs one or two, or five of, if he is going to survive. Our memories of James are many. He lived across the street, so we cut grass together, ate many meals together, went to football games together, and sometimes investigated strange noises in the middle of the night.
Though he worked long hours as a department manager in a local grocery store and cared for his numerous brothers and sisters, James was faithful. Sometimes I have said that if it wasn’t for James Stewart, I might not be a preacher today. James encouraged us and believed in us when things could not have been worse at that first church.
James is 77 now. Though we had not seen each other in 17 years, we picked up conversation as though we had visited every day. He asked me about things that I had shared with him 17 years ago as if we had spoken the day before our visit.
But, something James said to me near the end of our conversation challenged me and encouraged me. James said, “Bro. Steve, at 77 years old, I’ve learned more about God and the Bible than in the previous 76 years combined.” He was excited about what he was learning. Now, I happen to know that James knew plenty about God and His Word before this past year. Therein is the testimony. James is growing. At a point where many would be tempted to say, “I’ve done that already” or “I know that already,” James is saying “There’s more to learn.”
What will you do today to assure that you are growing in Christ?
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