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R450 What Happens When One Man Gives His Heart to Jesus

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2020 8:00 am

R450 What Happens When One Man Gives His Heart to Jesus

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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November 17, 2020 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton and a message from Genesis 12. In just a moment, Dr. Don is going to take us to what he considers one of the most fascinating passages in all of Scripture.

And as we study the word together today, it's a fascinating joy of ours to be available for you. As a matter of fact, we'd love to pray with you and for you anytime at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 or online at www.tewonline.org. And let me just challenge you, while you're there on our website www.tewonline.org, sign up for the daily encouraging word email from Dr. Don. It is an absolute wonderful jumpstart to your day. That's the daily encouraging word email.

Sign up online at www.tewonline.org. You'll be glad you did. Now today's message from Dr. Wilton. Now please take your Bibles and turn with me to the book of Genesis chapter 12. The book of Genesis chapter 12, one of the most remarkable of all the passages in God's Word.

Genesis chapter 12 and verse 1. Now the Lord said to Abram, leave your country, leave your people and leave your father's household and go unto a land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse. And all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you. So Abraham departed just as the Lord had told him. May the Lord write His Word upon our hearts. I want to speak to you this morning on what happens when just one man gives his life to Jesus Christ.

What happens when one person gets right with God? I was born on the southern coast, the east coast of Africa in a spectacular place. The town and the area that I was born in was spectacular. It's one of the top tourist attractions in the world. The beaches are unbelievably spectacular.

The fishing, the sport, the activity. I was born into a home where my mother and father had no time for the things of God. I had godless parents. Both of my parents were fine people.

My father tall, dark and handsome and my mother was a wee little Scottish lass who could sing and was an amateur actress. My father was imminently gifted, was a top sportsman. Represented sport at very high level, was a champion angler, raced motorbikes and won just about all his races just like Jeff Gordon does. All the newspaper clippings I have of my father and the trophies, it was always he was first.

He won everything he raced in, almost. My father had no time for the house of God. On Sunday mornings you'd never find him in church. To cut a long story short, a preacher from the local Baptist church kept inviting my father to go to church and combined with his experience of watching a Billy Graham film entitled Oil Town, USA, my father was dramatically converted when I was about six years of age. Our household completely changed and for the rest of my growing up years, I grew up in a home where my mother and father were not partly but completely surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ in everything that they did. My father was called into the ministry and I have sat under his preaching and teaching most of my life.

I have been a blessed man. When I was about the age of eight, I got sent to boarding school. Now I don't know if any of you know much about British boarding schools and I don't have time to tell you much but I was 200 miles away from home at the age of eight.

You want to read about British boarding schools, you'll have some time reading about them but that's where I went. I was lonely. I was by myself.

I had to learn to fend for myself. I was just a little boy and I was up in the mountains of Africa. I remember at the age of nine or so, I remember having an encounter with Jesus Christ. God became real to me and folks, even now as I look back, I'm convinced that it was at the age of eight that God called me into the gospel ministry.

I didn't know it then. Eventually I went back, after five years, I went back to a day school, to a quad day school like Spartan High and Dorman High and found myself lost in the pack rat. I found myself in a state of constant rebellion and remorse. I began to disappoint my parents. I began to rebel against the God that they loved so much. I began to connive and do everything I possibly could to try and absent myself from church and from my father's preaching and teaching and from Sunday school and if I could get any way to get out of it, I did.

Gradually over the years, spiritually speaking, my life became null and void. It got so bad that I even flunked the 11th grade outright. I remember going to my father and announcing to him that I was getting out of high school. I thank God for a dad who looked at me and said, son, as long as you're in my home, even if you're 100 years old, you're going to graduate from high school. Mean father I had.

I'm thankful today. I went and repeated the 11th grade, did the whole thing again and then I began to excel and I thank God for that. I was drafted into the military like everybody else was. I remember the first time I got into a tank, I'd never seen one before and they told me I was being trained as a tank commander. Centurion Mark 4s and Mark 5s and armored cars, Elans and all different kinds of anti-tank personnel that I was trained in and armed and mines and demolition.

I was glad to train in mines and demolition because it taught me that dynamite comes in small packages. I was just a little fellow relative to some of my friends and I knew that I was going to have to do extraordinary things to stand up straight. I remember southwest Africa. I remember traveling up the skeleton coast where no other people are allowed to go.

I remember facing a Russian fleet off the Atlantic coast. I remember being in Caprivi strip. I remember atoshapan. I remember the animals. I remember the pain and the hurt. I remember moving camp at night to avoid the bombs. I remember my friends who stood on some of those mines that we were trained to disarm and I remember so well what became of them. I remember getting out of the army with great joy, a seven-day train trip back to the land of the living. I remember going to university and the first Sunday morning I woke up. I remember turning to some of my friends and saying to them, gentlemen, I think we should go to church today. What?

They all had heart attacks. You can't be serious. This is our first Sunday in civvies. We've just got out of the army. We're not going to waste our time going to church. Let's go and have a game of golf.

Let's get around. I said, no, gentlemen, I grew up in a Baptist church. I needed an alibi.

I needed something, some excuse and I told them. I said the best looking girls in town go to the Baptist church. And so we went to church that Sunday morning. I wasn't foolish enough to sit down on the front like some of these folks and I'm not against the back row up there, but that's where I sat.

Not because we didn't have enough room like you don't have, but because I wasn't interested in being in church. And from up there I had an eagle's view of the entire setting in front of me and there she was. I saw her sitting down near the front row. I'll tell you what, folks, I have never felt like that. I stood up, my knees were shaking.

I thought I was going through something horrific. I looked at her. I don't know who sang anything. I knew it anyway.

I wasn't interested in the choir, the preacher or anything else in between. And I looked down and there she was. I walked down at the end of the service when the preacher said, come on, I came.

I could see him go, yes, we got one decision today, but it wasn't like that. I came down the aisle, folks, I walked up to that pretty young girl and I leaned over on something and I said, hi, my name's Don. And she said, so what?

I didn't know she was going to be my wife. Folks, I chased her around for an entire year. I tried to do everything in the book. I even started to go to church. I came to the youth group. I mean, I did everything. I offered, I volunteered. I did everything you could. I even nominated myself to be a deacon.

I did. I was ready to serve in any capacity as long as I could get her attention. She just loved the Lord. She used to walk around with this big old black Bible, embarrass me like you don't know. I mean, this was in public, folks, for everybody to see. I asked her to go with me to watch cricket, to play cricket, to go with me to the rugby match.

I mean, we did everything under the sun. After a whole year, she finally came to her senses and realized what she was missing. She said, I cannot continue to avoid an incredible hunk like Don Wilton. God opened her eyes. Oh, what a privileged girl she became. We started to date.

You know, folks, I played the game. I'd fallen head over heels in love with her and she fell head over heels in love with me. In 1976, both our fathers married us. My father was president of the convention and her father-in-law was a very fine pastor.

The church was packed. It was a magnificent wedding. Do you know that from the day we were married, I began to drag my wife down spiritually? It's guaranteed to happen.

It's guaranteed. You marry someone who's not living for the Lord, it'll be like a noose around your neck. Like a millstone that you drag behind you all the time. And I was one of them. Folks, it wasn't too long after that that we went to church on an Easter Good Friday and the preacher preached and God got a hold of my life. And this old boy got on his face together with my wife and I repented of my sin. And I said, Lord Jesus, if I was saved when I was eight, I want to thank you, but everybody else has got joy. I don't have that. Everybody else seems to have a sense of purpose and when other people hurt, they seem to find encouragement.

I don't get that. I don't know where to turn to. I'm lonely. I've got a beautiful wife and I'm highly educated and I've got a good job and I've got good money and motorbikes and surfboards and we're out there on the waves and all those kinds of things. Oh, I had an incredible childhood. But when I was married to a beautiful young lady living in a city with earned degrees, my life was as empty as a broken television with a plug pulled out.

And God got a hold of my life. And right at that time I was being awarded an international scholarship to go and study to do a PhD at Oxford. I had applied to the University of Edinburgh and had been accepted in Scotland. I had applied to the University of Sydney in Australia and the University of Hobart in Tasmania, Australia.

The University of Ohio in the United States of America and I'd been accepted to do a PhD. And God said to me, Don Wilton, not anything that you do, not any degree that you have, not any place that you go to can ever be more important than serving me. And my wife and I said, yes, Lord. At the same time an American preacher from a place called Columbia, Mississippi was sent by his church on a mission trip, came to our church, preached on stewardship, spoke about people in America who gave of themselves, people who were unselfish, who gave of their very lives for the Lord. And God began to speak to me in my heart. And that very day my wife and I said, God is calling us to go to America. But how can we go? We're two preacher's kids. We owe over $20,000 to the government.

We could never leave the country. And my wife said, I've got the money. I said, where? She said, if we sell everything we've got. And folks, in two weeks I watched my precious wife sell every position that we had, every wedding gift. I wonder how many ladies would stand up here today and say, I'm willing to sell every gift and every wedding gift and every position I've ever had if God asked me to do it. I remember standing in that home that we had with nothing there.

Guess what, folks? God gave us exactly the right amount of money to pay back the government, our loan, plus we had enough for two one-way tickets to New York City and I had $1,400 left over. It's still stamped in my old passport. I didn't know that in New York City $1,400 was hardly enough to buy two Big Macs.

I didn't know that. I remember getting on the airplane. I remember all the things that went.

We didn't know where, what, how, when. I remember leaving in the middle of summer from those beautiful beaches and those surf and the fish and all the things that we had grown up around and landing in New York City at Kennedy Airport in the middle of winter. I remember having a heart attack when the bus driver drove down the wrong side of the road. I remember getting to a place called Columbia, Mississippi.

I remember the churches we served and I remember the studies that we did. I remember that little efficiency apartment where we had nothing in New Orleans. I remember the days when we would wake up where we literally didn't have enough money to go and buy a doughnut over the road, Brother Self. I remember the knocks on the door where people like you and me would just suddenly appear at our front door in a little efficiency apartment. And we'd open the door and there'd be standing someone and he'd say, listen, are you Don Wilton? Someone told me about you, I just wanted to come by and give you something. And I'd look in my hand, there'd be $100 in my hand.

Or there'd be $20. Just no reason, didn't even know me from a bar of soap. Just did it because God put it in their hearts. There are people like that all over this church. What happens when just one person says yes to Jesus? Forgive the interruption, we'll be back with the rest of today's message.

What happens when one man gives his heart to Jesus in just a moment? But Dr. Don wants me to remind you, we don't want to just present this message to you. Instead, we believe that God has inspired us to share these messages, to let you listen in on the podcast, to connect online at www.tewonline.org and let that begin the conversation. Let us pray with you and for you as we move through life together. We believe very strongly you need to be involved in a local church. And every single day we have people call us at the 866-899 word number and say, can you help us find a Bible-believing church in our area? It's a joy of two peoples in our organization.

Both Jim and Michelle work together on this. So if you're interested in finding a local church, let us help you. 866-899 word is the phone number, that's 866-899-9673, also the place we'd love to pray with you and for you anytime, day or night. Now back to today's message with Dr. Don Wilton. As I began to preach in Australia and in England and all over Africa, all over the United States of America and Canada and Hawaii, as God began to open doors, and I remember one day preaching in a tiny little church in New Orleans called Elysian Fields Avenue Baptist Church. And I remember Sunday morning preaching from the Word of God and there were about 35 people there and coming to the invitation and saying, is there anybody here today who would give their lives to Jesus?

And nobody moved. I remember coming to Sunday night and preaching the Word of God and got down to the fifth stanza of Just as I Am and nobody had moved, not even anybody had come down to the front to ask where the bathroom was. There was nothing, people just seemed to be totally disinterested and all of a sudden near the back row a little boy of about eight or nine suddenly stepped out. He started to walk down that aisle. When he got down to the front I got on my knees and I said to him, my son Rob, I said, what can your daddy do for you tonight? And he said to me, Daddy, I want to give my heart to the Lord Jesus. And I looked up and his beautiful mother was standing next to me already with tears streaming down our cheeks and I'll never forget what Rob said. He said, Daddy, I want to go to heaven to be with Papa and with Bumper, with Granny and with Nana.

And he started to name the people who were important in his life. And right there my wife and I had the privilege of leading our oldest son to the Lord Jesus Christ. You say to me, what has my son missed out on?

Today turning 18 years of age in several months. What has he missed out on having given his heart to Jesus at a young age? You know what he's missed out on folks? Nothing.

He's gained everything. And I preached on Monday night and Tuesday night and nobody responded. And on Wednesday night at the last minute just when we were about to close, all of a sudden another little boy about eight years of age stepped out and began to come down that aisle and I said, oh no, Lord, not my second son, not Greg. No, Lord, he's too much like his daddy. He said, oh Lord, I don't want Greg to have to go through the things that I've gone through. And he came down to the front and I got on my knees and I said to him, my son, what can your daddy do for you today? And he said, Daddy, I want to give my heart to Jesus just like Robbie did. And I want to go to heaven just like Papa. And I said, okay, son, I'll tell you what we'll do.

We'll go home and we'll talk about it because Mommy was at home sick. He looked up at me with tears just rolling down his cheeks at his young, tender age and he said to me, but Daddy, you said I could give my heart to Jesus right now. So I called that beloved pastor and I said to him, this is my son, and he got down on his big old knees there and stood up after a while and looked at me and said to me, Daddy, what are you waiting for? And right there I was compelled by the grace of God with the greatest joy to lead my second son to Jesus Christ.

And in 1990 the Lord honored our family in a way that we cannot even begin to describe because he blessed our family with a precious little girl, a princess, and she began to grow up. And one day in 1993 God in all of his grace called this wretched sinner to be pastor of the most wonderful people in the world, the kind of people that I'd heard about when I lived thousands of miles away. God said to me, Don Wilton, I want you to go and be their shepherd and their leader. I want you to stand up straight and preach the Word of God.

I want you to be uncompromising about the absolutes of God's Word. And one night in that place called Spartanburg, South Carolina, and that night our little girl was playing with other little girls, your little girls and boys, and the children were floricking around and having so much fun together and as we left that wonderful time of fellowship together in Moore, South Carolina, we got into the motor car and there were two hands on each of our shoulders as that little princess looked me in the face and said, Daddy, I want to give my heart to the Lord Jesus. Well, my wife and I looked at each other and said, Well, we can go home and talk about it. She said, But Daddy, you said that I could give my heart to Jesus today. And right there in that motor car my wife and I had the privilege of leading our daughter to trust Jesus Christ as her Savior. Listen to what happened to Abraham.

The Lord said to Abraham, Leave your country and your people and your father's house and go to a land that I will show you and I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. I want to ask you a question. What do you suppose happens when just one person says yes to Jesus Christ? What do you suppose happens when one grandfather says yes? When one mother? What do you suppose happens when one teenager says yes to Jesus?

One child says yes. God says, I will bless you. God is ready to bless you. God's ready to change us all if we will allow that change to take place. As my grandfather would say, God is a gentleman.

He doesn't force his way. But it could be that in the last few minutes you've been listening to Dr. Don Wilton proclaim the truth of Scripture that you've heard more than our pastor. You've heard the Word of God. You've heard the voice of God calling to you to let you know that it's time to make a change, time for a course correction and adjustment.

It starts with the most simple, the most clear, the most honest decision to say yes to Jesus Christ. I pray you'd take a moment and hear these special words from our pastor, Dr. Don, next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ?

I'm so happy to hear that. Why don't you pray this prayer with me today? Dear God, I know that you love me very, very much and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ came and died on a cross so that I might be forgiven of my sin. Today I repent of my sin. I confess my sin to you and invite you to come into my heart and into my life, I pray. In Jesus' name I pray. If you prayed that prayer, let me be the first one to welcome you to the family of God.

This is wonderful. I hope that you know how much I'm going to be praying for you and how very important this is for me. Call us so that we can talk to you and connect you in the right place so you can begin this wonderful journey. You've moved in your life and you just prayed to receive Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of that.

Or maybe you rededicated your life as Dr. Don was praying. Either way, we have wonderful resources that are all about the next steps, resources that will help you grow on a daily basis in your faith. If you're interested, please give us a call. We'd love to put those in your hands. Our phone number is 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. Or you can meet us online at tewonline.org. As a matter of fact, there's a lot of newness going on, a lot of freshness in our website, tewonline.org. If you haven't been lately, come visit us. Be a part of connecting with us online as well.

That's tewonline.org. And while you're there, many have asked, how can we get involved to prayerfully and financially support the ministry of Dr. Don Wilton and the Encouraging Word? Well, here's Liz with all the details on what we call encouragers. We need your support.

Will you join us in our endeavor to reach just one more? We would love for you to become a monthly supporter of the Encouraging Word. Call us at 866-899-WORD to request information on how you can help support the work of the Encouraging Word.

Call today, 866-899-9673. The Encouraging Word is a viewer and listener supported ministry. Thank you for listening today.

Again, thank you, Liz. We would love to have you be an encourager, but know that we feel called to encourage you. If you need someone to pray with you any time, day or night, we're here at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 or online at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. Until next time, take care and God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-27 03:28:51 / 2024-01-27 03:39:27 / 11

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