All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."
— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Dee is on assignment in Birmingham, Alabama and will be back next week with some extremely enlightening information. Beginning Monday, The Wartburg Watch will head in a different direction as we discuss the “New Atheists”. You WILL NOT want to miss our upcoming series!
Deb here holding down the fort so to speak… Yes, I’m just your average stay-at-home mom who loves to be involved in her daughter’s Christian school. My most recent volunteer activity is organizing the Powder Puff football game scheduled for tomorrow night – it’s my fifth and last year doing it! The Junior and Senior girls are extremely competitive this year, so please pray for NO INJURIES!
This afternoon was a GREAT time for me to be at school collecting ticket money from the Juniors and Seniors who are selling the tickets. You see, we had some very special guests during the last period of school… The 8th through 12th grade students, including my daughter and Dee’s son, experienced a real treat, and I arrived early enough to experience it with them!
The musicians and evangelist traveling on the Glory Revealed Tour stopped in for a visit. If you’re not familiar with this Christian group that is touring the country by proclaiming Jesus Christ, it involves Mac Powell, Laura Story (who wrote the hit song "Indescribable"), Matt Maher (who wrote "Your Grace is Enough), Shawn Lewis, and Tevor Morgan. David Nasser, a Christian evangelist, who is an important part of the group, also addressed the students.
Last year David Nasser was the speaker at my daughter’s school during Spiritual Emphasis Week, and he had a powerful effect on the student body. Many accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior during his visit. This afternoon, he received another rousing reception. In case you don’t know anything about David Nasser, he is an Iranian who became a Christian. Here’s a link and an excerpt that tells a little about him:
“Iranian-born Christian evangelist and author David Nasser cannot return to his homeland, which has seized world attention with the violent response following recent elections. Nasser’s Jumping Through Fires: The Gripping Story of One Man’s Escape from Revolution to Redemption (Baker Books, Oct.) tells the story of his family’s escape from Iran during its 1979 revolution, when he was nine years old. During a recent trip to Israel, Nasser’s mother pleaded with him to make sure that his return flight was not routed over Iran; in the event of an emergency landing, he could have been detained, or worse.”
David’s passion for Jesus Christ is incredible! He shared part of his personal testimony with the students, and I’d like to share it with you. David didn’t want to have anything to do with the God of the Bible, so he took a Bible that was in his possession and poured lighter fluid on it. He rummaged through his house, looking for matches (he said Iranians love to burn things) and couldn’t find a single match! He went back outside, picked up the Bible soaked in lighter fluid and began reading it. He experienced a profound conversion, which he explained by quoting Galatians 2:20:
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (NASB)
At that moment God’s Word pierced David’s heart. Growing up in Iran and becoming a Christian is a BIG DEAL. David talked about how so many students at this school have grown up in a church culture. Most of the students have been immersed in Christianity all of their short lives. However, he said that if the Bible is boring to you, then maybe you don’t love its author… David told the students that the Bible is a lamp unto his feet.
Then he introduced the students to a well-known Chinese evangelist Watchman Nee. David explained how Watchman gave his life to Jesus as a teenager. He started reading his Bible and felt he needed to proclaim his faith to those around him. Watchman had a treasure, and he wanted to share it with everyone!
As he began to share his faith with many students at school, he got into trouble. After all, he was in China. He was called to the principal’s office, and he attempted to witness to the principal! The result – he got kicked out of school.
Watchman was actually glad because he began traveling around China proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, beginning at the age of 17. Today, over 1,000 Chinese churches have sprung up because of Watchman Nee’s influence as he met with one family at a time sharing the Gospel message.
David then explained to the students that after 15 years of doing this kind of ministry, the Chinese authorities caught up with Watchman. They brought him to court and accused him of being a Christian! Incredibly, the authorities presented 2,226 pages of documentation accusing him of being a Christian. When they asked Watchman “How do you plead?” he said that there are many other things he had done that they did not document.
They threw him in prison and took away his Bible. Watchman didn’t need it because he began to write down his own Bible and theological ideas. While in prison, he wrote 89 volumes having to do with the Christian faith. Then the Chinese authorities wanted to stop Watchman from writing. They put a guard by his cell, and after 30 days, the guard disappeared because he and his family had become Christians. Then they decided to change the guard every week. After a week the guard disappeared because he had become a Christian. Then they same thing happened after just one day.
Exasperated at Watchman, the guards took him outside to the prison yard and tied his hands to a piece of wood. They did not want him to write about his faith, so they chopped off each of his forearms. In front of a watching crowd, Watchman held up what was left of both arms and shouted: “Father, thank you for finding me faithful.” He still wouldn’t stop recording his thoughts as the guards began writing them down for him.
David Nasser ended his message with these questions: “Where are the Watchman Nees of this generation? Where is the next Billy Graham or Mother Teresa?” It’s a great question! He concluded with this statement: “The Gospel is worth dying for.”
If you’d like to read about Watchman Nee, here’s a great article:
I’m not sure where David Nasser got his information about the chopping off of Watchman’s forearms, but he must know more than the authors of this Wikipedia article.
As an aside, I have an elderly friend who knew one of Watchman’s disciples, Stephen Kaung, very well. Stephen is mentioned in the Wikipedia article. She and her husband would have him as a house guest for the weekend when he would travel to where they lived – sometimes once a month. Stephen had a profound effect on their faith as they would sit around the kitchen table discussing their Christian beliefs. I absolutely love it when she shares her testimony about what she learned from this faithful servant of God.
After David spoke, the musicians took the stage. Laura Story sang the first song, and the students rose to their feet and sang along with her and the other musicians. Then the others took turns singing, with Mac Powell encouraging the students to sing out in unison. It was a very special experience.
Third Day is performing at our State Fair tonight, and the Glory Revealed musicians (and perhaps the other Third Day members) will be heading back to my daughter’s school to perform a FREE concert at 9:30 p.m., which is open to the public. May many young lives be transformed and may God’s glory be revealed!!!
Here’s the website for the Glory Revealed Tour
There are some great video clips and other interesting information you may want to check out. The tour schedule is also listed on the website, so maybe you can catch this inspiring group when they visit a town near you. To get you started, here’s a link that explains Glory Revealed:
May God receive all the praise and glory!