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I have to close this by telling you Earl’s story: He was sixty-eight years old and had moved to Junction, TX from Michigan to be near his wife’s family. Many people thought of him as being obnoxious, or a curmudgeon, or a host of other words I cannot repeat this morning. I had breakfast with him most mornings, and people would often ask me, “Why do you eat with him?” “Why do you have anything to do with him?” When his wife broke her leg, and he got a leg infection, and their dog died, and then when his father-in-law was dieing, I was there for Earl and his wife Jean. At his father-in-laws funeral, at which I took part in the Church of Christ (the first miracle no less), a woman from my church who worked for the funeral home, came up to me and had heard Earl talking about my being there for them. She said “I think Earl loves you”.


I responded, “If he will one day give his heart to Jesus, it will be all worth it”. The next morning, at the Sunshine Café, Earl, Jim (a member of my church) & Roger (a Baptist), and myself were having breakfast, when Earl said “When my wife dies, she won’t need anyone to push her wheelchair (she had childhood polio) and I won’t be there anyways, because I know where I am going, and I bought the ticket to go there”. I had heard Earl say this earlier in the week, and so I looked at him and I said “We can change that in just a moment if you will pray and ask Jesus into your heart”. I then turned and began speaking to Jim and Roger. Jim and I suddenly felt a hand on our shoulders, and we turned and Earl had tears streaming down his face, as he said “Okay, let’s do it now”.


We prayed, and Earl gave his life to Jesus and was baptized by immersion the following Sunday. Now why would Jesus eat with those in need? To win them by his love.


Note: The following Sunday I told this in Church, and said it occurs to me that someone here this morning might be like Earl, and never made that commitment, or have never been baptized. I gave the invitation and two people, one 62 and the other 6 immediately came forward, and made professions of faith and were baptized.

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