Sermon Illustrations

Dr. Meier Refuses Materialism and God Blesses his Ministry

In the mid – 1970’s, while Dr. Meier was a professor of pastoral counseling at Trinity Seminary near Chicago, he was offered a high-paying opportunity to leave his seminary position and become the administrator of a psychiatric clinic. “I admit I had materialistic urges,” Dr. Meier recalls, “and largely because of the salary that was offered, I decided to take the job at the end of the school year.” But then something happened that shook Dr. Meier’s life: his friend and fellow Trinity professor, Paul Little, was killed in an automobile accident. “Paul was a very dedicated man of God,” said Dr. Meier, “a man with real heart for bringing people to Christ. I went to his funeral, and Leighton Ford preached the message. Dr. Ford spoke about the importance of being able to reach a point where you can look back over your life and know that your life has counted for Jesus Christ. As I listened, I was deeply convicted and moved. At that moment, I was filled with a certainty that God wanted me to turn down that high-paying position with the psychiatric clinic and to accept another offer to teach full-time at Dallas Theological Seminary at a lower salary. I heard clearly in my mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:3: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” It was hard for Dr. Meier to let go of the financial security represented by the clinic offer, but he knew what God wanted him to do. His only question was what his wife would think. But when she heard his decision, she responded, “I’m so glad! That’s exactly the decision I was hoping you would make!” Dr. Meier went to Dallas Seminary, where he worked with Dr. Frank Minirth to structure some new counseling courses. Later, Dr. Minirth and Dr. Meier founded the Minirth-Meier Clinic (now called Minirth Meier New Life Clinic), which has since become the largest Christian psychiatric clinic in the world and has a branch offices in 50 cities across the United States. “I came to Dallas area,” Dr. Meier reflects, “expecting to pursue my ministry as a modestly paid seminary professor-but God opened up opportunities I never dreamed of, and which I would probably have never had if I had pursued the higher-paying position. I have learned that God really knows what He is doing in our lives, and I have learned the importance of contentment.” (The Complete Life Encyclopedia page 166).

From a sermon by Michael McCartney, Content or discontent?, 11/30/2009

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