2 Corinthians 4:13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak. (NIV)
It was Billy Hunter who believed in Christ and spoke words of faith to me. I know that God speaks to our hearts in order to receive Christ, but He also uses people as vessels to convey that faith as something that is alive, relevant, and real. Billy Hunter was the first Sunday School teacher that I can remember, and his faith connected with my heart.
At the time, our family lived in Saracen, Glasgow, Scotland. We didn’t know it then, but it was a deprived area where families from the slum housing in the city were supposed to make a new start. The city fathers thought that by putting people in newer tenements/ apartments, Glasgow would flourish and everyone would take advantage of the new opportunities.
But the traps of poverty – alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and gang warfare, loan sharks and protection rackets followed the people. We came out of the frying pan and into the fire. Deprivation and disillusionment set in. Within a couple of years, depression – both economic and psychological – overshadowed the new community. Hopes and dreams were shattered, and Glasgow floundered instead of flourishing.
And yet there were still people like Billy Hunter who chose to teach Christianity and speak words of faith to the children in the community. He had the heart of an evangelist, but was as gentle as a shepherd. He made Christ real to me and taught me that there was something more to life. He showed me the light of Christ in the midst of the darkness and squalor of poverty. He put hope in my soul and faith in my heart. I owe all that I know and have today to Jesus, but Billy Hunter was the faithful servant Christ used to get me here.
Christianity is not a personal lifestyle choice or a private religion. It has to be spoken in order to be shared; it has to be heard in order to be received. Every one of us will be given opportunities this day to believe in Christ’s work and to speak faith to others. Let’s prepare our hearts and minds even now as we read and hear this message, to be ready to share Christ’s Gospel today.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we believe in You – Your words, Your ways, Your works. Help us this day to make the most of the opportunities that You give us, to share our beliefs and speak faith to those who need to hear about Your life and love. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart [email protected]
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA