Impact on a Young Disciple

Wednesday, July 23


Gary McDonald

Gary McDonald

By Gary McDonald of Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval.

—Romans 14:17–18 NRSV

As a new graduate, I went into the mountains of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, to ponder my future. Possible directions were open, but I felt confused about how to begin my journey, where to go, and what to do. The people I met at reunion changed all of that.

They challenged my every thought. One of the two men teaching my class was a Dr. Lloyd, whom I had never met. The other, evangelist Glaude A. Smith, also was a stranger to me. Apostle Arthur A. Oakman attended as a visiting minister. These men would influence my life greatly.

Lloyd was a US Navy veteran. He also had been a missionary to Honduras and was a medical doctor. I thought if the church interested him, maybe I should take another look. Smith talked about the importance of evangelist blessings, after which I vowed to have one. Every evening Apostle Oakman preached, and I still remember one of the personal, spiritual experiences he used for a sermon illustration. It was a powerful witness!

After the reunion, I began changing my life. The first step was to look up Smith and get my blessing, which I did. I began considering the inspirational word of the blessing. I am eternally grateful for that reunion experience so long ago. Those good men never knew of their influence on me, but it was powerful. I hope I can influence others half as much.

Prayer for Peace God of wisdom, guide us in our times of doubt. Send us disciples of vision who share their witness freely. Send us leaders who share the peace of Christ so that we may share with others.

Spiritual Practice: Praying for Leadership of the Church An important spiritual practice for disciples is praying for members of the body of Christ, particularly those who carry leadership responsibilities. Ask God to guide your awareness of persons who lead the community of faith in congregations, mission centers, and the World Church. Pray for God’s outpouring of grace on each servant leader who comes to mind.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will think back on who has influenced my life, and how I might influence the discipleship of a young person.

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