“I have Jesus in my heart; He is with me all the time; I know that He will never leave me!”
The aged lady who spoke so enthusiastically to me had been led to Christ only two or three weeks before. The regret of having lived well over the three score years and ten without the Saviour was completely eclipsed by the joy that filled her heart, a joy that made radiant a face wrinkled by the passing of time.
One’s interest was deepened as she continued, “This is my old Bible; it was given to me many years ago, but I have not used it very much. I brought it out of the drawer and am now reading it every day.” As I took her treasure and thumbed through its yellow pages, I watched her shining countenance and realized that she who had been forgiven much, loved much, her new Master and Friend.
An assembly of Christians in New Jersey, U.S.A. in an area some twenty-five miles from her home, had arranged for nightly evangelistic services. In preparation for these the members had conducted nightly prayer meetings, and were ready for any detail that would add to the success of the crusade. Of course, her age and the long distance made her attendance apparently impossible.
“Omnipotence hath servants everywhere,” and some of these, not far from the elderly lady. A young Christian couple in her immediate vicinity were inviting some of the neighbours to accompany them to the services; some had gone and had been saved. It seemed that with their own car, they were providing free transportation. Eventually they asked her, and she went. She heard the truth of the Gospel; believed it, and now rejoiced that Jesus was in her heart to stay.
How this young couple with two small children and other cares could attend every night, and how with such cordiality and pleasure they could transport so many, the neighbours did not know. Finally their secret was discovered. They had saved money for a winter vacation, but when the Gospel services were announced, they decided to forego the vacation and to dedicate this special little fund to the Lord. They used the money to engage a baby-sitter for the children and to purchase gasoline for the car. They sacrificed their savings to further the cause of Christ by taking unsaved neighbours to the meetings, and in this nothing daunted them through the dark cold evenings of the late winter. With hearts aglow with the love of Christ, they shuttled back and forth expending themselves for the benefits of others.
At the Judgment Seat of Christ their reward will be great; their investment will result in dividends of eternal value. In view of that day, like the Apostle Paul, they can say concerning several, “What is our hope, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming.”
The abundant gratification they manifested as they listened to this clear testimony from one saved in the sunset of her life was an evident compensation that others likewise may gain, gain through sacrificial service in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.