DL Moody is one of the most celebrated evangelists in church history. The worldwide church would not be what it is without his influence. Yet many people don't know that one of DL Moody's sons went through a prodigal season. We see how DL's passion for evangelism melded with his loving heart of a father with this excerpt of a letter from his biography:
...the thing that hurts me worst is that you have no desire to know Christ. Sometimes my heart is so heavy & sad to think that you have such contempt for one that has done so much for your mother & father, all that we are or have has come from him & you have been saved from an early grave I think in answer to prayer & now when you have strength & health given to you & are now in a position to do good you turn against the truest & best friend you will ever have. For the life of me I cannot see why you should have taken such a dislike to Christ.
I sometimes think it is my fault, if I had lived more consistent you would not be so disgusted with what is so near my heart. Last September was the happiest month of my life when I thought you had really started for the kingdom of God but when I returned home & found you were more indifferent than ever my heart sank within me. I have not talked much with you for fear I would turn you more against him whom I love more than all the world & if I have ever said or done anything unbecoming a Christian father, I want you to forgive me & would rather die than to stand in your way.
In these heart-wrenching paragraphs, we can learn a few things:
1. Faith is not genetic. My mom always says that "God has no grandchildren." Parents need to share the gospel with their kids, pray hard, and apologize when they go amiss. Each generation needs to rediscover the beautiful savior for themselves. Not even the children of the greatest evangelist the world has ever known inherited it.
2. Evangelism by love. One thing that strikes me is that Moody so loved Christ that the thought of someone not loving Christ like he did was shocking, sorrowful, and painful for him. This compelled Moody to evangelize and share his faith, so that all would come to love Jesus Christ like he did.
3. Christians can feel sad. From all accounts, including his sons', Moody was a wonderful father. Yet when something so hurtful happened, Moody was able to express his doubts, his fears, and his pain honestly. Christians are allowed to be sad.
Southern Heights Christian Church
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