[SLIDESHOW=48039]NORTHFIELD, Mass. (BP) — On a bright spring morning on Saturday, May 5, a caravan of minivans pulled into the parking lot of The Moody Center in Northfield, Mass. This idyllic little New England town was where the famous evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody was born and buried.
Nearly 50 pastors and missionaries attending a pastoral retreat from Korean-American churches in the U.S., Korea, the Republic of Georgia and Armenia made the pilgrimage to visit the historic campus. The day was especially meaningful because we were welcomed by David Powell, grandson of Mr. Moody’s eldest daughter. Nearly 90 years young, Mr. Powell displayed a sprightly step, a sparkling wit and an infectious charm. He and Julia Wiggin, director of the Moody Center, gave us a tour of the site and shared about the life and ministry of D.L. Moody.
I had recently read “Why God Used D.L. Moody” by his longtime friend and co-laborer for Christ, R.A. Torrey, who listed seven reasons why God was able to use Mr. Moody:
1. A fully surrendered man
2. A man of prayer
3. A deep and practical student of the Bible
4. A humble man
5. His entire freedom from the love of money
6. His consuming passion for the salvation of the lost
7. Anointed with power from on high
As God used D.L. Moody so powerfully in his generation, He can use us in our generation if we imitate these seven characteristics.
Billy Graham recently passed away at the age of 99. These two spiritual giants of evangelism in the 19th and 20th century both embodied a simple child-like faith and trust in the Father, and they immersed themselves in the three-pronged spiritual power of the Word of God, prayer and the Holy Spirit. Just as the apostle Paul challenged the Corinthian church, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV), may we also honor, learn from and imitate men of faith such as D.L. Moody and Billy Graham.
As we all gathered at the gravesite where D.L. Moody and his faithful wife Emma are buried side by side, I led a prayer thanking God for Mr. Moody’s continuing challenge to us through his life example of preaching the clear truth of the Gospel message — one that calls for sinners to repent for the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Jesus Christ. He left an evangelistic legacy and ministry footprint that is worthy of following.