We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Climbing Mountains

I was traveling with a group of students once when a conversation sparked a very dramatic moment that led four of the five ninth grade boys to repent and receive Jesus as their Savior. Words cannot describe this experience.

Immediately, the boys started to spontaneously quote Scripture that they had memorized when they were children. Then suddenly one of the boys yelled out, “Stop the car!” I thought I had run someone over. I pulled the car off the side of the expressway while the other cars and vans pulled off behind me. Then one of the boys shouted, “Up there! We’re going to the top!”

There was a mountain top that they desired to climb. So there we were–about fifteen ninth graders and teachers on the side of an expressway–climbing up a steep hill. But when we reached the top we were speechless. The sun was starting to set. Below, magenta-colored ripples reflected in the lake. Then, one of the boys climbed a huge rock, and, with his hands outstretched, began to cry out to God, asking for forgiveness and thanking Him for His goodness.

Now remember, these are 9th grade boys…in front of their peers! The next day the 9th graders had the day off of school, but there they were…all of them. Before I could start teaching Bible class one of the boys asked if he could share what God had done in his life. As he began to share with our student body, it wasn’t long before 83 students walked forward to receive Christ as Savior or rededicate their lives to the Lord…but this didn’t happen until 10 teachers and a janitor walked forward first.

I love mountain top experiences, but real and lasting change occurs when we lead the way with humility down below. After all, that’s just what Christ did:

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).