Reach | Devotion #1: Live a Legacy
Kenny Hovis | Prison Ministry Director
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
I was raised in a Christian family where we attended a pretty fundamental Baptist church. My grandfather was an evangelist, church planter, published poet, avid and accomplished outdoorsman (even guided with Fred Bear), and was highly regarded in our family as a prayer warrior. All that being said, I remember him as someone who shared his faith without shame or fear. He even felt that the Lord wanted him to write a letter to every postmaster in the country to encourage them to accept Christ as their Savior. Until he passed away, most of his social security checks were spent on postage to send out those letters.
My grandfather lived in a mobile home that my parents put on their property right next to their house so they could take care of him while still giving him a measure of independence. My mom would come home between bus runs (she drove for the Goodrich schools for 35 years) and take him to the places he needed to go. He would want to go to the barber shop, drug store, post office, or just to a fast food restaurant to get out of the trailer. No matter where he was taken, he always took time to share the Gospel with someone. Many times while busy sharing his faith, he often made my mom late getting back to work. I remember her telling him one time before letting him get out of the car at the pharmacy, “Dad, I am running late. You do not have time to share the Gospel with anyone. OK?” Of course, as expected, he proceeded to share anyway.
When I read Romans 1:16, I am reminded of my grandfather’s passion for “Reach!” I have not always been as bold as him and have fallen short when given the opportunity many times. As I take an introspective look at myself, ashamed could be an accurate adjective used to describe my efforts.
Reach, gather, and grow is our mission, passion, and call at Church. Reach may not be the most important, but I believe it is first for a reason. Reach feeds gather, which should populate grow, which should inspire the church back to reach. When we boldly share our faith in love, people should see something different about us. Many times it will open a dialogue where we will have the opportunity to be unashamed to share the Gospel.
I try to start every day now, using my grandfather as an inspiration, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only thing that will change people’s lives! When I get to Heaven, I want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Only then will I know that I did a good job with reach!
Dedicated to G.W. Hovis, soul winner, prayer warrior, pastor, evangelist, and one of my heroes.