Noah was a righteous man. Perhaps God’s only requirement for usefulness. – an integrated missions conference 1963 in GA

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9)

 

God sees me as righteous, but only through the forgiveness Jesus Christ has provided.   I believe that God continues to take righteous people and give them special assignments.   For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”   (Ephesians 2:10).   God gives assignments that directly relate to how God made us – and to the experiences he has already enabled us to have.  Our only decision is:   Will we work at doing what is right before the Lord every time, or not?  

 

When I believe I know what is right before the Lord, I must simply get on with the doing!   There is no point in asking “do I have enough faith to do this?”  God’s directive is my marching order!  Yes, I may get thrown into a lion’s den like Daniel, or stoned like Paul – but most likely my assignment will be like Noah’s…just a lot of work! 

 

I am here to testify that these words to Joshua are true today: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” ( Joshua 1:5) The context of these verses is also true:  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-10)

 

In 1963 I was a “Yankee” attending Columbia Theological Seminary – just outside of Atlanta, Ga.   There were  signs over drinking fountains and on toilet facility doors, “White” and  “Black”.   The unwritten law: Blacks – to the back of the bus.  I took a very dark man from India into a restaurant – and they would not serve him.  This was before the Selma, Alabama civil rights march. 

 

It was into this very segregated world that I was elected President of the seminary’s Society of Missionary Inquiry.   This organization had one function: to run an excellent mission conference for the high school students of the “Southern Presbyterian Church”.  When the Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and I got together to learn about the conference, we learned that no black people had ever been able to attend.  We knew this could not be pleasing to the Lord.

 

The V.P. was about 45 and had been a corporate executive, now on his way to becoming a medical missionary.   The Secretary/Treasure was also in his 40’s and his career had been working in intelligence in the Pentagon.   And then there was me – I was 23, and of very limited experience! 

 

We did our homework…and our work behind the scenes.   Yes, we did think: “What if” white parents would not let their teenage children come? “What if black people were afraid to come to a rural 4 H Club facility to be with white kids for a mission’s conference?    “What if” the KKK decided to come?  “What if” the cooks from the area refused to serve food to black young people?

 

Obedience mattered…not the “What ifs!”

 

The results of our decision to do what was right before the Lord? an incredible, integrated mission’s conference for the young people of the Southern Presbyterian Church – and an experience of

 Living in partnership with God.

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