Amazing Scenes at Oxford!
G'day and welcome to Partake Glimpses Stories. Where we see together how Jesus is alive today, working in peoples lives in different ways and is relevant to the world today, 2000 years after He walked the earth, died, rose again and ascended to the right hand of God the Father. Today we welcome back once more, Jim Allis, an experienced pastor, relating to us a situation where God undoubtedly helped people and shows His relevancy to them. So over to you - Jim!
Oxford is a wonderful city and famous for it's University and a certain athletic track "Iffley Road". Do you remember what happened there in the month of May 1954? The famous Roger Bannister broke the first four minute mile there, helped by Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher. I was a very keen athlete in my distant youth and was going to emulate Sir Roger Bannister as he is now officially known. A joke of course! However running became a god to me and God was given a very small place in my life, until my wonderful conversion in 1963. My life was really turned around. A number of years later in my capacity as an evangelist training churches in personal evangelism, I was invited to Oxford not to a running track but to an evangelical free church
My mission was to encourage this church and lead them in reaching out into their neighbourhood with the gospel. I was asked to speak to the church on a Sunday afternoon, to address those interested in this venture who belonged to this church.
As I spoke I was conscious of one lady who didn't appear to be enjoying my talk. She looked grim and at times totally disinterested. I tried to look elsewhere for the remainder of meeting and was very encouraged by the response as I spoke about the person God uses in evangelism, a person fully yielded to Jesus Christ. I was also the appointed speaker at the evening worship service and the church was pleasantly filled.
The church had an overhead projector and a low screen on the platform which could not be raised on this occasion. So I made the decision that we would sit to sing the hymns so that all would be able to see the words on screen. I didn't want to sing solo that night!
I preached that night on the famous words of Peter and John in the book of Acts "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk"
It was well listened to and following the address I had chosen such a well known final hymn, I suggested we all stood to sing the last hymn to "Stand up for Jesus". Following the benediction I went to stand at the door to shake hands as all visiting preachers do and suddenly there appeared to be some kind of excitement!
What's it all about?" I enquired. A deacon approached me and said they had been praying for the healing of a certain lady who could not walk to church. He then said excitedly "Tonight during the service she was healed!"
I was then taken to the lady. It was the same lady who I had seen in the afternoon who had looked so bored, and so disinterested. She no longer looked bored, but a broad smile was now on her face. "It was when you preached the words from the Bible "Rise up and walk" she said. "I felt strength coming into my legs and it was wonderful and frightening. Then I heard a voice saying, "You must stand up during the last hymn" but I thought we are not standing for the hymns tonight, I am afraid. Imagine how I felt when you said we should all rise for the last hymn. But I did, and strength came into my legs and I am healed." I went to a further meeting of praise in a house that evening and I saw her getting into the minibus like a two year old.
Isn't our Lord wonderful.? Yes He knew we would stand for that last hymn. I had not invited any person to the front for prayer. I had simply preached from Acts 3:6ff and in Romans 10:17; we read "Faith comes through hearing and hearing by the ‘Word ' of God" The Greek for Word is ‘Rhema' meaning "the living active Word" God's Word came alive for this lady and together with The Holy Spirit beautifully healed this lady. As we have seen God speaks to us today in a variety of situations. Our part? To listen, recognise His voice and respond for His glory and praise
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