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7 - Lord Save my Teenager

Glenn Coon
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Glenn Coon

Founder, ABCs of Prayer Crusades

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Dear Lord, just make me a nail, a humble nail, on the wall, to hold a picture, the picture of Jesus in its place. And help each one of us to do the same as we communicate Jesus. And we thank You in Thy lovely name. Amen.

 

Our topic tonight has to do with seven secrets of communicating with an individual for whom we are praying. It has to do with communicating with the people in our homes, communicating with our sons and daughters, communicating with our husbands and wives. And I pray to the Lord,  friends, that we won’t think in terms of what other people should learn from tonight but that everyone one of us here in the sanctuary, everyone who is viewing this particular study, will be pleading with the Lord to teach us how we can communicate with an individual and find what is promised in the first Psalm. It says if we will meditate in the Lord’s laws (laws of communication tonight), whatever we do will prosper. I have found that for an individual to really study the science of talking with people, the science of writing to people, of communicating with them in any way, to really learn this science is a tremendous victory.

 

We have briefly summarized it under seven words. The first is choice; we studied it the other night. Choice means we do not tell any adult anything unless he wants to know. How about that? Humility means that we belittle no one. If we don’t nag (under choice), if we don’t belittle, people feel at ease in our presence. And the convicting power they recognize is from the Lord. But if we get on their backs by nagging and belittling, they equate even the Holy Spirit’s voice to human nagging.

 

Then in another study we discussed Jesus and joy. We found there were 826 texts of Scripture commanding, enjoining, teaching us to be happy Christians. We learned to be happy Christians; it means to save a marriage; it means to save souls; it means to save our health; it means we have peace of mind. Everybody wants to be around a joyful person. That’s why so many people go to the world. They think the world is happy. They dance, they laugh, they carouse, and the one who doesn’t know any better thinks they’re happy.

 

They look at the Christian, and they see an irritated look, they see a worrisome face, and they feel that the world has something to offer that the Christian doesn’t. We must not let the world outdo us in joy. What do you say?

 

Then, and, by the way, the laws of Jesus and joy are laws of strong allurement. Jesus allures, Hosea 2:14. And joy is strength, Nehemiah 8:10. So the joy of Jesus brings strong allurement. People want what we have when they find we’re joyful in the Lord. They feel at ease in our presence when we give them choice, and we’re humble. So, choice and humility are the two laws of human ease. They feel at ease around us. But when we’re joyful in Jesus, we allure them to the Christ in us.

 

Now then, there are three more special secrets or laws of communication. They are faith, hope and love. Now, faith is the victory law. What is faith? We want you to notice particularly faith isn’t merely trust in the Lord. It is that, but it’s much more than that. For us to have faith in a person with whom we communicate (follow me carefully), for us to express faith in a person with whom we communicate means that we let that person know that we believe that he is sincere.

 

Many times people will come to me, and they say, “How would you answer a person who said, ‘I don’t believe God exists’?”

 

I said, “Don’t answer him at all except to say, ‘I believe you are sincere.’” You will be astonished what a word of spoken faith will do to that individual. First John 5:4 says, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Let me give you a few illustrations, and I’ve shared it with two or three people individually this week because it’s so tremendous.

 

Last fall we were in a certain city where they invited us to go to a noon meal, and they explained to us it was because they had a niece they hoped we could reach. This young niece, only in her early 20s, was living out of wedlock, living in open sin. And they hoped that we might be able somehow to convince her, to persuade her, to cease to live in sin.

 

Now, we knew that we had no business to go there and make choices, right? That’s the law of choice. We knew we had no business to go there and belittle her, you see? If we nagged her and belittled here, she’d feel ill at ease. So at once we knew we shouldn’t nag her; we shouldn’t belittle her.

 

We knew that as we sat to the noon meal we should reflect the joy of Jesus because the Lord has promised to deliver people who all their lifetime were subject to bondage, Hebrews 2:14-15. So we had a right to sit there and eat that happy lunch together, and everybody could see in our faces that we believed Jesus Christ. If our faces reflect a solemn worry, you think she would have any confidence in our telling her how to be happy if she couldn’t see any happiness stamped on our features, you see?

 

And then we knew that in order to apply the right kind of pressure that she would like, we must speak faith, not merely in God but faith in her together. Faith in whom? Everybody: Faith in her. Again: Faith in her!

 

After the meal was over…And I was praying for the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is the One that can help us to talk faith in a person in whom we seem to have no confidence. After the meal was over, and we were getting ready to leave, different ones were talking to different ones there, and I was asking the Lord to help me. And as the Lord would have it, this young lady (I’ll call her Mary), Mary and I were over in one section of the room just alone, maybe no one within six or eight feet. Now, faith is the victory. If I can express faith in a person who is living in open sin…How are you going to express faith in a person who is living in open sin? Can you say how?

 

Well, this is what the Lord impressed me to say. I took Mary by the hand, gave her a little gentle squeeze, I looked her full in the face, and I said, “Mary, I want to make a prediction. I predict that you’re going to have a fabulous experience in Christ, and you’re going to be a tremendous witness for Jesus.” Mary looked at me, and that’s all I said. “So glad to have seen you,” and such like, and we left.

 

We got her telephone number and her address up in Michigan, several hundred miles from where we were. We called her a few times, couldn’t get her on the phone. And then finally in another city, I called her, and she answered. “Hello, Mary. This is your friend, Brother Coon.”

 

She said, “Oh, Pastor Coon. I want to ask you a question. When I saw you a few months ago, why did you tell me that you believed that I was going to be a wonderful success in witnessing for Jesus?” Now, what would you tell her?

 

I said, “Because I believe it.” You see how uncomplicated it is? Faith is the victory. “I believe it.” I said, “We’re holding a series of meetings about a hundred miles from you. I don’t know whether you can ever get down here or not, but in case you can, if you could come maybe an hour early, I’d like to have a little visit with you.”

 

“Oh,” she said, “I want to see you, Pastor! I want to see you!”

 

Sure enough, she came about an hour early. We met her in the pastor’s study. When she came in the pastor’s study, I shook her hand warmly. She said, “Pastor, I want to ask you a question. Why did you tell me that you believed that I was going to be such a success in Jesus?”

 

What would you tell her? I said, “Because I believe it.” And as we sat there, she told how that the man she was living with was persecuting her. And the thought came to my mind, why is it that he’s persecuting her? And I tried to be very casual. You don’t act shocked. And I said, “Why is he persecuting you?”

 

She said, “Because he doesn’t want me to go to church.”

 

I said, “Do you suppose that maybe somebody in the church has belittled him?” And that brings us back, my friends, to this law of humility. If somebody belittles an individual, that individual does not feel at ease in that person’s presence. And if he starts to nag and belittle, they don’t feel at ease at all.

 

Sure enough, Mary said, “Yes.” She said, “My own father said to me, ‘Don’t you have anything to do with that scoundrel.’” My friends, is it any wonder that the man she was living with didn’t want to be around any of the people that professed the same as her father? He had nagged and belittled.

 

But I was listening and praying for the Holy Spirit, and there she was talking about this man that she was living with persecuting her. You know what I’d like to have said? “Mary, you get out of that house right away!” Oh, wouldn’t that have been a nice missionary visit report? Then I’d have been like the man who said that he found what was wrong with him. He said, “I found what’s wrong with me. I’ve been working for the Lord like,” whom? We’ve told it twice already – like whom? Like the devil.

 

No, we don’t apply pressure. We let the pressure of faith and the pressure of love and the pressure of hope – faith, hope and love – these are laws of divine pressure which people like when the Holy Spirit in us applies faith and hope and pressure. They love that pressure. Judy longed to live up to my confidence in her…Mary would love to live it, I mean to say. She longed to live up to my confidence in her. I never said a word about leaving the man, but I was praying for the Holy Spirit.

 

I said, “By the way, Judy…,” Mary (I get all my names mixed up). “By the way, Mary,” I said, “I know it’s a long way to come, 200 miles round trip, but,” I said, “if you could get back again, Mary, to our meetings, I’d love to see you.”

 

She said, “I’ll come back in a couple of nights.” She came back a couple nights later, came in the pastor’s study, and Mary said, “Pastor, why did you tell me that you believed I had such a future?!”

 

What would you tell her? “Because I believe it, Mary.”

 

And as we sat there that evening, the third time I had ever visited with her in person, she said very quietly, she said, “You know, I’m now living with my brother.”

 

And I thought to myself, “I wonder if she’s left that man?” And you know my big nose wanted to be nosy. Oh, I could hardly wait. I hoped she was through. But, oh, how I wanted to say, “I hope you left him for good, haven’t you?” No, no, no, no. And I said, “You are living with your brother permanently or just a visit?”

 

“No,” she said, “I’ve left that man. I don’t want to live in sin anymore.”

 

My part was to express the faith and confidence in her that the Holy Spirit could use, and she longed to live up to that confidence, and the Spirit of God helped her to get out of that life of sin by helping me to speak a simple word of confidence in that girl. How about that?

 

Let me tell you about my own daughter. When my daughter was in her late teens, I was like any daddy, and like any mommy, you know we’re so scared that they may break some moral code, you know. We want them to even be better than we were because when I was a student I fell in love. Right in school I fell in love. I was in the third grade. And when I fell in love in the third grade, I looked across the school room, and there I saw Louisa. She gave me just one big smile, and my heart just turned seven directions.

 

And I looked at Louisa. And I thought I didn’t have to look at my arithmetic book; two times two equals Louisa, you know. I didn’t have to look at my grammar book; sweetheart Louisa. She had everything. I didn’t have to look at my geography; I looked at the map of Louisa, you know. And I found myself looking at Louisa and looking at Louisa, and the teacher said, “Glenn.”

 

I thought there must be another Glenn here. “Glenn, is there something wrong with your eyes?” I didn’t know there was anything wrong with my eyes. My eyes were enjoying themselves. And the whole pupil body looked at me, and I felt like sinking through the floor. Here I was a young scholar in the third grade, and people wondering if there was something wrong with my eyes.

 

But, you know, just at that time my mother, I heard my mother say to daddy (talk about faith, talk about faith!), I heard my mother say to daddy, “I can trust Glenn anywhere. He would never write a note to the girls.” I’d written a bushel already. When mother said, “I can trust Glenn; he would never write notes to girls,” her faith had a response. I longed to live up to her faith. It was the last note I wrote.

 

So, now when my daughter I worried about, I found a gulf being created by myself, and here I was just learning the seven secrets. And it seemed like the Holy Spirit caught up with me and said, “My dear son, Glenn Coon, you’re telling church members how to express faith in people. How about your expressing a little faith in your own daughter?”

 

“Oh, Lord, help me. How am I going to express faith in her without lying? How can I say I think she’s doing well when I don’t think she’s doing well? How could I say I believe in her when I don’t believe in her?”

 

And the Lord said, “Believe in her anyway. Believe in My power to bring her up to the level. Believe in Me! There’s joy and peace in believing in Me.” And, you know, the Lord took over. I was in the kitchen with my wife, and our daughter was in the other room, and what I said was just once sentence. Our daughter’s name is Juanita, Nita for short. We thought that was kind of neat.

 

And I said to my wife, “Doesn’t Juanita have wonderfully high standards,” and that’s all I said. I dropped one word, one sentence, of faith, just planted the one seed. Now, when you plant a seed in the soil, you don’t cover that seed with other seed. You cover it with something else. So the minute I said, “Doesn’t she have wonderfully high standards,” I talked about something else just like a magpie, Blrblrblrblrblr or something, so that she couldn’t respond and say, “Aha, you’re trying to butter me up.” She didn’t say a word because I went into orbit around something else.

 

When our daughter went to bed that night, what do you suppose the Holy Spirit impressed her with? “Why did daddy have such faith in you? Daddy believes in me? My daddy believes I can make it. Daddy believes I’m living a good life. I want to live a good life.” That’s the pressure of spoken faith.

 

Before that week was ended, friends, after my wife and I had retired for the night, her boyfriend came to see her. They were standing on the steps. We didn’t have a porch. I’m a preacher. And he held her hand as he chatted. As he was ready to leave, follow me, as he was ready to leave, he made a horrible gesture. The gesture was to kiss her on the wrist, the lowdown, sordid thing. And when he made a gesture to kiss her on the wrist, you know what my daughter said? She pulled back her wrist, she said, “No. My standards,” oh, praise the Lord, “my standards don’t permit it.”

 

When I heard it, I thought how fast that seed of faith worked. It grew up in one week. She longed to live up to my confidence. My friends, oh, that taught me a lesson. When you and I see a soul that’s going down the drain, don’t talk to them about going down the drain. Express faith in them. They long to live up to that faith. Jesus did that.

 

Jesus said to Peter, “You’re going to be converted, and you are going to strengthen your brethren.” And Peter, who denied Jesus Christ with cursing and swearing, six weeks later was the preacher on the Day of Pentecost. Faith pays off. Don’t talk doubt. Don’t talk suspicion. Suspicion creates the very evil it seeks to prevent.

 

I’ve often said to ladies whose husbands didn’t get home quite early enough, I said, “When he comes home late, and you see a little lipstick on his cheek, don’t talk doubt. Don’t say, ‘I don’t know where that came from.’ You know where it came from. You don’t have to talk doubt. But don’t talk about it. ‘I believe in you, honey.’ And the Lord will reward.” “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

 

Now, with faith there is love. Love is the success law. First Corinthians 13:8, “Love never faileth.” You know what love is? Follow me carefully. Love takes an interest in the other person’s happiness. There are many, many marriages that are ruined by a whimpering mate. The mate said, “You aren’t giving me…you just aren’t giving me any time.” And who wants to be around that face?

 

And the person said in his heart, “Man alive, I won’t give half as much now. Be around that? Who would kiss that face? I’d rather kiss a dog’s face than that face.” Whimpering isn’t love. Love takes an interest in the other person’s happiness. Love takes an interest in the other person’s interests. My beloved friends, if you have loved ones and neighbors who are whimpering over their marriage, tell them to stop whimpering and take a loving interest in the other person’s interests and be a joyful, a joyful spouse. Everybody wants to be around a joyful person who wants to make somebody else happy. My friends, it works like magic.

 

Now, the combination of faith and love is hope. When I express faith in a person, and I express an interest in his happiness, it gives him hope. The Bible says so. Romans 8:24 says, “We’re saved by hope,” saved by hope. It also says, “By grace are you saved, through faith,” grace being love. You’re saved by loving grace through faith. So the combination of love and faith is hope, saved by hope.

 

Hope is a wonderful thing. Let me give you another experience that I had. Now, I was just learning the ABC’s of prayer, and I was already beginning to teach the ABC’s of prayer, and I was also teaching these seven secrets. I was teaching them in my churches, and the Holy Spirit just flooded our church as we were teaching these wonderful secrets. Little did I realize that the real test of whether I was learning the ABC’s of prayer and the seven secrets, the real test was just ahead.

 

My daughter now was in her late teens. There was a young man on the college campus where I was pastor who had just divorced his wife. There were young people there, only about 19 and 20, I believe. He had just divorced his precious wife. They had had a little spat, so he had to divorce her.

 

This young man was…well, did you ever hear of a pretty man, of a real pretty man? There are some men that are handsome, very few. But no man is pretty. But, yes, this young man was actually downright pretty. When he smiled, there were no girl’s smile that was prettier. Oh, my. It was infectious. All he had to do was look at a girl and smile, and just like a magnet…And I thought, “I hope he doesn’t look at my daughter.” Sure enough he did, and my daughter just…And I didn’t say much, but I’m sure my daughter knew how I felt. But he had no reason to divorce his wife, and here my daughter was keeping company with this fellow, a preacher’s kid!

 

And, you know, I found myself becoming so upset that I just didn’t want to see that guy anywhere. I hardly wanted to step where he stepped before I washed it with Lysol, you know. This young fellow divorcing that beautiful wife of his! And now it seemed like he wanted a harem. He wanted this girl and this girl and this girl, and they were all…And my daughter, I wouldn’t have felt so bad if it had been somebody’s else’s daughter, you know. And I tell you while my righteous soul was filled with righteous indignation, the Lord had kept me from saying anything, but my daughter could read through the lines in my face.

 

So she decided one day that she was going to remove this “daddy roadblock.” So, in case she did want to form a closer fellowship, daddy wouldn’t stand in the way. I remember the morning. She was there sitting on my bed early in the morning before I was out of bed. And as she started talking, it was about this boy. We’ll call his name Jim.

 

You know what she started doing? She started telling me how wonderful Jim was, and I knew exactly what it was about. She was going to try to persuade me to say, “Well, Janita, whatever you want to do.” And could I do that? I didn’t know what to do. For her to marry that thing?! (Ugh!)

 

So, as she started talking, I started using the ABC’s of prayer. “A” is what? Ask. Ask God to do what? What He’s promised, and I asked God in my heart (she didn’t know what I was doing), I asked God in my heart to fulfill the promise of James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom…” Did I lack wisdom. She was already so deeply emotional, I knew she wouldn’t take any counsel I was to give her, except by the grace of God.

 

If I were to put up the red flag, it wouldn’t do a bit of good. I knew that. I lacked wisdom, so in my heart I used the ABC’s. I said, “Lord, you promised me in James 1:5, if I lacked wisdom, You would give me wisdom. I ask You to do it.” What’s the “B” of prayer. “Lord, I believe You’re giving me wisdom.” What is the “C”? “I claim it, Lord, just like I claim baggage. I take hold of it. You are giving me this wisdom.”

 

I was doing this in my heart. And the first thing the Lord taught me as I was doing it was, “Smile at her.” You know, when you smile at her, it’s a little degree of what? And it gives her a little what? Hope and a little faith. So I smiled. You know, I smiled for more than 30 minutes. I never knew that those muscles had been used so slightly. I want to tell you, it became work, and the Lord said, “Keep on.” Smile a smile of faith. Smile a smile of love. Smile a smile of hope. This will exert the pressure.

 

And as I was smiling, she went through the whole rigamarole of how he probably had the right and how is wife was not quite what she should be. When my daughter got all the way through, now it was my turn. She looked at me wondering what my response would be. What would my response be? I don’t know? But the Lord said, “You believe, and thank God you have received.”

 

And, you know, I looked up into her face, and this is what I said, “Juanita, I have something wonderful for you. You will like this very, very much!” She hadn’t the slightest idea of what it was – neither did I. That was my way of claiming. When you ask for wisdom, and you tell God you believe it, act as though you did believe it, Amen?

 

I said, “It’s something wonderful,” and she looked at me as much as to say what it is. Since she didn’t know, and since I didn’t know, I couldn’t tell her. But I didn’t say, “I don’t know.” What would you do now? I’ll repeat it. I said, “Juanita, it is absolutely fabulous! It is fantastic!” And she had no idea what it was – neither did I.

 

The third time I said something like this, “Juanita, I want to tell you what I have to share with you is a secret that you’ll just love with all your heart. It’s so wonderful, it’s just out of this world.” It surely was. It wasn’t anywhere around me. And the moment I did it the third time, the Lord gave me the first tidbit of an answer, and you know what it was?

 

It was what we presented the first of our three studies on this over here: Humility. In Psalm 25, verse 9, it says, “The meek will he guide in judgment. The meek will he teach his way.” Was I meek? No. I was holier than Jim. Jim was like the offscouring. How could God tell me what to tell my daughter as long as I took this holier-than-thou attitude, right?

 

So, the Lord first straightened me out and helped me to say something that I would never have said except by His power. I said, “Juanita, Jim is a wonderful young man.” Wasn’t that a miracle? If you don’t think it was miracle, you don’t know how I felt up till that moment. “Jim is a wonderful person.” That was humility.

 

And my daughter looked at me, and she said, “Yes, daddy.”

 

Then the Lord gave me the next sentence, and I said, “His wife, isn’t she a beautiful…She’s as neat as wax. She’s a registered nurse at this young age. Did you notice how intelligent and very sweet she is?”

 

And my daughter said, “Yes, daddy, she is wonderful.”

 

Now, I was down on the third level down, respecting Jim, and my daughter got down on that humble level and respected the wife he divorced. Now the Lord could lead us both. And the moment I said it, and the moment my daughter accepted it, the Lord gave me the answer just like that.

 

I said, “Juanita, this is the answer.” She never knew for years that I didn’t know it up until then. I said, “This is the answer.” I said, “With such a wonderful young man as Jim,” isn’t that something? And I pulled my tongue out of my cheek, “With such a wonderful young man as Jim,” I said, “Suppose that you had married Jim in the first place. Suppose you and Jim had had a little fuss, and suppose Jim had divorced you. Do you know what you and I would like? We’d like if he found the companionship of some other young woman, that that young woman would send him back to you, wouldn’t we?

 

“Juanita, I make a prediction. I predict,” talk about faith! “I predict, Juanita, that the next time you see Jim, you’re going to say, ‘Jim, you already have the best wife in the world for you. I recommend that you go right back and court her. And when it’s appropriate, you’ll woo her, and when it is appropriate, you’ll propose to her. And she will say yes, and you’ll marry her, and you’ll be happy with her.”

 

And my daughter looked at me. She said, “Daddy, do you think I could do that?”

 

I said, “I know you could,” that’s faith. “I know you can, Juanita! I believe you’re going to do it, and the Lord will reward you in a special way.”

 

She said, “All right, daddy, I’ll do it.” The next date she had with Jim, she said, “Jim, I have news for you,” and was it news. Whew. “Jim, you have just divorced the best wife in all the world for you. You don’t need to look around at us girls anymore.” Isn’t that something for a teenager?! “Jim, I recommend that you go back to your wife, and you court her. Don’t hurry it. Then, at the appropriate time, you’ll woo her. Don’t hurry it. And at the proper time, you will propose, and she will say yes, and you will marry her, Jim, and you’re going to be happy now.”

 

And Jim looked at my daughter, and he said, “Juanita, do you think I could do that?”

 

Juanita said, “I know you can!” Where do you suppose she got that idea? From the same One from whom I got it. “I know you can, Jim!”

 

He said, “All right, Juanita, I’ll do it.” He began to court his ex-wife. At the proper time, he wooed her. Then he proposed to her, and she said yes, and they were married. And they were happy together until he died in her arms of cancer at a young age.

 

My friends, that taught me something about combining the ABC’s of prayer with the seven secrets. Let’s notice here. First of all, the Lord helped me to come to the place where I wouldn’t look down on Jim. Beloved friends, are you and I looking down at our mates or our children or our parents? Let’s ask God to forgive us. He cannot guide us in judgment while we are taking the sanctimonious attitude, right? Are we trying to choose for others, adults? Let’s ask God to help us to stop nagging. And then, my friends, are we really joyful Christians? Do we believe God will keep His word? And so, let’s say, “I know God is hearing and answering.”

 

“I know no matter what the circumstances are, I know God hears. I know He keeps His word.” Then express faith. Talk faith in God. Talk faith in His promises. Talk faith in the sinner. Talk faith in our loved ones. Talk faith in our mates. Talk faith in our children. Talk faith in our neighbors. And take an interest, a loving interest in the happiness of others, and it gives them hope. Do you know what faith, hope, and love do? They present to a person a tremendous pressure to live up to our confidence in them.

 

When I was a little boy, it seemed I would never grow up. My wife sometimes wonders. I wondered if I would ever grow up. My brother Lester and I were exceptionally small for our age, and we began to wonder if we would ever grow up. When I was 9 years old, I looked like about 6-1/2. And I was so ugly that as I walked past my uncle’s home, going to the little red school house, my uncle would come out on the front porch, and he would make fun of me. He would whinny like a horse. You could hear him laugh at me a half a mile away. “You’re the ugliest boy I have ever seen in all my life!” Oh, it pained me. He said, “You look like Aunt Dianthy.” Aunt Dianthy was a beautiful old lady, but no little boy wants to look like an old lady. And no old lady wants to look like a boy. And when he called me the old lady, it just pained me. Every time, “You’re the ugliest boy I have ever seen. You’re the ugliest boy I have ever seen.”

 

I’d come back home, and I’d say, “Mommy, am I the homeliest boy you ever saw?” She said, “You look good to me.” And, friends, had it not been for the faith and the hope and the love that my mother expressed in me, I would have never preached a sermon in my life. My mother used to look into my face and say, “Glenn, you’re going to be a missionary. You’re going to be a minister.” She said, “I believe you’re going to be a Samuel or a Joseph or a Moses.” She had a lot of faith. She didn’t have much judgment, but she had a lot of faith.

 

All I did was end up poor Glenn Coon. But, my friends, when I was preparing for baptism at the age of 9, I want to tell you what my mother said meant life to me. You know what she could have said? “Glenn, you don’t realize what you’re doing. You’re only 9. You’re only in the second grade.” I never even started school until I was 8. She could have said, “You’re only in the second grade, and you look like 6-1/2, and more than that, you don’t look like you have a brain.” No, sir.

 

She said, “You know, Glenn, you’re almost a man,” and I thought, “Is she kidding?” And I looked into her eyes, and the eyes were eyes of faith and hope and love. She really meant it. She didn’t know any better. Thank God for people who don’t know any better than to talk faith, hope and love! She said, “You’re going to make the grade. I’m glad you’re going to be baptized.” She said, “Son, and you’re going to be a mighty soul-winner for Jesus Christ.” I didn’t know at the time, but before we boys were born, she placed her hands on her abdomen and dedicated every one of her boys to Jesus Christ. No wonder five of us boys became ministers.

 

My friends, it was the confidence. It was the faith that she had in God. It was the hope that she instilled in our minds, the love in us. She said, “I’m glad you’re going to be baptized.” She said, “Now, son, I want to just give you a little hint.” She said, “When you’re baptized, it will make the devil very mad.” You see, Satan hates baptism. And Satan always – Satan always saturates the word baptism with doubt. Did you know that? And God always saturates it with faith. He said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”

 

This is why the devil tries to get parents to speak doubt when their children that are old enough to read and to pray and to sin are impressed by the Holy Spirit to be baptized, the devil impresses the parents to say, “I don’t think you know what you’re doing.” Never do it, friends. Don’t force anybody to be baptized, but don’t talk doubt when the Holy Spirit impresses them. Talk faith. When Jesus was baptized, His Father said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” My mother said, “Son, you will make many mistakes after you are baptized. You will fall flat on your face, but Jesus will help you to get right up and go right on toward the Kingdom. And you’re going to be a soul-winner.”

 

She said, “Terrible temptations will come. They will almost sweep you right off your feet, but when you fall, get right up and go on. Jesus will forgive you, and He will carry you right along. And you will go out and be a soul-winner and lead other people to Heaven. Every time you make a mistake, son, ask God to forgive you, get right up and go on. I’m glad you’re going to be baptized.”

 

I said in my heart, “Lord, I want to be the most perfect Christian when I’m baptized. I was baptized on a Sabbath afternoon. Two hours after I was baptized, I had a fight with my brother. Mother’s prophecy came true, “You’ll make mistakes.” Two hours, and, you know, my friends, had it not been for what my mother had done in building my hope, I would have been discouraged. The devil said, “You’re a hypocrite. Is a 9-year-old boy a hypocrite? No way. He’s just a babe in Christ.

 

And so are 29-year-old people who are coming to Christ, just babes in Christ. I just stumbled, but I felt terrible. The old devil started accusing me. “Look it here. You’ve just been baptized two hours.” Oh, I was so humiliated. Another reason I was humiliated was it was on the Sabbath I had had the fight. Two things that humiliated me, and the third thing that humiliated me was he licked me. All three strikes against me. And the devil said, “There’s no need of you going on.” It took me three days, friends, to dare to get up and go on. You know what gave me the strength? Mother’s faith, mother’s hope, mother’s loving faith, mother’s loving hope. I dared to get up and go on.

 

The last fight I had with my brother was when I was studying for the ministry in college. Brother, we really did it that time. Then the devil came along with his bony finger, and he said, “You are a hypocrite.” Was I a hypocrite? No, I was a human being. I was so ashamed. Planning for the ministry. Oh, I said, “Lord, forgive me.” The devil said, “The Lord will never forgive you.” I heard mother’s voice from yesteryear saying, “Get up and go on. Though you fall, Jesus will help you up. Be of good courage. He will forgive. Go on, and you’ll be a soul-winner.”

 

My friends, faith, hope and love are high-pressure laws of the Lord, and people long to live up to that confidence. When our daughter Juanita was just a little tyke, I don’t know how old she was, she began crawling on the floor. We hadn’t swept it that morning. There she was, crawling on the fall, a PK, a preacher’s kid, crawling on the floor, can you imagine? Talk about low standards. Do you suppose mother and I said, “Listen, Juanita, we are going to disinherit you right now”? No, “Honey! She’s making progress! She’s crawled six feet in six hours! It’s wonderful!”

 

One day we came out, “Mother, come quickly!” Juanita’s standing, had her hand on a chair. “Oh,” we said, “This is wonderful!” And right while we’re smiling, you know what happened? Kerplunk. “Now, listen, Juanita, if you didn’t plan to walk, why did you act like this?” Did we say that? Oh, no.

 

Another day, “Daddy, come quickly.” Juanita doesn’t touch a thing. She isn’t touching one thing, and she’s standing, little wobbly legs. And, oh, we looked down, and we said, “Oh, this is wonderful!” Again, what happened? Kerplunk. “But, Juanita, you’re going to make it!” That’s faith. That’s hope. That’s love. You know what? She can walk all right now.

 

Men and women have come to me all saturated with doubt that the devil has covered their souls with. Some of them have come, they said, “There’s no hope for me.”

 

I said, “Look, there is hope. Jesus Christ is our hope. There is faith. He talked faith in the vilest, and He said, ‘Whosoever will, may come,’ and that’s you. And He loves you with an everlasting love.” And when they really believe that He loves them enough to forgive them, and their faith reaches up, they dare to start again.

 

I was extending a call in a certain church many, many hundreds of miles from here, and I told this experience of myself. And then I invited people who wanted to come forward to give their hearts to the Lord. I think that particular morning, I invited people who wanted to be baptized. And back there in the middle of the audience, a lady begged pardon of someone, “May I slip out,” and the person next to her knew her. This lady had wandered very, very far from the Lord. And the person looked at her and said, “Are you going up?” We invited them to come to the Lord. They could unite with the family of the Lord. They could come back to Him. They could be in a baptismal class. They could be baptized. She said, “Are you going?”

 

She said, “Yes.” She said, “If the Lord would forgive Brother Coon for the mistakes he’s made, He will forgive me, too. I’m going up and being baptized.”

 

I said, “Praise the Lord.” What do you say?

 

Shall we pray? Our Father in Heaven, I thank You for Your wonderful mercy upon me. You have extended Your mercy and Your grace. You have extended Your faith and Your hope and Your love. And dear Lord, this evening there may be a heart who says, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And, Lord, as Your Holy Spirit draws very near, if You’re telling that person, “Yes, this is your night. You can go forward, and by your little public confession, just by the few steps you take, you’re saying, ‘Yes, I’ve either already decided to be baptized or I’m now deciding.’ And You’re saying as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” dear Lord, there may be such a heart.

 

Lord, You know from night to night we’ve been inviting people with different ailments to step to the altar, but tonight, Lord, we feel impressed to invite any who have already decided to be baptized or maybe those who have not yet decided but want to tonight to just come up here, and we have a little word of prayer together. Give them the strength. Help everyone to know that it’s not what we do, it’s what You can do. As we just reach up in simple faith in You, You have said, by grace, by grace are you saved through faith. Thank You for Your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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