Madeline Johnson, a junior at Southern Wesleyan University, challenged the High School Chapel audience of Southside Christian in Simpsonville, South Carolina with an inspiring message on Thursday, January 30, 2020. If you would like to read my summary of Madeline’s message, “Obey! For God’s Glory and Our Good!” please read on. . . .
French Teacher Brett Henderson (guitar and lead vocals), Vocal Music Teacher Fred Barrett (violin accompaniment), Mathematics Teacher Brad Scott (percussion), and senior Justin Harms (keyboard accompaniment) served as lead worshippers during a time of worship through song.
Pastor Colin Urbanick, Campus Pastor / Director of Discipleship offered words of encouragement to the audience. He said, “Our speaker comes at a perfect time, International Festival Week. The Kingdom of God is not isolated to the United States. Jesus’ design was for the Gospel to extend to the entire world. That’s good new for us. And that’s a responsibility for all of us. We are called to make disciples of all people groups — in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all of the ends of the earth. This week is a time to celebrate The Great Commission.”
Avery Anderson (SCS ’18) introduced Madeline Johnson as chapel speaker. Madeline is a Social Sciences / Business Administration major at SWU. Her ultimate plan for her life is rescue and restoration of women who have been trafficked, likely in the Dominican Republic, where she has served in ministry. She is the International Justice Mission President at SWU. Avery said, “She is a bold and utterly unfettered follower of Jesus!”
“Obey! For God’s Glory and Our Good!”
By Madeline Johnson
High School Chapel
Southside Christian School
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Summary of and Editorializing by Dr. Bob Stouffer, High School Principal (All mistakes are mine alone.)
I am excited to be with you.
The Lord has taught me so much about having a heart for the world. What’s the end goal of having a heart for the world?
- God’s glory and
- Our good.
God’s glory is above our good, but God directs His goodness at us.
The Israelites were finally on their own in Egypt. At the Red Sea, God received the glory for Himself by rescuing His people for their good.
God receives glory by people receiving salvation.
That is His heart for you.
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. He puts our broken selves back together.
God’s glory and our good go together.
God is making all things new.
In heaven, God will receive praise and glory from us, the very best for us. We will be perfectly new. This is God’s heart for the entire world.
How does He accomplish this?
- By the work of the Holy Spirit and
- Our obedience.
We are commanded to make disciples of all nations.
If you are in Christ, God has given His Holy Spirit to you — for His glory and your good.
You may have the Spirit in you, but you still need to obey Him. Take up your cross daily. We are called to self-denial every day. In obeying, we experience God’s glory and goodness.
You have major decisions to make in your lives. You need to obey God with each of these new decisions.
Be bold in your faith.
In obedience, we make a dwelling place for God and His glory for our good.
Put on Revelation 21 goggles. The dwelling place of God will include us! Our tears will be wiped away. No more pain. No more sin. The One who conquered will be our heritage.
This should change how we live. You will not waste your time. You won’t complain. You will evangelize. This is what the future holds! This vision needs to change the way we live, especially as we reach out to people who do not know Jesus and are going to hell.
I want to tell a story from the Dominican Republic. The D.R. is hot and humid. This is a photograph of a garbage dump, with loose trash everywhere. The smells of the trash were horrible. There’s unrest in Haiti and the D.R. People leave Haiti for a “better life” in the D.R. Kids dig through the garbage to find food. Here, we weren’t too far from the ocean shoreline. Cruise ships were on the horizon. I thought to myself that these people on the ships had no idea about the poverty a few miles away. Our ministry collected food and water for the hungry people.
One day, a grocery truck dumped meat and other food that had spoiled. The people surrounded this truck, frantic to find even spoiled food. These people were starving. We don’t know starvation. We miss a meal and say we’re starving. I handed peanut butter sandwiches to a man. He stuffed the sandwiches in his shirt. He went back to digging in the trash. I asked him why several times. He said nothing. He just kept digging in the dump.
I was this man! Jesus came to me in my mess. He handed me a piece of Himself. He said, “Taste and see that I am good.” But I too often stuff Him in my shirt and keep digging in the dump. Jesus is so much better. But we choose the garbage around us. I think I need to prove myself. I choose the trash of this world. I don’t trust that Jesus is better than what is in front of me.
Friends, He is offering everything to us.
Will you get up and go?
Will you choose His goodness and glory?
Will you obey His Holy Spirit and Word?
Will you pick up your cross and follow Him daily?