I just came upon this story from Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz. I read this book a number of years ago, but had forgotten about this awesome story he told about Bill Bright.
A guy I know named Alan went around the country asking ministry leaders questions. He went to successful churches and asked the pastors what they were doing, and why what they were doing was working. It sounded very boring, except for one visit he made to a man named Bill Bright, the president of a big ministry. Alan said he was as big as life, and listened to his questions without shifting his eyes. Alan asked a few questions-I don’t know what they were, but as a final question, he asked Dr. Bright what Jesus meant to him. Alan said Dr. Bright could not answer the question. He said Dr. Bright just started to cry. He sat there in his big chair, behind his big desk, and wept.
When Alan told that story, I wondered what it was like to love Jesus like that. I wondered quite honestly if that Bill Bright guy was just nuts, or if he really knew Jesus in a personal way, so well that he would cry at the very mention of His name. I knew then that I would like to know Jesus like that; with all my heart, not just my head. I really felt like that would be the key to something.”
I agree. I think that kind of knowledge and love for Jesus is the key to something big in our lives. Jonathan Edwards taught that knowledge of God wasn’t enough, but true conversion is marked not simply by knowing the truth, but by loving the truth we have come to know.