My Grandfather’s Words
“Each one is given some proof of the Holy Spirit’s presence for the good of all.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 Today’s English Version
The words that we speak carry with them the power of the Lord through generations. You will see the verse above is quoted from a version called Today’s English Version. I don’t know if that version is even available today, but I chose it because I took that verse directly from a Bible that belonged to my Grandfather. I didn’t know my Grandfather well, he died when I was a young teenager, and he had spent many of his last years suffering from dementia.
Because of my passion for ministry to Jesus, when the time came that my father began to distribute some of the things he had kept from his father, it seemed natural to give me a few of his Bibles and Christian books. The one I treasure is a simple paperback, Today’s English Version of the Bible. As a little boy, I recall sitting at the dinner table and my Grandfather reading to us from that Bible before we ate. I remember little of my Grandfather, but I recall that clearly, even the sounds his dentures would make as he read the Bible.
Fast forward to today. My wife and I started a church plant that is called City On A Hill Teaching Center. The basis of all we do is teaching the Word so that all would come to Christ and grow to become Cities on a hill in their lives, a light that cannot be hidden. [Matthew 5:4] I have my Grandfather’s old Bible in my study at the Church. One day, just weeks after starting the Church, I opened his Bible to the verse above and found that my Grandfather had inserted a piece of paper there, with his handwritten prayer. It appeared to be something prepared for reading publically at his church. His prayer concluded with these words, “Inspire each of us to greater usefulness as thy servants”.
Where Paul had been speaking of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in 1 Corinthians 12:7, my Grandfather was praying for people of Christ to be useful in their service to Him. For 50 years those words sat appearing dormant, but they were waiting for the appointed time. I read those words for the first time 50 years later, after beginning a ministry with the heart of his prayer.
My conservative Mennonite Grandfather was reading about the work of the Holy Spirit in each one of us and prayed that each would be inspired to be greater servants to Him. Little did he know it would produce fruit years later in the life of his grandson, who would base a ministry with that same passion of heart! A man not acquainted with the power of the Holy Spirit was used by the power of the Holy Spirit to plant a seed that is being lived out today through his grandson. Consider what words you speak over your family and what fruit will come of it as your heritage and His glory!
J Todd Hostetler