July 1 is a big day. It is the first day my new book, Simple Gospel—Simply Grace, will be available in bookstores. This is the book I have always wanted to write.
In the book, I tell the story of an elderly gentleman named Jim. I met him at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, GA. I was working there as an orderly to enhance my medical school application. He was a patient hoping to get well.
The head nurse on Jim’s floor paged me to help Jim. I entered his room and introduced myself.
While I was taking care of him, I struck up a conversation. I mentioned that I was a Christian. With that, he started asking me what I knew about God.
His honesty was refreshing. In a matter of fact way, he admitted, “I’ve never had any real beliefs about God. I believe he exists, but it’s never made any difference to me”.
So I told him about Jesus. I told him that Jesus had died to forgive his sins and was raised from the dead so that he could have eternal life. And I read several passages of scripture to him. I could tell he was taking in every word. I knew I was watching a miracle in the making.
After I read the last passage, I asked him if he would like to receive Jesus into his life. We prayed together. He expressed his faith in Christ with such simplicity and ease. His words were drenched with humility and thankfulness and he spoke them directly to Jesus. In essence, he said this, “Lord, I believe.” When he opened his eyes, Jim was a new man.
I started visiting Jim daily. We talked, and I read Bible verses to him. His enthusiasm was contagious. “I’m going to shout this message from the rooftop” he told me one day. “If I ever get out of this hospital, I’m going to proclaim it to the world.”
Jim never made it out of the hospital. He died three weeks after coming to know Jesus. His story had a profound impact on me. Here is what I wrote in the book.
One afternoon while carrying out my duties on the orthopedic floor, I heard “Code Blue room 325” over the intercom. This was Jim’s room. I took off running, but in the depths of my soul I knew my friend was now with the Lord. When I got there, the doctors had already pronounced him dead. But I knew the truth. Jim was fully alive and in the presence of the Lord.
The trajectory of my life changed that day. Watching Jim come to life in Christ birthed in me a new dream and a new passion. I wanted to be a part of God’s great rescue mission in some way. I wanted to connect people to Christ’s resurrection story and see others crossover from death to life.
God’s rescue plan is simply grace. There is no other way for us to be saved. There is no other way for us to enjoy Christ’s abundant life. This is our only hope.
When I met Jim 35 years ago, I was on a path to become a medical doctor. I wanted to help people get well. At least that was the story I told. Deep down, I just wanted all the stuff that comes with being a doctor—respect, prestige and money. Practicing medicine had never captured my heart. In fact, nothing had.
That is, until God captured my heart by His grace.
My prayer is that God will use Simple Gospel—Simply Grace to capture many hearts by His grace.
The first shipment of books will arrive soon and I want you to have a copy.
This is my way of saying thank you for standing with us in God’s great rescue mission. The many prayers you offer and the financial support that you give to Basic Gospel are connecting people to Christ’s resurrection story. I am so grateful that together we can deliver this good news to believers and unbelievers alike.
Can you think of anything more worthwhile, more exciting, or more compelling?
Here is my hope – that through the book, we can raise $100,000 by July 31 to help Basic Gospel reach more people with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
So I ask you in response to this letter to give your most generous gift of the year. This is a message that, as my friend Jim said, is worth shouting from the rooftops.
Let’s keep proclaiming Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection. And in so doing, let’s help more and more people like Jim live in God’s simple plan, which is simply grace.
In His grace,
The offer, Simple Gospel, Simply Grace, associated with this letter has expired, however you may purchase it online here or request it by phone at 800.727.2828.