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- Submitted: Jan 01 2013 01:54 PM
- Last Updated: Jan 07 2013 09:10 PM
- File Size: 1.2MB
- Views: 3460
- Downloads: 1,019
- Author: John G Mitchell
- e-Sword Version: 9.x - 10.x
- Tab Name: Philippians-JGM
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e-Sword 9+ Module Download:
Mitchell, John G. - Let's Revel in Philippians
John G Mitchell
9.x - 10.x
Foreword by Charles R. Swindoll, Th.D.
My first face-to-face connection with Dr. Mitchell came when I was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary in the fall of 1959. He was a visiting Bible lecturer. In fact, he returned for other series of lectures more than once before I graduated four years later.
I was so taken by his “scriptural saturation” (I don’t know of a better way to put it) that I told my wife Cynthia that she must attend the evening meetings in which he spoke to the general public. She and I never missed from then on. We shall forever remember his frequent exhortation to “read ya Bible!”
We had never heard such a Bible teacher as Dr. Mitchell, and we had heard many in our lives. His delivery was altogether unique—who will ever forget that Scottish accent?—his grasp of the written Word was incredibly comprehensive, his ability to trace various themes through the Bible was mind-boggling, and his devoted love for the Saviour was contagious.
I shall never forget how he often began his lectures with a gracious but firm reproof, concerned that we at the seminary might be getting an intellectual understanding of God’s Word but failing to have our hearts touched by the truth we were studying. His concern for our spiritual welfare melted me.
In the years that followed, it was my privilege to hear Dr. Mitchell on numerous occasions— in churches, at conference centers, at schools and other seminary settings. Each time I loved the Lord more after he spoke than I did before. Being in his presence was nothing short of being near one of the most Christlike men I’d ever known.
I recall one particular occasion when Cynthia was unsettled on a rather complicated subject. She and I had been taught a certain interpretation by one well-known Bible teacher and then a different interpretation by another respected scholar. Our confusion only intensified as we went to the Scriptures on our own and came to yet another conclusion.
At that time, Dr. Mitchell happened to be speaking nearby, which gave us the opportunity to attend the meeting and talk with him alone afterwards. With keen perception and in a quiet, gracious manner, he patiently listened to our dilemma and then explained the issue as he understood it (quoting numerous passages of Scripture in the process). Ultimately, he helped us both come to terms with an interpretation that squared with Scripture and made sense. We must have been with him for thirty or more minutes, yet he never seemed hurried or irritated. What a man!
In later years, it became my privilege to speak alongside Dr. Mitchell at various gatherings, and at his invitation to stand before his students at Multnomah School of the Bible and teach God’s Word—an honor I never took for granted. There he sat listening to me (of all people) and apparently enjoying the reversal of roles. He never failed to speak encouragingly as he affirmed God’s hand on Cynthia’s and my lives, as he took delight in our growth and as he found pleasure in the ways we were being used.
His quick wit often lifted my spirit. His passion for truth drove me deeper into my study. But it was his humility that impacted me the most in our final years of friendship. Never arrogant, never demanding, never jealous of another’s success, and never selfish for the limelight, the man modeled genuine greatness, authentic servanthood.
I have not walked in the shadow of many giants in my lifetime but John G. Mitchell was certainly one. My life is richer and my love for Christ is deeper because of his towering presence and godly influence.
To this day, when my spirit is heavy or my mind gets overwhelmed or my heart begins to grow cold and indifferent, the memory of that faithful, dedicated servant of the Most High draws me back to the path of absolute obedience and the life of simple faith.
I say with great gratitude, he, being dead, still speaks.