IN HIS HEART
by Larry Efird
Philippians 1:7-8, “Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
Dwight l. Moody, the well-known American evangelist in the latter half of the 19th century, has a prominent place in Civil War history. No, he did not lead invasions or sieges. He was not responsible for advancing the cause of abolition, though his New England heritage influenced his political convictions in this area. His name does not even appear in list with Lee or Grant. Why, then, does he figure prominently in the Civil War dispensation of American history?
Moody was extremely active in the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). He was instrumental in starting the North West Branch of the United States Christian Commission (USCC) which was an outreach ministry of the YMCA to help relieve the suffering of the sick and wounded soldiers and provide for their spiritual needs. He along with others of the USCC would travel to various war zones, such as Shiloh, Chattanooga and Richmond. His sole purpose was to relieve the suffering and take the Gospel to the front line of battle. Many young and old soldiers were led to Christ through the ministry of Dwight L. Moody, some as they lay wounded and dying.
Dan Whittle was a young soldier influenced for Christ by Moody. He was a lieutenant in the Seventy-Second Illinois. He had been critically wounded in the Battle of Vicksburg. After he returned to his home in Chicago, his heroism was applauded. Sometime later, when Whittle was speaking at a political gathering, he felt somewhat weak and inadequate. Moody took it upon himself to encourage the young man from the audience.
It is recorded that Whittle said, “When I told him (Moody) sometime afterward of how much good his sympathy had done that night … I was rewarded by his reply: ‘I took you in my heart that night and you have been there ever since’”
Likewise, the apostle Paul had taken the Christian at Philippi into his heart. He loved them, and he wanted most of all for them to follow the Lord daily. As D. L. Moody and as St. Paul took people into their hearts, so Christ took us into His. He has you in His heart – He loves you and wants the best for you. The question is, do you have Him in your heart?