The Greatest Impact

The personal touch means definiteness; specific mention of things for which you are grateful. Somebody somewhere is going to be eternally grateful if you reach out and touch their life in love for Jesus.

Scripture: Colossians 4:18


Alright, thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? Well, I’m happy in the Lord today, and so glad to be back with you. What I want to do today is to have a couple of thoughts under the heading of a “one last word,” because we’ll be looking at the last verse of the book of Colossians. Everything in the Bible is important because the Holy Spirit meant it to be. All scripture is God breathed, we read in His holy word, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction to righteousness that the man of God might be perfect — that means grown up and mature — that the person who reads the Bible might be grown up and mature, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

So all the verses are important and the last verse of Colossians 4, therefore, is important. What does it say to our hearts? Let’s read it. “The salutation by the hand of me, Paul. Remember my bonds,” so he was not only in prison, he was shackled. “Remember my bonds. Grace be with you, Amen.”

Written from Rome to the Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus. What do we say about this? What does it say to us? First of all, remember the importance of the personal touch. “The salutation by the hand of me, Paul.” Now, the rest of the book had been dictated and Tychicus and Onesimus probably took turns writing down what Paul had to say, laboriously putting it upon parchment probably, or some other form of writing material.

And now comes to the end and he says, “Here, I’ll sign it.” “The salutation by the hand of me, Paul.” The personal touch. Don’t you hate to get a letter that has been machine signed? I do, I know. Through the years in our office, we tried to get a personal touch to letters even though the letter itself might have been written on an automatic typewriter I always try to put a personal word at the end for people whom I knew, or for people who had a special need. I guess some of you know that because you’ve written to me and gotten an answer back.

Personal touch in a letter is very important. But more than that, there is a whole world of concepts that have to do with your relationship with other people. The personal touch. Your handshake tells a lot about you and how you feel about another person. Had you ever thought about that? Early in my life my father taught me to have a firm handshake. He said, “Don’t be a dead fish, boy.” He taught me to have a firm handshake. In all the years, it became firm enough so that sometimes people winced and I involuntarily then drew back realizing that I had squeezed their hands a little too hard as I greeted them after a morning service, perhaps.

Not only the firmness of your handshake but the unspoken language that passes between two human beings with a touch. You can say “I liked you” with a handshake or you can say “I’m putting up with you” or even “I despise you.” Yes, you can. And unfortunately even though our mouths may be saying the right words, what we say in that personal touch of a handshake, for example, belies the words and tells the real truth.

Personal touch. The importance of a personal visit or even a phone call to talk to someone or better still to go see them shows that you care in a very special way. I always remember the boy who looked up from a hospital bed a good many years ago now, shortly after I came to the College, be in the early ‘60s I guess. He had his appendix taken out. This was a boy who had no time for Bob Cook before. To him I was just that man. No time for me. Wouldn’t even give me the time of day.

But, I came to see him after his appendix had been taken out. And he was uncomfortable, of course, hurting right after the operation after he came out of the anesthetic. There I was, and I put my hand on his forehead and prayed lovingly for him. And when I said Amen, he looked up to me and said, “Gee, doc, you do care, don’t you?” Well, yes of course I do. I did then and I do now, but it’s important to let people know, isn’t it?

This lady is said to have complained to her husband that he never told her that he loved her. And he said, “I told you I loved you 40 years ago and if I ever change my mind, I’ll let you know.” Well, it’s a little bit more important than that – maybe a lot. To let people know that you care is very important. A personal touch. So go see the person.

Bill Miller told me… Do you remember Bill Miller any of you old-timers? He was chairman of the board of the College for many years, invested his very life in it. I think he may have lived long had he not worked quite so hard at helping to lead the work of the King’s College. How grateful I am for the stalwart character and the dedicated efforts of that dear man who, for so many years, served as chairman of the board of the College. We grew to be very close friends, he and I, of course.

He told me one time something that had happened a good many years before. I knew, of course, that Wendell P. Loveless who is immortalized in song and who for many years was in charge of the radio broadcasting of the Moody Bible Institute — I first met him when I came in as a student to Moody back in the late ‘20s — that Wendell Loveless had had this terrible accident where someone had crossed the median and had run into his car and he and his wife were terribly injured. And he was just about gone, but survived.

And Bill Miller heard about this. Bill lived in Long Island, vice president of Long Island Lighting, in those days he was, and he heard about it. He told me that he got on a plane, went out to the Chicago area, found the hospital where Wendell Loveless was lying in the bed there and went up to his room.

And when he opened the door and walked in and said, “Hello, my brother,” Mr. Loveless looked at him and through the bandages he could detect a smile. He was certain there was a smile in his eyes, anyway, and he said weakly, “I knew you’d come, Bill, I knew you’d come.”

Now, here was a man who took the time and the money to fly from New York to Chicago and to go see his friend who had very nearly been killed in this accident. “I knew you’d come.” It means so very much, beloved, to care enough to go out of your way for somebody. You want to think about that today? The personal touch in a letter; the personal touch in a handshake; the personal touch in a visit; the personal touch in a phone call; the personal touch in looking around and seeing what needs to be done and doing it without being asked to do it.

“The salutation by the hand of me, Paul.” He wanted them to know that he was personally involved in all that was being said in this blessed little letter that we call Colossians. Would you give some thought today, my precious friends, to doing something beyond routine? If you’re going to write a letter to someone, don’t just sign it. Say something in it that lets the recipient know that you’re thinking of him or her personally. If you’re going to write a thank you letter, don’t just say “Thank you for your kindness” and sign it John Doe.

You need to say “Thank you for your kindness and picking me up at the airport and taking me out for supper and taking care of me. I realize that there was so much that I couldn’t have done by myself that you made possible.” See, the personal touch means definiteness, specific, specific mention of things for which you are grateful.

Personal touch. “The hand of me, Paul.” Somebody somewhere is going to be eternally grateful if you reach out and touch their life in love for Jesus.

So many people are hurting. I tell the young people when I talk with them, “Everybody you ever meet will be hurting somewhere. Find out where that hurt is and help to put some of the healing balm of Gilead on it, some of the love of God and they’ll be grateful to you forever and forever.”

There was a man who waited for me every Monday morning when I was in college in Wheaton College. I lived in Glen Ellyn. I was pastoring a small tabernacle church there. We met in the basement of a defunct bank building. In those days, it was called the Glen Ellyn Gospel Tabernacle and on Sunday I would have anywhere from 4-7 services. I not only held meetings in my own church but in others as well.

And so, come Monday morning I had 8 o’clock Greek and I was tired and the world looked blue, but this man would wait for me on a certain corner. He was on his way to school as well. He was a farmer who had sold his farm and at age 40 had enrolled in the Moody Bible Institute to prepare for the ministry. Mr. Reed was his name. And he was on his way to catch the train to go into Chicago and he knew that I was on my way to 8 o’clock Greek. And he waited for me. And there we would meet on that certain corner.

And he would put his hand on my shoulder and he would say, “Brother Bob, you’re going to make it today. I’ve been praying for you. I know you’re working hard but you’re going make it.” And he would give me that firm hug around my shoulders and he’d smile at me and he’d go on his way.

I tell you I felt like I could lick the world after I met that good man. He encouraged me so very much. It was the personal touch of somebody who really cared. Wouldn’t you be that kind of somebody today? God grant that you may. We go on with this the next time we get together.

We pray that today we might have that extra personal loving touch that wins people to Thee, and that comforts their hearts, in Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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