I want to share the story of John Harper. John and his six year old daughter had boarded the famous Titanic and were traveling to America to pastor Moody Church, in Chicago. While on their voyage, the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink. John quickly led his daughter to a life boat and began to give orders to the frantic crowd,
“women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats.”
When a non-Christian man rebuked John for ordering others to the lifeboat, John gave the man his life-jacket and said, “you need this more than I do.” On a sinking ship, John was intent on one thing—saving the lost.
As the Titanic sank, one survivor recounted his experience with John that frightful night. Clinging to floating debris, John Harper swam up to this survivor and challenged him saying, “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, this survivor rejected John’s message but gave his life to Jesus when John pleaded again. Soon he was rescued by a returning lifeboat but not before seeing John sink to a watery grave. Later this survivor shared, “I am the last convert of John Harper.”
This story is at once, tragic and heroic. One thing however is clear, John Harper understood his calling. John’s calling and ministry are not so different from yours, which is to reach the lost with the good news of Jesus. My prayer for you is that like John Harper, you would receive the grace of God that calls you to a loving conviction. A conviction that your life is worth being spent in love for another.