During my college days in Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to hear John Bisagno preach on a few occasions. His sermons always challenged me. He was a native Okie who had moved from First Southern Baptist Church in Del City, OK to First Baptist Church in Houston, TX.
Bisagno was a trumpeter in a dixieland band (Dixieland Allstars) before he became a Christian and went into the ministry. Recently he told the following story about his early discouragement in the ministry and the temptation to return to being a trumpet player. Nothing against trumpet players, but I’m glad Bisagno has spent his life preaching the gospel.
Bisagno put down his trumpet and took up preaching. Just a few years later he was a young preacher speaking at churches around Oklahoma. He said it was some seven years before he ever preached to a hundred people at one time.
One night, he was driving home after a revival meeting where only a couple people had responded to the Gospel and he’d received a $60 love offering. Driving home, his dilapidated car had a flat tire. After finally getting back on the road, Bisagno, discouraged from his lack of success, turned on the radio to hear an announcer say, “From the beautiful Parisian Room atop the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans, La., the music of Tony Almerico and the Dixieland Allstars.”
“The devil said, ‘Come on back,'” Bisagno recounted.
He immediately turned the dial to hear, “From Minneapolis, Minn., Billy Graham and the Hour of Decision.” George Beverly Shea then began to sing, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.”
What is it that tempts you to leave behind your calling to follow Christ?