There was a mighty move of God that started in the small Gulf Coast city of Pensacola FL that ended up reaching the world, The Brownsville Revival. This was the moment that was such a significant shift for so many people. It was as if there was a line drawn in the sand signifying the moment before Father’s Day 1995, and the moment after. Everything was different. Everything. Steve Hill was the evangelist that preached the Gospel every night with Pastor John Kilpatrick. Steve ended up bringing his wife, Jeri, and their three children in response to what the Lord was doing. Steve knew it wasn’t just about those who were present that particular day. He would tell everyone, “GO TELL SOMEBODY!” He did everything he could to get the message out. Both Steve and Jeri lived their lives with other people in mind, always. Greg recently had the privilege of sitting down with Jeri Hill and remembering these beginning days as well as their time evangelizing the world for Jesus Christ.
In the West, In America, it appears that the only thing that ever really matters, is self. We are inundated with every imaginable comfort and convenience known to man. This is not so in the rest of the world. Steve and Jeri and been evangelists for many years leading up to this moment in many areas throughout the world, and they witnessed firsthand the stark contrasts of lifestyles in the rest of the world. Jeri recalls looking back on her life as she has traveled to 60 different countries, how the Lord wants us to respond to people, no matter what country we’re in.
“What God is wanting us to be as Christians, is that every single one of us operate in the gift of …Evangelism, sharing their faith with people.” Jeri highlights how much the importance of the Love of Christ, just like people talk about the love of their life, “we are supposed to have our First Love and that First Love makes you want to talk about Him, and share Him with others, especially if you’ve been rescued from a life of sin and bondage”. The beauty of Jesus, as Jeri continues to share is, “we don’t have to keep Him to ourselves, we can share Him with everybody”. Could it be that the very absence of the Love of Christ keeps people from sharing the Gospel with others?
It was this devoted love for Christ that drove each and everyday that Steve and Jeri Hill lived for Jesus. As Jeri shares, “when Steve and I got saved, we knew from the very beginning that our lives would not be our own anymore. It was God’s. We didn’t want to rule our lives. We didn’t want comfort to rule our lives”. That begs the question for all of us, how do we get out of our selfishness? When presented this sobering reality, Jeri reminds us of Galatians 2:20, “I have been with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The crucified life is a direct assault on the selfish life. If Jesus calls us to live dead to ourselves, you can basically say that we shouldn’t be getting our feelings hurt all the time. As Greg reminds us, “dead feelings don’t hurt”.
Jeri highlights how the reality of Eternity drives her everyday decisions, “one day I am going to be held accountable to God and actually I live today like I’m accountable to Him”. Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t live their lives this way, even after professing to have a relationship with Jesus. As Steve Hill said many times, “religion is hanging around the Cross, but Christianity is getting on the Cross”. Jesus made a decision to pay the price to demonstrate His love for us by being crucified for our sake, how could we not make a decision and pay the price to live out the crucified life everyday to demonstrate our life for Him? As Greg highlights, “this is our opportunity…this is our moment”. Jeri also shares about the mandate the Lord has called her to carry out even after Steve has gone on to be with the Lord and continue sharing about the Lord’s goodness and His glory.
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