Interview with Jean McClure, Part 3
This article was taken from an interview with Jean McClure in September 2020 with Calvary Chapel Magazine writer Christmas Beeler. Jean and her husband Don McClure, a longtime Calvary Chapel pastor, now run Calvary Way Ministries, a teaching ministry reaching around the world. They have been married since 1968, and Jean has served in full-time ministry for nearly five decades. You can find more information about Calvary Way Ministries at calvaryway.com. In Part 3, she discusses how Christians can help others who are afraid and troubled during our turbulent times. Jean also shares some of her favorite resources, books, and a website that can help us grow in our walk with and knowledge of God.
Christmas Beeler: It’s hard to be anxious when we start the day with the Lord and meet with Him. As believers, we can help ourselves and encourage ourselves in the Lord. How can we help others? You can see it in people’s eyes that they’re afraid and troubled, and you feel that responsibility as a believer to offer some hope or truth. How can we do that when many people are in quarantine?
Jean McClure: It’s really important. I love one-liners, and in the front of my Bible I keep thoughts. I read this last night: Daniel and Joseph, who were both imprisoned in other countries, both taken in, really, into slavery. The sentence I had written, and I don’t know where I got it from, says, “Lord, make me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” I thought, Daniel certainly was fruitful. I can’t believe that Joseph would have all those brothers who would sell him as a slave. You never read where Daniel and Joseph failed, where they didn’t constantly serve, where they didn’t want to constantly be fruitful where they lived. Even Joseph in prison and Daniel in the lion’s den.
We can help people by praying for them and sharing [Christ and God’s Word] with them. One of the things that I’ve done a lot is to call my friends during this time, even from the very beginning of this whole plague. Six months ago, I started walking in the morning and would call my friends. I would just share what the Lord had been showing me. And they would share with me. It was such a blessing. The other day, I called my friend Cathy Foche in Philadelphia (wife of Calvary Chapel Philadelphia Senior Pastor Joe Foche), and she said, “Oh, the Lord gave me this verse the other day.” The riots and the news were just driving us all crazy. And she just said, When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19b). That verse has come to me daily since then. I hope the things I share daily with others help, too.
Something really hit me as I was driving down the freeway with Don. I looked up, and on a bridge over the freeway, someone had tacked a sign, homemade, that had two words on it: Trust Jesus. That has echoed in my head ever since, and I’ve shared it with so many people. I suddenly realized at that moment, that was the bottom line in all of this. Trust Jesus. He knows what’s going on. He knows all about it, and He gave us prophecy as if to say, Don’t be afraid when these things come because I told you they were coming.
I think about a story that my mom told me. She was going to church and she loved the Lord. I was in college at the time, maybe a little older. She told me how her pastor had said to pray for your neighbors, to witness to your neighbors. Who’s your neighbor? You usually live in a neighborhood. Sometimes we think of people outside of that. My mom came home that day and said, Lord, who is my neighbor? Who do You want me to pray for? The older couple next door had a son in his 20s who was in law school; and just at that moment, he came flying down the driveway in his red sports car. It was right by my mom’s bedroom window. The Lord told her, He’s your neighbor. Get to know his name and pray for him.
And they did. His name is Tom, and both my parents would pray for him every day. One day they met Tom and invited him to go swimming in their pool. He grew to love my parents. They’d visit each other. Then they’d say, “We’re having devotions. You want to stay?” He began to get so curious; he was listening to what they were saying. One day they invited him to a Billy Graham crusade, and he accepted, adding, “Can I bring my mother?” It was not an easy life for Tom and his mom, sometimes—his father was an alcoholic. He went to the crusade, took his mom, and on that night, he said he understood the Gospel. And he and his mom grabbed each other and ran forward to accept Christ. He went on to minister to many other people.
So I think, Who’s your neighbor? My parents also prayed for the couple on the other side. The woman committed suicide. She got terribly depressed after a pregnancy. My mom began to reach out to that dad and little girl, and when she grew, they asked to take her to Sunday school. That girl accepted Christ, and that family changed.
Who’s your neighbor? That’s what we’re expected to do. We need to be fruitful in this difficult time. The biggest way we can do that is to love people, be a witness, bring them cookies, whatever [you can do]. You don’t win people by saying, “You’re going to hell.” It doesn’t work. You win people by loving them. The Scripture’s huge on that. Love your neighbor. I think that’s the best thing we can do. People listen to you if you love them.
Christmas: So much of what you said is helpful and on the practical level where we need it right now: putting off the weights, the baggage, the guilt, the bitterness, the old memories; and putting on the new, getting in the Word of God, praying, and reaching out to our neighbors. Doesn’t it seem like the enemy is trying to divide everyone, saying, “They’re your enemy.” No, they’re not. They’re just not saved yet. But the Lord loves them. I love you talking about loving on my neighbor.
Jean: I go to the market and just try and smile. Although I have a mask on, my eyes will crinkle. And people smile back at me. I just think, I hope I made them feel better today. Take Jesus with you into that store. Say a kind word to the checker—she’s working hard. Be thankful for everything God’s given you.
Christmas: We were talking about filling our minds with things that are helpful. You have some book recommendations. I think it would be great if we could share them.
Jean: Make sure if you read devotional books and other books, that they’re by sound teachers that are strong in the Lord. The Final Act by Chuck Smith is so clear on prophecy; he makes it so simple. He goes through the Rapture, tribulation, and the Great Tribulation—the stages of prophecy. He talks about what’s going to happen at this time. One of the things he described was abnormal sexual activity, and as we know today, that’s becoming the [norm]. Blasphemy was another one. Language you could never say on TV, everyone says today. It talks about conscience-searing, demonic activity, false peace, false prophets. He explains it and gives all the Scriptures for it. Some of the things, because he wrote it a few years ago, are taking place right now.
I love Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s books. She’s just clear and simple for women. Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, based on Titus 2, encourages older women to invest themselves in the lives of younger women and younger women to widen their circles to include women who have walked further down the road.
There are so many great books out there. I read one recently, The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. It goes through the [lives of the] children of Israel. It was a deeper book but applies to our lives today—that through the hard things you go through, God actually takes you there to teach you something.
I like some of the older devotional books. Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman is wonderful if you’re going through difficulty. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is deep and rich. It might be harder for the younger generation to understand, but you can—the Holy Spirit will help you. Anything you can get by Amy Carmichael and Elisabeth Elliot is good. That generation [of writers] is just deep. Without so much technology, they had time to sink their teeth into God’s Word.
Christmas: Talk about the Blue Letter Bible (blueletterbible.org). Any Scripture you look up on there, you can click on it and find a commentary from a solid Bible teacher to explain it better. They also have courses.
Jean: Sometimes you want to have a devotional life, but maybe you’re a new Christian and you don’t “get it.” If you go to sites like that, and you look up commentaries, it just makes Scripture clear and explains it—it really helps. I encourage people to do that. There are a lot of Bible studies online. Just make sure you’re going to one that’s teaching right out of God’s Word because there are a lot of false doctrines today. Check it with your pastor; find good teachers that are old and dyed-in-the-wool and teach straight from God’s Word.
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
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