Who Jesus sees as successful …


Jerry Cook        

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."   - Matthew 5:5

Jerry Cook

Jerry Cook

Ron Rearick is one of the best examples I know of power out of control that became power under control, or meekness.  When I think of his story, which I learned about through his book, Iceman, I can hardly believe that the violent criminal described there is the same man I have come to know and love over the past several years.

Ron Rearick was a Mafia strong man.  His last crime was to hijack a plane for a million dollars.  Ron miraculously met Christ in prison and nearly as miraculously was released soon after by the same judge who had sentenced him to twenty-five years just a few months before.

Although Ron had been converted, he didn't know much about meekness at first.  That's clear from his account of an early attempt to witness:

One Saturday, I decided to go to the park and watch how the Jesus People witnessed.  These kids were quite a bit younger than I, and they dressed a little funny, as far as I was concerned.

I purchased a handful of tracts to give away.  While walking through the park, I handed a tract to a group of three students.  One of them glanced at the tract, crumpled it up and threw it on the ground.  That really burned me up.  I reached down, picked it up, handed it back to him and said, "Hey, man, straighten up and read it, right now, in front of me! . . ."

The kid was obviously shaken.  I decided I was going to break through to him; I was going to teach him to respect God.  After he had time to read the tract, I asked, "Now, are you ready to receive Christ?  Are you ready to do the four steps and respond to it?"

The guy just looked at me dumbfounded, and said:  "Hey, man, who are you kidding?  Get off my back!"

With that, I grabbed him by the throat and slammed him up against a tree, my voice rising in anger.  "Are you ready to receive Christ?  Or are you going to burn in hell, punk?"

I cuffed him on the side of his head a couple of times and told him to kneel down and pray with me.

About that time, one of the Jesus People came out from behind a tree.  Shaking his finger in my face, he said, "Hey, man, you're way out of line and you're an embarrassment to the gospel!"

The young man who confronted Ron about his tactics later instructed him over a cup of coffee:  "Ron, you need to know the Person of the Spirit.  It's the Holy Spirit who convinces people — not your force.  It's the Holy Spirit who shines through you with the love of Jesus that makes people respond."

Ron learned what meekness is.  He has dedicated his life to sharing the gospel with kids all over the United States and abroad.  He is responsible for thousands of young people coming to Christ and turning away from attitudes that would have led them down the same path to crime he had taken.

Meekness is power under control, and there is no true success without it.


Excerpt from "A Few Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All" by Jerry Cook with Stanley C. Baldwin, (p. 123)


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