September 6, 1948—April 19, 2017
It has been reported that Jason Nightingale, on Easter Sunday, 2017, said, “I’m not worried in the least bit. If I don’t wake up from surgery, I’ll be with the Lord.” He spoke those words on Sunday, April 17th, 2017. April 19th, 2017, Jason awoke in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
When I think about Jason and reflect upon his life, I am reminded of the passage in Hebrews 13:7-8, which states, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
I’m sure countless people have told stories about Jason’s life. I’m sure we could recount each one and be thankful for Jason’s ministry. On the other hand, I want to remember some principles from Jason’s life. I want to remember the man “who spoke the word of God.” I want to draw applications from his life and ministry, so we can imitate his faith. I also want to allow Jason to speak for himself. Therefore, I will post links to Jason’s ministry.
- Jason was known for his ability to memorize and recite entire books of Scripture.
Most people remember Jason for his ability to recite books of Scripture. This was the entire thrust of his ministry. Jason was saved from an acting background, so by God’s grace and design, Jason was gifted with the ability to memorize long “scripts,” or in this case, “entire books of Scripture.” I believe we can gain a few principles: First, we ought to remember that God redeems our backgrounds and uses them unto his glory. God clearly raised upon Jason to remember and recite long passages of Scripture. Second, we ought to imitate Jason by trying to memorize Scripture. That does not mean each of us will travel the world reciting them before large crowds. But it does mean you can minister to those around you through the power of the spoken Word of God. It also means you can minister unto yourself by knowing and applying Scripture during times of joy and times of distress.
I encourage each of you to listen to the following videos:
John (Part 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta7OOSkYCoQ
John (Part 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZIFAUbjlO8
- Jason’s ministry demonstrates the need to hear Scripture in the churches.
Anyone familiar with the Bible knows where the name of Jason’s ministry comes from in the Scriptures. It comes from Matthew 13, the parable of the sower. In that passage, Jesus discusses the different types of soil or hearers of the seed (which is the Word of God).
In our present-day evangelical climate, unfortunately, there is a lack of the Word of God in our land. Shortly after Jason was saved he recognized this unfortunate trend in so many churches. There are many preachers who get up in the pulpit and tell stories, jokes, and offer cultural analyses; however, they seemingly never adhere unto Paul’s command to “preach the Word!”
Jason believed one of the ways he could serve the Church is to memorize Scripture and speak it over individual congregations. The first book he memorized was Revelation. He memorized other books as the ministry grew and the demands expanded. Nonetheless, Jason never swayed from his initial goal to speak the Scriptures over individual congregations. Even if we are not gifted to the same degree as Jason, especially those of us who minister in churches, we ought to remember the fact that Scripture is powerful and we are to proclaim it to God’s people.
In brief, Jason summarizes his ministry in these words: They were called not to teach the Book, but simply to present it without commentary and in a dramatic fashion, adding nothing to it and taking nothing from it, then the Church might hear the Book of Revelation and heed it for her edification.
- Jason was known for orphan and widow care throughout the world.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
One of the amazing things about Jason’s ministry is he traveled the world living on freewill offerings. From those generous donations, Jason sought to live out James’ command to care for orphans and widows. Therefore, Jason gave away a large percentage of money from these monies to care for widows and orphans, purchase property to tend to each person’s needs, with the purpose of bettering their lives and sharing the gospel with them individually.
Since I am unable to explain this aspect of Jason’s ministry better than Jason himself, I ask that you watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdqUL6i1fHE
- Jason demonstrated what true sacrifice for the Lord tangibly looks like in our day.
Nearly every time I saw Jason and his wife, they were traveling the world in a R.V. motorhome. The purpose of this means of transportation was to obviously get from point A to point B. But the larger purpose of this vehicle was to allow them to reduce their costs and the costs of each church, so they could support both themselves and their family, but also, the widows and orphans under their care.
Just think about it: This man lived in a R.V. traveling the world reciting Scripture and supporting widows and orphans! This man gave up the American dream so he could travel thousands of miles and spend endless nights in unknown places so he could make known the name of Jesus Christ! To many in our day this just seems crazy! But with eternity in view and the Great Commission before our minds-eye, we see the nature of true discipleship and self-sacrifice.
I’m sure there are countless other ways Jason and his wife sacrificed for their ministry and other people. I know they wouldn’t want any of us to know the details of each sacrifice. I believe one of the principles we gain from Jason’s life and travel is the high demands for personal sacrifice placed upon each person who names the name of the Lord. I am not saying that each of us need to sell our homes and buy a R.V. I am saying, though, that the radical Christian life probably doesn’t look as glamorous and materialistic as we’ve grown accustomed unto. In fact, I believe we should be reminded of a few passages of Scripture: Luke 9:23-27; 57-62.
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus[g] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
In closing, I want to encourage each of you to consider watching Jason’s memorial service. They have it posted online. Please listen to the testimonies people gave about his life and glorify God because of the way he used Jason and his wife. Here’s the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/Wordsower-International-91374242492/
I also want to encourage each of you to consider supporting his ministry. With Jason now gone to be with the Lord, that does not mean the ministry to widows and orphans has ceased. We also need to remember Jason’s wife and her needs.
I want to encourage each of you to visit their website: www.wordsower.org. There you can receive updates about the ministry and offer your support.