Thinking Outside the Box

Bible Conference week is a time set aside for rest, the beach, relaxation, research papers, sleep, and, most importantly, good preaching. In the span of two and a half days, Pensacola Christian College students hear 11 sermons from several preachers on a wide range of practical topics. I learned so much during Bible Conference this year, but there was one message in particular that God used to teach me an important lesson!

For the last service on Friday, Dr. Clyde Box shared a message with the student body about salvation. Let me first say before I go any further, Dr. Box is a favorite on campus because of his insight into the Bible. He is the sweetest and funniest gentleman you will ever meet! However, greater than his sense of humor is his love and passion for Jesus Christ.

As he began his message, he asked for us to turn to Matthew 1:1. Amazingly, he began to preach a salvation message using the genealogy of Christ! This message was certainly different from the norm! Dr. Box then began to tell the stories of different women and how they had made it into the lineage of Christ. Tamar (vs. 3) made it in because she was a sinner. Rahab (vs. 5) made it in by faith. Ruth, by love* grace (vs. 5) and Bathsheba by the death of another (vs. 6). And truly, isn’t this how we are saved? We all have sinned, but when we turn to Christ in faith, we can believe on His Son who died for us out of love.

But what important lesson did I learn from this message? While I was reminded of what a miracle salvation is, God specifically spoke to me about His willingness to use anyone to accomplish His purpose and will. These four women mentioned in Matthew 1 were, in the world’s eyes, unworthy to be in the lineage of the King of Kings. Nevertheless, God used them. God wants to use me, and you, to accomplish His perfect will on this Earth. It is not about what we can offer to God, but what we are willing to give up and let Him control!

I am very grateful that Dr. Box decided to preach outside the box that Friday night. The lesson I learned from his sermon this year at Bible Conference is a lesson that I want to live for the rest of my life!

*Updated 4/1/11 -- Oops, sorry, it was grace, not love! Thanks for catching that!

33 Responses

  1. Marina

    I love that message, I plan on using that method someday. I thought it was a beautiful way of describing God’s grace towards us.

    • Chuck Craig

      Amen and Amen!!

  2. Debi

    That was a really good message! Afterward, I got Dr. Box to sign my Bible, and that made my night! Especially after that message!

    • Adam Scott

      Do most preachers at PCC sign bibles? I have a friend who goes to another christian college and their preachers hardly ever sign bibles. I think being open to that is a good sign in a preacher that he wants you to remember his message.

      • Most of the preachers that come to PCC are open to signing Bibles. They truly do have a desire to convey the message that the Lord has given them to share with the students and they want the message to “stick.” Many preachers enjoy spending time meeting students, signing Bibles, and just hanging out around campus. As a student, I had lunch with some preachers and enjoyed spending time talking with them. Some of the preachers encourage students to write a prayer request down and give it to them so they can pray for them as well. All of these things and more help to solidify the message in the minds and hearts of the student body.

  3. Laura Howell

    Good for you, Megan! May we all adopt the philosophy of “thinking outside the box.” 🙂 What great and marvelous things can God do through us, if only we are willing and open to being His instruments of blessing–not only to others, but also, to ourselves.

    • Adam

      I don’t think it is wise to “think outside the box.” That sounds very dangerous to me. God’s word gives us clear principles to follow and there is no reason to think outside the box of God’s word.

      • Adam, the title of this post was a pun on Dr. Box’s name 🙂 He was not suggesting that we go beyond the clear principles of God’s Word. On the contrary, he was noticing a truth in God’s Word that many people unfortunately skip over because it’s in a genealogy. Dr. Box would never preach that we should take man’s ideas over God’s Word; that was not his message at all.

  4. Adam

    Dr. Box’s point about Ruth in verse five was actually that she got in through grace not love.

    • Rocio


  5. Jake

    If i recollect correctly Dr. Box’s third point was upon the grace Ruth received from the act of the Kinsman redeemer, and not through the love, which was reflected more closely in the fourth point, upon the death of another!

  6. Megan

    Hey! You guys are very right! Dr. Box did say that Ruth came into the lineage of Christ by grace. That is what my notes said, I just copied down the wrong word. Thats what happens when you are writing a blog late at night and you happen to have run out of coffee:) Thanks for catching that!

  7. Joel

    Wish I could have been there! I love hearing Dr. Box preach; he’s so funny, but convicting at the same time.

  8. Paige Mueller

    I will never forget the illistration he used with the wheelchair. I thought it was the funniest thing that he thought it was an inside joke when everyone kept on laughing.

  9. Nicholas Bartorillo

    I loved Bible Conference. plain and simple it was fantastic. i got to talk to Clyde Box. i learned so much by this man. he took my bible the last night he was here. it will never be forgotten when he signed my bible as well. the Lord in birthed me a new passion for the ministry. i hope to die in the ministry. just wish he was our pastor here. thank you Mr Clyde Box. this man lives out Romans 1:16 he an unashamed soldier. amen. thanks Clyde box for everything.

  10. Bonnie Marie Garzarelli

    You are so right Megan, Dr. Box IS the sweetest and funniest gentleman you will ever meet. I got to meet him on one of the days and he quoted lines from “Bonnie and Clyde” to me. It was great. I always know I will get something valuable out of his messages.

  11. Miss Moore

    Don’t forget about the fifth special lady he talked about–Mary, the mother of Jesus. She “got in” to the lineage because she was chosen of God! 🙂 That message was a huge blessing to me and will be one that I never forget. What a beautiful picture!

    • Mike

      We all ‘get in’ because we are chosen. Eph. 1:11-12

  12. Abe Haven

    Dr. Box certainly is one of the awesomest preachers that come to PCC. I will never forget it when he started laughing about his airplane trip! That Friday night was such a blessing. I also loved Dr. Barber’s amazing message on being an overcomer.

  13. Darian DePerte

    Amen! Sounds like a great message. Does Dr. Box preach at every Bible Conference?

    • Darian, it was a great message! I really enjoyed it myself! Dr. Box doesn’t come to preach at Bible Conference every year, but he is definitely a favorite of the student body. Bible Conference is a great time to hear different speakers from all over the United States open up the Word of God, or as Dr. Raymond Barber said, “Open up the mind of God.” It’s always a joy to hear great men of God preaching from the greatest Book, written by the greatest Author!

      • Darian DePerte

        Okay, thank you for answering my question. I like the quote you said from Dr. Barber about “opening the mind of God”. That’s a keeper. (:

  14. Lilly Leota

    Yes! Dr. Clyde Box preached a powerful message from passages that I would have never noticed before. Bible Conference is always a spiritually enriching and rejuvenating experience that I will carry with me throughout my college career and for the rest of my life.

  15. Lanthanum

    Is the title supposed to be a pun?

  16. Stephen Quatro

    Dr. Box is definitely on my top-ten list of favorite preachers! His engaging real-life stories really draw you in to what he has to say, and his years of experience provide a great source of wisdom and encouragement. I thoroughly enjoy every time I get to hear him preach!

  17. Olivia


  18. John

    Dr. Box, Dr. Barber and Dr. Tewell are the kind of men that inspire me to do more for Christ. I’ve been here for four years now and I’ve found that the best witnessing technique is to show people you care rather then how much you know. Help people who are in need. These men are living examples of that strategy.

  19. Rachel

    Clyde Box is definately a great man of God. Every time he preaches, I just feel “pulled in” to what he is teaching us. I still remember the messages from last year like “Help Me, Help Me” and “Glory Belongs Only to God”. His messages are the kind that keep you thinking for a long time. His stories are so personable and I love the fact that he comes off the stage and talks to us like he would a close friend. Clyde Box is a great example of a man of God, if only there were more like him.

  20. John

    Brother Box is a man after Gods won heart. Any chance these messages this week were recorded? Would love to purchase them.

    • The Bible Conference messages were recorded and are available for purchase through the Bookstore. You can call 1-800-722-3570 to place an order.

    • John

      Own heart that is….


    It is great to hear Dr. Box still on fire for our Lord! Just pulled out a ” tape” from 1984. He preached to us “Faithfulness”, Awesome message! Got online to see if he is still going strong. Love to have him come to our Conference Center. God bless him and all he is touching with the changing power of God !!

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