Leman — who graduated near the bottom of his high school class in Upstate New York but was later added to its “Wall of Fame” — is a living testimonial of how God can turn around a life that is obedient to His Word. He based Monday’s speech on his latest book, “The Way of the Wise,” which outlines Proverbs 3:1-6.
Before Leman turned his life over to God, one of the greatest witnesses for Christ in his life — besides his mom — was Sande, now his wife of 46 years.
They met in a men’s restroom at a hospital in Arizona, where he was a 19-year-old janitor after dropping out of college in New York and she was a nurse taking an elderly patient to use the facility.
He asked her out to lunch on the spot. She didn’t look down on him for his vocation or the fact that he smoked, but accepted him for who he was, as Jesus does.
“Three and a half months into the relationship, she pops the question, ‘Would you like to go to church with me?’” Leman said.
When she asked him to accompany her to an evening service — which he agreed to do out of love for her — Leman finally fell in love with the Lord, Jesus Christ, accepting Him as his personal savior.
He went on to earn a doctorate degree in psychology at the University of Arizona, where he served as an assistant dean of students in the 1970s, and has since written 46 books. He is also a radio and television personality who has entertained and edified audiences worldwide with his wit and practical teaching.
Looking back, Leman is eternally thankful that Sande showed him a picture of God’s grace through her kindness and compassion, leading him to repentance.
“She exemplified a great truth and a great virtue,” he said. “She was able to meet me where I was and she let God do the cleaning up of Kevin Leman. That’s why He (Jesus) came to this earth. He’s in the life-changing business and He does it one at a time. I take refuge in the fact that I don’t have to be perfect.”
|Dr. Kevin Leman greets Liberty University students following Monday morning's Convocation in the Vines Center.|
Leman challenged students to walk with the wise and listen to the Word of God speaking into their lives.
“Do not forget my teaching, but keep my commandments in your heart,” Leman said, reciting Proverbs 3:1. “God is capable of transforming your lives.”
Those whose lives have been changed by the Lord and who are now walking by faith have fellow believers to thank for it.
“Somebody believed in you and somebody believed in Christ that made an impact on your life,” Leman said. “I hope you can say that this morning, that you’re living that life and you’re trusting God for all things because guess what, folks, God is who He says He is.”
Leman told the students that he wasn’t able to become the man God called him to be until he completely surrendered his life. He encouraged them to do more than give lip service to God — he challenged them to connect with people and meet them where they are.
“God’s a jealous God,” Leman said. “He wants it off the top, and He wants all of us. He wants us to get in there and do the right thing. And doing the right thing isn’t always easy.”