D.L. Moody was the most famous evangelist in the world in the late 1800s. People came from around the world to attend his Bible Conferences in Northfield, Massachusetts. One year a large group of pastors from Europe were among the attendees. They were given rooms in the dormitory of the Bible school. As was the custom in Europe, the men put their shoes outside the door of their room, expecting them to be cleaned and polished by servants during the night.
A missions director once met with the mother of one of his agency’s missionaries and spent some time getting to know her. She prepared tea for the director in her parlor and as they drank the tea, she explained to him the difficulty of having a daughter on the mission field of China and a son as a missionary in Sudan. She loved and missed them dearly, but as she explained, her love for God allowed her to let them follow His will for their lives. The mother went on to describe the burden her son had for the Sudanese people.
The Israeli settlement of Netzarim in the heart of the Gaza Strip was a point of much conflict with militant Palestinians for several years. The conflict was so great that the settlement was evacuated in 2005.
Those who lived in Netzarim did so at great personal risk because they felt it was an important part of keeping their land free. A schoolteacher, Shlomit Ziv, who lived in Netzarim in 2001 said, “I don’t live where it’s comfortable; I live where it’s important to live.”
Dr. Paul Brand was speaking to a medical college in India on Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” In front of the lectern was an oil lamp, with its cotton wick burning from the shallow dish of oil. As he preached, the lamp ran out of oil, the wick burned dry, and the smoke made him cough. He immediately used the opportunity.
D. L. Moody wrote the following words next to Isaiah 6:8 in his Bible: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.”
Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Source: One Thousand and One Thoughts from My Library, Dwight Lyman Moody
Timothy Stackpole was a New York Firefighter, who was severely burned in a 1998 fire. After he recovered, he returned to the force despite the advice of some friends and family and the fact that he could retire comfortably.
He was a great fire fighter and passionate about his work and was soon promoted to captain. Timothy was one of the fire fighters that ran into the second tower to try to save some people. When he did, it collapsed and took his life. He knew his calling—to save people. The Holy Spirit has called us to a life of service. We should live for Him.
The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
On the shelf there were many—which one would He choose?
Take me, cried the gold one, I’m shiny and bright,
I’m of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and luster will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!
Unheeding, the Master passed on to the brass,
It was wide mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
Here! Here! cried the vessel, I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view.
Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two steamboats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail’s pace of the other. Challenges were made and the race began.
Billy Bray was a Cornish miner who accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour in 1823 at the age of 29. He lived a life of drunkenness and debauchery before his salvation, but he became such an outgoing witness and testimony for God that he became known as “God’s glad man.”
One time he was digging potatoes from his garden and felt the devil oppressing him. It seemed to him that the devil said, “Billy Bray, God doesn’t love you. If He did, He wouldn’t give you such puny potatoes and so few.”
A converted Hindu gave the following address to a number of his fellow countrymen: “I am, by birth, of an insignificant and contemptible caste—so low, that if a Brahmin should chance to touch me, he must go and bathe in the Ganges for the purpose of purification; and yet God has been pleased to call me, not merely to the knowledge of the Gospel, but to the high office of teaching it to others. My friends, do you know the reason of God’s conduct?
Ten days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, residents of North Platte, Nebraska heard a rumor that soldiers from their town, part of the Nebraska National Guard Company D, would be coming through on a troop train on their way to the West Coast. About five hundred people showed up at the train depot with food, gifts, letters, and love to give the boys.
From July 26 to August 7, 1971, the eyes of millions of Americans were on the Apollo 15 moon mission. You may remember the astronauts David R. Scott and James B. Irwin, who landed on the moon and spent eighteen of their sixty-six hours there outside the spacecraft. They covered over seventeen miles of the surface in a specialized vehicle people dubbed the “moon buggy.”
When Adoniram Judson graduated from college and seminary he received a call from a fashionable church in Boston to become its assistant pastor. Everyone congratulated him. His mother and sister rejoiced that he could live at home with them and do his life work, but Judson shook his head. “My work is not here,” he said. “God is calling me beyond the seas. To stay here, even to serve God in His ministry, I feel would be only partial obedience, and I could not be happy in that.” Although it cost him a great struggle he left mother and sister to follow the heavenly call.
David Livingstone was a pioneer missionary to Africa, who walked over 29,000 miles. His wife died early in their ministry and he faced stiff opposition from his Scottish brethren.
He prayed, “Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any ties but the tie that binds me to Your service and to Your heart.”
Source: The Grand Weaver, Ravi Zacharias
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
When D.L. Moody was just starting in the ministry, he heard a preacher make this statement, “the world has yet to see what God can do with one man fully surrendered to Him.” Moody that night said, “By God’s grace, I’ll be that man!”
Source: Living Beyond Your Capacity, Paul Chappell
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
Henry Martyn, a Cambridge University student, was honored at only 20 years of age for his achievements in mathematics. In fact, he was given the highest recognition possible in that field. And yet he felt an emptiness inside. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his achievements, he had, “Only grasped a shadow.”
Dwight Morrow, the father of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, once held a dinner party to which Calvin Coolidge had been invited. After Coolidge left, Morrow told the remaining guests that Coolidge would make a good president. The others disagreed. They felt Coolidge was too quiet, that he lacked color and personality. No one would like him, they said. Anne, then age six, spoke up: “I like him.” Then she displayed a finger with a small bandage around it. “He was the only one at the party who asked about my sore finger.”
“And that’s why he would make a good president,” added Morrow.
“Let my heart gracious God, be so effected with Your glory and majesty, that I may fulfill these weighty duties which You have required of me. I have called upon You to pardon me of my sins. Thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, offered on the cross for me. You gave Your Son to die for me and have given me assurance of salvation.”—George Washington’s Diary