1.) Henry M. Stanley found Livingstone in Africa and lived with him for some time. Here is his testimony: “I went to Africa as prejudiced as the biggest atheist in London. But there came for me a long time for reflection. I saw this solitary old man there and asked myself, ‘How on earth does he stop here–is he cracked, or what? What is it that inspires him?
“For months after we met I found myself wondering at the old man carrying out all that was said in the Bible– ‘Leave all things and follow Me.’ But little by little his sympathy for others became contagious; my sympathy was aroused; seeing his piety, his gentleness, his zeal, his earnestness, and how he went about his business, I was converted by him, although he had not tried to do it.”
2.) Evangelism is not a special activity for special people at special times. It should be the normal activity of all Christians all of the time.
3.) The Gospel is not something we go to church to hear; it is something we go from the church to tell.
4.) Good deeds are not good if they stop short of introducing a person to the highest good of all, the lordship of Jesus Christ.
5.) It is more secure to be on the front line of the battlefield with Christ, than to be seated in your living room without Him.
6.) A true Christian is one who makes you think of Jesus.
7.) There is a mighty “go” in the word “Gospel.”
8.) A Moravian missionary named George Smith went to Africa. He had been there only a short time and had only one convert, a poor woman, when he was driven from the country. He died shortly afterward, on his knees, praying for Africa. He was considered a failure.
But a company of men stumbled onto the place where he had prayed and found a copy of the Bible he had left. Presently they met the one poor woman who was his convert.
A hundred years later his mission counted more than 13,000 living converts who had sprung from the ministry of George Smith.
9.) A Japanese lady called to see the mistress of a mission school. “Do you take only beautiful girls in your school?” she inquired.
“Why, no! We welcome all girls,” was the reply.
“But I have noticed that all your girls are beautiful,” the woman exclaimed.
“Well, we teach them to love our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and He gives them a look of holy beauty,” replied the missionary.
“I myself am a Buddhist, and I do not desire my daughter to become a Christian. Yet I should like her to attend your school to get that look on her face,” was the reply.
10.) Matthew Culbertson gave up his commission in the United States Army to become a missionary. At Shanghai he did valiant service during the Taiping riots. A minister said to him, “Culbertson, if you were at home, you might be a major general.”
The missionary replied: “Doubtless I might; men whom I taught at West Point are major generals today.” And then he added these words with deep earnestness: “But I would not change places with one of them. I consider there is no post of influence on earth equal to that of a man who is permitted to preach the Gospel.” He had chosen “the better part,” and had no yearning after secular honors.
11.) Lough Fook, a Chinese Christian, moved with compassion for the coolies in the South African mines, sold himself for a term of five years as a coolie slave, and was transported to Demerara, to carry the Gospel to his countrymen working there. He toiled in the mines with them and preached Jesus while he toiled, till he had scores of whom he could speak as Paul of Onesimus, “Whom I have begotten in my bonds.”
Lough Fook died; but not until he had won to the Saviour nearly 200 disciples who joined the Christian church. Where in the centuries has that lowliest feature in the condescension of the Man of sorrows–“He took upon Him the form of a slave”–been so literally reproduced as here?
12.) Charles Spurgeon, once while testing acoustics in Agricultural Hall in London, rang out over the empty building, “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world!” A workman up in the ceiling heard the message, was convicted, went home, knelt before the Lord and found salvation.
13.) A few years before the death of Charles Spurgeon, an American lecture bureau tried to hire him to come to America to deliver 50 lectures, speaking in all the large cities of America. As compensation, the bureau offered to pay all expenses of Spurgeon, his wife, and private secretary, and to pay $1,000 per night for each of 50 lectures. But Spurgeon promptly declined to make $50,000 in 50 days, saying, “I can do better. I will stay in London and try to save 50 souls.”
14.) On a tablet in a church of Algiers is the name of “Devereux Spratt, 1641.” The traveller inquires what that means, and he is told that Devereux Spratt, an Englishman, was captured with one hundred and twenty others in 1641 by the Algerian pirates. He was put to work with his fellow-slaves on the fortifications around Algiers. Cut off from congenial company, he looked to God for sympathy and strength, and God’s grace proved, as always, sufficient.
Finding his fellow-captives full of despair, he began to cheer them with words of faith and hope; and soon he had gathered about him, through his faithful testimony, a little band of praying and worshipping Christians. Through the influence of his brother in England, after several years, Devereux Spratt was ransomed, and the order for his release was brought to the fortifications.
His fellow-captives rejoiced with tears at his good fortune, but expressed regret that their leader was to leave them. Devereux Spratt refused to accept the ransom, and remained until he died, a slave among slaves, that he might continue to comfort those whom God had brought to Christ through him.
15.) A Sunday school teacher, a Mr. Kimball, in 1858 led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ. The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist and in England in 1879 awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Frederick B. Meyer, pastor of a small church.
F.B. Meyer, preaching on an American college campus, brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman. Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work.
Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, North Carolina. A group of local men were so enthusiastic afterward that they planned another campaign, bringing Mordecai Hamm to town to preach.
In the revival, a young man named Billy Graham heard the gospel and yielded his life to Christ.
Billy Graham … (The story goes on and on.)
16.) Four years after the Titanic went down, a young Scotsman rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, and said, “I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper, of Glasgow, also on a piece of wreck near me. ‘Man,’ he said, ‘are you saved?’
‘No,’ I said. ‘I am not.’
He replied, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
“The waves bore him away; but, strange to say brought him back a little later, and he said, ‘Are you saved now?’
‘No,’ I said, ‘I cannot honestly say that I am.’
He said again, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,’ and shortly after he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper’s last convert.”
17.) It was a Jew who brought the Gospel to Rome; a Roman who took it to France; a Frenchman who took it to Scandinavia; a Scotsman who evangelized Ireland; and an Irishman in turn made the missionary conquest of Scotland. No people have ever received the Gospel except at the hands of an alien.
18.) A minister was discussing electricity with an electrician. “Is it true,” asked the minister, “that electricity cannot get into you unless it can get out of you?”
“That’s absolutely right,” answered the electrician.
“So it is with the Gospel.”
19.) Frederick the Great was a scoffer, but his great general, Von Zealand, was a Christian. One day at a gathering, the king was making coarse jokes about Jesus Christ and the whole place was ringing with loud laughter.
Von Zealand arose stiffly and said, “Sire, you know I have not feared death. I have fought and won 38 battles for you. I am an old man; I shall soon have to go into the presence of One Greater than thou, the mighty God Who saved me from my sin, the Lord Jesus Christ whom you are blaspheming against. I salute thee, sire, as an old man, who loves his Savior, on the edge of eternity.”
With trembling voice, Frederick replied: “General Von Zealand, I beg your pardon. I beg your pardon!”
The company silently dispersed.
20.) The late Gypsy Smith used to tell the story of the conversion of his Uncle Rodney. Among gypsies, it was not considered proper for a child to address his elders unless spoken to. This would be doubly true if a child spoke to an elder on spiritual matters. So young Gypsy prayed and waited for his opportunity. One day, the lad’s uncle took note of Gypsy’s worn trousers. “Laddie,” said Uncle Rodney, “How do you account for the fact that the knees of your trousers have worn nearly through, while the rest of the suit is almost like new?”
“I have worn the knees through praying for you, Uncle Rodney,” the boy answered. Then he added, tearfully, “I want so much to have God make you a Christian!” Uncle Rodney put his arm around Gypsy in fatherly embrace, and a few moments later fell on his knees, confessing Christ as his Saviour!
21.) A boy was in danger of being drowned while bathing in a river. Seeing a traveller on the bank, he called to him for help; but the man started to lecture him on his rashness. “Rescue me now,” cried the boy; “you can lecture me later on when I am safe.”
22.) Parents are cited by 158 doctors as the foremost influence in their becoming missionaries. “Missionary speaker” ranked second and “personal contact with medical missionaries” third. “God’s call to help others” & “books on missions” tied for fourth place. “Pastor” was sixth and “college teacher” seventh.
23.) Sometime ago, a client came into my office, a Southern gentleman who has approximately six million dollars of funds in our investments. During the course of the conversation he used my Lord’s name in a way I didn’t like, and I stopped him. “Please, sir, that name you just used is the most precious name I know anything about. I love it more than anything in this world, and I don’t like to hear that name used in the fashion you did. I am a Christian.” What do you think he said? “So am I. I teach a Sunday school class down South.”
“Well,” I said, “you would not have guessed it in a thousand years,” and something inside me said, “Are you going to lose this contract?” Just recently this gentleman and his wife were in my office again. He said, “This is the man who gave me such a tongue lashing when I was here before.” She turned to me and said: “I am glad you did, because he deserved it. He has been a different man since.”
24.) A Methodist layman visited a great city church in Ohio during a business trip. After the service he congratulated the minister on his service and sermon. “But,” said the manufacturer, “if you were my salesman I’d discharge you. You got my attention by your appearance, voice, and manner; your prayer, reading, and logical discourse aroused my interest; you warmed my heart with a desire for what you preached; and then–and then you stopped, without asking me to do something about it! In business, the important thing is to get them to sign on the dotted line.”
25.) One Sunday morning a congregation of well-dressed people had been ushered to their rented pews in Chicago’s Plymouth Congregation Church. Suddenly there was commotion near the door. Many turned and looked. Something occurred which had never before been seen by that elite congregation.
In walked a young man — a nineteen-year-old salesman. Following him was a motley group of tramps, slum people and alcoholics. The young man led them into four pews he had personally rented for the visitors. He continued to do this important work each Sunday until God called him into a world-wide ministry. You ask the name of that young man?–Dwight L. Moody
26.) An infidel received by mail the tract, “Prepare to meet thy God.” Angry, he was about to burn it, when it occurred to him that it would be a good joke to send it to a friend, a companion in unbelief. This man was convicted and converted by reading, and in turn sent it to another friend, who was also led to Christ.
27.) “I have heard many great orators,” said Louis XIV to Massilon, “and have been highly pleased with them: but whenever I hear you, I go away displeased with myself.” This is the highest accolade that could be bestowed on a preacher.
28.) Mr. Moody tells of one day seeing a steel-engraving which pleased him very much. He says: “I thought it was the finest thing I had ever seen, at the time, and I bought it.” It was the picture of a man floundering in the water and clinging with both hands to the Cross of Refuge. “But afterward,” he goes on to say, “I saw another picture which spoiled this one for me entirely–it was so much more lovely. It was a picture of a person coming out of the dark waters with one arm clinging to the Cross, but with the other she was lifting some one else out of the waves.”
29.) Abraham Bininger, a Swiss boy from Zurich, came with his parents to this country on the same ship that brought John Wesley. The father and mother of the lad both died on the voyage and were buried at sea, and he stepped alone from the gangway on to a strange continent, where there was not a single familiar face. When he had grown to manhood, he asked to be sent to tell the story of the cross to the Negroes of the island of St. Thomas, having heard of their great misery and degradation.
When he arrived at the island, he learned that it was against the law for any person but a slave to preach to the slaves. It was the policy of the planters to keep the blacks in ignorance and superstition. Shortly after this the governor of St. Thomas received a letter signed Abraham Bininger, in which the writer begged urgently to become a slave for the rest of his life, promising to serve as a slave faithfully, provided he could give his leisure time to preaching to his fellow-slaves.
The governor sent the letter to the King of Denmark, who was so touched by it that he sent an edict empowering Abraham Bininger to tell the story of the Messiah when and where he chose–to black or white, bond or free.
30.) One day Mr. Wilfred Grenfell, medical missionary to Labrador, was guest at a dinner in London together with a number of socially prominent British men and women.
During the course of the dinner, the lady seated next to him turned and said, “Is it true, Dr. Grenfell, that you are a missionary?”
Dr. Grenfell looked at her for a moment before replying, “Is it true, madam, that you are not?”
31.) The cost of making the first atomic bomb was two billion dollars, an amount sufficient to have maintained 10,000 missionaries in the field for a period of 100 years at the rate of two thousand dollars each per year. The amount spent by the United States in World War 2 would have sustained 1,500,000 missionaries in the field for 100 years at same rate.
32.) Leon Trotsky was in frequent contact with Christians in New York in his youth and young manhood–but no one ever tried to win him for Christ.
33.) It reminds me of that story about the actor & the preacher! The actor said, “The reason they listen to me is because I act my fiction like it was fact, & you preach your fact like it was fiction!”
–David Brandt Berg
34.) A Christian is a living sermon, whether or not he preaches a word.
35.) The little neighbourhood girl was such a good little girl in her neighbourhood & was always trying to get the kids to do the right things & the right way. Then she died, went to be with the Lord, & before the burial, suddenly at the parents’ door several little urchins showed up with a little piece of paper in their hand. They said, “We all talked about it & decided that this is what we’d like for you to put on her tombstone.” The mother took the little scribbled piece of paper & deciphered it & it said, “She made it easy for us to be good.”
–David Brandt Berg
36.) “I want to reform, but I don’t know how to give up my undesirable friends,” a young man told Dwight L. Moody.
“That is easy”, the evangelist replied. “Just live a desirable life & your undesirable friends will give you up.”
37.) People must learn to love you first before they can learn to love your God! The World-famed personal evangelist Dr. Dwight L. Moody used to say that, “The only Bible the World reads is bound in shoe leather!” Meaning you!
–David Brandt Berg
38.) Nothing is more useless than a Christian who does not try to save others. … I cannot believe in the salvation of anyone who does not work for his neighbour’s salvation.
39.) The best publicity the Gospel will ever have is a new Christian out to win others.
40.) One single soul saved shall outlive & outweigh all the kingdoms of the World.
41.) I would rather win souls than be the greatest king or emperor on Earth; I would rather win souls than be the greatest general that ever commanded an army…My one ambition in life is to win as many as possible. Oh, it is the only thing worth doing, to save souls; & men & women, we can all do it.
42.) Some men’s passion is for gold. Some men’s passion is for art. Some men’s passion is for fame. My passion is for souls.
43.) He is the best preacher, not that tickles the ear, but that breaks the heart.
44.) When I preach, I regard neither doctors nor magistrates, of whom I have above forty in my congregation. My eyes are on the servant maids & the children.
45.) An unpreaching Christian is of little use to the church of Christ. He is a lampless light-house, a silent trumpeter, a sleeping watchman, a painted fire.
46.) So little time! The harvest will be over,
Our reaping done, we reapers taken home.
Report our work to Jesus, Lord of Harvest,
And hope He’ll smile and say, “Well done!”
How many times I should have strongly pleaded;
How often did I feel to strictly warn,
The spirit moved, oh had I pled for Jesus!
The grain is fallen, lost ones not reborn.
Despite the heat, the ceaseless toil, the hardship,
The broken heart o’er those we cannot win;
Misunderstood because we’re oft peculiar,
Still no regrets we’ll have but for our sin.
A day of pleasure, or a feast of friendship;
A house or car or garments fair or fame,
Will all be trash, when souls are brought to Heaven.
And then how sad to face the slackers’ blame!
The harvest white, with reapers few is wasting
And many souls will die and never know
The love of Christ, the joy of sins forgiven.
Oh let us weep and love and pray and go!
Today we reap, or miss our golden harvest!
Today is given us lost souls to win.
Oh then to save some dear ones from the burning.
Today we’ll go to bring some sinner in.
47.) A MISSIONARY MOTHER!
Last night I rose to pray
And to my watch be true
I thought of other mothers
Who are keeping vigils too.
Listening to the siren (as I used to do)
Or the ringing of the phone
And long with deepest yearning
That her boy would hasten home.
My boy is far away from home
And the comfort of our land
For he’s enlisted in the ranks
Of a great and noble band
Though stationed in a country
Midst hate and cruel strife
With love for fellow man
He’s found true joy in his life.
Keeping his face on Him
Who’s invisible to human eye
My son is on a great mission,
To him it’s do or die!
I ask you for no sympathy,
On me you’d waste your pity
Bestow it on the mother
Whose son’s lost in some evil city.
Bless your hearts, I wouldn’t trade
My vigil with another
And miss the joys of being …
A MISSIONARY MOTHER!
48.) The following ad occurred in a London newspaper: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” The ad was signed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer. Thousands responded instantly to the call. They were ready to sacrifice all for the elation of adventure and uncertain honor. Should God’s children do less?
49.) Wesley was once asked how he got the crowds. He replied, “I set myself on fire, and the people come to see me burn.”
50.) I preach some weighty sermons,
But utter not a word;
And tell folks things worth hearing,
Although I can’t be heard.
Born of a love for mortals,
I help those in distress
To find the loving Jesus
Who gives the weary rest.
I go into the prisons
Where captives sadly mope.
And for eternal freedom.
I tell them how to hope.
Unto the sick I hasten
With a prescription sure;
Tell where the poor and needy
Great riches can secure.
‘Tis strange but true; my message
Doth comfort, bless, and cheer,
Yet oft the truths I herald
Make sinners quake and fear.
Yes, many miles I travel-
And sometimes I’m sent back;
I go where you can’t enter,
For I am a gospel tract.
51.) When the Scotsman, Geddie, went to the New Hebrides, the islanders were ignorant, cruel cannibals devoted to war. Later they set this beautiful inscription over Geddie’s grave on Aneityum: “When he came to the island in 1848, there was not a single Christian; when he left in 1872, there was not a single heathen.”
52.) Fred used to tell the story about the guy who the first thing he wanted to do was argue about Hell: “Do you believe there’s a Hell? What about Hell? Blah, blah, blah,!” Fred said, “You want to talk about Hell? You want to argue about Hell? I’ll tell you what, you let me talk first, & then when I get done telling you about Jesus, then we’ll talk about Hell, okay?” So Fred started talking about Jesus, & before you knew it, this great big ol’ tough oil guy was on his knees blubbering away & asking Jesus to come into his heart. When he got up from his knees Fred said, “Well, now what do you want to know about Hell?” The guy said, “Oh, I don’t care anything about Hell now, I’m not going there!”
–David Brandt Berg
53.) Have ye looked for My sheep in the desert,
For those who have missed the way?
Have been lost in the wild, waste places,
Where the lost and wandering stray?
Have ye trodden the lonely highway,
The foul and darksome street?
It may be you’d see in the gloaming
The print of My wounded feet.
Have ye carried the living water
To the parched and thirsty soul?
Have ye said to the sick and wounded
“Christ Jesus can make thee whole”?
Have ye told My fainting children
Of the strength of the Father’s hand?
Have ye guided the tottering footsteps
To the shores of the Golden Land?
Have ye stood by the sad and weary,
To soothe the pillow of death,
To comfort the sorrow-stricken,
And strengthen the feeble faith?
And have ye felt, when the glory
Has streamed through the open door,
And flitted across the shadows,
That there I have been before?
Have ye wept with the broken-hearted
In their agony of woe?
Ye might hear Me whispering beside you,
“Tis the pathway I often go!”
54.) From Greenland’s icy mountains,
From India’s coral strand,
Where Afric’s sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sand,
From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver
Their land from error’s chain.
Can we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,
Can we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O salvation!
The joyful sound proclaim,
Till each remotest nation
Has learnt Messiah’s name.
Waft, waft, ye winds, His story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole;
Till o’er our ransomed nature
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.
55.) When Robert Morrison’s colleague began to study the Chinese language, and found what a colossal undertaking it was, he wrote: “To learn Chinese is work for men with bodies of brass, lungs of steel, heads of oak, hands of spring steel, eyes of eagles, hearts of apostles, memories of angels, and lives of Methuselah!”
56.) Britain’s beloved Queen Mother, Mary, gives us a beautiful example in her practice of tract distributing.
Seth Sykes, the well-known evangelist, tells me that he went into a certain religious book depot, not long ago to purchase some copies of the widely blessed little tract, Safety, Certainty, and Enjoyment, and was informed that fifty extra copies of the tract were being given free to him, because Queen Mary had purchased a supply of these tracts there a little while before, and had paid for an extra fifty, to be given to the next purchaser. The Queen Mother told the salesman that it was her practice to carry several copies with her, for distribution in going from place to place. A beautiful and inspiring example indeed!–and one which enhancingly agrees with the Christian character of the gracious woman whom Britain was proud to call queen for a quarter of a century.
57.) Wherever India’s devoted missionary, Scott, met a heathen, he followed him to his tribe to carry the Gospel. On one such occasion he came across a fierce-looking man and followed him to his tribe — a tribe of wild heathen savages in the interior. He came upon the tribe, dancing about a fire and exciting their fury with a war dance. No chance was he given to speak. Strong muscular arms seized him, and spears were raised, and threatened his life. Scott closed his eyes, raised his violin, and, expecting any moment to meet his Saviour, began playing and singing the words of the hymn, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” He finished the first stanza, went on to the second and the third. No spear reached him. Surprised, he opened his eyes — to find the spears fallen to the ground, and tears in the eyes of these heathen savages. Scott was spared and he spent two years among these people, preaching to them the Gospel of Christ and the mercy of God.
58.) Compton, California (EP)–Two youthful robbers twice fired a 22-caliber revolver at Rev. Ross Owens, a Baptist minister here, but the clergyman walked away unhurt.
“I was supposed to fall over and die–but nothing happened,” he said. Instead, the youths robbed Owens of $1.27.
Alerted police rushed to the scene in time to capture the bandits. They found a hole in Owens’ coat but no blood. Then the minister pulled out a sheaf of Gospel tracts and discovered they had absorbed the impact of the bullet.
The bullet lay harmless in the bottom of his shirt pocket.
“It was a miracle,” said Owens. “And I’m sure those two young men believed it, too.”
59.) In 1752 Whitefield wrote to Benjamin Franklin: “As I find you growing more and more famous in the world of letters I recommend to your unprejudiced study the mystery of the New Birth. It is a most important study and if mastered will abundantly repay you. I bid you, dear friend, remember that He before whose bar we must both soon appear has solemnly declared that without it we shall in no wise see His Kingdom.”
60.) Oh, that someone would arise, man or god, to show us God.
61.) Thomas Johannes Bach, well-known missionary–statesman, pioneer missionary in South America, and for almost twenty years the general director of The Evangelical Alliance Mission, whose Godly life profoundly influenced thousands around the world, often recalled that first “chance” encounter on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark.
How irritated he was at the nerve of the slightly built Danish lad who offered him a Gospel tract.
“Will you please take this little leaflet? It has a message for you.”
“Message indeed! Why do you bother other people with your religion? I’m quite able to take care of myself.”
Such a show of temper from this fiery, redheaded engineering student did not deter the young lad who continued to hold the piece of paper before him. Johannes snatched the gospel tract. deliberately ripped it, crumpled it up, and put it in his pocket.
Bach, still angry and yet surprised that the young man said nothing, could not help watching him to see what he would do. He saw something he would never forget. The young Danish lad stepped into a nearby doorway, folded his hands, closed his eyes, and began to pray. Johannes was astonished to see tears on his cheek.
Fifty-nine years later in Copenhagen, the seventy-six-year-old missionary, author, and teacher stood on the very spot where he had received that piece of paper and thanked God for the young Danish lad who had cared about his soul.
62.) A businessman landed at the Dallas airport and realized he had one hour and 20 minutes before his next plane connection.
He thought, How can I be used of the Lord here?
He had a supply of Gospel tracts with him. He inserted one of his business cards inside each tract. Then he gave these to single men sitting waiting for their planes.
But he didn’t just hand them out and pass on. Instead he said to each man, “Pardon me. I have a little booklet here that explains how a person can become a Christian. Inside is my business card. I would like you to read this over and if you have any questions, I will be sitting over there. I have some time before my plane takes off. Or if you would like to write, my address is there.”
At the end of the hour and 20 minutes, men were standing four deep to ask questions about how to become a Christian. And, for weeks afterwards, the businessman received correspondence because of the business cards in the tracts.
63.) A new missionary on the foreign field was examining some candidates for baptism. He had examined all except one and found their answers to his questions satisfactory. He looked at the last candidate doubtfully, and suggested that as he was so young, he should wait awhile before coming into the church. Immediately the others protested, “Why, he is the one who led us to the Lord!”
64.) A drop of ink may make a million think.
65.) The missionary can know that he has been sent, that he is safe and that he is supplied by God.
66.) A son of one of the chiefs of Burdwain was converted by a single tract. He could not read, but he went to Rangoon, a distance of 250 miles. There a missionary’s wife taught him to read, and in forty-eight hours he could read the tract through. He took a basket full of tracts, and with much difficulty preached the gospel in his own home, and was the means of converting hundreds to God. He was a man of influence; the people flocked to hear him. In one year 1,500 natives were baptized in Arrecan as members of the church. All this through one little tract! That tract cost one cent. Whose cent was it? God only knows. Perhaps it was the mite of some little girl–perhaps the well-earned offering of some young boy. But what a blessing it was!
67.) Late one night a salesman drove into a strange city and tried to get a room in a hotel. The clerk informed him that there was no vacancy. Disappointed, he started to leave the lobby when a dignified gentleman offered to share his room with him. Gratefully the traveler accepted his kindness.
Just before retiring, the man who had shown such hospitality, knelt and prayed aloud. In his petition he referred to the stranger by name and asked the Lord to bless him. Upon awakening the next morning, he told his guest it was his habit to read the Bible and commune with God at the beginning of each day, and he asked if he would like to join him. The Holy Spirit had been speaking to the heart of this salesman, and when his host tactfully confronted him with the claims of Christ, he gladly received the Savior.
As the two were ready to part, they exchanged business cards. The new believer was amazed to read, “William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State.”
68.) A Calcutta paper relates that recently a young Brahman came to the house of a missionary for an interview. In the course of the conversation he said: “Many things which Christianity contains I find in Hinduism; but there is one thing which Christianity has and Hinduism has not.”
“What is that?” the missionary asked.
His reply was striking: “A Saviour.”
69.) The tragedy of our generation is that there are untold millions still untold.
70.) Carve your name on hearts and not on marble.
71.) In scattering divine literature we liberate thistledown, laden with precious seed, which, blown by the winds of the Spirit, floats over the world. The printed page never flinches, never shows cowardice; it is never tempted to compromise; it never tires, never grows disheartened; it travels cheaply, and requires no hired hall; it works while we sleep; it never loses its temper; and it works long after we are dead. The printed page is a visitor which gets inside the home, and stays there; it always catches a man in the right mood, for it speaks to him only when he is reading it; it always sticks to what it has said, and never answers back; and it is bait left permanently in the pool.
72.) I knew a dear man, one of the greatest men for physical exercise I ever saw. He worked hard on the street railroad. I would see him down on his knees, a great big covering over his eyes to shield them from the brilliant light as he welded the steel rails. By Saturday noon he was just worn out, and he would get a bundle of books and off he would go for exercise, over the hills and far away, hunting up poor needy souls, maybe in the county hospital, possibly in the jails, and to poor families. Sometimes he would hear of somebody lying sick and poor and miserable, and he would go to see that one. And you know he had a remarkable way of preaching the Gospel. He would often lay down a five-dollar bill at the side of the bed, if he found out that they had no money to pay the bills. On Sunday he would say, “My! I was worn out yesterday, but I had a wonderful time Saturday afternoon, and I am all rested up!”
73.) A young minister in a college town was embarrassed by the thought of criticism in his cultured congregation.
He sought counsel from his father, an old and wise minister, saying: “Father, I am hampered in my ministry in the pulpit I am now serving. If I cite anything from geology, there is Prof. A–teacher of this science, right before me. If I use an illustration of Roman mythology, there is Prof. B–ready to trip me up for my little inaccuracy. If I mention something in English literature that pleases me, I am cowered by the presence of the learned man that teaches that branch. What shall I do?”
The sagacious old man replied: “Do not be discouraged, preach the gospel. They probably know very little of that.”
74.) Billy Sunday, the rootin’, tootin’, sawdust-trail evangelist, was once interrupted in his harangue by a heckler, who shouted the question, then famous in all agnostic or atheistic circles, “Who was Cain’s wife?”
Billy Sunday shot back the reply, “I respect any seeker of knowledge, but I want to warn you, young man, don’t risk being lost to salvation by too much inquiring after other men’s wives.”
75.) Sadhu Sundac Singh was distributing Gospels in the Central Province of India. He came to some non-Christians on the train and offered a man a copy of John’s Gospel. The man took it, tore it into pieces in anger and threw the pieces out of the window. That seemed the end. But it so happened, in the providence of God, there was a man anxiously seeking for truth walking along the line that very day, and he picked up, as he walked along, a little bit of paper and looked at it, and the words on it in his own language were “The Bread of life.”
He did not know what it meant; but he inquired among his friends and one of them said, “I can tell you; it is out of the Christian book. You must not read it or you will be defiled.” The man thought for a moment and then said, “I want to read the book that contains that beautiful phrase!” and he bought a copy of the New Testament. He was shown where the sentence occurred–our Lord’s words “I am the Bread of Life”; and as he studied the Gospel, the light flooded into his heart. He came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he became a preacher of the gospel. The little bit of paper through God’s Spirit was indeed the Bread of Life to him, satisfying his deepest need.
76.) St. Francis of Assisi one day said to several of his followers, “Let us go to the village over the way and preach. “As they went, they met a humble pedestrian who was greatly burdened. Francis was in no hurry and listened carefully to his tale of woe.
When the village was reached, Francis talked with the shopkeepers, spent time with the farmers at their fruit and vegetable stalls, and played with the children in the streets. On the way back they met a farmer with a load of hay, and Francis spent time with him. The morning gone, the group reached the monastery from where they had set out in the early morning.
One of the followers, who was greatly disappointed, said to Francis, “Brother Francis, you said you were going to preach. The morning is spent and no sermon has been given.”
And the saintly Francis replied, “But we have been preaching all the way.”
77.) Some wish to live within sound of Church or Chapel bell, but we want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell!
78.) When my students at the Soul Clinic would say, “Oh, I don’t have any burden for souls!” I’d tell them, “Well, you get out there face-to-face with them & you’ll get the burden! When you see them & see their need & their pitiful condition, God will give you the burden right quick!”
They’d say, “Well, I don’t have the power!”
“You get out there & face the need & God will give the power for the hour!”
–David Brandt Berg
79.) While attending a university in London, Mahatma Gandhi became almost convinced that the Christian religion was the one true, supernatural religion in the world. Upon graduation, and still seeking evidence that would make him a committed Christian, young Gandhi accepted employment in East Africa and for seven months lived in the home of a family who were members of an evangelical Christian church. As soon as he discovered that fact he decided that here would be the place to find the evidence he sought.
But as the months passed and he saw the casualness of their attitude toward the cause of God, heard them complain when they were called upon to make sacrifice for the kingdom of God and sensed their general religious apathy, Gandhi’s interest turned to disappointment. He said in his heart, “No, it is not the one true, supernatural religion I had hoped to find. A good religion, but just one more of the many religions in the world.”
80.) One day an old minister in England walked into his churchyard and, sitting down on a tombstone, began to weep. He wept because his church officers had just notified him that he was getting old and that he ought to resign and let a younger man take his place. As he sat there disconsolate, he saw a boy, with sunshine in his face and joy in his heart, coming down the street beyond the cemetery fence.
The old preacher was fond of boys, and he called this boy to him and had him sit down beside him on the tombstone. There he forgot his sorrow as he talked with the boy about the meaning of life and told him about Christ and his salvation. Presently the boy left him and went on his happy way down the street. The old preacher went back to his manse and to his sorrow. Not long afterward he was called to his eternal home.
If it is permitted the redeemed in the life to come to behold what transpires on earth, then this is what that old preacher has seen: He has seen that boy with whom he talked become a lay preacher, a teacher, and a cobbler. In his schoolroom and cobbler shop he has fashioned a large leather globe; and scholars in his class and customers who came in for their shoes have seen the face of the teacher-cobbler suffused with emotion as he pointed to land after land on that globe and said, “And these are pagan!” After a few years he saw that boy to whom he had talked in the cemetery become the pioneer missionary to India, who translated the Scriptures into the dialects of the East. That boy was William G. Carey!
81.) Someone has said that the Gospel in the first century was carried by a good system. It was called the teleperson system, and it truly got results, better than we do today with our telephones, televisions, and so on. The woman of Samaria carried the Gospel after her meeting with Christ by the teleperson system. It is said that “many of the Samaritans … believed on Him for the saying of the woman” (John 4:39)
82.) Unction is God’s knighthood for the soldier–preacher who has wrestled in prayer & gained the victory.
83.) As John Wesley rode across Hounslow Heath late one night, singing a favorite hymn, he was startled by a fierce voice shouting, “Halt,” while a firm hand seized the horse’s bridle. Then the man demanded, “Your money or your life.”
Wesley obediently emptied his pockets of the few coins they contained and invited the robber to examine his saddlebags which were filled with books. Disappointed at the result, the robber was turning away when Mr. Wesley cried, “Stop! I have something more to give you.”
The robber, wondering at this strange call, turned back. Then Mr. Wesley, bending down toward him, said in solemn tones, “My friend, you may live to regret this sort of a life in which you are engaged, If you ever do, I beseech you to remember this, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.'”
The robber hurried silently away, and the man of God rode along, praying in his heart that the word spoken might be fixed in the robber’s conscience.
Years later, at the close of a Sunday evening service, the people streamed from the large building with many lingering around the doors to see the aged preacher, who was John Wesley.
A stranger stepped forward and earnestly begged to speak with Mr. Wesley. What a surprise to find that this was the robber of Hounslow Heath, now a well-to-do tradesman in the city, but better still, a child of God! The words spoken that night long ago had been used of God in his conversion.
Raising the hand of Mr. Wesley to his lips, he affectionately kissed it and said in tones of deep emotion, “To you, dear sir, I owe it all.”
“Nay, nay. my friend,” replied Mr. Wesley softly, “not to me, but to the precious blood of Christ which cleanseth us from all sin” (1Jn.1:7).
84.) Mr. H.C. Mason tells of the man who in a prayer meeting prayed earnestly that God would with His finger touch a certain man. suddenly he stopped his prayer. A brother asked him, “Why did you change your prayer?”
He replied, “Because God said to me, ‘You are My finger.’ So now I must go and touch the man for God.”
85.) Where there is one who does not know Jesus Christ there is a mission field.
86.) Illustrations in a story are like sunshine streaming through a window.
87.) For the first and second centuries the sign of Christianity was the fish. I decided that a fishhook would be the proper sign to win people to the Lord Jesus Christ, so I had a little golden fishhook made to be worn on the lapel of my coat, and when people ask me what it means I am able to tell them that I am a fisher of men. On the streets of Chicago a little newsboy, from whom I was buying a paper, said, “Mister, do you belong to a fisher club?”
I said, “Yes, I surely do.”
“My,” he said, “fishing is nice, isn’t it?”
“It surely is.” The little fellow said, “Do you ever catch any big ones?”
“Oh, yes, I have caught 250-pounders.”
He exclaimed, “Go on!”
“Yes,” I said, “I have caught 250-pound fish.”
He said, “Those sure are big.”
I said, “Yes.” Then I leaned a little closer to the newsboy and said, “Sonny, I would rather catch small fish than big ones.”
He exclaimed, “No!”
I said, “Yes, about your size.”
And he looked at himself, as if he was thinking, “Well, I’m not so small.” Then I told him that I was a fisher of men, that I was fishing for souls, and that if he would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ he would be saved. Almost every day as I wear my fishhook on the lapel of my coat some businessman or someone I meet in the elevator, or some person to whom I pause to speak, asks, “Do you belong to a fisher club?” I say, “Yes, the largest fisher club in the world–catching souls for the Lord Jesus Christ.”
88.) (1) Every book in the New Testament was written by a foreign missionary.
(2) Every letter in the New Testament that was written to an individual was written to a convert of a foreign missionary.
(3) Every Epistle in the New Testament that was written to a church was written to a foreign missionary church.
(4) The disciples were called Christians first in a foreign missionary community.
(5) Of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus, every apostle except one became a missionary.
(6) The only one among the twelve apostles who did not become a missionary became a traitor.
(7) The problems which arose in the early church were largely questions of missionary procedure.
(8) According to the apostles, missionary service is the highest expression of Christian life.
89.) The Gospel is for lifeboats not showboats, & a man must make up his mind which he is going to operate.
90.) A Christian is a living sermon, whether or not he preaches a word.
91.) People will not care what you know until they know that you care.
92.) If your faith isn’t contagious it must be contaminated.
93.) Every preacher is, or ought to be, a prophet of God who preaches as God bids him without regard to results.
94.) When Christians evangelise, they are not engaging in some harmless & pleasant pastime. They are engaging in a fearful struggle, the issues of which are eternal.
95.) Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread.
96.) There is not a better evangelist in the world than the Holy Spirit.
97.) Our God is a missionary God.
98.) Evangelism is not a human enterprise; it is a divine operation.
99.) Evangelism is the perpetual task of the whole church, & not the peculiar hobby of certain of its members.
100.) Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie–
Dust unto dust–
The calm sweet earth that mothers all who die
As all men must;
Mourn not your captive comrades who must dwell–
Too strong to strive–
Each in his steel-bound coffin of a cell,
But rather mourn the apathetic throng–
The cowed and the meek–
Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak!
101.) Throw out the lifeline across the dark wave,
There is a brother whom someone should save;
Somebody’s brother! Oh, who then will dare
To throw out the lifeline, his peril to share?
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is sinking today.
–Edward S. Ufford
102.) Bishop Evin Berggray, primate of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, who was under Nazi guard, is reported to have gotten peculiar treatment from his captors. It is said that his 11-man guard was changed constantly to prevent their coming under his strong spiritual influence.
103.) The plodding multitudes will never be benefited by preaching which requires them to bring a dictionary to church.
104.) Every man who is divinely called to witness the Gospel is divinely equipped.
105.) There is no rest for a messenger till the message is delivered.
106.) Sermons from burning hearts set others on fire.
107.) Pray the Lord to save your hearers, then drive at them as though you could save them yourselves.
108.) A true sermon is an act of God, & not a mere performance by man.
109.) No man preaches that sermon so well to others who does not preach it first to his own heart.
110.) Every life without Christ is a mission field; every life with Christ is a missionary.
111.) Literature can be our most effective medium of mass communication of the Gospel.
112.) Love–& the unity it attests to–is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the World. Only with this mark may the World know that Christians are indeed Christians & that Jesus was sent by the Father.
113.) We are called to be thermostats, not thermometers–affecting our environment, not reflecting it.
114.) Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence or learning.
115.) When telling Thy salvation free,
Let all absorbing thoughts of Thee
My heart & soul engross.
And when all hearts are bowed & stirred
Beneath the influence of thy word
Hide me behind Thy cross.
116.) Why should we fear that the arm of God should be short for others that could reach us?
117.) The way from God to a human heart is through a human heart.
118.) We ought carefully to distinguish between the sinner & the sin, so as not to love the sin for the sake of the person, nor to hate the person for the sake of the sin.
119.) Since the Lord saved me, I have despaired of no man living.
120.) Evangelism is morally right–it is the payment of a debt.
121.) The Gospel is not to be preserved like the Crown Jewels, locked in our ecclesiastical strong room. it is to be spread locally, & to the ends of the Earth.
122.) Every Christian is a postmaster for God. His duty is to pass out good news from Above.
123.) The Gospel is not a secret to be hoarded, but a story to be heralded.
124.) Too many Christians are stuffing themselves with Gospel blessings while millions have never had a taste.
125.) No candle which God lights was ever meant to burn alone.
126.) The highest form of selfishness is that of the man who is content to go to Heaven alone.
127.) The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, but a command to be obeyed.
–J. Hudson Taylor
128.) One of the best definitions of eloquence is “to have something to say & to burn to say it.”
129.) People are won to your religious beliefs less by description than by demonstration.
130.) Salesmanship is transferring a conviction from a seller to the buyer.
131.) Good salesmen, like good cooks, create an appetite when the buyer doesn’t seem to be hungry.
132.) A salesman need never be ashamed of his calling. He should only be ashamed of his not calling.
133.) On his first day out, the salesman received two orders, “Get out” & “Stay out.”
134.) You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
135.) A pastor was passing a large department store & followed a sudden impression to speak to the proprietor. He said, “I’ve talked carpets & beds, but never my business with you. Will you give me a few minutes?” Being led to the private office, the pastor took out his Testament & directed his attention to passage after passage, & urged him to become a Christian. Finally the tears began to roll down the man’s cheeks.
“I’m 70 years old, I was born in this city & more than 100 ministers & 500 officers of various churches have known me in a business way. You are the only man who has ever talked to me about my soul.”
136.) The non-church goer cannot be reached by the non-going church.
137.) Souls cost soles.
138.) Too many teachers & preachers think that they are called to be lawyers for Christ instead of witnesses for Him. Just testify concerning the things you know about Him!
139.) Some Christians are like arctic rivers–frozen at the mouth.
140.) You talk about your business,
Your bonds & stocks & gold;
And in all worldly matters;
You are so brave & bold.
But why are you silent
About salvation’s plan?
Why don’t you speak for Jesus,
And speak out like a man?
You talk about the weather,
And the crops of corn & wheat;
You speak of friends & neighbours
That pass along the street;
You call yourself a Christian,
And like the Gospel plan–
Then why not speak for Jesus,
And speak out like a man?
Are you ashamed of Jesus
And the story of the cross,
That you lower His pure banner
And let it suffer loss?
Have you forgot His suffering?
Did He die for you in vain?
If not, then live & speak for Jesus,
And speak out like a man.
141.) The practice of honesty is more convincing than the profession of holiness.
142.) The great task of the church is not only to get sinners into Heaven, but to get saints out of bed.
143.) Every Christian occupies some kind of a pulpit & preaches some kind of a sermon every day.
144.) Advertising is the fine art of making you think you have longed for something all your life that you never heard of before.
145.) As soon as we cease to bleed we cease to bless.
146.) God cares, God is concerned. And since God is concerned, His people have an obligation to be concerned too.
147.) Christ has taken our nature into Heaven to represent us, & has left us on Earth with His nature to represent Him.
148.) Men ablaze are invincible. Hell trembles when men kindle.
149.) Example is more forceful than precept. People look at me six days a week to see what I mean on the seventh day.
150.) If we spent twice as much time listening to God as we spend speaking to God, the effectiveness of our sermons would increase a thousand-fold.
151.) No man should stand before an audience who has not first stood before God.
152.) The preachers who have moved the World never sold their liberty for a comfortable cage in some ecclesiastical menagerie. Better be a free preacher who can walk into any pulpit responsible only to God. immune to praise or blame, than a ventriloquist’s dummy!
153.) He is the best teacher that preaches most plainly.
154.) Scintillating eloquence may captivate people, but it is the power of God that changes lives.
155.) The Church is under orders. Evangelistic inactivity is disobedience.
156.) If we all become more Christlike, we shall not need any other bait.
157.) In Shanghai, China, it is a common sight to see four or five coolies pulling a heavily laden cart. They get on well enough on the level, but when they come to go up over the bridges they often find it difficult to tug the cart up. As I crossed a bridge I saw a well-dressed Chinese gentleman that I knew go to the assistance of a cart that was stuck, and, laying hold of a rope, give just the extra help that was needed to get the cart to the top of the bridge. It must have caused a good deal of surprise to the passer-by, and not least to the coolies. My friend overtook me a few minutes later, and said, “I am very much interested in the laboring classes.”
“Yes,” said I, “I saw you taking a very practical interest just now.”
He answered: “That is my work; whenever I see them unable to pull their loads, I help them to the top, and then I have a chance for a few moments to preach the Gospel to them. I tell them, ‘It is because I am a Christian that I helped you, because I love Jesus.’ And if I see a wheelbarrow upset in the street (a very common sight), I help the man replace his load, then preach the Gospel to him.”
158.) Many years ago, in 1871 in Chicago a woman was milking her cow, and there was a little lamp of oil, a little flickering flame. The cow kicked over the lamp, and the flame kindled a wisp of hay, and another wisp, until all the hay in the stable was on fire, and the next building was on fire, and the next, and the next! The fire spread over the river to the main part of Chicago and swept on until, within a territory one mile wide and three miles long, there were only two buildings standing. The little flame from that lamp had laid Chicago in ashes! If the fire of God shall fall now, you may be only a little wisp of hay, but if it sets you on fire, the fire will communicate itself to another, and that to another; it will burn on and on, till the remotest part of the earth is touched by the holy fire of God.
159.) A blind Chinese man was taken to a hospital. The missionary doctor operated, removing cataracts from his eyes. The Chinese man went back to his home seeing and rejoicing. In a few weeks he went back to the hospital. This time he was holding the end of a rope to which forty blind people were clinging. He had led them to the place where he had received his sight. Should we attempt to do less in a spiritual way?
160.) I told you that story already about the rich American who was visiting the poor missionary down in Mexico in his poor little hut. This rich American came to spend the night to see how his little mission was getting along.
Apparently he hadn’t been giving them very much money, because the missionary said to him after he got him settled for the night, “Now, if there’s anything you need, just let us know, & we’ll tell you how to get along without it!”
–David Brandt Berg
161.) One day in my boyhood my father paid a neighbor for a ton of coal. We were all away from home when he delivered it. After inspecting the coal bin, I said: “Father, Mr. S. put only a half ton of coal in our bin.” Father told me to say no more about the matter. Some weeks later Mr. S. lost his house and all his belongings in a fire. Father sheltered him and his family under our roof; I resented very much having to sleep in the barn loft while the dishonest neighbor rested on my bed. In the morning I heard him talking to Father in the shed below. “You have been kind to me, and a while back I cheated you out of a half a ton of coal,” he sobbed out. “I want you to forgive me.” He and my father knelt and prayed, and the man gave himself to Christ that morning in the barn.
162.) The Christian Herald (London) tells of a poor woman who had been saved and went home with a joy she had never known before. Some time afterward she testified to her thankfulness to God and said she must leave the street where so much evil surrounded her. The minister looked at her for a moment and said: “What would you think of the Town Council if they took all the lights out of the mean and dirty streets, and set them up only in the well-to-do neighborhoods?” The woman saw the point. Shortly afterward the minister met her and said, “Well, Mrs. Smith, how are things going now?”
With a smile she answered, “Oh, very nicely; and there is another light in the street now.”
163.) Where the population is densest over the world, the harvest of the fields is hand-reaped. In India, China, Japan, the islands of the sea, wheat, rice, and other harvests are garnered in the hard, back-breaking way — by hand. Not since the days of Ruth has this method of gathering the yield of the fields been changed in some places.
Souls are best reaped in this way — hand reaped. They must be individually won and individually nurtured. Souls do not come to Christ en masse. Even in “mass evangelism,” souls must come to God personally, and must have the personal touch. Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The longer I live, the more confidence I have in those sermons where one man is the congregation and one man is the minister; where there is no question as to who is meant when the preacher says: ‘Thou art the man!”
164.) As Fred once told me when I was dealing for two hours with an old bum while he & my Mother were waiting for me to discuss some very important business, he finally tapped me on the shoulder & said, “Dave, why don’t you leave something up to the Holy Spirit?” That really sank in & struck home & I quickly prayed with the old bum & asked him to receive the Lord, & believe it or not, he prayed with me & did so on the spot! I guess he figured that was his last chance if I was going to leave, otherwise he enjoyed my sitting there talking to him for two hours!
–David Brandt Berg
165.) A man in Burma found a copy of the Psalms which had been carelessly discarded by a traveler stopping at his house. He started to read it, became more and more interested, and before he had finished resolved to cast his idols away. For twenty years he worshipped the eternal God that David worshipped, God as revealed to him in the Psalms. The Fifty-first Psalm he came to appropriate to himself as his daily prayer. Then he received from a missionary the first copy of the New Testament he had ever seen. This brought yet greater joy to his heart. He said: “For twenty years I walked by starlight; now I see the sun!” If we were all as faithful to the light we have as was this humble Burman, “our lives would be all sunshine in the sweetness of our Lord.”
166.) A colporteur in North India told the Christmas story, and then read it from the Scriptures. One asked, “How long has it been since God’s Son was born into the world?”
“About two thousand years,” the missionary made reply.
“Then,” asked the villager, “who has been hiding this Book all this time?” Aye, that is it — hiding the Book. For, after all, is not our keeping the Book from those who need it the same as hiding it? What guilt!
167.) “Approximately nine per cent of the world’s population is English speaking; 91 per cent, non-English speaking. Yet, 90 per cent of the world’s Christians are to be found among the 9 per cent who are English speaking and only 10 per cent among the far greater number who are non-English speaking. Fully 94 per cent of the ordained preachers minister to the nine per cent, and only 6 per cent to the 91 per cent. Some 96 per cent of the finances are used to minister to the 9 per cent, and only 4 per cent to reach the 91 per cent. IS THIS FAIR? IS THIS THE WORLD VISION OF CHRISTIANITY?”
168.) At a mission hall in London, a wealthy lady, who was unfortunately deaf, made good use of her riches by providing for the poor some excellent Gospel services. On one occasion a celebrated preacher said to her, “And what part do you take in this noble work?”
“Oh,” she answered quietly, “I smile them in, and I smile them out again.” Soon after this the preacher saw the good results of her sympathy as a crowd of working men entered the hall and looked delighted to get a smile from her. The Bread of Life cannot be recommended to people by those who look as if that food disagreed with them.
169.) A red-hot evangelist, dressed in a morning coat & striped trousers, & wearing a topper, walked down a busy street in London one day. As he approached, people walking in the opposite direction from him read with amusement, smiles & jeers, the words he had printed in large letters on a card fixed to the ribbon of his hat. The words were–“A fool for Christ’s sake.” When he passed, they turned to have another look at the man they thought to be a religious maniac, & could not help seeing the card on the back of his topper which read, “Whose fool are you?” (1Cor. 4:10)
170.) Peter Stryker never forgot the remark of a learned, legal friend who at the time was an infidel.
“Did I believe as you do,” declared the infidel, “that the masses of our race are perishing in sin, I could have no rest. I would fly to tell them of salvation. I would labor day and night. I would speak it with all the pathos I could summon. I would warn and expostulate and entreat my fellow men to turn unto Christ and receive salvation at His hands.
“I am astonished at the manner in which the majority of you ministers tell your message. Why do you not act as if you believed your own words? You have not the earnestness in preaching that we lawyers have in pleading. If we were as tame as you are, we would never carry a single suit.”
“I bless God,” testified Peter Stryker, “that that remark was made to me. It put fire into my bones which I hope will burn as long as I live. God preached a stirring sermon to me that day by the mouth of my friend, the infidel lawyer.”
171.) Said Roger Babson, “It is more essential to ring door bells than church bells!” He was right! Let us now say it poetically:
One day I rang a door bell,
In a casual sort of way,
‘Twas not a formal visit,
And there wasn’t much to say.
I don’t remember what I said —
It matters not I guess —
I found a heart in hunger,
A soul in deep distress.
He said I came from heaven,
And I often wondered why,
He said I came to see him,
When no other help was nigh.
It meant so little to me
To knock at a stranger’s door,
But it means heaven to him
And God’s peace forever more.
–E. J. Morgan
172.) Paint a starless sky; hang your picture with night; drape the mountains with long, far-reaching vistas of darkness; hang the curtains deep along every shore and landscape; darken all the past; let the future be draped in deeper and yet deeper night; fill the awful gloom with hungry, sad-faced men and sorrow-driven women and children.
It is the heathen world — the people seen in vision by the prophet — who sit in the region and shadow of death, to whom no light has come; sitting there still through the long, long night, waiting and watching for the morning.
173.) Evangelism in the New Testament sense is the vocation of every believer & there is therefore something radically wrong when we imply that personal evangelism is the province of those who have the time &/or inclination to take special courses & learn special techniques.
174.) “My son, if God has called you to be a missionary, your Father would be grieved to see you shrivel down into a king,” said C.H. Spurgeon. (Acts 26:17-19)
175.) At an international gathering of young people in New York City, we are told, a young American asked a cultured girl from Burma what was the religious belief of the majority of the Burmese. The young woman informed him that it was Buddhism. The American said quite casually, “Oh, well, that doesn’t matter; all religions are the same anyway.”
The Burmese girl, looking directly at the young man, said, “If you had lived in my country you would not say that! I have seen what centuries of superstition, fear, and indifference to social problems have done for my people. We need the truth and uplift of Christianity. When I became a Christian it cost me something. If your religion had cost you more, you might be more aware of its superiority. My country needs Christ.”
176.) The fading sound of taps seemed to echo in the lieutenant’s ears. As he sat wearily on his cot, and irresistible urge came upon him that he should go and see his colonel and speak to him about his soul. “It would result only in a reprimand and possibly court-martial to wander about the camp after taps,” he reasoned as he tried to throw off the feeling. Still the urge persisted. A few minutes later, the lieutenant stood trembling before the barracks where the colonel stayed. “What are you doing here?” the colonel asked. Falteringly the lieutenant told him of the irresistible urge he felt to come and talk to him about the Saviour. Without saying a word, the colonel opened a drawer and took out a revolver. Then he said to the lieutenant: “If you had knocked at my door five minutes later, I couldn’t have answered your call. I was about to take my life when you interrupted me. What you have said gives me hope. Come again tomorrow and tell me more about your Christ!” Then he added, “No, I won’t use the pistol!”
The following morning, both knelt in prayer. They arose with deep joy in their hearts — one because God had used him to save a soul from death, the other because he had become a “new creature” in Christ Jesus.
177.) At three o’clock one wintry morning, a missionary candidate climbed the steps to the examiner’s home. He was shown into the study where he waited until eight o’clock for an interview.
Upon arriving, the old clergyman proceeded to ask questions.
“Can you spell?”
“Yes, sir,” was the reply.
“All right — spell baker.”
“Baker — b-a-k-e-r.”
“Fine. Now do you know anything about figures?” The examiner inquired.
“How much is twice two?”
“Four,” replied the lad.
“That’s splendid,” returned the old man. “I believe you have passed. I’ll see the board tomorrow.”
At the board meeting the man submitted his account of the interview. “He has all the qualifications of a missionary,” he began.
“First, I tested him on self- denial. I told him to be at my house at three o’clock in the morning. he left a warm bed and came out in the cold without a word of complaint.
“Second, I tried him out on promptness. He appeared on time.
“Third, I examined him on patience. I made him wait five hours to see me, after telling him to come at three.
“Fourth, I tested him on temper. He failed to show any sign of it; he didn’t even question my delay.
Fifth, I tried his humility. I asked him questions that a five-year-old child could answer, and he showed no indignation. So you see, I believe this lad meets the requirements. He will make the missionary we need.”
178.) Even if I were utterly selfish & had no care for anything but my own happiness, I would choose if I might, under God, to be a soul-winner, for never did I know perfect overflowing, unutterable happiness of the purest & most innobling order till I first heard of one who had sought & found the Saviour through my means. No young mother ever so rejoiced over her first-born child, no warrior was so exultant over a hard-won victory.
–Charles H. Spurgeon
179.) Never state a fact if you can bring the fact to life with an illustration.
180.) ‘Twas the young minister’s first pastorate. He was filled with zeal for the unsaved ones. Among those about whom he was deeply burdened was the druggist of the little town. Going to the drugstore one day, the minister, after the usual exchange of greetings, began to talk to the druggist about his soul and his need of the Saviour. The man listened respectfully, in silence. Then he took the pastor to his office in the rear of the store. There he began to shift the leaves of his ledger. Coming to a certain account, the druggist asked the minister, “Do you know that man?”
“Why, yes,” replied the minister. “Do you see how long this account has been unpaid?”
“I do,” said the pastor. Then he continued, “Is that man able to pay this account?”
“Why, yes, that man is a prosperous member of my church. I can’t understand,” said the pastor hesitantly. Coming to another account, the same conversation ensued between pastor and druggist. Two professing Christians, both non-debt-paying, were blocking the road to heaven for the unsaved druggist. The young minister stood speechless for a moment; then he walked dejectedly from the store.
181.) A widow and her six children were stricken with a contagious illness. One morning at breakfast the minister’s wife announced that she was going to take care of the stricken family. Her own family protested, but she only quoted a part of the 91st Psalm: “Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” And, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
“I believe that Psalm means just what it says,” she told the others. “It is a clear call for me to go. God will take care of you.”
She went, and was in that home for five weeks. When they were practically well again she went back home. Neither she nor her family contracted the disease. Her kindly act did more to raise the spiritual level of that community than all the sermons her husband preached.
182.) It is told of John Wesley that when he saw some of his hearers asleep he stopped in his discourse and shouted: “Fire! Fire!” The sleepers were alarmed, and waking up cried out: “Where, sir, where?”
“In Hell!” replied Wesley solemnly–“In Hell for those who sleep under the preaching of the Word.”
183.) When Charles Spurgeon was asked whether he thought the heathen, who had never heard the Gospel, could be saved, he replied: “It is more a question with me whether we, who have the Gospel & fail to give it to those who do not, can be saved.”
184.) God spoke to a Chicago minister in reference to going to the unreached ones in their homes, the majority of whom never cross the threshold of any church. One day, when he knocked at the door of an apartment, a man answered the call. A frightened look of despair was on the man’s face. He asked what the caller wanted. The minister replied, “I want to talk to you about the Lord Jesus!”
The man burst into tears and said, “Man, God must have sent you here! Just before you knocked, my wife and I had closed all the doors and windows of our small apartment, intending next to turn on the gas and end our lives. You see, we just buried our darling child who was the idol of our hearts. We felt that our sorrow was more than we could bear!” Entering the apartment, God’s servant told the despairing couple of the Saviour, and how in Him they could find peace and healing for their sorrowing hearts.
185.) A Jewish lady in a large Jewish hospital in Chicago was given a Gospel tract by my daughter, Alice. The title of the tract was, “Knowing Christ as Saviour, Lord and Friend.” The Jewess received the tract graciously. Seeing the title of the tract, she asked, “Do you believe, like some people believe, that the Jews crucified Jesus?”
Alice prayed silently for a moment, asking God to give her the right answer to the question. The she said, “It was my sins and your sins which put Christ on the cross.” Then she quoted a verse from Old Testament — “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa.53:5)
186.) When David Hume, the infidel, was charged with inconsistency in going to listen to John Brown, the godly Scottish minister of Haddington, he replied: “I don’t believe all that he says, but he does, & once a week I like to hear a man who believes what he says. Why, whatever I think, the man preaches as though he thought the Lord Jesus Christ was at his elbow.”
187.) The Word of God is not just for domestic consumption; it is also for export.
188.) No Christian is outside our Lord’s last command.
189.) An ancient proverb: “Because I have been athirst, I will dig a well that others may drink.”
190.) What if you were offered one thousand dollars for every person you led to Christ–would you work harder at it then?
191.) Salvation may come quietly, but we cannot remain quiet about it.
192.) Even if you fail, the Word never fails & the Truth is still the Truth & it is your duty to give it & to preach it.
–David Brandt Berg
193.) The seventy who went out did not hire a hall to preach Christ, they used their soles to go after souls.
194.) If God could speak through Balaam’s ass, He can speak through you.
195.) God has given me the ministry of comforting the afflicted & afflicting the comfortable.
196.) We must never be silent when we ought to speak. We must never speak when we ought to be silent.
197.) This World is a foreign country to the child of God. We are not here as tourists enjoying a pleasure trip, but as ambassadors performing the King’s business.
198.) Give a man a dollar & you cheer his heart. Give him a dream & you challenge his heart. Give him Christ & you change his heart.
199.) The greatest crime of the desert is to know where water is & not to tell about it.
200.) Soul-winners are not soul-winners because of what they know, but because of Whom they know, how well they know Him, & how much they long for others to know Him.
201.) I’m just a nobody telling anybody about Somebody that can save everybody!
202.) John Scudder, a promising young physician in New York, while visiting one of his patients one day, picked up a tract on the table & read it. The result was that he & his wife went to Ceylon & India as missionaries. Their nine children all became missionaries in India, five being medical missionaries. A tenth died while preparing for the Christian ministry. In 1919, the year marking the centennial of Scudder influence in India, three great-grandchildren sailed for that land. In all, thirty-one descendants have worked in India, while seven others are missionaries elsewhere. Adding up the total man-hours of Christian work that this one family has done to date, we find that the Scudders have given almost six hundred years of continuous missionary service for India, &, so far as we know, have made a missionary record unequalled by any other family in history!
203.) It’s good to be a Christian & know it. It’s better to be a Christian & show it!
204.) Others may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.
205.) Some years ago two boats glided past each other on the Mississippi. An aged Negro was conversing with a white friend on deck of one of the boats when suddenly he said with zest, “Look! Yonder’s the captain!”
Asked the white friend, “Why are you so enthusiastic while you call my attention to the captain?”
The grateful Negro replied, “Well, sir, years ago, as we were going along like this, I fell overboard. I couldn’t swim and I began to sink, but the captain rescued me. Since that day, I just loves to point him out!”
When we were still lost in sin, the waves of sin all but overwhelmed us. But the Captain of our salvation, the Lord Jesus, rescued us. Should we not joyously “point Him out” to others?
206.) Some Africans were getting on a river boat, carrying in their hands sacks and baskets of vegetables. They were going to market. One of them slipped and fell into the water. She grabbed for the side of the boat and held on until her fingers became numb. Finally she could hold on no longer and sank beneath the turbid waters. Not one native made a move to rescue her. They were stonily indifferent to her cries for help.
When the boat captain learned what had happened, he swore and cursed at the heartless natives. “Why didn’t you reach down and lift her from the water?” he asked.
They replied in chorus, “If we had, what would have become of our fruits and vegetables?”
Before we pass judgment on these cruel, benighted heathen, let us do a bit of heart-searching. All around us are those who are going into eternity without God and without hope — forever lost. Too many Christians sing about rescuing the perishing, but do little or nothing about it.
207.) When a father, who lived on the Western prairies, came home one night, his little boy ran through the long grass to meet him. Suddenly the boy disappeared. Running through the grass to the point where his boy vanished, the man heard a gurgling cry. His son had fallen into an old well, The father barely reached the well in time to save his boy. When the lad revived from his fright, he asked, “O Daddy, why didn’t you hurry?”
Said the father later, “That boy’s question made a missionary out of me. I seemed to hear the piteous, pleading cry of myriads in the regions beyond, ‘Why don’t you hurry? We are dying without God and without hope. Why don’t you hurry with the gospel?'”
208.) Dr. Donald Carr of Persia was asked how he got the call to serve the Lord as a missionary in Persia. His reply was, “I had no call to stay at home but I had the command to go.” (Mat.28:18-20; Mark 16:15)
209.) A one-legged schoolteacher from Scotland came to J. Hudson Taylor to offer himself for service in China. “Why do you with only one leg, think of going as a missionary?” asked Mr. Taylor.
“I do not see those with two legs going, so I must go!” replied George Scott. He was accepted.
210.) His ear hath heard the question: ‘who to the lost will go?’
‘Send me,’ he cries, his sin-purged lips with altar fires aglow:
‘I’ll bear the living message of free forgiving love;
O let me win the wand’rers to the path that leads Above.’
‘Spite all the ties of nature, he leaves his friends and home,
A lonely witness o’er the world, despised and poor, to roam.
Nought takes he for his service, but freely in His Name,
Who sent him and supplies his need, the Gospel would proclaim.
Within his yearning bosom, love to the Saviour reigns:
In all the labours of his life no other power constrains.
Deep are his tender feelings, sweet is his pleading tone,
As he described the glories of yon Man on Heaven’s throne.
His heart the heavy burden of sinful souls must bear;
He wrestles for them at God’s throne through hours of midnight prayer.
Eternity before him more real than Time appears:
Oh, wonder not he pleadeth with the eloquence of tears!
Anointed by God’s Spirit, trained at the Master’s feet,
Commissioned and sent forth by Him, all furnished and complete.
No human art or wisdom his talent could assist:
A heavenly-moulded, God-sent man is the evangelist.
He is the weeping sower who shall with singing come,
Bringing his gathered sheaves from earth to Heaven’s harvest home.
And when with joy he lays them down at the Master’s feet,
His own ‘Well done! thou faithful one,’ will make his bliss complete.
211.) ‘Twas a sheep, not a lamb, that strayed away
In the parable Jesus told;
A grown-up sheep that had gone astray
From the ninety and nine in the fold;
Out on the hillside, out in the cold,
‘Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought;
And back to the flock, safe in the fold,
‘Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd brought.
And why for the sheep should we earnestly long,
And as earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger if they go wrong,
They will lead the lambs astray.
For the lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray;
When the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
Till the lambs are as wrong as they.
And so with the sheep we earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs today;
If the lambs are lost, what terrible cost
Some sheep will have to pay!
212.) A missionary does not necessarily go outside of his country, his state or even his own community. A true missionary needs only to go outside himself.
213.) Thou hast no tongue, O Christ, as once of old,
To tell the story of Thy love divine;
The story, still as strange, as sweet, as true;
But there’s no tongue to tell it out but mine.
Thou hast no hands, O Christ, as once of old,
To feed the multitudes with bread and wine;
Thou hast the living bread enough for all,
But there’s no hand to give it out but mine.
Thou hast no feet, O Christ, as once of old,
To go where Thy lost sheep in desert pine;
Thy love is still as deep, as strong, as kind,
But now Thou hast no feet to go but mine.
And shall I use these ransomed powers of mine
For things that only minister to me?
Lord, take my tongue, my hands, my feet, my all,
And let them live, and give, and go, for Thee!
214.) The value of the individual Christian’s work to the unsaved individual is set forth in the words of three great men who spoke, each in his day, to great congregations:
Hearken to the words of Henry Ward Beecher: “The longer I live the more confidence I have in the sermons where one man is the minister and one man the congregation.” Which causes us to say that on the housetop, beneath the bright Syrian stars, Jesus preached a great sermon to a congregation of one man–Nicodemus. At Jacob’s well in Sychar, He preached, with touching tenderness and rebuke and revelation, to a congregation of one woman–a nameless Samaritan. In the house of the rich publican–Zacchaeus–He preached with converting power to just one man.
Meditate on what Moody said: “The most effective and fruitful work of grace can only be secured by the conviction of the great masses of our membership to reach the people one by one by one person’s efforts.”
Think of Trumbull’s words: “For ten years I addressed gatherings of people from five thousand to six thousand, from ten thousand to fifteen thousand. I have been editor of The Sunday School Times, with a hundred thousand per week circulation. I can see more direct results of good through my direct work with individuals than through thousands of persons in religious assemblies or all my written words.” So, acting according to the wisdom of these words, let each one of us seek out some one person and put on the heart of that one the claims of Christ for that one’s trust and love and service.
215.) “Wouldn’t you rather be in Africa preaching to a people with their face toward the light, coming out of paganism, than in America preaching to people with their backs to the light, going into paganism?” asked an African Christian.
216.) I had been receiving “obscene” phone calls from someone & I started witnessing to him on the phone. It turned out he is in a wheelchair & can’t get out & is very lonely & looking for love. He prayed & asked Jesus into his heart & has called back almost every day since to talk.
217.) He talked of grass, and wind and rain,
Of fig-trees, and fair weather,
And made it His delight to bring
Heaven and earth together.
He spake of lilies, vines, and corn,
The sparrow and the raven;
And words so natural, yet so wise,
Were on men’s hearts engraven;
Of yeast with bread, and flax, and cloth,
Of eggs, and fish, and candles.
See how the whole familiar world
He most divinely handles.
218.) We are the Bibles the world is reading:
We are the creeds the world is needing:
We are the sermons the world is heeding.
–Dr. Billy Graham
219.) A young man employed by our Sunday school board told the following searching story. He was invited at the last minute to preach at a church in Nashville. On sudden impulse he used as his text, “Thou shalt not steal.” The next morning he stepped on the bus and handed the driver a dollar bill. The driver handed him back his change. He stood in the rear of the bus and counted the change. There was a dime too much. His first thought was, “The bus company will never miss this dime.” Then quickly came the realization that he could not keep money that did not belong to him. He made his way to the front and said to the driver, “You gave me too much change.”
Imagine his surprise when the driver replied, “Yes a dime too much. I gave it to you purposefully. You see, I heard your sermon yesterday, and I watched in my mirror as you counted your change. Had you kept the dime I would never again have had any confidence in preaching.” What a tragedy if he had done the wrong thing! Remember our influence — our shadow-selves — may fall where we can never be.
220.) Dr. Mason of Burma once wanted a teacher to visit and labor among a warlike tribe and asked his converted boatman if he would go. He told him that as a teacher he would receive only four rupees per month whereas as boatman he was then receiving fifteen rupees.
After praying over the matter, the boatman returned to the doctor and the following conversation occurred:
“Well, Shapon,” said the doctor, “what have you decided? Will you go for four rupees a month?”
“No, teacher,” replied Shapon, “I will not go for four rupees a month but I will go for Christ.”
221.) A certain rich man did not approve of foreign missions. One Sunday at church, when the offering was being received, the usher approached the millionaire and held out the plate. The millionaire shook his head, “I never give to missions,” he whispered.
“Then take something out of the plate, Sir,” said the usher softly. “The money is for the heathen.”
222.) A true Christian is a person who loves not the World, yet he loves all the World.
223.) You are writing a Gospel,
A chapter each day,
By deeds that you do,
By words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the Gospel
According to you?
224.) You can’t spell Gospel without Go.
Nor Pray without Pay, you know.
But if we put them together and pray and pay
The Gospel will go to lands far away.
225.) My load’s a little lighter now,
Because you passed my way —
The sun’s a little brighter
And the clouds have passed away.
I’ve found my Saviour nearer,
And each day He grows still dearer,
And I’m on my way to Glory,
Because you passed my way.
I was lost and no one seemed to care
Until you passed my way,
You saw me, and led me to Christ
Oh, what a happy day,
Now I’m living all for Jesus,
And with Him I’ll be some day,
For I found a new beginning,
Because you passed my way.
And when in realms of glory,
I see His precious face,
And hear the angel voices
Within that Heavenly place,
I’ll remember that sinner,
Who once had gone astray,
Might not be there in Glory,
Had you not passed my way.
–Eleanor Taylor Rhodes
226.) “I understand you and your wife are going to be separated,” said a friend to a well-known judge.
“How dare you insinuate any such thing?” shouted the judge, his face purple with anger. “My wife and I love each other very much.”
“Is that so?” queried the friend,
“Well, I heard from your doctor that she has only a short time to live, and since I know she is a Christian she will go to be with her Lord. Where are you going when you die?”
The judge stood awhile quietly thinking. His face began to pale as the words took effect.
He cried out, “My God, save me. All these years I have been turning away from Thee. Forgive me, God, and save me.”
227.) William Carey had high hopes that his son Felix would become a missionary. Official honours in Burma caused the young man’s soul to shrivel toward divine things. The disappointed father requested prayer for his son, saying, “Pray for Felix. He has degenerated into an ambassador of the British government!”
228.) God had only one Son, & He was a missionary.
229.) Talk to the Lord about sinners–then talk to sinners about God.
230.) Only a seed–but it chanced to fall
In a little cleft of a city wall,
And taking root grew bravely up,
Till a tiny blossom crowned its top!
Only a thought–but the work it wrought
Could never by tongue or pen be taught,
For it ran through a life, like a thread of gold,
And the life bore fruit a hundred-fold!
Only a word–but ’twas spoken in love,
With a whispered prayer to the Lord above,
And the angels in heaven rejoiced once more,
For a newborn soul “entered in by the door!”
231.) Christ was a home missionary, in the house of Lazarus.
Christ was a foreign missionary, when the Greeks came to him.
Christ was a city missionary, when he taught in Samaria.
Christ was a Sunday school missionary, when he opened up the Scriptures and set men to studying the Word of God.
Christ was a children’s missionary, when he took them in his arms and blessed them.
Christ was a missionary to the poor, when he opened the eyes of the blind beggar.
Christ was a missionary to the rich, when he opened the spiritual eyes of Zacchaeus.
Even on the cross, Christ was a missionary to the robber, and his last command was the missionary commission.
232.) Love has a hem to its garment
That touches the very dust;
It can reach the stains of the streets and lanes,
And because it can, it must.
233.) The Gospel is nothing but a frozen asset unless it is communicated.
–J. B. Phillips
234.) Evangelism is always dangerous, though it is not so dangerous as the lack of evangelism.
235.) We cannot bring the whole world to Christ, but we must bring Christ to the whole world.
236.) When our hearts are filled with Christ’s presence, evangelism is as inevitable as it is contagious.
237.) God has never been casual about the condition of the lost.
238.) Out where the loneliness presses around me,
Looking on sights that are sordid and drear,
Strangely abiding–yet surely God called me,
Why do I wonder if Jesus is here?
Strangeness of living and strangeness of people,
Have I not come with the Gospel of cheer?
Why is my heart then depressed with its burden?
Isn’t my Comrade–My Jesus–out here?
God! Teach me quickly to do without friendships,
How to let go of those things that were dear,
How to be rid of this self that is binding me,
Surely my Master, my Jesus, is here.
Wilt Thou forgive me for failure in serving;
Heartache, depression, regrets, disappear.
Born of the Cross, a new courage infills me;
Jesus, my Victory, my Life, is now here!
239.) Little rows of houses
On a little street,
Lawns and trees and flowers,
Fences white and neat.
Little rows of houses
Full of girls and boys,
Full of shouts and laughter,
Full of love and noise.
Houses full of children
Going off to school.
Learning of the nation
They will one day rule.
Houses full of children …
Have they heard of Christ,
Of a tender Saviour,
A dear Life sacrificed?
Little rows of houses
On a little street,
Time is passing over,
Time with flying feet.
Houses full of children,
Precious and blood-bought.
Have you told them, neighbor?
What have they been taught?
–Martha Snell Nicholson
240.) Hebich had eight points for a successful fisher of men:
i. Be in love with your work.
ii. Have patience.
iii. Study the habits of the fish.
iv. Have enticing tackle.
v. Learn the run of the fish.
vi. Follow the moves of the fish.
vii. Be in time.
viii. Have live bait.
(Mark 1.17; John 1.41).
241.) I watched an old man trout-fishing once, pulling them out one after another busily. “You manage it cleverly, old friend,” I said. “I have passed a good many below who do not seem to be doing anything.”
The old man lifted himself up and stuck his rod into the ground. “Well, you see, sir, there are three rules for trout-fishing, and it’s no use trying if you do not mind them. First, keep yourself out of sight; second, use the right kind of bait; third, have patience.”
“Good for catching men, too,” I thought, as I went my way.
242.) Silence may be ‘golden,’ but more often it is guilty. The normal thing for a Christian is to speak of what he knows, to deal frankly against error, and to maintain freedom of discussion whenever challenged by an honest appeal to plain facts. But to shut up like a clam is sin by omission–failure to study God’s Word or fear of the cost of voicing unpopular testimony.
Spirit-led use of truth will help those who are ‘approved’ (rightly dividing–2Tim.2.15) and will manifest those who do the opposite (1Cor.11.19). How can we be right when we are so fearful, evasive and unwilling to investigate? Why fear to be a witness if one knows whereof he speaks? If one has no faith for the problem–only hearsay, supposition and self-reasoning–he should confess it and ask God for help.
Silence will not be ‘golden’ at the judgement of works if to speak was our duty and we left it undone for any excuse.
243.) A Christian of discernment had the privilege of hearing Dr. Talmage. When asked his opinion of the preacher, he remarked, ‘A wonderful preacher.’
The same man went to hear C.H. Spurgeon, and when asked concerning him, he gave his opinion expressing it in the words, ‘What a wonderful Saviour!’ The man had not been impressed so much by Spurgeon’s oratory as by the Saviour Whom he preached.
244.) Sophie–of Sophie’s Sermons fame–was a converted scrub woman who said that she was called to scrub and preach. She was made fun of by someone who said she was seen talking of Christ in front of a cigar store to a wooden Indian. Sophie replied, “Maybe I did; my eyesight is not good any more. But talking to a wooden Indian about Christ is not as bad as being a wooden Christian and never witnessing about Christ to anyone.”
245.) During the 1859 revival in Ireland an ignorant man was converted. He could do nothing more than tell what the Lord had done for his soul. He went over to Scotland to work in some mills there, and in the factory where he worked 1300 hands were employed. So great was the impression made upon them by his simple testimony that no less than 600 were led to Christ.
246.) Books may preach when the author cannot, when the author may not, when the author dare not, yea, & which is more, when the author is not.
247.) Now what is your niche in the mind of the man who met you yesterday?
He figured you out and labeled you; then carefully filed you away.
Are you on his list as one to respect, or as one to be ignored?
Does he think you the sort that’s sure to win, or the kind that’s quickly floored?
The things you said–were they those that stick, or the kind that fade and die?
The story you told–did you tell it your best? If not, in all conscience, why?
Your notion of things in the world of trade–did you make that notion clear?
Did you make it sound to the listener as though it were good to hear?
Did you mean, right down in your heart of hearts, the things that you then expressed?
Or was it the talk of a better man in clumsier language dressed?
Did you think while you talked, or but glibly recite what you had heard or read?
Had you made it your own–this saying of yours–or quoted what others said?
Think–what is your niche in the mind of the man who met you yesterday
And figured you out and labeled you; then carefully filed you away?
–Strickland W. Gillilan
248.) WHEN THE great missionary, Adoniram Judson, was home on furlough, he passed through Stonington, Connecticut. In those days the Stonington Line was the principal route between New England and New York, and the boys of the town often played about the wharves in the evening in the hope of catching a glimpse of some famous man. Two trains connected with the boat — an accommodation and an express.
One evening, when the accommodation came in, one of the boys noticed a man whose appearance excited his curiosity and wonder. Never before had he seen such a light on any human face. Presently it dawned on him that the man was the famous missionary whose picture he had once seen. He ran up the street to the minister’s to ask if he could be the man. The minister hurried back with him. Yes, the boy was right. But the minister, absorbed in conversation with the missionary forgot all about the boy who had brought him the news. The boy, silent, eager, unable to tear himself away, stood by and watched the wonderful face, the face like a benediction.
Many years afterward, that boy, Henry Clay Trumbull, became a famous minister himself, and wrote a book of memories in which was a chapter entitled, “What a Boy Saw in the Face of Adoniram Judson.” Doctor Trumbull, too has passed into the presence of the Master whom he served, but the light in the missionary’s face still shines down the years. Friends to whom Doctor Trumbull told the story tell it to others, and the printed pages — who can tell to how many lives they have carried their message?
The shining face is no mystery. Centuries ago the Psalmist knew the secret and wrote, “They looked unto him and were radiant.*” It comes to those whose faces are always turned toward Him, as a flower turns toward the light. It was said at the time of the Boxer rebellion that Chinese Christians could not be disguised — the light in their faces betrayed them. The pity of it, that every Christian may not be known by the shining of his face! *(Ps.34:5)
249.) George Cutting, the author of Safety, Certainty & Enjoyment, when cycling past a cottage in a Norfolk village, felt the urge to shout: “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the World!” The impulse came a second time, & again he shouted. Six months after, visiting from house to house in that village, he entered the cottage. Asking the good woman if she was saved, she replied, “Oh yes! Six months ago I was in great distress of soul; & while pleading for God’s help, a voice cried: ‘Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the World’; & when I asked God to repeat what He had said, the voice came again.” (Jn.1:29; Acts 1:8)
250.) A young minister asked the Duke of Wellington: “Does not your grace think it almost useless & absurd to preach the Gospel to the Hindus in view of their obstinancy?”
The Duke instantly replied, “Look, Sir, to your marching orders–‘Preach the Gospel to every creature’!”
251.) A few years ago a young man in Indianapolis was heard to say that he had intellectual difficulties about the faith of Christians. A prominent layman of the city heard of this and got his address. That evening he went to the young man’s boarding house and in his hall bedroom sat down to talk about the Gospel with him. One difficulty after another faded away.
At last he got on his knees by the young man and prayed for him. Then he turned to him and asked: “Won’t you surrender to Christ, now and here?”
And the young man said: “I will.”
That layman went to his pastor and told the story, and said: “I have had many thrilling experiences, but that one outranks them all.”
The man who stayed in that hall bedroom with a strange young man till 1 o’clock in the morning was Benjamin Harrison, ex-President of the United States.
252.) Charles Bradlaugh was the outstanding atheist in England. Down in one of the slums of London was a minister by the name of Hugh Price Hughes. All London was aware of miracles of grace accomplished at his mission.
Charles Bradlaugh challenged Mr. Hughes to debate with him the validity of the claims of Christianity. London was greatly interested. What would Mr. Hughes do? He immediately accepted the challenge and in doing so added one of his own.
Hughes said, “I propose to you that we each bring some concrete evidences of the validity of our beliefs in the form of men and women who have been redeemed from the lives of sin and shame by the influence of our teaching. I will bring 100 such men and women, and I challenge you to do the same.
“If you cannot bring 100, Mr. Bradlaugh, to match my 100, I will be satisfied if you will bring 50 men and women who will stand and testify that they have been lifted up from lives of shame by the influence of your teachings. If you cannot bring 50, then bring 20 people who will say, as my 100 will, that they have a great joy in a life of self-respect as a result of your atheistic teachings. If you cannot bring 20, I will be satisfied if you bring 10.
“Nay, Mr. Bradlaugh, I challenge you to bring one, just one man or woman who will make such a testimony regarding the uplifting of your atheistic teachings”
Again London was stirred. What would Mr. Bradlaugh do? In answer, Charles Bradlaugh, with great discomfiture and chagrin, publicly withdrew his challenge for the debate.
253.) A young man had a class of boys in a mission Sunday school. Little fellows they were, and their new teacher’s kindness and tact won them to him completely. After awhile the young man became discouraged with his efforts among them, and he decided to leave. He went down early the last Sunday, and overheard a conversation between two of the boys. One announced that he wasn’t coming any more; teacher was going to quit, and he was going to quit too. “Why,” said the other boy, “he doesn’t quit. Why, I was the first boy in his class and one Sunday he told us kids that God sent him to teach us, an’ he said God was his boss, and he had to do wot He said. He’s God’s man, and he dasn’t quit.” And the young man didn’t quit.
254.) Howard E. Butt, Jr., a millionaire grocer, said, “God doesn’t issue a special call to pastors and leave everyone else uncalled. Every Christian should think of himself as having a divine call for making Christian witnessing a full-time career.”
255.) L.C. Hester of Whitehorse, Texas, is a plumber. He packs a New Testament with his tools. He is known as the “witnessing plumber.” A minister said of him: “That witnessing plumber has won hundreds to Christ since he became a Christian. Many will listen to a workingman who will not listen to a preacher, you know.”
256.) At the beginning of the Reformation, Martin of Basle came to a knowledge of the truth, but, afraid to make a public confession, he wrote on a leaf of parchment: “O most merciful Christ, I know that I can be saved only by the merit of Thy blood. Holy Jesus, I acknowledge Thy sufferings for me. I love thee! I love thee!” Then he removed a stone from the wall of his chamber and hid it there. It was not discovered for more than a hundred years.
About the same time Martin Luther found the truth as it is in Christ. He said: “My Lord has confessed me before men; I will not shrink from confessing Him before kings.” The world knows what followed, and today it reveres the memory of Luther; but as for Martin of Basle, who cares for him?
257.) A sad letter of an anguished Baptist Sunday school teacher was published in a Dallas newspaper after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The teacher told of having a boy in his Sunday school class whom he never reached for Christ. His name: Lee Harvey Oswald, who later assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
Five years later a Nazarene Sunday school teacher in Pasadena, California, lamented over what might have happened to a dropout from his class. The twelve-year-old dark-skinned boy came two or three times, then stopped. The teacher neglected to visit the boy and try to bring him back. This boy’s name: Sirhan Sirhan, who later killed Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
258.) When I first began preaching, I remember how I wept from the beginning to the end of my sermons. I was embarrassed of it. This was wholly unlike the college debating, the commencement addresses and other public speaking which I had been accustomed to doing. The tears flowed down my cheeks almost continually, and I was so broken up that sometimes I could scarcely talk. Then I grew ashamed of my tears and longed to speak more logically. As I recall, I asked the Lord to give me better control of myself as I preached.
My tears soon vanished and I found I had only the dry husk of preaching left. Then I begged God to give me again the broken heart, the concern, even if it meant tears in public and a trembling voice. I feel the same need today. We preachers ought to cry out like Jeremiah, “Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer.9:1)
259.) Shortly after the close of the Civil War, a Negro entered a fashionable church in Richmond, Virginia, one Sunday morning at the beginning of a communion service. When the time came, he walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar. A rustle of shock and anger swept through the congregation. A distinguished layman immediately stood up, stepped forward to the altar and knelt beside his coloured brother. Captured by his spirit, the congregation followed. The layman who set the example: Robert E. Lee.
260.) Gypsy Smith pointed a boy to the Lord Jesus who died on the Cross in his place and in his stead. After a while the lad said: “I think I see it — first you bring yourself to Jesus; then you leave yourself with Jesus, and keep going on.”
“Yes, that’s it,” said Gypsy Smith, and the lad went away rejoicing in his newfound Saviour. The next night the evangelist found him in the inquiry-room again, his eyes shining like stars.
“Why Sonny,” Gypsy Smith said: “I thought you received Jesus as your Saviour last night!”
“So I did,” was the bright reply. “Then why are you here again tonight?”
“I came to bring my mother,” was the simple answer. The next night the same boy was in the inquiry-room once more.
“What brings you here to-night, Sonny?” inquired Gypsy.
“Oh, I came tonight to bring my Grandfather,” was the reply.
So three generations were won because a little boy, who found the Saviour, became a personal worker in his own home.
261.) Dr. Malan of Geneva, on a trip to Paris, fell into conversation with a chap who began to reason with him about Christianity. The doctor answered every argument with a quotation from the Scriptures — not venturing a single remark or application. Every quotation his companion evaded or turned aside, only to be met by another passage. At last he turned away. “Don’t you see I don’t believe your Bible? What is the use of quoting it to me?” he screamed.
But the only reply was, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
Years afterward, Dr. Malan received a letter in an unfamiliar handwriting. “You took the Sword of the Spirit and stabbed me through and through,” it read, “and every time I tried to parry the blade and get you to use your hands and not the Heavenly steel, you simply gave me another stab. You made me feel I was not fighting you, but God.” At the close Dr. Malan recognized the name of his Paris-bound companion of ten years before.
262.) At a meeting some young people were discussing the text, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” One suggestion after another was made as to the meaning of “salt” in this verse. “Salt imparts a desirable flavor,” said one.
“Salt preserves from decay,” another suggested.
Then a Chinese Christian girl spoke out of an experience none of the others had. “Salt creates thirst,” she said, and there was a sudden hush in the room. Everyone was thinking: Have I ever made anyone thirsty for the Lord Jesus Christ?
263.) Some years ago at the opening of a Disarmament Conference, in the midst of a speech King George was making, some one tripped over the wires of the Columbia Broadcasting Company, tearing them loose and interrupting the service. The chief operator quickly grasped the loose wires in his bare hands, holding them in contact, and for twenty minutes the current passed through while repairs were being made. His hands were slightly burned, but through them the words of the King passed on to the millions of listeners and were heard distinctly. Without his courage and endurance the King’s message would have failed to reach its destination.
The King of Heaven has chosen to send His message to a lost world through human wires. Every faithful missionary and every Christian who gives his or her support is a human wire through which the King’s voice is reaching the lost with a message of peace, vastly more important than the message from London.
For the missionary it is often a costly business. Some men and women must suffer the loss of every earthly thing, stoop with weariness, waste away with fevers in far-off places, even die — but it pays to HOLD ON. Only thus can men hear the voice of the King. The Church of God needs more men who are willing to TAKE HOLD and HOLD ON.
264.) We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
That shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and sweetness,
A story of peace and light!
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
And the dawning to noon-day bright,
And Christ’s great Kingdom shall come on earth,
The Kingdom of love and light!
We’ve a song to be sung to the nations,
That shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
A song that shall conquer evil,
And shatter the spear and sword.
We’ve message to give to the nations,
That the Lord Who reigneth above,
Hath sent His Son to save us,
And show us that God is love!
We’ve a Saviour to show to the nations,
Who the paths of sorrow has trod,
That all of the world’s people,
Might come to the truth of God.
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
And the dawning to noon-day bright,
And Christ’s great Kingdom shall come on earth,
The Kingdom of love and light!
265.) S.H. Hadley in Jerry McAuley’s Bowery mission related this incident:
“One night I gave the invitation at the midnight service, for all those who wanted to become Christians or wanted me to pray with them, to come and kneel at the altar. Down the aisle there came a bum whom I had seen often in the community. When he knelt to pray, I knelt by him. He was already praying and his prayer consisted of just one sentence which he repeated over and over, ‘Dear Lord, make me like Joe.’
“I interrupted him to say, ‘Ask God to make you like Jesus.’
“He opened his eyes and looked at me a moment in astonishment, then asked, ‘Was Jesus any better than Joe?’ Everybody on the Bowery loved Joe. He had been converted and dedicated his life to his Lord two years before. Only the Master knows how many men Joe led to Christ. We had buried Joe that afternoon and the bums of the Bowery wept.”
266.) It was a cold wintry night when Dr. Moffat, a missionary from Africa, arrived to preach a sermon in a Scottish church. He had come to appeal for men to go to Africa as missionaries.
When Moffat looked over the small congregation, he saw a number of women but, to his consternation, only one male in the entire church: a boy pumping the organ in the loft. At first Dr. Moffat felt he should change his sermon, but then he decided to go ahead with the one he had planned. Its text–Proverbs 8:4, “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men.”
The boy listened intently, drinking in words that thrilled him, words which proved that we never really know how what we say may affect other people. When he grew up and obtained his degree in medicine, it was that boy who remembered Dr. Moffat’s plea and gave a lifetime of unselfish devotion to Africa and to Christianity. His name was David Livingstone.
267.) O, Zion, haste, Thy mission high fulfilling
To tell to all the World that God is light;
That He who made all nations is not willing
One soul should perish, lost in shades of night.
Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace,
Tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.
–Mary A. Thomson
268.) When the noble Bruce, hero of Bannockburn, died, his heart was extracted and encased in a silver casket by the Black Douglas and carried with the army. Douglas died fighting the Moors. Before he fell he threw the heart of Bruce into the thickest of the fray and urged his soldiers to follow that heart and conquer. Christ’s heart is in the densest of heathenism and Christians must have their hearts there if they would feel His heart throb.
269.) “I was in barber shop,” remarked former President Woodrow Wilson, when I became aware that a personality had entered the room. A man had come quietly in upon the same errand as myself, and sat in the chair next to me. Every word that he uttered showed a personal and vital interest in the man who was serving him; and before I got through, I was aware that I had attended an evangelistic service, because Mr. Moody was in the next chair, I purposely lingered in the room after he left, and noted the singular effect his visit had upon the barbers in that shop. They did not know his name, but they knew that something had elevated their thoughts. And I felt that I left that place as I should have left a place of worship.”
270.) At the age of 16 C.T. Studd was already an expert cricket player and at 19 was made captain of his team at Eton, England. Soon he became a world-famous sports personality. But the Lord had different plans for him, for while attending Cambridge University he heard Moody preach and was wondrously converted. He soon dedicated his life and his inherited wealth to Christ and spent hours seeking to convert his teammates. Sensing God’s leading to full-time service, he offered himself to Hudson Taylor for missionary work in China.
While in that foreign country, he inherited a sum of money equivalent today to half a million dollars. In 24 hours he gave the entire inheritance away, investing it in the things of the Lord. Later he was forced to go back to England, for his health was failing and his wife was an invalid. But God called him again–this time to the heart of Africa. He was informed that if he went, he would not live long. His only answer was that he had been looking for a chance to die for Jesus. “Faithful unto death,” he accepted God’s call and labored until the Savior took him Home.
271.) Ludwig Nommensen, a pioneer missionary to the Batak tribesmen [on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia], was told that he could stay for two years, during which time he studied the customs and traditions that ruled the people. At the end of that time the chief asked him if there was anything in the Christian religion that differed from the traditions of the Batak. “We, too, have laws that say we must not steal, nor take our neighbor’s wife, nor bear false witness.” the chief said.
The missionary answered quietly, “My Master gives the power to keep His laws.”
The chief was startled. “Can you teach my people that?” he asked.
“No, I cannot, but God can give them that power if they ask for it and listen to His Word.”
The missionary was permitted to stay another six months, during which time he taught just one thing–the power of God. At the end of that time, the chief said, “Stay; your law is better than ours. Ours tells us what we ought to do. Your God says, ‘Come, I will walk with you and give you strength to do the good thing.'”
There are now about 450,000 Batak Christians, with their own independent church organizations.
272.) A New Hebrides chieftain sat peacefully reading the Bible, when he was interrupted by a French trader. “Bah,” he said in French. “Why are you reading the Bible? I suppose the missionaries have got hold of you, you poor fool. Throw it away! The Bible never did anyone any good.”
Replied the chieftain, calmly, “If it weren’t for this Bible, you’d be in my kettle there by now!”
273.) No other agency can penetrate so deeply, witness so daringly, abide so persistently & influence so irresistibly as the printed page.
274.) One of the mightiest soul-winners I ever knew was Colonel Clarke of Chicago. He would work at his business six days a week that he might keep his mission open seven nights every week. Every night in the week around five or six hundred men would gather together in that mission hall. It was a motley crowd; drunkards, thieves, pickpockets, gamblers and everything that was hopeless. I used to go and hear Colonel Clarke talk, and he seemed to me one of the dullest talkers I ever heard in my life. He would ramble along, and yet these men would lean over and listen spellbound while Colonel Clarke talked in his prosy way.
Some of the greatest preachers in Chicago used to go down to help Colonel Clarke, but the men would not listen to them as they did to Colonel Clarke. When he was speaking, they would lean over and listen and be converted by the score. I could not understand it. I studied it and wondered what the secret was. Why did these men listen with such interest, and why were they so greatly moved by such prosy talking? I found the secret. It was because they knew that Colonel Clarke loved them, and nothing conquers like love. The tears were very near the surface with Colonel Clarke.
Once in the early days of the mission when he had been weeping a great deal over these men, he got ashamed of his tears. He steeled his heart and tried to stop his crying, and succeeded, but he lost his power. He saw that his power was gone and he went to God: “Oh, God, give me back my tears,” God gave him back his tears, and wonderful power over these men.
275.) President Roosevelt said: “Since becoming President, I have come to know that the finest of Americans we have abroad today are the missionaries of the Cross. I am humiliated that I am not finding out until this late day the worth of foreign missions and the nobility of the missionaries. Their testimony in China, for instance, during the war there, is beyond praise. Their courage is thrilling and their fortitude heroic.”
276.) A postman was telling me what a sense of security he felt in his work of delivering the mail. “Why,” he said, “all the resources of the Government are pledged to support me in carrying on my work. If I have only one small post card in my bag, no man dares to molest me in its delivery. All the Federal police powers of the United States would be thrown into action if necessary to secure the safe delivery of that post card.”
And that led me to think how confidently you and I may set forth with our life, our personality, our equipment, such as it is, to deliver the flaming truth of the Gospel. The Word of our Lord is just as much for us today as it was for the disciples, when he said: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go … and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end.” (Mat.28:18-20)
277.) WHY MISSIONARIES?
Because the greatest mission ever known was when God sent His only begotten Son into the world to save it.
Because the world will never be brought to Christ until men bring Christ to the world.
Because Jesus Himself taught us that missions was the only way to make disciples.
Because I am a disobedient lover of Jesus if I do not obey His command when He said… “Go.”
Because if salvation means everything to me, I cannot be happy unless I share it with others.
Because a Christian who does not believe in missions always gets narrow and loses his world vision.
Because the missionary is the greatest hope of the world in its present historical crises.
–Charles M. Sheldon
278.) Lord lay some soul upon my heart,
And love that soul through me;
And may I humbly do my part
To win that soul for Thee!
280.) It is often said that it is difficult to get the sinners in–but it is often just as difficult to get the saints out.
281.) I love those that thunder out the Word! The Christian world is in a deep sleep. Nothing but a loud voice can awaken them out of it.
284.) The meaning of preaching can be learnt from four Greek words used in the New Testament to translate the word “preach”:
(1) Kerusso–to proclaim, to herald. This is used of the public proclamation of the Gospel. (Mat.11:1; Mark 1:4; 3:14; 16:20; Rom.10:15, etc.)
(2) Euaggelizo–to tell good news. From this word are derived our terms–“evangel”, “evangelist”, “evangelise.” (Mat.11:5; Luk.4:18; 7:22; 1Cor.1:17; Gal.1:8; Heb.4:2, etc.)
(3) Kataggello–to tell thoroughly. (Acts 4:2; 13:38; 15:36; Col.1:28)
(4) Laleo–to talk. (Mark 2:2; Acts 11:19; 14:25, etc.)
Of the 112 times the word “preach” is found in the New Testament, on only six instances does it mean a formal discourse. Thus to preach, in the New Testament sense of the term, is to proclaim as a herald the message of the King of kings & Lord of lords; to tell the good news, to tell thoroughly all the truth of the Gospel, holding back nothing, but declaring “the whole counsel of God”; to talk to others, as we meet them on the highways, or in their homes, of the Love of God as revealed in the gift of His Son, & of the Salvation He has secured for whosoever will believe on Him.
285.) One time at the end of a mission meeting, a poor drug-addicted harlot came & grasped my Mother’s arm until her nails left their imprint in her skin, saying, “You say all I have to do is take Jesus? That’s all I have to do? Just take Jesus? And He’ll do the rest? Tell me, quick! My mind is too confused by drugs, my body’s too weak from harlotry, I can’t understand any more, I can’t do anything any more! All I have to do is take Jesus?”
My Mother replied with love, “Yes, Dear, that’s all you have to do–just take Jesus, & He’ll do the rest!”
And the harlot said, “Okay, I take Him!”
My Mother asked, “Do you want me to go back to that house & help you get your things?”
But the harlot replied, “No, I don’t want anything from that old life! I just want Jesus!”
Just then the Salvation Army band passed by & suddenly the little wasted figure straightened up, & followed them out the door, tagging pitifully behind: A mere wreck of humanity, a bit of trash on the sea of life, tossed to & fro, had finally landed on the Rock, Christ Jesus! And the Army took her in! She only lived two years, but she became known as the “Angel of Such-&-such a street.”–How God can use the least & the weakest of the daughters among the children of men, & what a blessing, & indeed an angel she became, just to her own little neighbourhood, winning many hearts with His Love!
–David Brandt Berg
286.) A soap manufacturer, who was an unbeliever, walked along the road one day with a preacher of the Gospel. Said the soap manufacturer: “The Gospel you preach has not done much good, for there is still a lot of wickedness in the World & a lot of wicked people too.” The preacher made no reply until they passed a dirty little child, making mud pies in the gutter. Seizing his opportunity, the preacher said, “Soap has not done much good in the World, I see; for there is still much dirt & many dirty people about.”
“Oh, well,” said the manufacturer, “soap is only useful when it is applied.”
“Exactly!” said the preacher, “so it is with the Gospel that we proclaim.” (2Kings 5:14; Psa.51:7; 1John 1:7)
287.) I’d say, “I can prove to you right now how many of you people here in this great audience”–sometimes an audience of two or three hundred people–“are faithful witnesses for the Lord!”
And they’d all sit there thinking, “Oh, he doesn’t know, he can’t spot me! Ha, ha, ha! He can’t tell who’s a faithful witness, he can’t tell I’m not a witness!”
I’d say, “Those of you who have Gospel tracts in your purse or pocket right now, stand up!”–And maybe one, two or three people out of the whole congregation would stand up! Because any good Christian church person who knows he should witness & knows he should try to win souls will almost always without exception be carrying tracts in their pocket or purse all the time.
–David Brandt Berg
288.) An aged Christian sent the following lines to his son:
You want to be a preacher, lad, to tell the Old, Old Story,
The story that is ever new, that leads men on to glory.
Our Master left instructions clear, to go to every creature,
So, if you would be faithful, you must also be a ‘Reacher.’
Yes, we must all be reachers, lad, whatever be the distance.
The Shepherd sought until He found; and should you meet resistance,
Don’t be put off–seek on–if crowds won’t have you as a teacher,
Seek out some lonely soul and make yourself into an ‘Each-er.’
(Mark 1.39; John4.4-7; Acts 8.5; 26-27)
289.) He stood at the crossroads all alone
With the sunrise in his face;
He had no fear for the path unknown;
He was set for a manly race.
But the road stretched east, and the road stretched west;
There was no one to tell him which way was the best;
So my chum turned wrong and went down, down, down,
Till he lost the race and the victor’s crown
And fell at last in an ugly snare,
Because no one stood at the crossroads there.
Another chum on another day
At the selfsame crossroads stood;
He paused a moment to choose the way
That would stretch to the greater good.
And the road stretched east, and the road stretched west;
But I was there to show him the best;
So my chum turned right and went on and on,
Till he won the race and the victor’s crown;
He came at last to the mansions fair,
Because I stood at the crossroads there.
Since then I have raised a daily prayer
That I be kept faithful standing there.
To warn the runners as they come,
And save my own or another’s chum.
291.) Some missionaries once had to face this problem of putting strange statements into familiar terms when they translated the Bible into the dialect of a tribe living in equatorial Africa. Should they translate literally? They realised that if they did, the words at times would be meaningless to the natives. They came, for example, to the lines: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Should they translate this literally? The natives didn’t know snow from jungle moss. But they had often climbed coconut trees & had shaken down nuts for lunch. The missionaries likened the unknown to the known. They changed the lines to read: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as the meat of a coconut.” Under the circumstances, it would be hard to improve on that, wouldn’t it?
292.) You read the story about the two little girls in the park when the atheist challenged somebody in the park to answer all his diatribe against God & the Bible & nobody stood up for Jesus, nobody tried to give any answer.
Finally these two little girls walked up & said, “Mister, we’ll stand up for Jesus!” And he kind of laughed embarrassed, you know, & he thought it was kind of funny. He said, “All right, little girls, what have you got to say?” He stuck them up on the platform with him & they sang this little song: “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the Cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss: From victory unto victory His Army shall He lead, till every foe is vanquished, & Christ is Lord indeed!”
And those two little girls so encouraged some of the other cowards in the crowd that they finally got up the courage to jump up & start testifying for Jesus too. So “a little child shall lead them” (Isa.11:6) & “out of the mouths of babes & sucklings” (Psa.8:2)
–David Brandt Berg
294.) You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak,
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the use you make of dollar and dime.
You tell what you are by the things you wear
By the spirit in which you burdens bear,
By the kind of things at which you laugh,
By the records you play on the phonograph,
You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you delight to talk,
By the manner in which you bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.
By the books you choose from the well-filled shelf:
In these ways and more, you tell on yourself.
So, there’s really no particle of sense,
In an effort to keep up false pretense.
295.) Running a business without advertising is the same thing as winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you’re doing, but she doesn’t!
296.) George Whitefield, the famous English evangelist, said, “O Lord give me souls, or take my soul!”
Henry Martyn, missionary, kneeling on India’s coral strands, cried out, “Here let me burn out for God.”
David Brainerd, missionary to the North American Indians (1718-1747): “Lord, to Thee I dedicate myself. O accept me and let me be Thine forever. Lord, I desire nothing else, I desire nothing more.” The last words in his diary, seven days before he died, “O Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.”
Thomas à Kempis, (1379-1471): “Give what Thou wilt, and how much Thou wilt, and when Thou wilt. Set me where Thou will and deal with me in all things, just as Thou wilt.”
Dwight L. Moody: “Use me then, my Saviour, for whatever purpose and in whatever way Thou mayest require. Here is my poor heart an empty vessel; fill it with Thy grace.”
Martin Luther: (some words from his great agony of prayer on the night preceding his appearance before the Diet of Worms) “Do Thou, my God, do Thou, God, stand by me against all the world’s wisdom and reason. O do it! Thou must do it. Stand by me. Thou True, Eternal God!”
John McKenzie, prayed a prayer of a young missionary candidate as he knelt on the banks of the Lossie: “O Lord, send me to the darkest spot on earth!”
“Praying Hyde,” a missionary in India: “Father, give me these souls, or I die.”
Mrs. Comstock, a missionary in India, a prayer of parting when she sent her children home: “Lord Jesus, I do this for thee.”
John Hunt, a missionary to the Fiji Islands, a prayer upon his dying bed: “Lord, save Fiji, save Fiji, save these people, O Lord; have mercy upon Fiji; save Fiji!”
297.) A clergyman in England asked a dying Christian woman where she found the Saviour; and she gave him a piece of paper torn from an American journal containing part of one of C.H. Spurgeon’s sermons. The scrap had been wrapped around a package that came to her from Australia. The words of Spurgeon were read by her and were the means of leading her to Christ. Commenting on this incident, a writer says, “Think of it; a sermon preached in England, printed in America, in some way coming to Australia, a part of it used as wrapping paper there, coming back to England, was the means of converting this woman.”
298.) Mr. Wesley related the following anecdote to Mr. Thomas Letts of All-hallows Church, London. While he was putting on his gown in the vestry he said to him, “It is fifty years, sir, since I first preached in this church. I remember it from a peculiar circumstance that occurred at that time. I came without a sermon, and going up the pulpit under much mental confusion and agitation.
A woman who was there noticed that I was deeply agitated, and she inquired, ‘Pray, sir, what is the matter with you?’
I replied, ‘I have not brought a sermon with me.’
“Putting her hand upon my shoulder, she said, ‘Is that all? Can you not trust God for a sermon?’ That question had such an effect upon me that I ascended the pulpit and preached extempore, with great freedom to myself and acceptance to the people, and I have never since taken a written sermon into the pulpit.”
299.) I’d rather see a sermon,
Than to hear one any day.
I’d rather one would walk with me
Than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil
And more willing than the ear.
Fine counsel is confusing,
But example’s always clear!
The best of all the preachers
Are the men who live their creeds
For to see good put in action
Is what everybody needs!
I soon can learn to do it
If you’ll let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action,
But your tongue too fast may run.
The lectures you deliver
May be very wise & true,
but I’d rather get my lessons
By observing what you do.
I may misunderstand
The high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding
How you act & how you live!
When I see a deed of kindness,
I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles
And a strong man stays behind,
Just to see if he can help him
Then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big & thoughtful
As I know that friend to be!
All travellers can witness
That the best of guides today,
Is not the one who tells them,
But the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many,
Men believe what they behold.
One deed of kindness noticed
Is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honour,
Learns to hold his honour dear,
For right living speaks a language
Which to everyone is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me
With his eloquence, I say
I’d rather see a sermon
Than to hear one any day!
300.) A professional diver said he had in his house what would probably strike a visitor as a very strange chimney ornament–the shells of an oyster holding fast a piece of printed paper. The possessor of this ornament was diving on the coast, when he observed at the bottom of the sea this oyster on a rock, with a piece of paper in its mouth, which he detached, and commenced to read through the goggles of his headdress. It was a Gospel tract, and, coming to him this strange and unexpected way, so impressed his unconverted heart, that he said: “I can hold out against God’s mercy in Christ no longer, since it pursues me thus.” He became, while in the ocean’s depth, a repentant, converted and sin-forgiven man.
301.) A prepared messenger is more important than a prepared message.
301.) In the 1700s a little man in England, a cobbler by trade, who kept a map of the world on a wall of his workshop so that he could pray for the nations of the world, became burdened for a definite missionary outreach. When he shared his burden at a meeting of ministers, he was told by one of the senior men of God: “Young man, sit down. When God wants to convert the heathen, He will do it without your help or mine.”
But William Carey did not let the fire of his enthusiasm be dampened by such a response, and eventually he left the shores of England for those of India, where he engaged in pioneer missionary work, doing exploits for God.
302.) The highest worship of God is the preaching of the Word; because thereby are praised & celebrated the name & the benefits of Christ.
303.) He who preaches to broken hearts always preaches to the times.
304.) During a period of persecution in Korea, a young Christian was falsely accused by police and put in jail as a suspect. When he was placed in solitary confinement, he regretted he was unable to mingle with other prisoners and witness to them. He made it a matter of prayer and was soon banished to one of the neighboring islands. When he was found innocent and released, he said with a beaming countenance: “Just think, I have been longing for a chance to speak of Christ to others, and was mourning because I could not speak in jail. Then God sent me off to an unevangelized island, where there was plenty of work to do, and the government paid for my fare!”
305.) The Standard Oil Company was making preparations to establish itself in Indonesia. Company executives were seeking a manager for their Indonesian operations. They were informed that the man best qualified for the place was a certain missionary. The company approached the missionary in reference to his availability for the position. Their offer was large: $30,000 yearly. The missionary declined. Those seeking his service raised the offer. Still he declined. Finally they said, “Just name your salary. We’ll pay it if the salary we have named isn’t large enough.”
“Oh,” replied he, “the salary is big enough, but the job isn’t big enough!”
306.) Dr. Robert Wilder who was the founder of the Student Volunteer Movement, a great missionary movement for the recruiting of missionaries in our colleges and universities, some years ago was in India. He walked into the hotel dining room and the only vacant seat was at a table where there was an army major, a naval officer, together with some other subordinate officers, and their wives.
In the course of the conversation the army major spoke up and said: “Well, I don’t see why that these missionaries don’t stay at home and mind their own business.”
Dr. Wilder said: “Major, I want to ask you a question. Suppose that you received, while you are sitting here at this table, orders from your superior officer to proceed to such-and-such a place with the men under your command and to engage such-and-such an enemy in combat. What would you do? Will you sit here at this table? Would you wait? Why are you in India anyhow?”
The Major’s eyes flashed fire as he said: “I will have you to know sir, that as a soldier I am subject to the command of my government. And if my government ordered me to take the men under my command to go to a certain place and to engage the enemy, I would do it though it would cost my life and the life of every man under my command.
Dr. Wilder said: “Major, I am a Christian. Jesus Christ is my King. I serve as a citizen of the Kingdom of God. My King arose from the dead, and He gave me a Divine commission. That commission was: ‘Go therefore and teach all nations.’ And Major, that is why I and the missionaries in India are here, minding the business of our King, and serving under the authority of His government.”
307.) The smallest tract may be the stone in David’s sling. In the hands of Christ it may bring down a giant soul.
308.) My test of the worth of a preacher is when his congregation goes away saying not, “What a beautiful sermon!” but “I will do something!”
309.) In your witnessing, as elsewhere, education is no substitute for unction.
310.) More flies are caught with honey than with vinegar. Preach much on the love of God.
311.) The Sunday school was not originated by famous theologians. In 1780, businessman Robert Raikes saw dirty children on Sunday afternoon with their favorite activity: fist fights. Sunday afternoon was the only free day from hard work then.
Mr. Raikes established the first Sunday school with the dirty small children, which was promptly dubbed “Raikes Regiment” and “Billy Wild Goose.” For those who came, he gave pennies; teachers were hired at 25 cents per Sunday. Later, John Wesley was the first to suggest the elimination of payment, and the movement spread.
312.) Is it ever wrong for a little girl to play with dolls? Of course not, you answer; but missionaries have found that it is wrong sometimes. The missionaries tell the heathen that it is wrong to worship idols. The heathen see the little daughters of the missionaries playing with dolls, and they think that the dolls are idols, such as they worship in their houses. Ought not the little girls give up playing with dolls until the people know the difference between a doll and an idol? For the sake of those whom their father is trying to teach about the true God, they must give up their own pleasure.
313.) One night just before the late Captain Bickel was retiring to rest he met at the deckhouse door a ruffian who had been wonderfully converted on one of his voyages. Mr. Bickel was very tired, but he had a little talk with the man. He asked him if he would take a Bible to a certain man on the morrow. He shook his head. “No, no, Captain; he does not need that.”
“But why not?”
“Because it is too soon. That is your Bible, and thank God! it is now mine; but it is not his Bible.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Why simply that he has another Bible; you are his Bible; he is watching you. As you fail, Christ fails. As you live Christ, so Christ is revealed to him.” Writing of this incident, Captain Bickel said: “Friends, I did not sleep that night. I had been called a thief, liar, foreign spy, traitor, devil, in public and private, and had not flinched; but to face this. ‘As you live, so Christ lives — in that man’s soul, in that house, in that village, in four hundred villages. As you fail to live Christ, Christ is crucified again.’ What wonder that I slept not!” All of us are being watched by someone. What kind of a witness do we give by our lives?
314.) The sermon that does good is a good sermon.
315.) I know that some are always studying the meaning of the fourth toe of the right foot of some beast in prophecy & have never used either foot to go & bring men to Christ.
316.) No doctor is a good doctor who has never been ill himself.
317.) It is impossible for you to influence others to live on a higher level than that on which you live yourself.
318.) A man lives as long as there are those who bear the stamp of his influence.
319.) The Rev. William Tennat, of New England, once took much pain to prepare a sermon to convince a celebrated infidel of the truth of Christianity. But in attempting to deliver this laboured discourse he was so confused as to be compelled to stop and close the service by prayer. This unexpected failure in one who had so often astonished the unbeliever with the force of his eloquence, led the infidel to reflect that Mr. Tennat had been at other times aided by a Divine power.
This reflection proved the means of his conversion. God accomplished by silence what his servant wished to do by persuasive preaching. Mr. Tennat afterwards used to say that his dumb sermon was one of the most profitable sermons that he had ever delivered.
320.) Not merely in the words you say,
Not merely in the deed confessed,
But in the most unconscious way
Is Christ confessed.
For me, ’twas not the truth you taught,
To you, so clear, to me so dim,
But when you came to me you brought
A sense of Him.
And from your eyes He beckons me,
And from your heart His love is shed,
Till I lose sight of you — and see
The Christ instead.
321.) “Have you ever heard the Gospel?” a missionary asked a Chinese man.
“No,” was the reply, “but I have seen it. I know a man who was the terror of the whole district. He was at times as fierce as a wild animal, and was also an opium smoker. When he accepted the Jesus’ religion, he became quite changed. Now he is meek, and is no longer wicked, and has given up opium smoking. I can see by that, that the Gospel and the service for Jesus are good.”
322.) A young minister was leaving a North County town, and was bidding an old lady good-by. “Well, sir,” she said, “you’ll be busy packing up your belongings, I expect?”
“Yes,” he replied. “I have only a few things to get into boxes now.”
“There’s one thing you won’t be able to pack up, sir,” said the old lady; “you’ll have to leave that behind.”
“I don’t know — whatever is that?” questioned the minister.
“You can’t pack up your influence, sir,” she answered quietly.
323.) Always remember there are certain people who set their watches by your clock.
324.) People are guided to Heaven more by footprints than by guideposts.
325.) Christians should penetrate the World without ever becoming part of it.
326.) The object in witnessing is not to win arguments but disciples.
327.) Witnessing is not only something we do; it is something we are.
328.) Many years ago a missionary employed a great Chinese scholar to translate the New Testament into the Chinese language. The scholar was a Confucianist and had never heard of Christianity until this missionary had engaged him. The scholar was a painstaking person and wanted to produce a splendid translation. As he completed his work, the missionary recalled that he had not said one word to him about his soul and his need of the Saviour. Engaging the scholar in conversation, the missionary said, “You have been a great help to me. As you translated the New Testament, has not the beauty of Christianity appealed to you? Would you not like to be a Christian?”
“Yes,” replied the scholar, “it does appeal to me. It is a wonderful system of ethics. I think that if I could see a Christian, I might become interested.”
“But,” said the missionary, “I am a Christian!”
“You,” said the scholar, “are you a Christian? Oh, no, pardon me, I don’t want to offend you, but I have observed you. You are not a Christian. If I understand aright, a Christian is a follower of Jesus, and Jesus said, ‘A new Commandment give I unto you, that you love one another.’ But I have listened to you talk about others who were not present, saying unkind things about them. I have watched you closely in other things, and I have had to conclude that you are not a Christian. I think that if I could see a Christian, I would like to be one!” concluded the Chinese scholar.
329.) Not long ago a Hindu woman was converted, chiefly by hearing the Word of God read. She suffered very much persecution from her husband. One day a missionary asked her, “When your husband is angry and persecutes you, what do you do?” She replied: “Well, sir, I cook his food better; when he complains, I sweep the floor cleaner; and when he speaks unkindly, I answer him mildly. I try, sir, to show him that when I became a Christian I became a better wife and a better mother.”
The consequence of this was that, while the husband could withstand all the preaching of the missionary, he could not stand the practical preaching of his wife, and gave his heart to God with her.
330.) An African prince, after interpreting the missionary’s message, said, “I can’t read this Book myself but I believe the words of it because I have watched the missionaries for two years and they have told me no lies about anything else, so when they tell me this Book is God’s Word I believe it and I believe that Jesus died for me and I am going to follow this Jesus.”
331.) The real mark of a saint is that he makes it easier for others to believe in God.
332.) Men may not read the Gospel in sealskin, or the Gospel in morocco, or the Gospel in cloth covers; but they can’t get away from the Gospel in shoe leather.
333.) The Christian is the visual aid which God brings on to the stage when He begins to speak to an unconverted person.
334.) If it is possible for your closest contacts to be neutral about Christ then there is something wrong with your Christianity.
335.) While a missionary was speaking to a group of Hindu women, one of them silently walked away. Soon she returned and listened more intently than before. “Why did you leave in the midst of my message?” asked the missionary. “I was so interested in the wonderful things you were saying that I went to ask your servant if you live like you teach. He said you do. So I came back to hear more about Jesus,” said the woman.
336.) “The slightest breeze that ever blew
Some slender grass has wavered,
The smallest life I ever knew
Some other life has flavored.
“We cannot live our lives alone
For other lives we touch
Are either strengthened by our own,
Or weakened just as much.”
337.) Of all commentaries upon the Scriptures, good examples are the best and liveliest.
338.) Dr. Grenfell, of Labrador, tells about his calling to see a dying man on a fishing vessel off this coast. As he left the cabin another invalid called out, “You’ve forgotten me, Doctor. I’m the man who was converted at — two years ago.”
“Well,” said Grenfell, “what difference has it made in your life?”
“Ask the skipper,” he replied. Ah, friends, that’s the test. Can others testify as to the difference conversion has made in your life?
339.) The devil is willing for a person to confess Christianity as long as he does not practice it.
340.) A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.
341.) An ounce of practice is worth a pound of preach.
342.) A holy life has a voice. It speaks when the tongue is silent, and is either a constant attraction or a perpetual reproof.
343.) A friend of mine, who had been a holdup man and a kidnapper for twelve years, met Jesus Christ in prison. Christ said, “I will come and live in you and we will serve this sentence together,” and they did. Several years later he was discharged, and just before he went out he was handed a two-page letter written by another prisoner. After the salutation, it said in effect, “You know perfectly well that when I came into this jail I despised preachers, the Bible, and everything. I went to the Bible class and the preaching service because there wasn’t anything else interesting to do. Then they told me you were saved, and I said, ‘There’s another fellow taking the Gospel road to get a parole’; but, Roy, I’ve been watching you for two and a half years. You did not know it, but I watched you when you were in the yard exercising, when you were working in the shop, when you played, while we were all together at meals, on the way to our cells, and all over, and now I’m a Christian, too, because I watched you. The Saviour who saved you has saved me. You never made a slip.” Roy said to me, “When I got that letter and read it through I came out in a cold sweat. Think of what it would have meant if I had backslidden, even once.”
344.) A religion that is not worth exporting is not worth keeping at home.
345.) People don’t really pay much attention to what we say about our religion, because they’d rather watch what we do about it.
346.) It’s time for us to stop putting more saints in stained glass & start putting more in shoe leather.
347.) If your religion is the kind that can easily be hidden, it can easily be lost.
348.) Winners of souls must first be weepers for souls.
349.) My Life shall touch a dozen lives
Before this day is done,
Leave countless marks of good or ill,
E’er sets the evening sun.
This, the wish I always wish,
The prayer I always pray;
Lord, may my life help other lives,
It touches by the way.
350.) A Christian is a blot or a blessing, a blank he cannot be.
351.) You cannot sell anything you do not believe in.
352.) We can’t lead someone else to the light while we are standing in the dark.
353.) Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way;
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died;
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.
We are the only Bible the careless world will read,
We are the sinner’s gospel; We are the scoffer’s creed;
We are the Lord’s last message, given in word and deed;
What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?
What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?
What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?
–Annie Johnston Flint
354.) Just one act of yours may turn the tide of another person’s life.
355.) The best theology is rather a divine life than a divine knowledge.
356.) The real problem of Christianity is not atheism or scepticism, but the non-witnessing Christian trying to smuggle his own soul into Heaven.
357.) You do not choose to be in the business of bringing men to Christ; you choose Christ & you are at once in the business.
358.) The best way to witness is not by an obvious frontal attack, but just by the presentation of the Truth!–Nor by attacking their darkness & their lives, but by letting the Light in & giving them the Truth!–Dad
359.) Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
In living echoes of Thy tone;
As Thou hast sought, so let me seek
The erring children lost & lone.
–Frances Ridley Havergal
360.) Not, how did he die?
But, how did he live?
Not, what did he gain?
But, what did he give?
These are the merits
To measure the worth
Of a man as man,
Regardless of birth.
Not, what was his station?
But, had he a heart?
And how did he play
His God-given part?
Was he ever ready
With word of good cheer
To bring a smile,
To banish a tear?
Not what was his church?
Nor, what was his creed?
But had he befriended
Those really in need?
Not, what did the sketch
In the newspaper say?
But, how many were sorry
When he passed away?
360.) W.D. Dunn, the evangelist, was holding a campaign of Gospel meetings in a large hall in the town of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland, an industrial town about 10 miles from Glasgow. During the campaign a friend of his, Mr. Carr of Carlisle, died, and he was invited to attend the funeral. Carlisle is some 90 miles south of Motherwell and about 100 miles from Glasgow. Consulting his Bradshaw Time Table, he found that he could travel by express train to Carlisle on the morning of the day of the funeral, attend the funeral, and catch a train from Carlisle to Motherwell, arriving back in good time for his evening meeting. He decided to do this, attended the funeral, but arrived in Carlisle station a few minutes after his train for Motherwell had left. His Bradshaw showed that there was only an express train to Glasgow, nonstop in about an hour, and a slow train that stopped at Motherwell, but would be much too late for his meeting.
Approaching the Stationmaster, he asked if the express train to Glasgow could be stopped for a minute or two at Motherwell to enable him to alight and be in time for a very important meeting there. The Stationmaster said it could not be done. Lifting up his heart in prayer, the evangelist was turning away when the Stationmaster added: ‘But are you a Member of Parliament? I have authority to have the train stopped for an M.P.’
‘No,’ replied Dunn, ‘I am not an M.P.; but I hold a much higher rank. I am an ambassador.’
‘An Ambassador,’ said the Stationmaster. ‘All right, I shall have the train stopped at Motherwell for you.’ Mr. Dunn walked off, thanking him, but on further consideration he felt he ought to clarify his position to the Stationmaster, and so, going to him again, he said, ‘I told you I was an ambassador, and that is true. But I am not an ambassador of an earthly king. I am an ambassador of the King of kings, and have a message from Him for over 1,000 people who will gather in Motherwell to hear it. Now I have told you frankly my position. Will the train still stop at Motherwell?’
‘Yes,’ replied the Stationmaster, ‘I have arranged that it shall stop and it will stop without fail.’
The compartment into which the evangelist entered and sat down had only two other travellers, a man and his wife. ‘That’s the last stop now till Glasgow,’ said the man to his wife, as the train left Carlisle station.
‘Pardon me,’ said W.D. Dunn, ‘but the train is going to stop at Motherwell.’
‘Well!’ said the man, ‘I have travelled often on this train, and it has never yet stopped at Motherwell. Why should it stop at Motherwell today?’
‘Because,’ said the evangelist, ‘there’s an ambassador on the train and he is going to alight there.’
Curious to see this ambassador, the couple got into the corridor and stood looking through the window, straining their eyes to see who this person might be. Only one passenger alighted, their fellow-traveller carrying his little brief bag. The King of kings runs the trains and takes are of His ambassadors. (2Cor.5:20)
361.) The joy of catching a soul is unspeakable. When we have got one soul we become possessed by the passion for souls. Get one & you will want a crowd.
362.) Ere the sun goes down think of some one action which may tend to the conversion of some one person, & do it with all your might.
363.) The greatest thing in life is to bring others to Jesus Christ.
–Henry Ward Beecher
364.) Our joy until we die is to win men for the Lord.
365.) The resurrection morning was only the beginning of a great, grand & vast outreach that has never ended & will not end until our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again.
366.) We have one business on Earth–to save souls.
367.) If you do not evangelise, you will fossilise.
368.) Cry the Gospel with your whole life.
369.) Our secrets are for sharing.
370.) The moral obligation of the resurrection of Christ is the missionary obligation, the responsibility & the privilege of carrying the message & telling the story, of praying & interceding, & of being involved personally & financially in the cause of this great commission.
371.) Live in such a way that the preacher can tell the truth at your funeral.
372.) The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.
373.) Everyone is of some use, even if nothing more than to serve as a horrible example.
374.) A missionary is a person who never gets used to the thud of Christless feet on the way to eternity.
375.) “You Tell On Yourself”
You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak,
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the use you make of dollar & dime.
You tell what you are by the things you wear
By the spirit in which you your burdens bear.
By the kind of things at which you laugh.
By the records you play on the phonograph.
You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you delight to talk,
By the manner in which you bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.
By the books you choose from the well-filled shelf;
By these ways & more, you tell on yourself;
So there’s really no particle of sense,
In an effort to keep up false pretense.
376.) To love the whole World for me is no chore. My tough problem’s the neighbour next door.
377.) To every lost soul Christ says, “Come unto Me.”
To every saved soul Christ says, “Go for Me.”
378.) Many young men who should say, “Here am I, Lord, send me,” change it to, “Here am I, Lord, send my sister.”
379.) As the missionary offering was being received the usher approached a very wealthy man & held out the plate.
The rich man shook his head saying in a whisper, “I never give to missions.”
The usher replied, “Then take something out–this money is for the heathen!”
380.) Missionaries are notorious for making blunders in the new language they are learning. The nationals are usually very patient, plus very amused. The following are some examples (mainly from South America):
The missionary should have said, “Muy bien, todos ponganse de pie.” (“All right, everybody stand up.”) Instead he said, “Muy bien, todos pies arriba.” (“All right, everyone feet up!”)
It was a solemn ordination service but the missionary in charge really goofed. Instead of saying “Yo te ordeño” (“I ordain you”), he mistakenly said, “Yo te ordeno.” (“I milk you!”).
In making the announcements for the week the missionary meant to say, “There are meetings (reuniones) for the women on Thursdays, & meetings (reuniones) for the men on Fridays.” But what came out was, “There will be kidneys (riñones) for the women on Thursdays, & kidneys (riñones) for the men on Fridays.”
The single missionary woman needed to buy a saltshaker (salero) at the store. But she asked the store manager if they had a soltero (single man) available!
381.) Whenever visiting pastors preach on a mission field, the sermon is interpreted into the language of that country. In South America the interpreter for this visiting preacher was a national pastor who knew English quite well, but was not acquainted with some of the picturesque phrases of our language. The introduction went as follows:
Preacher: “I am delighted to be here.” (The national pastor had no difficulty translating that.)
Preacher: “In fact, I am tickled to death to be here.” That was a tough one to translate!
The interpreter said, “Folks, our guest says that he has scratched himself until he died!”
382.) A bachelor missionary was on a bus travelling from Quito to Riobamba in Ecuador. A single missionary woman was making the same trip. An Ecuadorean passenger asked the missionary if the woman was his wife. He meant to explain that she was a fellow missionary, but what came out was, “Ella es mi compañera, no mas.” (She is only my mistress!)
383.) If God calls us to preach His Word we should not stoop to be worldly kings.
384.) Some folks are like the fifth carbon copy of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is so much between them & the Lord that the impression is very light indeed.
385.) When I was a baby, my Mother was in a little church in Oklahoma preaching, holding a bottle in my mouth, as I was lying on the front seat. Pretty soon she got excited & she raised that bottle like that–forgot it was in her hand–& pfft, hit ol’ Brother Washburn right in the eye! He took out his hanky & mopped his eye. After the meeting she said, “Oh, Brother Washburn, I’m sorry, that’s terrible, I forgot about the bottle!”
He said, “Sister, don’t apologise! When that milk hit me in the eye, the conviction of God hit me right in the heart! And God said to me, ‘The reason this poor little woman has had to get up here & preach the Gospel while she holds a bottle in her baby’s mouth is because you are not willing to! And a lot of other men are not willing to, so I had to take a poor woman!'” God prefers men if He can get’m, but if He can’t get the men, He’ll use the women! Or the children! Whoever He can get!
–David Brandt Berg
386.) The best advice you’ll get is from someone who made the same mistake himself.
387.) If people have to ask you if you’re a Christian–you’re probably not.
388.) William Gladstone was England’s Prime Minister three times & was one of the most famous British political leaders of the 1800s. He was also famous for being a Christian. Every day as he went up the steps of the parliament building he witnessed to the little newsboy there about Jesus’ Love.
One day as he & his secretary were going up the steps, another little newsboy stopped them, saying, “Mr. Gladstone, you know the newsboy who usually sells you papers here? Well, yesterday he was run over by a carriage & he’s badly injured. He’s going to die, & he wants you to come get him in.”
The Minister said, “What do you mean, ‘get him in’?”
“You know, get him in to Heaven!”
His secretary, however, protested, “No, no, no, you don’t have time to go see a little dying newsboy! You know how important your speech today is! It could change the course of English history!”
Gladstone thought a moment, then said, “One immortal soul is worth more than my speech in Parliament!” So he went to the little garret where the newsboy lay crushed & dying on a little mat in the corner. Gladstone prayed with him to receive Jesus. He ‘got him in’!–And then the little newsboy died.
An hour or two later Gladstone made it back to Parliament where a heated discussion was raging! He was late & had almost missed his turn to speak, but he spoke anyway!–And won the debate! Afterwards his secretary said, “Sir, how could you have gone off & bothered with that little dying newsboy & almost miss making such an important speech?”
Gladstone replied, “This speech today was a very important & good thing, but getting that boy saved & into Heaven was a better, more important thing!”–What a lesson on a sense of values!
–David Brandt Berg
389.) When I was a young lad over 60 years ago, my Mother told me the true story of a businessman, whom she knew personally, & a boy named Tommy.
Tommy was a little crippled newsboy who lay almost helpless on a pallet by the third story window of an old rickety tenement overlooking a busy street in Philadelphia. One day he asked a friend of his to bring him the book about a man “who went everywhere doing good.” The little lad searched all over for this unnamed book, until one kindly book dealer realised that he must be talking about the story of Jesus in the Bible! So he sold him a copy of the New Testament, & the lad rushed back to Tommy’s room & they began to read it.
Tommy was saved through the words he read in his Bible, & like Jesus, he, too, wanted to “go everywhere doing good”. But he was crippled & couldn’t even leave the dingy little room where he lived. So he prayed & asked the Lord to help him & the Lord gave him a plan. Tommy began to laboriously write out helpful Bible verses on tiny scraps of paper, & would then let them drop out of his window to flutter to the busy street below!
Passers-by, seeing them flutter down, would curiously pick them up & read the verses. Many were helped, encouraged, comforted & even saved through this simple ministry of this tiny crippled lad at his window!
One day the wealthy businessman was wonderfully saved through reading one of these verses, & later returned to the spot where he had found the scrap of paper that had led him to Christ. Suddenly he noticed another little bit of paper fluttering down to the sidewalk from above. A tired old lady stooped to pick it up. Her face brightened up as she read it & she went on her journey inspired!
The businessman kept his eyes glued upward, determined to find the source!–But he had to wait a long time, for it took poor, crippled Tommy many painful minutes to write even one verse. Suddenly the businessman saw a scrawny little hand reaching out of a third-story window to drop a little piece of paper. He carefully noted the location of the window, dashed up the stairs of the dirty tenement, & finally found the little one-room hovel of Tommy, the sidewalk missionary!
He & Tommy immediately became fast friends & he brought Tommy all the help & medical attention that he could, & finally invited Tommy to come live with him in his palatial mansion in the suburbs. But to his surprise, Tommy answered, “I’ll have to ask Jesus about it, first!” The next day the businessman returned, eagerly awaiting Tommy’s reply, but oddly enough, Tommy asked him, “Where did you say your home is?”
“Oh,” said the man, “It’s far out in the country, on a large & beautiful estate. You’ll have a beautiful room all your own & every comfort & anything your heart desires!–And my wife & I will love you dearly & rear you as our own son!”
Hesitantly Tommy queried, “Would any folks pass under my window?”
Somewhat baffled, the businessman replied, “Why … uh … no. Only as occasional servant or gardener!”
After a long silence, Tommy’s face looked very sad, for he hated to hurt his new friend. He said quietly, but firmly, with tears in his eyes, “I’m sorry, sir, but I couldn’t live anywhere where people don’t pass under my window.”
Here’s the story of someone so helpless & so isolated, you’d never think that they could have any ministry at all, & would have had every excuse for not ministering to others, but love found a way!
Hearing this story was a turning-point in my own life as a little lad, & I determined then & there that by the grace of God, I would never live selfishly where people could not pass under the window of God’s Love in my life! Have you asked the Lord to open a window so that you can be a witness to others? He will, if you ask Him to, no matter what the conditions or your limitations.
–David Brandt Berg
390.) A war was raging in southeastern Europe more than two centuries ago. It was not strictly a religious war; nevertheless, many Turks who were Moslems were on one side, and many Christians on the other. At first the Moslems were getting the better of the conflict, and it so happened that among those taken captive was at least one Christian, who was made a prisoner of a Turkish official. This Turk treated the Christian with the utmost cruelty. A little later the fortune of war changed, and the Turkish officer fell into the hands of his enemies. Just then word was sent him by his former Christian prisoner, assuring him that he could be at peace and that revenge would not be taken. So surprised was he, and so grateful, that he renounced his former faith, declaring, “I will not die a Moslem, but I will die a Christian; for there is no religion but that of Christ which teaches forgiveness of injuries.”
391.) Christians are like window panes: When dirty they attract attention to themselves; but when clean, people see what is beyond–God.
392.) Go, in the strength of the Master,
Go, ’twas His parting command.
Seeking the lost ones to gather,
Scattered abroad o’er the land.
Lost, yet He tenderly loves them,
Precious are they in His sight;
You He commissions to bring them
Back to the truth & the right.
Go now in youth’s early morning,
Gather the wand’rers of earth;
Seek for His bright crown’s adorning
Lost gems of fabulous worth.
Go while the bright sun is shining;
Now is salvation’s glad hour;
Go ere the day is declining,
Go in the time of His pow’r.
Go, & the Lord will go with thee,
Keeping thy feet in the way;
Wisdom & strength He will give thee,
Teaching thee what thou shouldst say.
Faithful until He shall call thee
Home to receive thy reward;
Hear His “Well done, good & faithful.
Enter the joys of the Lord.”
393.) A true missionary is: God’s man, in God’s place, doing God’s work, in God’s way, for God’s honour & glory.
394.) A missionary is an ambassador–one sent to a specific place for a special duty.
395.) Make me a witness, Lord;
Subdue my will to Thine
That, let by Thee, in meek accord,
My lamp may brightly shine.
Make me a witness, Lord,
That all at home may see
A constant daily growth in grace,
And glory give to Thee.
Make me a witness, Lord,
To those I daily meet,
That I may be Thy messenger
In neighbourhood and street.
Make me a witness, Lord,
With every talent given;
And let my treasure all be stored
In deepest vaults of heaven.
Make me a witness, Lord,
By gift, and prayer, and pen,
In native land and far abroad
Telling Thy love to men.
Make me a witness, Lord,
And use me in Thy way;
Though sacrifices we applaud,
‘Tis better to obey.
Make me a witness, Lord;
Thou needest even me;
So let me do my best to help.
When captives Thou wouldst free.
Make me a witness, Lord;
That souls on Thee may call,
And glorify Thy name adored,
O Jesus, Lord of all!
396.) I have but one candle of life to burn, & would rather burn it out where people are dying in darkness than in a land which is flooded with lights.
397.) A young girl was asked, “Whose preaching brought you to Christ?”
She replied, “It wasn’t anybody’s preaching–it was Aunt Mary’s practicing.”
398.) Be an “AMEN” Christian, but don’t shout it any louder than you live it.