Archive for August, 2011
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me,” (Galatians 2:20).
Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, is one of my spiritual heroes. Feeling the call of God as a teenager to go to China, Taylor obeyed. After having been on the field for about fifteen years, Hudson Taylor became aware that God wanted to do a deeper work in his life. He described his spiritual condition in a letter to his mother:
“My own position becomes continually more and more responsible, and my need greater of special grace to fill it, but I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious Master. I cannot tell you how I am buffeted sometimes by temptation. I never knew how bad a heart I had. Yet I do know that I love God and love His work, and desire to serve Him only in all things. And I value above all things that precious Savior in Whom alone I can be accepted. Often I am tempted to think that one so full of sin cannot be a child of God at all; but I try to throw it back, and rejoice all the more in the preciousness of Jesus, and in the riches of that grace that has made us ‘accepted in the Beloved.’ Beloved He is of God; beloved He ought to be of us. But oh, how short I fall here again! May God help me to love Him more and serve Him better. Do pray for me. Pray that the Lord will keep me from sin, will sanctify me wholly, will use me more largely in His service.”
The answer to the longing in Hudson Taylor’s heart was found in the counsel of a fellow missionary, John McCarthy, who wrote:
“To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power; trusting Him to subdue all inward corruption; resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the conscious joy of a complete salvation, a salvation ‘from all sin’ (this is His Word); willing that His will should truly be supreme – this is not new, and yet ‘tis new to me. I feel as though the first dawning of a glorious day had risen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust. I seem to have got to the edge only, but of a sea which is boundless; to have sipped only, but of that which fully satisfies. Christ literally all seems to me now the power, the only power for service; the only ground for unchanging joy. May He lead us into the realization of His unfathomable fullness.”
The “realization of His unfathomable fullness” is part of the experience of revival in the heart of a Christ-follower. It is what Paul described as Christ increasingly living His life through our yielded lives (Gal.2:20). It is living moment by moment of each day completely sustained by the life of Christ in us. It is the incessant yielding of our lives to the control of the Spirit of Christ dwelling within. Then the life we live is “not striving or struggling,” but rather simply abiding in the overcoming, victorious life of Jesus within.
Note: For more of Hudson Taylor’s story, as well as the stories of other transformed lives, see They Found the Secret, by V. Raymond Edman.
Gatherings can be powerful things. They can be powerfully destructive. Just a few days after our mission team left the UK about a month ago riots began springing up in certain neighborhoods in London after police shot a local man. The riots with looting and arson soon spread to other cities in Britain. In the end over 3000 people had been arrested. Five people died and at least 16 others were injured. Hundreds of millions worth of property damage occurred. (more…)
The Bible and church history are filled with descriptions of God’s extraordinary movement among His people in various seasons. One such event occurred on the Isle of Lewis, part of a small group of islands called the Hebrides, just off the coast of Scotland. Between 1949 and 1952 a great revival swept through those islands in answer to the prayers of God’s people. An evangelist by the name of Duncan Campbell was a key figure in the revival. He came to the Isle of Lewis to conduct a two-week evangelistic campaign and ended up staying for two years. (more…)
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23).
For years a big issue in churches has to do with the way we relate to “seekers.” Entire church strategies are devised to attract and keep people who are seeking God, but not sure about church. (more…)
I want to just encourage us as we are moving toward our revival emphasis called “Greater Things,” starting on September 11. It seems that every week we have some grim reminder that we desperately need for God to move in our land. And when He does that He will always start with His people. We can’t bring revival; God does that. But our part is to prepare ourselves and commit ourselves wholly to God and allow Him to bend us. (more…)
Many today are confused and frustrated at the unrelenting waves of economic woes that are coming upon our nation. The recent downgrade of our nation’s credit rating, and the subsequent plummeting of stock prices has dealt an embarrassing blow to our nation’s esteem, not to speak of the depletion of the investments of millions of people. (more…)
I want to encourage you to continue to pray about our upcoming season of revival called Greater Things. We are approaching our 100th anniversary as a church. I remember something our late, beloved Pastor Emeritus, Dr. James Coggin said in a message he preached here one Sunday. He talked about the importance of unity in the church, and he illustrated it by talking about his own body, which had been stricken with illness. He noticed that when his body was weak, and the parts of his body were not united in health, he found that his voice was weak. (more…)