Evangelist DL Moody’s life and ministry was captivated and motivated by the observation that British Revivalist Henry Varley had made in a private conversation between them. “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” A year later Moody reported to Varley that God had etched those words deep into his soul. Moody then told Varley, “By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
Pastor and author AW Tozer’s profound writings have become a source of great inspiration to multitudes, especially since his death in 1963. One of his most well-known books, “The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life” makes this startling claim, “What comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us.”
The words from a 1941 sermon of renowned author CS Lewis have inspired many. “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Everyone who knew Jim Elliott believed he was destined to do great things. Many were surprised that he ignored the opportunities to serve God at home and chose instead to move to South America to share the Gospel with a little known unreached people group in the jungles of Ecuador. He died before reaching the age of thirty, a martyr at the hands of the very people he felt called to reach. Yet his words live on decades later, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Martin Luther was a German monk, priest, and professor of theology from the 16th century. He is most well known for being the champion of the Protestant Reformation. However, I cannot help but wonder if his history-changing work was born out of his great dependence upon God in prayer. Luther once made this insightful and convicting observation, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
Though these men are dead, their words live on. I am eter-nally indebted to these men and the many others like them, for their words have been transferred from the paper they were written upon, and stitched into the fabric of my soul. Truthful and insightful words such as these have served as a map and compass to me on my life’s journey, much like God’s Word has. What words are guiding your life and final destiny?
Bruce Hendrich is pastor at Oak Street Baptist Church 804 Oak Street • Elizabethon, TN 37643 • 423.542.4022 • oakstreetbaptist.net