For the Sake of the Call

 

D.L. Moody – 5th grade education, manuscripts full of spelling and grammar errors. He failed the test to become a member of the church when he was 18. Never went to college, seminary or was even ordained.  His humble beginnings meant that as an adult he never lost touch with common poor people; he disliked pretense or deference toward those of higher social position.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL.

Charles Spurgeon – Attended local schools for a few years but never earned a university degree. Started preaching as a teenager.  Preached to tens of thousands, started an orphanage and a Christian college. Strongly opposed the owning of slaves and held to a strong biblical innerency. Because of that he lost support from the Southern Baptists, sales of his sermons dropped to a few, and he received scores of threatening and insulting letters as a consequence. He enjoyed cigars. His wife was often too sick and weak to leave the house to hear him preach.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL. 

Billy Graham “World Renown Evangelist”- Took 6 years and 3 schools to complete his undergrad in anthropology and was told by Bob Jones, Sr. if he left BJU after one semester that….. “ At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere in the sticks… You have a voice that pulls. God can use that voice of yours. He can use it mightily” He didn’t listen and left anyway. He once said… “When God gets ready to shake America, he may not take the Ph.D and the D.D. God may choose a country boy… and I pray that he would!”

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL. 

William Carey “Father of Missions” –  very little education but self taught greek and Hebrew. Took his family to India where the hardships (unemployment, preaching illegally, sickness, death, depression, loneliness)  cost him the life of his child and the sanity of his wife.  Took 7 years to see the first person become a believer.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL. 

David Livingstone “Africa’s greatest Missionary”-  Has background in botanical and medical studies. Known for standing against slavery. Was often accused of being too fiery and had an explosive Irish temper. As far as Christian education, he self taught himself greek and Hebrew, but one christian professor described him as “worthy but remote from brilliant”  and he would have been rejected by the London Mission Society had the director not given him a second chance to pass the course.  Created roads and maps in rural Africa that led ways for the gospel to go to places where it couldn’t before.  He lost his wife and ultimately his own life due to the conditions of their missionary journeys.

John Bunyan (1628 – 1688) After returning from serving in the English army he took up his fathers tinkering trade (fixing pots and pans) His family was not wealthy. In 1658 Bunyan’s wife died, leaving him with four small children, one of whom was blind. A year later he remarried. Two years later the freedom to preach became curtailed with the restoration of the monarchy He was threatened with imprisonment if he continued to keep preaching. He refused. it got him arrested and as Bunyan refused to agree to give up preaching, his period of imprisonment eventually extended to 12 years and brought great hardship to his family. Eventually the mandate was lifted and he was released. While he was there serving his time in prison he found he had plenty of time to devote to writing. He penned at least nine books between 1660 and 1672. But he probably spent most of his time on his greatest legacy, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL

Charles Finney “Father of modern revivalism” –  Never attended College, was interning to be a lawyer but then stopped when he felt led to preach the gospel. Didn’t find a true theological home in any mainstream denomination due to issues with each. Preached to thousands using methods (praying in the common people’s language, using an alter call, that were decades old but not popular in the church at that time and was rebuked for doing so. Championed the Abolishment of Slavery and Women’s rights.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL 

Amy Carmichael – uneducated, poor, single, started a Sunday school group. Wanted to pursue missions but was rejected due to a chronic health issue that kept her in bed for weeks on end… ended up going to India with another missions group that would allow her to.  Was a mother to many many orphans. Wrote several books.  Once said…. “It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire that He creates.”

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL.

Hudson Taylor “Missionary to China” – Medical education background. Self taught Theology. He was passionate about God providing the means for missions work not relying upon solicited support.  Lost his wife and children to serious illnesses. His medical supplies were destroyed by fire and was robbed of nearly everything he owned.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL.

George Müller – “Evangelist and Missionary”  Was rejected by the London Missionary Society due to his health and  inability to keep up with their requirements. Renounced his regular salary, believing that the practice could lead to church members giving out of duty, not desire. He also eliminated the renting of church pews, arguing that it gave unfair prestige to the rich. cared for over 10 thousand orphans in his life. He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans. He never made requests for financial support but was grateful when they were given, nor did he go into debt and often food and supplies were provided at the last possible moment. He did this all while preaching three times a week! At the age of 70 he began a  200,00 mile (a big deal in pre-Aviation times) 17 year missionary travel trip with his new second wife, after the loss of his first wife… all through the unsolicited gifts of supporters.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE CALL. 

11 heroes of the faith. Eleven people who the world didn’t expect much of, but represent what happens when the Lord says…You are who I SAY YOU ARE!!

I hope by sharing these stories today of faithful men and women in history, you will be empowered to not be constrained by the limitations you feel like you may face, within you or outside of you. But that you would pursue His leadings of your heart and GO… DO… SPEAK… GIVE… TELL…LOVE!! Not allowing fear, fear of man, wealth, safety, or position keep you from pouring out your life for the Kingdom. These stories tell us He’s worth it.

Here are all the common threads in the stories that I chose to highlight today!

 

  • Formal theological education (seminary or bible degree) wasn’t required to fulfill the calling God had on their life.
  • Came from humble beginnings in challenging times.
  • Often God used a non-theological interest or skill to further the Gospel in unreached places.
  • They were often rejected by the majority church’s or christian organization’s way of going about doing things in ministry.
  • In hindsight everyone of them could be said to have had certain areas where they were probably wrong or misguided in.
  • Strong friendships with others in ministry were catalytic in beginning movements and organizations.
  • Theological differences often inspired greater spread of the gospel through multiplication where they couldn’t agree and networking where unified.
  • They had a undying commitment to the poor and marginalized.
  • They often started schools and provided  the basic needs for marginalized children. (Kids who couldn’t offer them anything back in return)
  • Spoke up about controversial public issues.
  • Would not have the qualifications or requirements to even be considered to hold positions on most church staffs or theological institutions today.
  • They often lacked for money, a place to live, good health, a spouse, and safety for them and their family, yet that wasn’t ever a permanent deterrent to following His calling on their life.
  • Nothing save death seemed to stop them…..even the death of their spouses or children.

 

Pin It

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*

P i n t r e s t