I am free-er today.
I have a few thoughts going through my mind recently, concerning a few issues, but one of the more important ones had to do with David Brainerd and Fanny Crosby. It amazes me how God has planned things in their individual lives, in such a way, that His Glory is magnified. In no way, can they say it is of their own will or effort, in spite of all the troubles that they went through. Very encouraging, stirring and challenging to our generation.
More so for William Hendriksen. He is definitely a role model for me at the moment. Born 1900 and died in 1982. His background is from poverty. Yet, he became one of the best, if not the best, commentator of the last century. He memorised the whole New Testament and preached with no notes, and translated the NT from Greek in his head. Very humble, and cutting (I heard his sermons once!) to the issue. And in the end, he knew that God’s Grace was truly grace in his life and held on to this, and endured throughout the latter years of committing himself to the commentaries work.
In this generation where many are easily comfortable with what they have, and are not challenged much in their faith, it is not surprising that many are crying out the loudest: Here me! I have the right to say what I say! I have zeal! I understand it this way and you have to prove me wrong! I, I, I….
The surprising thing for me is; I see it everywhere (clearly a linguistic emphasis)… in my hometown, in work, in the bookstores, etc. And yet, this coming from a people who thinks that their thinking works because of their ‘stature’ (effort… I’m using old english, sorry) and have not endured challenges to their faith. And I am not referring to “oh, my boss wanted me to work on the Lord’s Day…” type of ‘challenges’ which is laughable to equate it to the type spoken of by Jesus and Paul. Doctrines can finally be sealed in the heart by the suffering fires that the world brings on the person; When the fires die, conviction is wrought from the remains.
I am always encouraged by the multitudes of examples God has given in the past, as an encouragement and challenge. Do we have people who are like this here? Not anywhere close to where we are in Malaysia (except for those who are doing dangerous missions which I will not mention). Else where? Yes. Their lives constantly in danger. Satan’s blade is but an inch from their scalp every single day. To these would I turn to.
That is why I admire some contemporary preachers, not because of what they say, but what they do not say. Those who honestly live by what they preach knowing that they are not at the fore-front of the sufferings. They never seek to make it out as though they are. Truly admirable.
That is why we should look back at history, for it has much to teach. All the arguments that the new generation (my generation) finds are not new at all. It has been there all this time, and has already been either decided, or all arguments rendered.
Anyway, in my free-er time, I will be reading and listening to these giants. Comfortably, but anxiously ‘seeing’ the things that they can teach me. It is exciting, even though it is only one way communication, it is very exciting! Stirring and moving.
Oh, to have a heart of the Puritans and the Reformers!
I pity myself.