Thursday, June 12, 2008

Soul winning relieves fatigue


As I have browsed around the blogosphere lately, I have seen a few references to "blog fatigue." I have also seen some comments to the effect that blogging seems not to be as influential as some have assumed the past few years. It seems that blogging has sorta gone the way of the "message boards" -- the infatuation has worn off. Currently the "kick" seems to be Internet videos. That, too, will probably "cool off" in the course of time.

But if you are suffering from "blog fatigue," you might try witnessing to the lost, endeavoring to win souls to Christ. The following is an account from C. H. Spurgeon on what soul winning can do for your spirit. This is from --

The Sword and the Trowel, June 1883, pages 314-317, also in The Sword and the Towel collection, Volume 7, Pgs. 124-127:

I want to say a word to you who are trying to bring souls to Jesus. You long and pray to be useful: do you know what this involves? Are you sure you do? Prepare yourselves, then, to see and suffer many things which you would rather be unacquainted with.

Experiences which would be unnecessary to you personally will become your portion if the Lord uses you for the salvation of others. An ordinary person may rest in his bed all night, but a surgeon will be called up at all hours; a farming-man may take his ease at his fireside, but if he becomes a shepherd he must be out among the lambs, and bear all weathers for them; even so doth Paul say, "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." For this cause we shall be made to undergo experiences which will surprise us.

Some five years ago I was the subject of fearful depression of spirit. Certain troublous events had happened to me; I was also unwell, and my heart sank within me. Out of the depths I was forced to cry unto the Lord.

Just before I went away to Mentone for rest I suffered greatly in body, but far more in soul, for my spirit was overwhelmed. Under this pressure I preached a sermon from the words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" I was as much qualified to preach from that text as I ever expect to be; indeed, I hope that few of my brethren could have entered so deeply into those heart-breaking words. I felt to the full of my measure the horror of a soul forsaken of God.

Now, that was not a desirable experience. I tremble at the bare idea of passing again through that eclipse of soul: I pray that I may never suffer in that fashion again unless the same result should hang upon it.

That night, after sermon, there came into the vestry a man who was as nearly insane as he could be to be out of an asylum. His eyes seemed ready to start from his head, and he said that he should utterly have despaired if he had not heard that discourse, which had made him feel that there was one man alive who understood his feelings, and could describe his experience. I talked with him, and tried to encourage him, and asked him to come again on the Monday night, when I should have a little more time to talk with him.

I saw the brother again, and I told him that I thought he was a hopeful patient, and I was glad that the word had been so suited to his case. Apparently he put aside the comfort which I presented for his acceptance, and yet I had the consciousness upon me that the precious truth which he had heard was at work upon his mind, and that the storm of his soul would soon subside into a deep calm.

Now hear the sequel. Last night, of all the times in the year, when, strange to say, I was preaching from the words, "The Almighty hath vexed my soul," after the service in walked this self-same brother who had called on me five years before.

This time he looked as different as noonday from midnight, or as life from death. I said to him, "I am glad to see you, for I have often thought about you, and wondered whether you were brought into perfect peace." I told you that I went to Mentone, and my patient also went into the country, so that we had not met for five years.

To my enquiries this brother replied, "Yes, you said I was a hopeful patient, and I am sure you will be glad to know that I have walked in the sunlight from that day till now. Everything is changed and altered with me."

Dear friends, as soon as I saw my poor despairing patient the first time, I blessed God that my fearful experience had prepared me to sympathize with him and guide him, but last night when I saw him perfectly restored, my heart overflowed with gratitude to God for my former sorrowful feelings.

I would go into the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit: it is good for me to have been afflicted that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.

[End of excerpt].

Opportunities lie at our doorsteps and in our paths every day. This morning, I went by my favorite old Kolache Shop, and had the opportunity to chat with the lady who now operates it. She is from Cambodia, and is a relatively new owner of the shop.

I told her that the gentleman (now deceased) who was the original owner of the shop had first opened the business in 1972 at another location just a few blocks from where I first opened my book store, and I had been a customer ever since.

She inquired about my book store, and I told her we primarily sell Bibles, and I gave her my business card, inviting her to come to the store if she needed to get a Bible. She was very friendly, and she even invited me to leave some Pilgrim Book Store business cards on her counter. I hope to follow up on this contact, and talk to her more.

A few days ago, an elderly man of 75 or 80 came into my store, and his first words were, "I'm lost; can you help me?"

I replied, "Lost? Well, the Lord can surely save you!" And I added a few more comments about the Way of Salvation.

As we talked, I learned that he had just moved here, and was actually looking for the Department of Public Safety drivers license office, and didn't know where to find it. He had moved from Dallas, and knew nothing about Pasadena and how to find his way. I directed him how to get to the DPS office, which is about four blocks from us, and also added a few more words to him about being saved. I gave him a Gospel tract and encouraged him to read it, which he said that he would. He thanked me and went on his way.

I thought about how remarkable this meeting was -- how in God's Providence this elderly man from Dallas, whom I did not know and never even knew he existed, had seemingly by "chance" come into my store, and his very first words, "I'm lost," had opened the door for my saying something to him about being saved.

Perhaps this might have been the very first time any one ever talked to him face-to-face about the Gospel and told him how to be saved, and it might have even been the very last time. Who knows but what this Providential meeting might lead to his coming to the Lord?

But what if I had passed up this opportunity? Then what if he doesn't live long enough to hear the Gospel from some other source? The thought impressed upon me how important every opportunity is for me to use it for witnessing of Christ.


At Thursday, June 12, 2008 5:41:00 PM, Blogger My Daily Bread said...

Dear Bob:

I love talking to others about Jesus, especially those who are the most ignorant. I don't have to be a giganctic theologian, just someone who can tell the simple story of the cross.

I try to strike up conversations with ordinary people every day about the state of their souls. I pray for more opportunities and regret missed ones.

Amen to what you have said. It is similar to a recent comment I made here about the same matter. Would my time be better spent witnessing to souls than battling the heretics and errorists?

God bless



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