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|Witnesses Unto Me||JUNE 15|
And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad . . . ; but speak forth the words of truth. Acts 26:24, 25.
What made the early church not only powerful but invincible was its sense of the profound obligation to proclaim the gospel everywhere. The evangelical Christian of the past was a person of passionate devotion to the truth, to the cause of God, and to the salvation of men.
Years ago in New England, when a certain minister preached they called him a "mad man." He protested with the words: "When I passed yonder gravel pit and saw it cave in and bury three men alive, I shouted for help till they heard me in the town nearly a mile away. Nobody called me a mad man then. But when I see destruction about to fall on sinners and entomb them in an eternal mass of woe, I cry aloud. Then they say I am beside myself. Perhaps I am, but I would that all God's children might be on fire to save their fellows."
John Knox would pray in agony, "Give me Scotland or I die." Scotland, in spite of its mind set, yielded to the "fervent, effectual prayer" of this righteous man. I hate to hear the inane compliment to a sermon, "I enjoyed your lecture ." We need to be graciously but firmly possessed with Christ, who is so wise, and who loves us with such an eternal compassion, that He ought to be loved and obeyed by everybody in return.
No Christian organization has ever succeeded in preserving its spiritual vitality where it has lived unto itself. Jesus gave us the secret of spiritual success and triumph when He said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it beareth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).
Formality, aimlessness, indifference, are the enemies of a dynamic faith. Nothing brings us up more sharply as to the depth and genuineness of our Christian experience than when we seek to bring Christ to others. The world needs not only religious information but the power of Christ to change lives.
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