Papers on Service: The Condition of Men

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
“An All-Around Ministry”
The Condition of Men
You will not attempt to teach a tiger the virtues of vegetarianism; but you might as hopefully attempt that task as try to convince an unregenerate man of the truths revealed by God concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment to come. These spiritual truths are repugnant to carnal men, and the carnal mind cannot receive the things of God. Gospel truth is diametrically opposed to fallen nature; and if I have not a power much stronger than that which lies in moral suasion, or in my own explanations and arguments, I have undertaken a task in which I am sure of defeat. Except the Lord endow us with power from on high, our labor must be in vain, and our hopes must end in disappointment.
The Servant’s Need
“Who is sufficient for these things?” We are weak, exceedingly weak, every one of us. If there is one weaker than the rest, and knows that he is so, let him not be at all cast down about that: for the best man, if he knows what he is, knows that he is out of his depth in this sacred calling. Well, if you are out of your depth, it does not matter whether the sea is forty feet or a full mile deep. If the sea is only a fathom deep, you will drown if you be not upborne; and if it be altogether unfathomable, you cannot be more than drowned. The weakest man is not, in this business, really any weaker than the strongest man, since the whole affair is quite beyond us, and we must work miracles by divine power, or else be total failures. If, therefore, omnipotence be not within hail, and if the miracle-working power is not within us, then the sooner we give up the better. Wherefore should we undertake what we have not the power to perform? Supernatural work needs supernatural power; and if you have it not, do not attempt to do the work alone, lest, like Samson, when his locks were shorn, you should become the jest of the Philistines.
This supernatural force is the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of God Himself. It is a wonderful thing that He should work His marvels of grace through men. It is strange that, instead of speaking, and saying with His own lips, “Let there be light,” He speaks the illuminating word by our lips! Do you not marvel at this, and that He should treasure His gospel in these poor earthen vessels, and accomplish these miracles by messengers who are themselves so utterly unable to help Him in the essential parts of His heavenly work? Turn your wonder into adoration, and blend with your adoration a fervent cry for Divine power. O Lord, work by us to the praise of Thy glory!
Do Your Own Work
Charles the Twelfth of Sweden had his secretary sitting by his side, writing from dictation, when a bomb-shell fell through the roof into the next room. The secretary, in alarm, dropped his pen, upon which the king exclaimed, “What are you doing?” The poor man faltered, “Ah, Sire, the bomb!” The king’s answer was: “What has the bomb to do with what I am telling you?”
You will say that the secretary’s life was in danger. Yes, but you are safe in any case, for by your side is the Master, whom you serve, and no evil can befall you. Watch on, work on, leave the times and seasons with God. If He has made you a preacher of gospel, or given you service of any kind, you must attend to His work; you must continue to deliver your message even though the earth be removed, and the mountains cast into the depths of the sea.