…do what Charles Spurgeon did.
I’ve been reading slowly through Spurgeon’s autobiography this year and find myself about 3/4 of the way through Volume 1: The Early Years. When CHS first arrived in London to pastor the New Park Street Chapel, he made quite a splash right away. A church, designed to hold 1,200 was barely bringing in 200. Within the first four to five weeks, the church was full beyond capacity and people were getting turned away at the doors, unable to enter, let alone find a seat.
Of course, the London newspapers got wind of this and some, those antagonistic to the faith, had fun belittling and slander CHS each week. Initially, this affect Spurgeon, but it did not take long for him to have God brought to bear upon the situation. He didn’t seek to retaliate (although he would provide a humorous jibe every now and then). He simply saw it through the divine lens of Scripture and the Spirit. Here was one of his retorts:
The devil has barked again in (a London paper’s editorial section). Never mind; when Satan opens his mouth, he give me an opportunity of ramming my sword down his throat.
C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography: Volume 1––The Early Years, pg. 291
Ever a master with the word picture!
I was born in central Iowa, raised in a godly home with two first generation Christian parents. The Evangelical Free Church of Madrid, Iowa was where I heard the teaching of the Word of God all my “growing up” years. There were some of the most dear and faithful servants of our Lord serving there, who will never be known around the world, but will hear (or, as is the case for some already, have heard) their Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”
When I was between the ages of 12 & 13, I attended Bible camp at Twin Lakesin northwest Iowa. Pastor Don Stover (another of those saints who has entered God’s rest) was telling us the story of Pilgrim’s Progress using blacklight flannel graph (really cool high-tech in 1970!). When Christian gets to the foot of the cross and his burden of sin rolls away into the empty tomb, God had me. I was gloriously converted to Jesus Christ, my Savior.
God’s call to the ministry was a long, gradual process through which He used many people to lead me and confirm within me His will to be a minister. He also used one or two key people to bring me to the doctrines of grace. I had been in ministry for about 6 years when the light of these truths were shown so brightly to me. I trust that I have grown in my understanding of them and have caused others to rejoice in the absolute free sovereign grace of our God.
I have been married for 29 years and have three children.I have earned a B.A. from Trinity College (now Trinity International University)in Biblical Studies, and later earneda MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, have served four Evangelical Free churches since 1986, and am currently the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Rochester, MN since 1997.
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