King's Business - 1965-06

she believed in the direct approach. I remembered that advice through the years both in my dealings with God and with others. When foolish hesitations and fears hampered my speaking to the Lord and to others, I’ve remembered that word, “ Ask Him.” So I would seek to ask God for men, and men for God. Times without number fearful souls have often admitted that they were just waiting to be asked. I dread to think how many people I have failed in that way. 9. Teach people how to be quiet with God. Listening to the Lord is still a mystery to many who claim to be in the Christian life. They think it is all a metaphor. But we need to learn how to get beyond knowing about God to knowing God personally. The secret of discipline of prayer and Bible study, which is so rich that after half a lifetime there is still much to know, is at the same time so simple that it has been given away in half an hour. Without this disci­ pline they will miss their way. No spiritual life worth mentioning can be maintained without much secret intercourse. The saints of every communion are one in this, for love and prayer are the keynote. The peo­ ple who are looking for some “new” secret of spiritual growth are quite foolish, for if it is a new secret, how can we explain the old saints? Love and prayer are the way. What words these are! Love: that means more will than feeling. Prayer: more adoration than ask­ ing. We can but whet the appetite of a new disciple to put him on the right road. If we do that we have done our work as a personal evange­ list. Few tasks to which a pastor gives himself are more rewarding than the hours spent in his study when he makes it a clinic for souls. How they come: the sinstained, the inferior, the proud, the resentful, the per­ verted, the obsessed, the prayerless, the selfish, the divorcee, the lonely, the unbelieving, the hypocrite. The Lord Jesus is the answer to them all. But this is no pastoral monopoly. God will aid and equip any man for this service even though the range of his usefulness will vary with the natural gift he possesses, and on which the Holy Spirit chooses to work. The privilege and challenge of personal evangelism are open to everybody, and the resources are the same for all. from M oody Church News 13

I first looked at that I read it two or three times and said, “What on earth is this all about? Who is it about?” Then I got it: it is all about William Benson. He placed the me­ morial as a device to get his own un­ important name noticed. Milton is merely the excuse—the stress falls on Benson. He had discovered a new way of blowing his own miserable trumpet. He was using the name of a Puritan poet to parade himself be­ fore the public eye. He got into Westminster Abbey, but not by his own distinction, for he had none, but by using the name of a very great man. 7. Avoid controversy. The devices men use to escape the challenge of Christ are legion, and argument is a common one. If they can get the conversation away from the sensitive area of their per­ sonal failings into theological issues, they are only too keen to do it. The profound doctrine of the Holy Trin­ ity is much more attractive to them than the Ten Commandments. The deity of our Lord is exhilarating to think about as far as they are con­ cerned, but you must keep away from controversy on occasions like this. A plain statement of your con­ victions on the disputed point is usually enough. The conversation can be brought again with gentle firm­ ness to the area where it is likely to be most effective. You must show people that Christ can deal with the particular problem of their own life. Theological controversy will be ster­ ile; an honest facing of personal need will lead to victory. 8. Bring people to a decision. Decision is not conversion. It is an act of the human will and not an act of God. It is not, however, to be de­ spised. It is a great thing to get peo­ ple to lay themselves open to Christ, to invite Him to come in, to ask His help and to dedicate all they have and are. An act of decision for Christ is not of itself an inflooding of God’s Spirit that may tarry awhile, but it is a great event, nevertheless, on one’s spiritual pilgrimage. Most Chris­ tians date their real growth in Christ from that hour. As a small boy, perhaps a little afraid of my own father, "I some-* times hesitated to ask him the things I dearly wished, and confided my hopes to my mother instead. Practi­ cally always she used to say, “ Ask him.” She knew the character of my father’s heart better than I did, and

5. Speak naturally. Too much conversation about reli­ gion is conducted in the language of Canaan. Theology, like other techni­ cal studies, has its own technical terms and they cannot always be avoided. Exactness demands them, as they are demanded on occasion in medicine or engineering. But when the personal worker is saying a good word for Christ he would do well to avoid technical terms. I remember my friend Dr. Sang- ster who lived in air raid shelters during the war telling of hearing a conversation between one of his own personal workers and a tramp blown into a shelter by the blast of an explosion. She said to him, “You know it must be ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to all the promises of God. I suspect that you are still living under the old dis­ pensation. I am not sure that you even understand the difference be­ tween natural and effective faith. I wish you could experience the mighty outpourings of the Spirit. You do realize, don’t you, that all your righteousness is as filthy rags, etc., etc. . . .” The tramp said very little. When she was finally talked out; she left him, saying something about interceding for him at the Throne of Grace. He found him­ self again and just said, as he picked up his poverty-stricken be­ longings and walked out into the darkness of a London air raid, “ O-key-doke.” Two worlds had met for a few moments but they had never really touched each other. 6. Speak about the Lord Jesus and not about yourself. It would startle some of us if we knew how much of our testimony was about ourselves. Sometimes there is a touch of spiritual pride in it. “ I was this, I am now that;” “ I did this, I now do that.” It is done, of course, in an attempt to illustrate the difference which Christ has made, but talk of self should be the undertone and all the stress should be about the Lord. If you were to go to Westminster Abbey and see the Poets’ Corner, you would note an interesting memo­ rial to John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost. It runs like this: “ In the year of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1737, this bust of the author of Para­ dise Lost was placed there by Wil­ liam Benson, etc., one of the two authors of the imprest to His Maj­ esty King George II, formerly Sur­ veyor General of the Works to His Majesty, King George I. Rysbrack was the statuary who cut it.” When JUNE, 1965

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