God Uses Thorns

To keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Once Martin Wells Knapp (1853-1901), the founding president of God’s Bible School & College, Cincinnati, Ohio, was undergoing a painful trial. While in prayer, one day, he asked the Lord to remove the problem. In relating this painful encounter, Lettie Cowman (1870-1960) wrote, “As he waited before the Lord the vision of a rough piece of marble rose before him with a sculptor grinding … Continue reading “God Uses Thorns”

Nameless Saints

Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:14 Christian history and tradition inform us that Andrew preached the gospel in Macedonia, Scythia and Russia. Bartholomew preached Christ in many countries, but mostly in India and Armenia. James the Son of Zebedee is believed to be the first Christian missionary to Spain. John’s travels took him throughout Asia Minor and the Island of Patmos. Thaddaeus preached in Mesopotamia and Persia. Matthew traveled to Egypt and Ethiopia. Peter evangelized throughout Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia and Asia. Simon Zelotes preached in Egypt, Mauritania, Africa, Libya and … Continue reading “Nameless Saints”

“The Book That Would Understand Me”

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Emile Caillet (1984-1981) served as a professor for many years at Princeton Seminary. He was born in France and received an education that had no place for God. He was 23 years of age before he saw his first Bible. While a soldier in WWI, Caillet was wounded and spent nine months in a hospital. Afterward, he returned to reading, “but they were no longer the same … Continue reading ““The Book That Would Understand Me””

The Spirit of Orthodoxy

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16-17 Dr. Daniel Steele (1824-1914) served his Lord and the Methodist Church as a pastor, evangelist, college president (two colleges), professor (including Boston University), and as a writer to the church at large. He was the founding president of Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. Steele served on the committee assigned to create a charter for Syracuse, which was designed to be a Methodist-affiliated school. Upon reading the charter’s first draft, he remarked later, it “would have suited a Muslim … Continue reading “The Spirit of Orthodoxy”

Living Stones

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5 One day, I was reading the following words of C. S. Lewis (1898-1963); they have stayed with me ever since: “This world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there is a rumor going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life.”* With those words … Continue reading “Living Stones”

Abounding Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 The Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), wrote about his years in Nazi concentration camps. In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl says that without hope, survival in those camps was impossible. Dr. Frankl tells about a prisoner that came to him one day, relating a dream he had the night before. In that dream, the prisoner said that on a certain date—which … Continue reading “Abounding Hope”

Serving Christ as a Chimney Sweep

“It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.” Matthew 10:25 At age seventeen, Peter Torjesen (1892-1939) signed his life away. During a church service in his native Norway, he listened to a passionate missionary talk about China. Following the sermon, an offering was received. His daughter later wrote, “He opened his wallet and poured out all the money in it. Then he realized he had to offer more than money, and found a piece of paper and wrote three words Og mit liv (‘And my life’).” “The man who counted the … Continue reading “Serving Christ as a Chimney Sweep”