One of the mightiest soul winners I have ever read about was a man few people have ever heard of. His name was Colonel Clarke and he lived in Chicago in the late 1800’s. He would work at his business six days every week that he might keep his mission open seven nights in the week. And in those seven nights of the week all year around five or six hundred men would gather together in that mission hall. It was a motley crowd made up of drunkards, thieves, pickpockets, gamblers and everything that was hopeless. He was said to be one of the most boring speakers anyone had ever heard in their lives. He would ramble along and yet these five or six hundred men would lean over and listen spellbound while Colonel Clarke expounded tirelessly.
Some of the greatest preachers in Chicago used to go down to help Colonel Clarke but the men would not listen to them as they did to Colonel Clarke. When he was speaking they would lean over and listen and be converted by the score. Many of those great preachers could not understand it. They studied it and wondered what the secret of it was. Why did these men listen with such interest, and why were they so greatly moved by such a tedious and dull speaker? It took a while but they found the secret to his success. It was because they knew that Colonel Clarke loved them, and nothing conquers like love. The tears were very near the surface with Colonel Clarke. Once in the early days of the mission, when he had been weeping a great deal over these men, he became ashamed of his tears. He hardened his heart to what he thought was emotionalism and tried to stop his crying, and he succeeded in doing so, but in so doing he lost his compassion and power. When he saw that his power was gone he went back to God and prayed, “Oh, God, give me back my tears,” and God gave him back his tears, and with it came the power, marvelous power that reached deep into the hearts of these men.
Learning How To Express God’s Love
Every small act motivated by love that we do will prepare us for the larger responsibilities that love inevitably inherits. Those who have learned how to express God’s love to others are the inevitable rulers in any situation. As Mother Teresa said, “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in what we do. Do ordinary things with extraordinary love – the way you walk, the way you smile, your kind words, your readiness to forgive – all these are the signs of God’s love to the world through you.”
Paul said in Ephesians 1:5, “In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ,” We all have a destiny and at its core is ‘love’. When we decide to absolutely surrender to His love we then become conduits of that love. Then we will not be a person who occasionally loves when it is convenient, but a person whose consuming life’s purpose is to love as He loves.
Let love be the organizing motive and power in your life. When you do you will find when love is hindered here, it will break out there; if it is thwarted here, it will find a way there. Love never fails, for it will always find a way of expressing itself; and when it expresses itself, it makes the person more loving no matter what the outcome may be.
God’s love for us is not solely for what we are today, but for the potential that lies within us. His desire is to see the person we were destined to be, come into being. Therefore, He can love the unlovable, for He sees beyond what they presently are to what they were destined to become. We too can also love that same way. We can love people not for what they are, but for the potential that lies within. And by our love we tend to produce the person we see – we love them into being. Michelangelo saw a David in a rejected piece of marble and patiently loved it into being. Jesus looked at a murderer named Saul and loved into being a mighty apostle named Paul.
The Tear Did It
Perhaps the following story will demonstrate the power of the tear. In a house of ill repute there lay a poor woman whose body was racked with the diseases common to her trade. Various Christian workers had visited her and spoke to her of her need for salvation. But it was of no avail. She was unmoved and untouched by their words. Finally a woman, who was especially burdened by a heart that was full of love and compassion, came to see her. As she stood by the bedside of this woman she told her of the way of life, and as she did so a tear formed and slowly rolled down her cheek and gently fell upon the cheek of the poor woman. Somehow, that day her heart melted as she received the Lord and was gloriously saved. Later someone asked her what it was that had touched her heart. She replied, “The tear did it. As I looked into the eyes of that woman who came to talk to me I saw a tear form in her eye and I watched as it gently rolled down her cheek and fell onto mine. As it fell it seemed to break my heart and penetrate my very soul.” May the Lord save us from coldness and professionalism and give us hearts of love for a lost world.
Jesus Christ has the power to open that which has been closed because He is the Word of Love become flesh. Where others failed, He succeeded, for where knowledge knocks in vain, love enters. Where other keys get jammed, love opens the doors, for it fits the heart – every heart. It is the Master Key. Paul says; “Love never fails” – it never fails, for even if it is not received, then one is more loving for having loved.
The Best Gift You Can Give This Thanksgiving
A year ago as we were handing out groceries, turkeys and prayers for those who came to our Thanksgiving Outreach with River of Life Church in Philadelphia an interesting thing happened. As the door opened we watched as the first woman paused to listen to the instructions on how to pick up her groceries and turkey. The man at the door was motioning in our direction, letting the woman know that if she wanted prayer we would pray for her. As she came over we recognized that she was without teeth, very thin and pale and probably in her fifties. There also was an odor that wasn’t pleasant when you got close to her. We asked her, “What would you like Jesus to do for you today?” I (Lois) took her hand and felt His compassion for her situation. As she began to reply I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to ask her if she knew Jesus as her personal Savior. She said, “No, she didn’t know Him.” so I asked her if she would like to. She looked right into my eyes and said without hesitation, “Yes, yes I would!” She gladly repeated the prayers I said and asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins and invited Jesus to come in and take over her life. I then talked to her about growing and being changed by Him and to come back to the Church where Pastors John and Gayle could love her as Jesus loves her.
Once again I was reminded me of the ‘real as life’ dream I had before we left Montana over 20 years ago. The dream of the older women with no teeth standing before me that needed salvation and His love that He was sending us to. I remember waking from that dream weeping and saying “Yes Lord! I will go!” What an incredible privilege it is to be used as His vessel of love to a dying and broken world,
We give thanks for all of you and pray for His presence to fill your homes especially in this season. Happy Thanksgiving – another year is here another year to say “yes” to His destiny and the plan He has for each of us in this incredible life ! May we keep our hearts softened and ready.
(If you enjoyed this article or any of our past articles and know others who may find some benefit from them please pass them along. We also appreciate your letting us know if you enjoyed it as well so either bless us with a comment or hit the ‘like’ button.)