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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSICAL TESTIMONIES…A. B. Simpson.

A friend... said, "You were healed by faith." "Oh, no," I said, "I was healed by Christ." What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I laboured to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold. I said, when I thought I had got the faith, "Heal me." I was trusting in myself, in my own heart, in my own faith. I was asking the Lord to do something for me because of something in me, not because of something in Him. - A. B. Simpson

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

By way of encouragement, I would like to devote Tuesdays to classical testimonies which have brought great blessing and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. These are of men and women, who have faithfully served for the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that you will be blessed, encouraged, and inspired by these testimonies as I was. Enjoy…

As a young Canadian from a Scottish Presbyterian family, Albert Simpson was raised to respect God. In his education, God's justice and hatred for sin was emphasized but the love of God did not come across. When he was fourteen, young Albert became very sick and suffered what appeared to be a nervous breakdown. He was an average child in both obedience and scholarship, but the strain of studying so hard seemed to have taken a toll on him. His doctor told him not to look at a book for another year. How many teenagers today would love to hear that prescription!

Following his collapse, Albert called for his father. "Pray for me," he begged. "I'm dying, and I'm afraid to face God." Later, Albert Simpson wrote about this experience: "I had no personal hope in Christ. My whole religious training had left me without any conception of the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. The God I knew was a being of great severity." Following his father's prayer, Albert tried to pray, but he did not have the faith or encouragement to simply ask for salvation. That night he feared to go to sleep, lest he should lose a moment in his search for God.

He kept trying to find the peace of God as his health slowly returned. Endeavoring to be religious, at one point he decided to become a minister, as perhaps that would please God. Young Albert was desperate to have the peace of God, and yet he knew that his sins separated him from God. Finally Albert found an old volume in his pastor's library, entitled: Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.

In that book was an amazing statement: "The first god work you will ever perform is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Until you do this, all your works, prayers, tears and good resolutions are in vain." This went along with the Bible book of Ephesians chapter two and verse eight: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

He finally realized his need was not to work for salvation, but merely to accept the work that Jesus Christ had already done. Albert fell to his knees, crying, "Lord, I dare to believe that Thou wilt receive me and save me because I have taken Thee at Thy Word." Albert Simpson's whole life changed from that point. A few days later he wrote: The Dedication of Myself to God. In this document he said: "Thou hast subdued my rebellious heart by Thy love. Take it now and use it for Thy glory." Although before his conversion he felt he must enter the ministry to make God happy, now he wanted to preach the gospel because of the joy that filled his own heart.

In 1865 A. B. Simpson graduated from college in Canada and was called to pastor large churches in Hamilton, Ontario and then Louisville, Kentucky. In both cities, God filled church auditoriums and public halls as A. B. Simpson proclaimed to thousands the availability of a new life through accepting God's love. In New York City he pastored the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church for two years and then resigned, telling his congregation: "You want a conventional church for respectable Christians. I want a multitude of publicans and sinners."

He rented a hall in a poor part of the city, and from a beginning congregation of seven, built the church that would be the foundation of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. From its beginning with a heart for taking the gospel to the souls of men, the CMA went on to become the most actively missions-minded evangelical denomination in America, reaching out with missionaries around the globe proclaiming that the peace of God and a new life is available to anyone as a free gift through the love and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes and give your all to win the lost to Christ? Then like, A. B. Simpson, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of A. B. Simpson, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by his testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used Albert. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to you. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.

GBYAY

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