Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A fruitful laborer

When man once gives his heart to his Master - when once this brutish heart is conquered by divine grace, and becomes a servant of God, of what use he is! Do you see the labor and zeal of Paul? Why, he never grew weary. He was an ox that never fretted under the yoke. He went to the end of many a long furrow and back again, and to the end again. No stripes hindered him; no prisons stopped him. He was not afraid of death itself. He crossed the boisterous sea - no mean feat in those days of unskilful navigation; he traversed the equally dangerous land, suffering perils from robbers, from rivers, from wild beasts, and from false brethren. Like a strong ox he ploughed a heavy soil from morning to evening without complaint. He left no work undone, but he could say at the close of his career, “I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith!”

Oh, what a vast amount of good might be done by some of those who are now doing so much mischief! When a sinner is really convinced of sin he cannot think that God himself can ever make anything of him; but you do not know....Just look at that poor fellow sold as a slave, a prey to everything that is evil; it is John Newton: who would expect to hear him in the pulpit... telling of the mighty grace of God? Ah, but the Lord can thus get a double victory over Satan, not merely by capturing Satan’s best men, but by transforming them into captains in the army of the cross. May God grant that some here, who have been like the ox for perverseness and stubbornness, and whose final doom would be to be felled by the pole-axe of death, may be subdued by the great Lion Tamer, who can surely tame the ox. May Jesus come and put his yoke upon your necks, for “his yoke is easy and his burden is light;” and from this day forth may you serve in the kingdom of King Jesus, to the praise of the glory of his grace.

From a sermon entitled "Kicking Against The Pricks," delivered September 9, 1866. Image by Mark Robinson under Creative Commons License.

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