BY VESTA MANGUN
Because of the Times 1989
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It is either “perish” or “everlasting life” for every individual that has ever lived since God created Adam and Eve. For that reason, though I speak with tongues and of angels and have not charity (agape/God love), I become a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. This is not a sermon or a lecture or a message to fulfill a duty, an obligation or a responsibility!
You will not hear or see a genuine example of the awesome subject, but you will hear and see a Christian rejoicing because God loves her! “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
If there is one truth more than any other, which I deeply wish we could somehow awake and make ourselves available to, and you would open up your minds and hearts to this truth, it is that God loves you! The one and only deity, the infinite Creator, the One who holds the winds in His fist and makes the clouds His chariots – He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and all the gold and silver are His. His Almighty arms
embrace the starry spaces, and He holds our very breath in His hands.
HE LOVES US ALL! He loves us without exception! God loves indiscriminately all races, creeds, and colors. He loves each individual with distinction.
That is the most profound, elevating, comforting news which was ever flashed from the throne of God, and it broke like a sunrise on planet Earth!
“GOD SO LOVED…. ”
“GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…. ”
“GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE…. ”
“GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE ALL! ”
When that superlative wonder grips your mind, and you gratefully respond to it, your whole life’s outlook will be dramatically transformed!
The universe, history, mankind and human life will assume new meaning. It will put a new life in your mind.
It will put a new song in your heart.
It will put a new calm in your spirit.
It will put a new restfulness amid adversity and a new confidence concerning the unfolding of the future!
The love of God to all men everywhere is the pinnacle of Biblical revelation! Everything else has to climb up to it!
Jesus Christ is the peak expression of it. The cross is the intense focal point of it. The gospel of “whosoever will” is the blood-bought salvation. It is the magnanimous out-lowing of it!
CALVARY’S LOVE! It is bigger than our biggest sin. It forgives transgressions beyond counting. It gives release from the heaviest burden of guilt!
CALVARY’S LOVE sought us and CALVARY’S BLOOD bought us!
It was there at that old green hill outside Jerusalem that we first heard the heartbeat of that infinite love!
I don’t know any better news to tell you than GOD LOVES YOU!
GOD SO LOVES YOU!
GOD SO LOVES YOU, HE GAVE ALL!
The idea of a God who gives all without condition and loves us all just the same, just as we are, is incredible. But it is true!
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet per adventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God
commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
I cannot tell you how long He has loved us, for we shall never know the beginning. I can trace it back 2,000 years and show you a stable, a manger, shepherds, wise men, Gethsemane, a whipping post, and a cross.
OH, BUT HE LOVED US BEFORE THAT!
He loved you and me 6,000 years ago in creation when He formed us from the dust of the ground, breathed into our nostrils and we became a living soul. Then he placed us in a beautiful home, called the Garden of Eden. He came to see about us every day.
BUT IT GOES BEYOND THAT! Even before the foundation of the world, He was the lamb for sinners slain!
I don’t know beyond that! How long? I really don’t know!
How much did He love me?
Paul said, “to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.” (Sounds like a paradox.) This means, “to be knowing, to be learning that which shall never be completely known!
This means trying to know the unknowable, comprehend the incomprehensible, explore the unexplorable, define the indefinable!
WE WILL NEVER KNOW IT COMPLETELY! Though we learn some today, there will be more yet to learn tomorrow. Even in a world without end, when we’ve been there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we will not yet know the height, depth, length and breadth of the love of God.
LOVE WILL OUTLAST THE SUN.
LOVE WILL OUTLAST THE MOON.
LOVE WILL OUTLAST THE STARS, for as long as God lives, love will live!
“FOR GOD IS LOVE!”
“TO KNOW THE LOVE OF GOD WHICH PASSETH UNDERSTANDING…. ” Booth Cliburn put it like this: “Down from His glory, ever living story, my God and savior came and Jesus was His name. Born in a manger, to His own a stranger. A man of sorrows, tears and agony. What condescension, bringing us redemption, that in the dead of night, not one faint hope was in sight, but God gracious, tender, laid aside His splendor, stooping to woo, to win and to save my soul.”
On an asylum wall, an inmate wrote:
“Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made. Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade. To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky! Oh love of God, how rich, how pure How measureless and strong it shall forevermore endure, the saints and angels song!”
How much did He love me? I really don’t know, but enough to lay aside His robes of splendor for a borrowed peasant’s gown, enough to trade a gilded throne to be hanged on an old rugged cross, enough to trade a royal diadem for a crown of thorns, enough to trade a sceptre for a walking stick, enough to quit living with the holy angels crying holy, holy, holy day and night!
He loved me enough for a jeering mob to scream, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
He gave up heavenly manna to come and be an hungered. He left the river of life to come and cry, “I thirst!” He gave up the heavenly host to come and be alone in Gethsemane and pray until His sweat became great
drops of blood!
For our sakes, He gave up riches that we could be made rich. He became poor that in His poverty, we might be made rich. He came to where we were to bring us to where He is! He gave up rest for no place to lay
His head. We hid our faces from Him, but He just kept on loving us still! He loved until He gave all!
I don’t know how much He loves me, but enough to be despised and rejected of men and to be esteemed not. Enough to be stricken, smitten and afflicted of God. Enough to be wounded for our transgressions,
bruised for our iniquities, chastised and whipped for my peace and for my healing.
He loved me enough to pour out His soul even unto death. He loved me enough to be numbered with the transgressors. He loved us all enough to bear the sins of all, and He made intercession for all transgressors!
He loved us enough that in the days of His flesh He prayed all night many nights and a great while before every day!
He prayed when He was hungry!
He prayed when He was tired!
He prayed when He was lonely!
He prayed when He was popular!
He prayed when He was unpopular!
He prayed when He was dying!
He prayed for the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
He prayed for all sinners.
HE PRAYED FOR ALL MEN!
HE PRAYED ALWAYS! Now He ever liveth to make intercession for every one of us!
I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH HE LOVES ME, but enough to cry “forgive them for they know not what they do.” He loved me enough to go to Joseph’s tomb for three days and nights. He loved me enough to find Simon Peter, who had cursed and denied Him.
WE’LL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH! It passeth finding out! It is better defined by actions than adverbs anyway! We shall never know its beginning. We will never know how much! We shall never know its cost! Thank God, we shall never know its end!
IT CANNOT BE EXTINGUISHED. God’s love is unending, undiminished, forever, eternal! It is stronger than death. Death cannot destroy it. Death cannot kill it. His love is a book that will never be completed!
It is a search you will never end! You will never drink it dry. It will never run dry. His love will always be there!
Use it today. More will be there tomorrow! It is broader than the ocean.
It is deeper than the sea!
It is longer than time!
It is higher than heaven!
It is deeper than hell!
IT WILL LAST ETERNALLY! It can never be fully known. It passes knowledge. His love can never be fully known. It cost all. It has no beginning or ending.
And to think, that love has been manifested toward you and me!
The love of God which was in Christ Jesus, the Lord, has been manifested toward you and me. It has been bestowed upon you and me without reservation.
No wonder the Apostle John, who moved in a circle of love, cried out, “Behold, what manrier of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…. ”
I don’t know when it began. It will never end. I don’t know how much He loved me. I don’t know the cost. I can’t know why, but He loved us and thank God He did!
LOVING THE WAY JESUS loved has no beginning. His love has no ending. His love is forever. Death can’t kill it. It will last eternally. LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED IS THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD!
Loving the way Jesus loved is the only way you are going to make a difference in your city, in your church, in your ministry, in your life, and in your world!
The only way we will make a difference in this hurting, bruised, bleeding, broken, diseased, confused, prodigal world is loving the way Jesus loved. Love so amazing and so divine demands my all. That is why
He was so very careful to define the kind of love when He called His disciples.
Jesus said, “A new commandment that I give unto you that you love one another just like I have loved you, and by this shall all men know that you are My disciples if you love one another as I have loved you.”
A little later He continues the same theme and emphasizes it. “This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
“As the father hath loved me, so have I loved you, and you continue in My love. It flowed through Me. Now you continue in that. Now it must flow through you to all men everywhere.”
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (I John 3:16)
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love. Herein is love not that we loved God, but that He
loved us. Beloved, if God so loved us we also ought to love one another. He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him.”
We love Him because He first loved us! To this all of the apostles agree. Simon Peter, the man with the keys, said, “See that you love one another with a pure heart fervently. Let love be without dissimulation.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but let us love in deed and in truth!
“For whosoever hath this world’s goods and seeth his brother have need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion, how saith the love of God dwelleth in him.”
Woe be unto us if it is only in tongue or in word and not in deed for there are those for whom nothing has been prepared and we owe the love of God to them.
John said, “Unto Him who purchased us with His own blood.” Jesus said, “Just as I have loved you, you love!”
“Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. For if you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Love as I have loved!”
The only way you will make a difference in this world is to love just like Jesus loved! I cry out today. Shape us! Make us! Transform us! Transfigure us into the image of God Almighty.
LOVING IN THE WAY JESUS LOVED IS THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD.
In a trilogy of stories about lostness, Jesus gives three parables. First is the lost sheep – lost because of curiosity. Seeing a gap in the hedge, it had wandered from the flock. We know what the shepherd
did. He left the ninety and nine and went on the rocky steep all night through the heat and the cold until he found that one lost sheep. He bound him with cords of love and brought him safely back to the fold.
Second is the lost coin. Due to carelessness or by accident, it was either intentionally mishandled or unconsciously dropped, but a woman turned her house upside down and swept in every nook and corner until she found that lost coin.
Third is the lost son. He became lost willfully, rebelliously, because of his own choices. He was lost without anyone to blame for his condition, but himself; however, there is more here than lostness.
There is a father in this third parable who sadly gave the inheritance to his son and watched him move away, but gladly welcomed his penniless son home again. He runs to meet him and falls on his motley neck. He kisses him and orders the fatted calf to be killed. He gave him the best robe and the ring. “This is my prodigal boy. Lost because of his own willful, stubborn and rebellious way.” He said this revealed the
heart of God who so loved that He gave all.
OH, LOVE OF GOD! HOW RICH! HOW PURE! HOW MEASURELESS! HOW STRONG! IT SHALL FOREVERMORE ENDURE!
He even told the pouting brother who stubbornly refused to take part in the welcome party for his younger brother, “Son, thou art ever with me and all that I have is shine.”
I don’t care if they are a prodigal. I don’t care if they are an elder brother, God’s love is extended to you, and all that He has is yours and everybody else’s!
Loving the way Jesus loved is the only way that we are going to reach our world because love is something God does. He doesn’t just say it. He does it!
See Him yonder reaching for the outcast, the friendless, the hopeless, the hungry, the naked, the poor, the shackled, the imprisoned, the hurting, the suffering, the brokenhearted, the abandoned, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
See Him weeping over that ill-fated city of Jerusalem. See Him weeping as He stands by Lazarus’ grave. See Him move with compassion as He looks at the hungry multitude. Dying on a cross between two thieves, He
lifted His eyes toward heaven and prayed for His tormenters, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
A hostile Roman soldier who had assisted in the crucifixion was overcome and changed when he heard the words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
THAT IS WHAT LOVE CAN DO! LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD!
“As I have loved you, you love. I have given you an example that you should do as I have done unto you. You be imitators of Me. You follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”
That is why in the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul discussed spiritual gifts. In chapters 12 and 14 he defines, describes and illustrates these gifts. We are reminded that God has given some the ability to speak with tongues of men and of angels. To others He gave the ability to speak with great oratory ability. To some, God gave the ability to faith so that they could move mountains and perform miracles.
To others it has been given the gift of suffering, to give of their bodies to be burned that they might illustrate to others as they suffer for the cause of Christ, or to offer themselves on the altar of service
of Jesus Christ.
Then God gave His different gifts to different people. To some He gave the gift of government, to others the gifts of healing. To some He gave the gifts of miracles and diversities of tongues; to others, the gift of wisdom and the gift of knowledge and the gift of helps.
He concludes the chapter by saying, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
These next thirteen verses of eighty-nine words will reveal the more excellent way.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains and have not the love of God, I am nothing.”
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
We are nothing. We are sounding brass and tinkling cymbal until we get the love of God as He loved.
The word for “charity” is “agape” in English, “agape” in Greek, but to me it is just God-love. It is divine love!
It is used eight times in these ten sentences and I say unto you: if love is that important to life and eternity, it is important that you and I live trying to learn more about love and trying to get it!
It is not “fileel.” It is not “eros.” It is not even common to man. It has no counterpart in human experiences. It has no comparison! THE LOVE OF GOD! AGAPE LOVE. Divine love is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost. It requires continuing dependence upon the Holy Ghost for he who has the gift of tongues should have the gift of love! He who has the gift of faith ought to have the gift of love! Faith
worketh by love. They are the gifts of the spirit. The Holy Spirit is love and when you receive the Holy Ghost, you receive agape (divine) love. God wants all of His people to have the gift of love, for the
fruit of the Spirit is love! “By your fruit ((love – not gifts) shall they know ye are my disciples.”
That is why Paul says, “If we speak with the tongues of men and angels, but do not have love, we become a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.”
I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Tongues, no matter how exotic or complex, without love are nothing more than noise without meaning. Even if I were able to master all of the 4,000 languages or
dialects of earth, or if I could supernaturally communicate in the 900 dialects of Asia, or the 600 dialects of Europe, or the 300 dialects of Africa, or the 1,100 dialects of America, or if I could speak and pray in the languages of heaven, and did not have love, I am nothing! It would all be simply noise without meaning and it would profit me nothing. It would be just a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal!
“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:2)
Prophecy, which is considered to be the greatest of all the spiritual gifts, is worthless and of no lasting value, without the love of God!
Though I may have the rare gem of knowledge to be able to answer all the unanswerables of Scripture, or though I have sufficient faith to move mountains or move hills from their places, without love it would
only startle the witnesses and change earth’s geography.
“If I give all my possessions to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:3)
Even if I hold up a lettered placard which reads, “I LOVE JESUS,” and then pour gasoline over my body and ignite it so that I am burned to death, it is nothing but a waste of fuel, a waste of a life, and a waste of time. If I don’t have divine love, it will not profit me anything!
I am nothing! I am a sounding brass and a clanging cymbal.
In just eighty-nine words, Paul lays down an indictment on us all. A love that divides and criticizes is not agape love. A love that seeks its own revenge is not divine love. A love that refuses to initiate reconciliation is not agape love. A love that says it won’t forgive is not agape love!
Love worketh no ill to his neighbor. I cannot fulfill the royal law without it. If I offend in one point, I am guilty of it all. Love is the only way to fulfill it.
He that sayeth, “Do not commit adultery” also said, “Thou shalt not kill.” If I do not have agape love, I am nothing.
Love is patient, suffers long and refuses to retaliate. God-love is kind. Kindness rejects cruelty and seeks constructive ways to improve another person’s life. You are something that God made in His image, and down in every human heart that has been crushed by the tempter, there are feelings lying buried that grace can restore, touched by a loving heart awakened by kindness. Cords that were broken can vibrate once more!
Love is not jealous. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Love does not boast. Love does not vaunt itself, does not seek to impress. Love does not parade itself and does not seek personal gain. Love is courteous and never acts out of character, irresponsible. It never perverts its way. It is not crude, rude or lewd. Love always acts in the best interests of others.
Love is unselfish! Divine love cost something. It does not pursue selfish advantages. Love shares with others and does not seek its own. It does not use others to get where it wants to go. Love is not provoked. Love is not irritable or touchy and never loses control of itself. It never responds in anger and doesn’t lash out while being reviled. He reviled not while suffering. Love uttered no threats.
Love forgives! Love, when wronged, has a short memory. It forgets what it forgives. It doesn’t keep a record of a wrong suffered.
Love delights in truth. It hath no pleasure in wickedness and contends for the faith that was once delivered. Love hates sin and loves righteousness.
I am talking about the kind of love that drove the moneychangers from the temple with a whip of cords. I am talking about the kind of love that Jesus showed by healing the withered hand of a man on the Sabbath.
Jesus looked at the religious leaders with anger when they questioned His act of love and mercy. I am talking about the kind of love that hates every false way and refuses to bid God’s speed to those who hate the truth.
I am talking about a love that has substance, a love that has strength. I am talking about a love that is a savor of life unto life, or death unto death. I am talking about a love that has power and strength, a
love for truth and a love for righteousness!
There are two sides to the coin of love. Love is all sufficient. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Agape love is all I need! It will carry me out of the past, in the present and into the future. Love can take us from the cradle to the grave and all the way yonder and even beyond. It will help us survive the rat race as well as enable us to live on the ragged edge without falling off.
Love will even make it possible to exist in a colorless, drab, uneventful life without giving up! Love never gives up! It bears, believes and hopes. Love endures. It is sufficient for every moment of life, the past, the present, and the future. Love never goes out of style. Love is never surpassed.
Love is never replaced. Prophecy, tongues, faith and hope shall cease. Love is permanent! It thrives at all times and in all places. Love is the only grace that we carry with us into eternity!
It is superior to faith and hope. Love is the greatest! Love never fails. Love abideth not alone. Love will never be taken out of the game. Love will never be booed off the stage. Love will never get the gong. Love will keep on keeping on after everything else has long ceased.
That is why Paul says, “Covet gifts, but pursue love.” It is the only thing in life worth the effort. It is the only thing in life that is eternal. Without it everything else is repulsive. Our service is pointless and wasted. Life has no meaning without love. Ministry has no enduring quality without love.
Love is the greatest! Love surpasses all! A rediscovery of that kind of love is the only way we are going to make a difference in our world!
That kind of love must be reciprocated. A person with that kind of love will love God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength, and will love his neighbor as himself. Thus you will fulfill the whole Bible!
People with that kind of love will love truth uncompromisingly, even unto death. God-love will start a revival that neither the devil nor hell can stop!
Someone with that kind of love will build a church in any city, anywhere, anytime. God-love will pray all night and at the dawn of every day. It will intercede, supplicate, repossess what was declared should be before the foundation of the world.
That kind of love will lay hold of God’s sovereign will, and it will take care of every devastated area. It will stand in the gap and make up the hedge.
God-love will fast not only food, but it will live a fasted life as revealed in Isaiah, chapter 58. It will bind up the broken-hearted. It will unlock prison doors. It will set the captives free. It will hurt when others hurt and suffer with those who suffer. Love will weep with those who weep. It will rejoice with those who rejoice.
God-love will love the loving and the unloving, the lovable and the unlovable, the lovely and the unlovely. It will love its enemies, love its friends, love when the victor’s crown is gleaming, love when defeat has spread her gloom. God-love will love when shame has come our way and when no friend comes into view.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. LOVE! Love never gives up!
Paul said, “The love of Christ constraineth me. I was stoned and left for dead, but I couldn’t lie there. I had to get up and preach on. I was constrained. I gloried in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distress. I was beaten with 195 stripes. I was shipwrecked. I was weary. I was in pain. I was hungry. I was thirsty. I was in fastings often. I was cold. I was naked. The care of all the churches was upon me daily, but love constrained me. Love drove me. Love sent me from continent to continent, from city to city.”
Love unfeigned never gives up!
Jesus said to the church at Ephesus, “You love truth.
You hate every false way. You hate false doctrine. You hate false prophets. Your labors and your patience are unsurpassed, but you have left your first love.”
You should remember the revival in Acts 19. You have fallen from that revival, for in that revival so mightily grew the Word of God that pornography was wiped out. Demons were cast out. Handkerchiefs from Paul’s body were taken to people and diseases departed. You need to go back and do your first works over! You need to repent. “Repent or else I will come unto you. I will remove the candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.” Read Acts, the nineteenth chapter. We better not lose or leave our first love! To lose your first love for God, souls can become deadly. It can negate everything else you try to do.
Repent! Repent! Repent! History holds no record of any genuine record of any genuine and lasting revival without repentance from God’s people.
Repent! Repent! Repent! LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED IS THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD.
Today the love of many has waxed cold. Serving Jesus has become a routine. It has become business as usual, saying the right things and performing the right deeds. It has become hard work to study the Word
and next to impossible to pray and fast. Going to church is a matter of fact with no joy. The anointing and fire has been replaced for a form of godlessness. There is no love for souls or organized effort for reaching them. There is no power of God.
THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IS LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED!
Don’t you know the unbelievers in the fast lane headed for hell can only be rescued by the power of God? Not only must we intercede, but we must get something from God every day and reach people every day. We must reach out to them with love and mercy and the truth which will set them free. Only the truth can set them free! We must intercede in prayer until the bands are broken, until we bring in every lost sheep,
until we rescue every prodigal, and until we find every lost coin!
Let us face the grim and startling fact that we are becoming accustomed to the thud of lost souls as they tramp the road to hell. We don’t believe in a literal lake of fire. You mothers, daddies, preachers and
Sunday School teachers can’t believe it. We don’t believe it! Until we love the way Jesus loved, we can’t believe. This is our greatest need!
We have become so used to the status quo. We have become accustomed to having church with no revival, with no souls, with no one ever being baptized. We have just accepted it. We draw a check and go on our way to have a good time and take rest more than anything else. Lost! We have lost the power to weep. We have lost the power to wrestle, to plead and to agonize over lost souls! We are guilty! Every one of us is
A thousand million souls are dying with no conviction of their lost condition simply because we lack deep convictions about eternal woe and a burning lake of fire.
I want to be a changed woman. I don’t have what I am talking about today. I want that to grip me! I am going to pursue it with every ounce of strength that I have. One life will soon be past, and only what you
do for Jesus Christ will last.
Revival campaigns are coming and going. Cities, towns and villages are just as lost as ever. We have become so professional, mechanical and cold in our efforts. We are not reaching for souls. No passion. No
agony. No tears. No fervency. No bleeding. No burden. No real alarm. No holding onto God with a deathless and despairing grip. If men and women go to hell, who cares?
It is impossible to win souls with cold hearts and dry eyes! There must be a deep humility of soul with mourning, with fasting, with intercession and groanings that cannot be uttered. Then God will work
and only then!
Are you a sounding brass and a clanging cymbal? Are you just making a lot of noise? Repent! Repent! There needs to be old-fashioned repentance! If we don’t love souls, how can we say that the love of God
dwelleth in us? If we shut up our bowels of compassion against any man, when God loves indiscriminately, how sayest the love of God dwelleth in us?
Somebody has got to get this! You can’t pray mechanically! You can’t go to church mechanically. You can’t fast mechanically. If you don’t love the way Jesus loved, you are just performing. We are a sounding brass
and a tinkling cymbal.
During the great Welch revival, Dr. F.B. Meyer saw Evan Roberts pray in such agony of soul, it seemed as though his very heart would break for the lost! A friend of Dr. Meyer’s who stood near him said, “This is too
dreadful! I cannot bear to hear this man groan, so I’ll start a tune or something to drown it out!”
Dr. Meyer said, “Whatever you do, don’t do that. I want this thing to sink deep into my heart! I’ve preached the gospel these thirty years with dry eyes to great masses of people and they remained untouched,
unmoved, unturned, unrepented.”
He fell on his face and cried out, “My God, let this man’s agony touch my soul. Let me pray like this boy prayed. Let my heart break like this boy’s heart is breaking, for he loves souls and I love only preaching.
He loves praying and I love only praise. Let me learn that heart-breaking sob of love for souls.”
I want that! I have never seen a compulsion on any of our part of falling on our faces and forgetting everything else and losing all pride and self-image and falling before God and coming back that we
could change our world and turn it upside down and reach for every prodigal with outstretched arms.
LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED!
Agonized wrestling in prayer is something more. It means to get down before God and stay down before Him until you get hold of the horns of the altar and prevail. This kind of wrestling involves pleading,
begging, agonizing, sweating, persevering, persistent seeking, asking and knocking until something happens!
Love never gives up! It abides not alone. I want to repent of not loving souls like I ought to love them. I want to repent of not praying until it has happened. I want to repent of not living a fasted life. I want to repent of not reaching, loving, saving, helping until I love the way Jesus loved. I want to keep on reaching until I get that kind of love, and then we will change our world.
What about it, preachers? Are there any preachers who want to love like Jesus loved? What about it, Sunday School teachers? What about it, workers? What about it, helpers? What about it, mothers and fathers? What about your children? What about your church? What about your city? What about your class?
Unless someone intercedes, there are those who will never be saved. Unless somebody repents, unless somebody forgives and until somebody holds on to God and stands in the gap, there are those who will never be saved! There are those who will never be healed. We need people who are willing to be intercessors. This kind of praying motivated by Christ-love is the key to the great revival of these last days. All of the great moves and manifestations of the Spirit of God must be born in the spirit of groanings travail. We must bring them forth from the bowels of our being as is said of the true mother in I Kings, chapter
3. “Her bowels yearned upon her son.”
The church must begin to give birth now! When Zion travails from her innermost being, it will happen!
George Whitefield cried, “Give me souls, or take my soul.”
David Brainerd said, “I care not where I go, or how I love, or what I endure. Just let me save souls. When I sleep, I dream of them. When I awake, they are first in my thoughts. No amount of scholastic attainment, of able and profound exposition, of brilliant and stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep, impassioned, sympathetic love of human souls!”
The seraphic John Fletcher said, “Love. Continual, universal, ardent love is the soul of all labors of a minister!”
That is it in a nutshell! Are you a sounding brass or a clanging gong?
One of our pioneer ministers before the days of automobiles said that he quit his work in the middle of the afternoon, hitched up his horse and drove twenty miles to pray with a man whom he felt was drifting
from God. He said, “I could scarcely help it. My love and concern for him was so great, I could not rest until I had done my best to bring him back to God.”
THIS IS THE THING THAT THE RANK AND FILE OF THE CHURCH AND THE PREACHERS AND THEIR WIVES MUST RECOVER. LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED IS THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD.
The evening sun was setting on the Judean hills and there was an auction block where the auctioneer was auctioning slaves to the highest bidder. The voice of the prophet of God was raspy from preaching for
years. His shoulders were drooped because of the burdens of the people he had carried. His heart had been broken because many years ago his wife had fallen into sin and became a prostitute. The prophet of God
was standing, an old man now, in the auctioneer’s presence. He was just watching the slaves as they were sold. The prophet of God had a rough life. The three children born to him and his wife were now grown. They, too, had gone into harlotry and prostitution!
It has been a rough life for the old prophet. He listened to the auctioneer receiving the bids for slave after slave after slave. Suddenly an old lady comes up for auctioning. Her years are mostly gone. Nothing much left to give. To his complete surprise, the old preacher recognizes her to be his wife of his youth. Gomer was her name. The old preacher begins to bid and he continues to bid until he outbids every other bidder. He purchases Gomer because he loves her, and he will never give up. He is going to get Gomer back!
“I am going to bid until I get Gomer back. She may have nothing to
give, but I love her.” That is human love, but it cost more to love
like Jesus loved.
THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD IS LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED!
“Did you give me food when I was hungry? Did you give me drink when I was thirsty? Did you give me clothes when mine were rags? Did you come to see me when I was sick or in prison or in trouble? Did you pray for me? Did you intercede for me when you saw me wandering far from God or did you let me go my way? When you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me. I am disguised under every type of humanity that treads the face of this earth and all souls are mine. Every living soul is mine. Love them all. Love them as I have loved you. Though you speak with tongues of men and angels and you have not Christ-love, you are sounding brass. You are clanging cymbals. You are nothing. Repent! Repent! Repent, lest I come quickly to remove the candlestick out of its place.”
A thousand million souls are dying. A thousand million souls for whom the Savior died. Will you still deny their plea? Will you continue to be idle while a thousand million souls are dying?
LOVING THE WAY JESUS LOVED IS THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD!
Surely you want that love. That love that will not give up. That love will reach. God-love will change the atmosphere of your church. This kind of love works faith. Love can reach our world! Faith works by
love. Gifts work by love.
Oh love of God. How rich! How pure!
“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom but trembles when
we pray.” Samuel Chadwick
“‘He commonly brings His help in our greatest extremity, that His finger may plainly appear in our deliverance. And this method He chooses that we may not trust upon anything that we see or feel, as we
are always apt to do, but upon His bare Word, which we may depend upon in every state.” -C.H. Von Bogatzsky
“Beware in your prayer, above everything of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do and expect great things.” Andrew Murray
“I do not believe that there is such a thing in the history of God’s kingdom as a right prayer offered in a right spirit that is forever left unanswered.” Theodore L. Cuyler
“Prayer reminds us of our constant need for God and reassures us of His presence with us. In prayer we don’t tell God what to do; we find out what He wants us to do. ”
“Prayer is the key that opens the door to a whole new world” a world lived in active, conscious presence of the living God.” Hope MacDonald
“I have found that the more I do in secret prayer, the more I have delighted to do, and the more I have enjoyed the spirit of prayer.” David Brainerd
“Prayer means that we have come boldly into the throne room and we are standing in His presence.” E.W. Kenyon
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM VESTA MANGUN CONTINUES AND WAS PUBLISHED BY PENTECOSTALS OF ALEXANDRIA PUBLISHERS, 1990, PAGES 37-57. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.