It was a hot day. The dust mingled with the blood that dripped on the ground. Nasty shouts were coming from the crowd that had gathered to see what was happening. Suddenly from a few yards away came the cry from one of the prisoners, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
Jesus did not respond to all the insults, but when the criminal beside him humbly said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom,” this was his cry, “Please don’t forget me! Please don’t pass me by!” Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” Imagine the joy in his heart. He had been accepted by God!
One evening in 1868, Fanny Crosby was visiting a prison, walking down a long aisle between cells, reciting the Bible verses she knew by heart when she heard one of the prisoners cry out in a pleading voice, “Good Lord, do not pass me by.”
Later, thinking back on that desperate cry, Crosby wrote the hymn lyrics to Pass Me Not (oh gentle Savior), touching our fear of being excluded by God.
The hymn gained international recognition when introduced by Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey during their London revivals. According to Dr. Young, “This is Crosby’s first hymn to win worldwide acclaim.”
When it seems like the whole world does not care about us, we can cry to our Savior. He was mocked and rejected. He knows every pain.
“Seek the Lord while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).
Pass Me Not (Oh Gentle Savior)
Pass me not, O gentle Savior, hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by.
Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by.
Let me at Thy throne of mercy find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition, help my unbelief.
Trusting only in Thy merit, would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit, save me by Thy grace.
Thou the spring of all my comfort, more than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee, whom in Heav’n but Thee.
John G. Lake had 125 men out of his churches on the field at one time. They were a very young institution, not well known in the world. One day, certain men in England and America began rumors about John. Finances got so low, as people withdrew their support under the awful attack, that they soon could not even mail $10 a month to the workers. Then it got so bad he could not even send them $2. Lake did not want to take the responsibility of having men and their families on the frontier under such conditions.
The staff at headquarters sold their clothes, jewelry, pieces of furniture, and in one case, their house to bring those 125 workers off the field for a conference. One night in the progress of the conference, John was asked by a committee to leave the room for a minute or two. The conference wanted to have a word by themselves. He stepped out to a restaurant for a cup of coffee and returned soon after.
When John came back in, he found the chairs arranged in an oval, with a little table at the end, and on the table was the bread and wine. Old Father Van der Wall, speaking for the company, said, “Brother Lake, during your absence, we have come to a conclusion. We have made our decision. We want you to serve the Lord’s supper. We are going back to our fields. We are going back if we have to walk back. We are going back if we have to starve. We are going back if our wives die. We are going back if our children die. We are going back if we die ourselves. We have but one request. If we die, we want you to come and bury us.” The next year he buried 12 men, 16 wives and children. John sadly recounted, “There was not one of them, if they had had a few of the things a white man needs to eat, but what they might have lived. “
“…. That is the kind of consecration that established Pentecost in South Africa. …”
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. (Revelation 12:11 NLT)
This story, a historical fact, is told about a black woman who was in trouble many years ago in the days of slavery. Her 16-year-old daughter was about to be sold on the auction block.
The mother bowed her head and prayed, “Dear Lord God, if You were in trouble as I am in trouble, and I could help You as easy as You could help me, I would do it!”
A U.S. senator was present, along with his 15-year-old son. When he saw this girl being pulled away from her mother and he saw their tears, he ran to his father and said, “Daddy, loan me $10!” The senator gave him the $10, and the boy ran to the auction block.
Before anybody else could start bidding, he said, “I will bid $10.” (Ordinarily, $200 would have been a low opening bid, but everybody was so thrilled at what he was doing that nobody else would bid.) The boy bought the girl for $10. Taking the Bill of Sale, he marched right over and handed the girl back to her momma.
God heard and answered that prayer. She had said, “If I could help You as easy as You could help me, I would do it.”
I’ve told about that dear old black woman’s prayer more than once, and I have followed her example and have gotten results. I just say, “Lord, if You were in trouble like I’m in trouble, and I could help You as easy as You could help me, I would do it.” And He does – He does! Because He says in His Word, “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.” (Psalm 91:14) This God who is more than enough says, “I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him.” (El Shaddai, Hagin, Kenneth, P. 22)
As I boarded the airplane on my way to Africa, I was a little nervous. The first stop was to be in Austria. I was preaching in a church close to Salzburg where I dearly love the people. No one knew my great need and I did not feel free to tell anyone except my LORD. I did not have the funds for the coming crusade and knew that our Ethiopian organizer could not do the meetings without the expected money.
I was just trusting God to provide for me. I met a lot of friends that had blessed me in the past, but it seemed like God was not speaking to them. Before I left to preach the Sunday service, I looked on the ministry accounts hoping that someone had donated the big amount needed. Nothing had come in and I needed thousands of dollars to cover our costs. Suddenly my heart began to panic. What am I going to
do? The ministry had no money and I had no personal money to give for the need.
If you think as the world thinks, you would say, “Chris, that is your own fault! You don’t plan for something you do not have the money for!” The truth is, when God called me to build a faith ministry, I had to say yes to faith. Faith means taking risks. Peter took a risk when he stepped off the boat and walked on the water. He took a risk when he took the lame man at the temple by the hand and said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” What would people think of him if nothing happened?
As fear flooded my heart, suddenly the Holy Spirit spoke to me very clearly. “Chris, all is well! Don’t worry!” Joy filled my heart and I knew that God would give me everything I needed. I just focused on the ministry at hand in Austria.
The church where I was preaching received a very generous offering and after the service the treasurer asked me, “Do you want us to put this on your account or can you accept cash?” I tried to remain calm and said, “Cash would be perfect.” When I signed the receipt, I was full of joy, but it still was not enough
to cover the needs in Africa.
The pastor invited me for lunch and as we ate, his phone rang. Someone wanted to talk to me. It was a leader from another church nearby. He said, “Chris, before you leave the area, please swing by my house. I have something for you.” When l got there, he gave me an envelope with exactly the amount I so desperately needed.
I could hardly contain myself. I wanted to shout! God had provided for me on the way. HE is faithful and
stands to His word!
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)
History tells us that as Napoleon was reviewing his troops one day, his horse began to rear. A young private stepped forward took the horse by the bit and quieted it down.
Napoleon said, “Thank you, captain,” (thus promoting him to captain immediately).
The young soldier asked, “Captain of what, sir?”
Napoleon replied, “Captain of my personal guard.”
So, the unexperienced private moved into the rank of captain. All the other officers despised him because they had worked hard earning their rank, but this young man had just received it without cost.
Napoleon noticed what was going on, so when he next called for a review of his army in full regalia, he rode side by side to the parade grounds with this young captain. The other officersrealized he was a favorite of Napoleon’s and they began to try to get on his good side.
The people of this world may not know it, but the time is coming when they are going to find out that we born-again, Spirit-filled, tongue-talking, divine healing-believing folks are favorites of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and they will wish they had courted our favor.
“I will honor him,” God said. (El Shaddai, Hagin, Kenneth P. 24)
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;I will set him on high, because he has known My name. (Psalms 91:14 NKJV)
As they were walking down the docks in Shanghai the pastor quietly said, “Marie, go back to Norway! Don’t you know you can die here?!” It was September 1 st , 1901. Just a year earlier, in 1900, the Boxer rebellion was in full swing. The
Boxer rebels killed thousands of Chinese Christians and hundreds of Christian missionaries, destroying many churches. The persecution was so heavy that Christians that owned a Bible would bury it in the ground. Pastors were openly executed in the marketplaces. If Christians were found with a Bible, the whole family would suffer gruesome persecution or even death.
Thousands of western missionaries quickly fled China.
Now, one year later in the midst of one of the most terrible persecutions the world has seen, Marie Monson was actually GOING to be a missionary in China.
The pastor talked to the young lady with a very concerned look. This was not the time to
become a missionary in China. He said, “Marie, go back to Norway! Don’t you know you can die here?!:”
Marie answered, “Pastor, I already died in Norway!”
You see, she understood the scripture in Galatians 2:20, ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’
God used Marie incredibly in China. Few people in the West know her name today, but through Marie Monson many people came to follow Jesus. During the Shantung Revival that began in 1927 and lasted ten years, God used her like a torch. The Spirit anointed her eyes to see the true spiritual state of the church and gave her courageous words to expose the spiritual darkness that was prevalent in China, even—perhaps especially—within the church.
Marie went from city to city in China asking a simple question, “Have you been born again?”
She would ask seekers and pastors and missionaries—no one was off limits. The Spirit would work through her piercing question and melt cold hearts, revealing hidden sin and calling people to surrender everything to Jesus. (Blog by Sarah Alexander, imb.org)
Today, the underground church in China honors Marie greatly because they say she laid the foundation revival that, despite heavy, ongoing persecution, has brought millions upon millions to come to Christ in China.
Are you willing to go down the road of sacrifice?
Gipsy Smith, the English evangelist, used to tell a story about a man who came to the altar in one of his London meetings. Gipsy saw others hadn’t been able to help him, and the man was struggling, so he went over to talk to him.
The man said, “I can’t be saved.
“Oh yes, you can,” Gipsy said. He told him the biblical story of the woman taken in adultery. He told him no matter how deep in sin he was, God would save him.
The man said, “You don’t understand, Brother Smith. I work in the bookkeeping department of a certain company. I’ve stolen 10,000 pounds over the years and covered it up. Now if I get saved, I’ll have to straighten this up. My boss is a hard man. He’ll have me put in prison!”
Gipsy Smith told him, “It would be better for you to be saved and spend the rest of your life in prison and go to Heaven when you die, than it would be to remain unsaved and go to hell.”
“That’s too high of a price to pay,” the man said, and he left.
The next morning Gipsy came down the staircase into the hotel lobby, he looked out the lobby windows and saw a hatless and coatless man running down the street. This man crossed the street in the middle of the block, flew through the hotel’s revolving doors, looked wildly around the lobby and the stairs. When he discovered Gipsy, he threw his arms around him. “Oh, Brother Smith,” he shouted, “It’s just like you said! It’s just like you said! Earth has no sorrows that Heaven cannot heal”
The man told Gipsy his story. “Last night,” he said, “I went home and couldn’t sleep a wink. I laid awake all-night wrestling with that thing, rolling from one side of the bed to the other. Finally, I decided I’d go straighten it out this morning.
He continued, “This morning I stood outside the company president’s office for 10 minutes, trying to get enough courage to go in. I would start to open the door but then would back off from it. I knew he was in there. I knew he’s a hard man. Finally, I told myself, you’ve got to do it! I opened the door, stepped inside, and was speechless. The president said, Speak up, man. My time is valuable. What do you want?’
“I stepped over to his desk and said, ‘I went to Gipsy Smith’s meeting last night.’ And the president said, ‘Well, did you get saved? Everybody else who goes out there does.’
No,’ I told him, I didn’t get saved. That’s why I’m here.’
“The president said, ‘There’s no use coming to see me I’m just an old sinner. I don’t know anything about it. No use coming to see me.
‘But you don’t understand,’ I said. ‘I’ve stolen 10,000 pounds from this company. I have to make it right. I’ve kept it covered up all these years. I gambled it away on the races, and I can’t pay it back.’ I began to weep. I said, I want to make Heaven, and that thing stands between me and God.
“My employer chomped down on his cigar and said, ‘I’ll tell you one thing, man. I’m sending you to prison. You’re the most trusted employee I had. I met with the Board of Directors just last week. They voted to promote you to that desk right over there next to my personal secretary. But now I’m going to send you to Jail.
“I told him, ‘Well, that’s all right, bless God. The burden’s gone now, and I’m happy. I’ll just spend the rest of my days shouting in prison.
The bookkeeper looked up and saw his employer chomp down on his cigar again. The man said, “You know, on second thought, I believe what I’ll do is promote you. You can get enough extra salary per year to pay back that 10,000 pounds with interest in several years.” Then he said, “Man, just take the day off. Have a holiday. You’ve found God.”
The bookkeeper forgot his coat and hat and ran out of that office down the street to Gipsy Smith’s hotel. As he told his story, he was jumping up and down shouting. Gipsy said, “Both of us started shouting.
You see, God showed him His salvation. That salvation belongs God-the God who is more than enough: El Shaddai. (El Shaddai, Kenneth Hagin P. 49)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1:16 (NIV)
A preacher who was growing weary in the ministry had a dream. He saw himself pounding away at a huge chunk of granite with a pick axe. It was his job to break it into small pieces. But hard as he tried, he couldn’t chip off even a tiny piece. At last, tired and disappointed, he decided to give up.
Just then a stranger appeared and said, “Weren’t you given orders to do that work? Your duty is to give it your best, regardless of what happens.” The minister, with a renewed determination, grabbed the pick axe, lifted it high in the air, and gave the granite a crushing blow. It broke into a thousand pieces. He had almost quit one blow too soon. (Daily Bread, July 14, 1991.)
Many Christians give up just before they get their breakthrough. Jesus illustrated persistence with the story of an unjust judge. He refused to listen to the needs of a desperate widow. The widow, however, would not take no for an answer and kept on the judge’s heels. Finally, the judge said, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!” (Luke 18:4-5).
Are you holding on to your dream?
“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8).
He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation. — Ephesians 2:14
On Christmas Eve 1914, during the First World War, the guns fell silent along a 30-mile stretch of the Western Front. Soldiers peered cautiously over the tops of trenches while a few emerged to repair their positions and bury the dead. As darkness fell, some German troops set out lanterns and sang Christmas carols. Men on the British side applauded and shouted greetings.
The next day, German, French, and British troops met in no man’s land to shake hands, share food, and exchange gifts. It was a brief respite from war that soon ended when the artillery and machine guns roared to life again. But no one who experienced “The Christmas Truce,” as it became known, would ever forget how it felt and how it fueled their longing for lasting peace.
In Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Messiah we read, “His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). By His death on the cross, Jesus removed the “no man’s land” between us and God. “For He Himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14).
In Jesus we can find lasting peace with God and harmony with each other. This is the life-changing message of Christmas! (By: David C. McCasland ODB)