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D. L. Moody, The Labors of a single mom

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth...." II Timothy 2:24-25

The words of this text beautifully describe the ministry of D. L. Moody. Moody was an evangelist gifted by God to win souls for the kingdom. Although the title "the servant of the Lord" is used quite loosely in these days, we can say that Moody served his Lord, the living God of heaven. His meek and gentle disposition allowed him to persuade tens of thousands of souls who "opposed themselves." D. L. Moody, chosen by God to ride the waves of the Revival of 1859-60, was a vessel prepared for the Master's use. They say he won a million souls through his evangelistic pleadings in meetings all around the world. He established three training institutions for ministers and other Christian workers. A church stands to this day with his name on it in Chicago. Thousands of books bear the name Moody Press, another reminder to us of his influence. The name Moody is a household name among most Christian's in the English-speaking world. Why? The answer is filled with challenge and insight for all of us who desire to be servants of the King.

R. A. Torrey answered this question at a memorial service in 1923, twenty-three years after Moody's death. The title of his sermon was "Why God used D. L. Moody." He pinpointed seven remarkable reasons as the body of his sermon. Few men knew Moody as intimately as Torrey did. This is what he said.

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A.T. Pierson, Gifted Warrior

A brief introduction is needed at the beginning of this Home History. Many of you may not know this godly servant of the Most High. Born in 1837, his life spanned the days of great revival in America. His contemporaries were men like Charles Finney, D.L. Moody, Ira Sanky and Charles Spurgeon. Although he is not as well known as some of these men, his contributions to the church of Jesus Christ were many. He was one of the most successful pastors of his day, building his congregations on sound biblical preaching and personal pastoral care.

I have given him the title of Gifted Warrior because God gave him many talents. These talents were not buried in the ground, but rather were seen, developed and used to the glory of God. A.T. Pierson was a multi-gifted servant of God. The Father used his son as pastor to several congregations. He had a way with words as a preacher and teacher. God used him to write many books with depth and conviction. I have mentioned his classic book on missions, The New Acts of the Apostles, several times in my sermons. I have never read anything like it. Its power of words is gripping. I have a dream of reprinting at least part of it one day. 

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Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur

In Isaiah 44:3-4 we have a beautiful promise that I feel is given in the context of revival. May I be so bold as to ask you to stop and read these two verses out loud? Think about your children as you read.

I will pour water upon him that is thirsty
And floods upon the dry ground:
I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed,
And My blessing upon thine offspring:
And they shall spring up among the grass,
As willows by the water courses.

First of all, there must be a thirsting after God in our personal life. This often comes in the midst of a dry and dusty land, where no water is. From this deep, personal longing, God promises to pour out his Spirit upon that thirsting soul. He also promises to make an impact on the dry and dusty land around him. In this beautiful context of revival, God also promises to pour water on the children of this thirsty man or woman. Maybe it isn’t right to call it a promise, because, in reality, it is the natural overflow of the man who is revived. When God’s Spirit fills, He fills to overflowing. The children get the blessing from the revival of the parents.

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Apostle of Holiness

Samuel Logan Brengle’s Home Life

Colonel Brengle was a well-known and beloved officer in the Salvation Army. This was the Christian army that fought with the devil for the souls of men. He was born in the year 1860 and passed on to his reward in 1936. Outside of the Salvation Army, he is best known for his famous book, Helps to Holiness. It is a classic, read and appreciated by Christians from every major denomination. In this book, he emphasizes the inner work of grace in sanctification as well as the outward aspects of a holy life.

Inside of the Army structure, he was their revivalist / evangelist. He was widely used all over the world to fan the flames of revival among Salvationists. He led thousands to Christ in his meetings, however, he was better known for his preaching on a holy heart and the holy life that follows it. Tens of thousands were inspired to seek God for a deeper work of grace and an enduement of power from the Holy Ghost.

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Daddy Grings Father of Missionaries

Herbert & Ruth Grings’ Home Life

But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: All that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed that the Lord hath blessed. Isaiah 61:6, 9

My heart thrills, as I sit down to write a brief account of this Missionary Patriarch, and the generations that follow him. A patriarch is one who has extended his influence far beyond the reach of an earthly life. “Daddy Grings,” the name his loved ones gave him, was that kind of man. Though a pilgrim and a stranger on earth, with hardly ever a place that he could call home, he managed to deposit more into his children, than most who have a home.

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Godly Home of the Martyrs

A deep love and commitment to Jesus Christ brings an overflow of grace and power into a life. This grace and power brings influence on the world of souls around us. Sometimes this fragrance is sweet to the seeking heart, and sometimes it is a stench to the hard and impenitent. All who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. This suffering brings more grace, a deeper love for God, and more burdens for the lost. In time, this process makes a powerful, dynamic church, which is the body of Christ on the earth. The annals of church history are scattered with testimonies of this upflaming of God’s people, fueled with the effects of persecution.

There was a precious group of people like this that lived in parts of Europe in the sixteenth century. Their persecutors named them Anabaptists because they believed in believer’s baptism and renounced their infant baptism in the Church of Rome. Oh how they loved the Lord Jesus! Oh how they loved the Word of God and wanted to obey it in every way! Persecution and martyrdom awaited these dear people everywhere they moved. From 1525 to around 1600, multitudes of them gave their lives for the cause of Christ. This covers the span of about three generations. I have thought for some time, “These little flocks were powerful people. They must have had some powerful homes.” There is only one problem. There is very little recorded about them, and very little mentioned about their homes.

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Phillip Henry—Father of a Commentator

Matthew Henry’s Home Life

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deut. 6:7

For three hundred years, Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible has been a household word among English-speaking Christians. Three hundred years is a long time. During these years, many commentaries have come and gone, but the deep spiritual comments of Matthew Henry continue to draw the attention of serious Christians worldwide. It is hard to say how many hands have reached for his commentaries over this long space of time, but I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say it’s in the millions. 

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A House That Stands in Persecution

Corrie and Betsie ten Boom’s Home Life

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Matt. 7:24-25

As I look out on the horizon, I see dark clouds coming for the church in peaceful America. Persecution is coming. Most sincere Christians agree to this. At meetings I often ask for people who believe this to raise their hands. Seventy five percent usually do. Whatever our end time persuasion is, most of us have to agree that the Bible says a lot about persecution in the last of the last days before Christ returns. I am concerned for the many who believe persecution is coming and the many who may be surprised. Are we ready? Are we preparing the next generation for what they may face? These are sobering questions, especially when you find out how many homes are doing very little to lay a solid foundation in their children that will weather the coming storms.

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Charles Spurgeon’s Home Life

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams....
Acts 2:17

There are times when great tragedy strikes that we must simply say, “God is sovereign.” We all know times like these when we do not understand why God is allowing things to happen as they are. This also applies when miraculous things happen which defy our understanding. God is sovereign, and He can do what ever He wants. Spurgeon’s life is one of those miracles. He preached his first sermon at the age of sixteen with anointing and zeal. By the time he was nineteen, he was preaching to crowds of five thousand, turning many to the Lord. You say, “How can this be?” I do not know; God is sovereign. The scripture above seems to give room for sixteen-year-olds preaching the gospel in like manner. I must admit, I wish we had more young men who were so full of God and His word that they cannot but speak.

When Charles was a young boy, he lived with his dedicated grandparents for about six years. Grandpa was a preacher of the gospel, a pastor of the same church for fifty-four years. While he lived with his grandparents, when he was about ten years old, a very unusual event placed an eternal stamp on his heart. A godly evangelist was staying at the home for a few days and took an interest in the hungry boy. Preacher Knill, stirred by the amazing hunger Charles had for Bible knowledge, broke out in intercessory prayer for the lad. He finished by prophesying that the boy would love Jesus and preach the gospel in the largest chapel in the world. These prophetic words set the course of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s life. He began to dream dreams and see visions from that day forward. His heart united with the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote of being separated from his mother’s womb that he might preach the gospel to the heathen.

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