So Much To Do: So Little Time
By Oswald J. Smith
My first missionary work was among the Indians on the coast of British Columbia. I was only eighteen years of age, far too young to be a missionary. But the love of God burned in my heart and I was eager to do something for my Lord and Master. I lived alone in a mission house almost void of furniture. Never will I forget the loneliness and cold. I had to cut down my own firewood, saw it up, and prepare it for the stove. I cooked my own meals, mostly hardtack. During the week days I taught school and on Sundays I preached the Gospel to the Indians.
It was a trying experience, nearly 4,000 miles away from home. Sometimes as I tramped through the great primeval forest surrounded by wild beasts, I lost the trail and for a while wandered aimlessly trying to find it again. I suffered much, yet my heart was filled with unspeakable joy. Again and again I burst out in praise when my feet were so cold that they were numb. That was my first taste of missionary work. Since then I have gone to sixty-two countries….
Perhaps if I were to give you some of my great missionary mottoes that I have used all over the United States and Canada as well as in countries overseas, you would be inspired, even as others have been. I am not going to comment on them; I am just going to leave them with you and let you think them through. Suffice it to say that they have been used of God to challenge young people everywhere and to lead Christians of all denominations to give more for the spread of the Gospel in the regions beyond. They will speak to you, too, if you will let them.
During the days of our Annual Missionary Convention we put them up on the walls of our church so that the people can read them during the entire time that the Convention is being held, and they speak to many a heart. You, too, could use them in one way or another. I am sure God will make them a blessing if you do. Let me quote them one by one:
"You must go or send a substitute." – Oswald J. Smith.
"This generation can only reach this generation."
"The mission of the Church is missions."
"Anywhere, provided it be forward." – David Livingstone.
"Farther, still farther, into the night."
"If God wills the evangelization of the world, and you refuse to support missions, then you are opposed to the will of God."
"You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead." – Oswald J. Smith.
"Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God." – William Carey.
"The church that does not evangelize will fossilize."
"Why should anyone hear the Gospel twice before everyone has heard it once?" – Oswald J. Smith.
"Only as the Church fulfils her missionary obligation does she justify her existence."
"A man may die leaving upwards of a million, without taking any of it upwards." – William Fetler.
"The light that shines farthest shines brightest nearest home."
"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." – C.T. Studd.
"Give according to your income lest God make your income according to your giving." – Peter Marshall.
"The prospects are as bright as the promises of God." – Adoniram Judson.
"The greatest foes of missions are prejudice and indifference, and ignorance is the mother of them both."
"Now let me burn out for God." – Henry Martyn.
"Yet more, O my God, more toil, more agony, more suffering for Thee." – Francis Xavier.
"We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving."
"The church which ceases to be evangelistic will soon cease to be evangelical." – Alexander Duff.
"Not, how much of my money will I give to God, but, how much of God’s money will I keep for myself?"
"The supreme task of the Church is the evangelization of the world."
"Untold millions are still untold."
"Oh, for a hundred thousand lives to be spent in the service of Christ!" – George Whitfield.
"You have one business on earth – to save souls." – John Wesley.
"Why should so few hear the Gospel again and again while so many never hear it once?" – Oswald J. Smith.
Still millions wait. How long, O Lord, how long? Let us go forth with the Gospel message and preach it everywhere.
– From The Cry Of The World by Oswald J. Smith (1889-1986).