The One Motive For The Work Of The Lord
By Rich Carmicheal
This issue focuses on different aspects of the work the Lord entrusts to us as His people. The articles deal with matters such as our preparation for the work, the purpose for our work, the power for our work, and about the vital work itself, including the work of evangelism. Hopefully the material will encourage and further equip you in the precious work the Lord has on His heart for you.
In preparation for this issue, I came across some particularly inspiring material about the Moravians under the leadership of Count Zinzendorf. This community of believers stands out as an exceptional example in their work for the Lord, including their 100-year prayer watch and their incredible missionary and evangelistic outreach in the 1700s and 1800s. As noted by Oswald J. Smith:
“In the West Indies, among the North American Indians, on the cold, bleak shores of Greenland, far away in dark, benighted Africa, as well as in South America, and practically every country in Europe and Asia, the Moravians planted the cross and won thousands of souls to Jesus Christ. And all this…was some fifty years before the modern missionary movement was launched by William Carey, who in turn got his inspiration from the Moravians.”
While the scope and impact of their work is amazing, what is especially noteworthy is their motivation for their sacrifice and ministry. Andrew Murray describes it this way:
“Count Zinzendorf, whom God so wonderfully prepared to train and guide the young church in the path of missions, was marked above everything with a tender, childlike, passionate love to our Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ, the Originator and Inspirer of all gospel work, possessed him. The dying love of the Lamb of God had won and filled his heart; the love which had brought Christ to die for sinners had come into his life; he could live for nothing else but to live and, if need be, die for them too.
“When he took charge of the Moravians, that love was the one motive to which he appealed, the one power he trusted to, the one object for which he sought to win their lives.
“What teaching and argument and discipline, however needful and fruitful they were, never could have done, the love of Christ did! It melted all into one body; it made all long to put away everything that was sin. It inspired all with the desire to testify of Jesus. It made many ready to sacrifice all – in making that love known to others, and so making the heart of Jesus glad.
“What of the followers God had provided for Zinzendorf? What was there that specially fitted them to take the lead among the churches of the Reformation which they have done?
“There was first of all that detachment from the world and its hopes, that power of endurance, that simple trust in God, which affliction and persecution are meant to work. These men were literally strangers and pilgrims on earth.
“They were endued with the thought and spirit of sacrifice. They had learned to endure hardship, and to look up to God in every trouble.
“But there was something more than this which gave their fellowship its wonderful power. It was the intensity of their united and personal devotion to Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God, who had purchased them with His blood.
“All their correction of each other, and their willing confession and giving up of sin, came from this faith in the living Christ, through whom they found ‘within their hearts the peace of God and deliverance from the power of sin.’
“This faith led them to accept, and jealously to keep their place as poor sinners, saved by His grace, every day. This faith, cultivated and strengthened every day by fellowship in word and song and prayer, became the goal of their life.
“This faith filled them with such joy that their hearts rejoiced, in the midst of the greatest difficulties, in the triumphant assurance that their Jesus, the Lamb who had died for them, and was now loving and saving and keeping them hour by hour – could conquer the hardest heart, was willing to bless the vilest sinner.”
No wonder the Lord was able to do such extraordinary things through this group of believers! They loved Him deeply, surrendered their all to Him, and served Him wholeheartedly – and all for His glory! He was their one motive!
Our Love for Christ
In regard to the work the Lord entrusts to us, a vital matter to examine is the depth of our relationship with Him. He loves us dearly, and His desire is that we love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27). Our relationship with Him and our love for Him are central – everything else, including the work He entrusts to us, is to flow out of this.
Christ’s letter to the church in Ephesus is a sobering reminder of this. On one hand, He acknowledges that the believers in that church had labored for His name’s sake and not grown weary (Rev. 2:3). But, on the other hand, He issues a strong call to repentance because they had left their first love (v. 4).
So as you and I take the articles in this Herald to heart, may we examine our relationship with the Lord and our level of love and devotion to Him. As He loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20), and as He continues to love us, may we deepen in our devotion to Him! Again, Count Zinzendorf provides a great example as he declares of Christ: “I have but one passion – ’tis He, and He only.”
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23-24).
Co-Laborers for Christ
We are thankful for everyone who provides encouragement, prayer and financial support for the Herald work. What a great blessing it is to serve Christ together with you as we serve others in His name! We hope to hear from you soon.
Herald of His Coming
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Seelyville IN 47878 U.S.A.