In the 19th century, a young Christian heard a Bible teacher say, "The world has yet to see what God can do with a man who is totally surrendered to Him." The young Christian said to himself, "I want to be that man." That young man was Dwight L. Moody, who became one of the greatest evangelists of all time, long before radio and television. When the searching eyes of the Lord found Moody, they found a man whose "availability" far surpassed his "ability." But God can do a lot with a little if He has all there is of it.
Moody was born in 1837 in the little town of Northfield, Mass. His father died at an early age of 41, leaving his widow in poverty, with a large mortgage on the home. The creditors grabbed everything they could, including firewood. Mrs. Moody tried to keep her family of nine children not only together, but together in Sunday School. By the time Dwight was 17, he had become a successful shoe salesman for Holton's Shoe Store. Moody accepted Christ in the back room of the shoe store through the guidance of his Sunday School teacher. Later, he became actively involved in the Plymouth Congregational Church in Chicago. As a layman, he began renting the church pews and filling them up with men and women whom he had invited.
He went on to become the great evangelist. But he never got away from his simple commitment and the memories of the first time he stood up to speak as a young man, when one of the deacons assured him that, in his opinion, he would serve God best by keeping still. Another critic praised Moody for his zeal but pleaded with him, saying that he should realize his limitations and not attempt to speak in public. "You make too many mistakes in grammar." Moody patiently made reply to the man's concern: "I know I make mistakes, and I lack many things, but I'm doing the best I can with what I've got." He then quietly looked at the man and searchingly inquired, "Look here, friend, you've got grammar enough. What are you doing with it for the Master?"
God is looking for people today who will decide to take what they have and totally commit it to be used for the Master. Perhaps a future Dwight L. Moody is reading this right now.
Copyright (c) 2002, Bill Bright. All rights reserved.
Dr. Bill Bright is founder and chairman of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 25,000 full-time staff and 553,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. Dr. Bright recently co-founded Global Pastors Network to "Touch, Teach and Train" ministers around the world 24/7/365 at www.globalpastorsnetwork.org. For many free evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ website here.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Arkira