By John Lincoln Brandt
Download Audio (8.4MB)
We are taught in Scripture that there is something to be done for Jesus. We pause on that one word, “Jesus”—the central object of all love. The Father loved him and was well pleased with his work. The angels left their throne to usher him into this world and sang upon the occasion of his birth, watched over him during his earthly pilgrimage and received him back to glory.
Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of men. He is our teacher; we are his scholars. He is our captain; we are his soldiers. He is our shepherd; we are his sheep. He is our Master; we are his servants. He is our king; we are his subjects. Surely, we ought to do something for him.
We have been born anew by his gospel; washed by his blood; inspired by his example; animated by his hope and comforted by his Spirit. Surely, we can do something for Jesus. Our cry should be that of the apostle Paul, “Lord, what will thou have me to do?” As Christ was in the world as one that served, so should we serve.
What does Christ most desire of us: Is it the product of our skill and labor? Does he not possess these in abundance?
My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in his hands:
He has rubies and diamonds, silver and gold
His coffers are full, he has riches untold.
—Harriet E. Buell, 1877
He desires, first of all, our hearts. Love is active. Men prove their love not so much by words as by their actions.
In the world of sickness, where so many are upon beds of languishing, something can be done for Jesus. In the world of sorrow, where hearts are breaking over the disappointments of life and the loss of loved ones, something can be done for Jesus. In the great world of sin, where so many are careless about their soul’s salvation and never mentioning the name of God save in the language of profanity, something can be done for Jesus.
Do what you can in prayer. Abraham’s cry was, “Oh that Ishmael might live before thee!” Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord till he received a blessing. The prophet of old prayed for the peace and prosperity of Zion. Hezekiah prayed for the Lord to lengthen his days, and his life was prolonged for fifteen years. Prayer was the key in the hands of Elijah that unlocked the clouds and brought down rain from heaven. Solomon prayed for wisdom from heaven to govern his great people, and his prayer was answered.
When Peter was in prison, the little company gathered in the home of Mary and prayed for his deliverance; and God heard, smote the shackles, opened the prison doors and gave the apostle his liberty. We are assured that the prayers of the righteous avail much. Pray that the kingdom of heaven may come upon earth in the hearts and homes of men.
Do what you can in witnessing for Christ. The prophets of old considered themselves as witnesses for the Lord. The early disciples said, “We are his witnesses.” No age has been without her great witnesses for Christ, and none has ever had a greater need for witnesses than the present.
Christ called Andrew. Andrew brought his brother Peter to Jesus. Christ called Philip, and Philip invited Nathaniel. Christ told the man at the tombs to go and tell his friends what great things God had done for him. Christ sent Peter to preach to Cornelius, and Cornelius invited his kinsmen. Thousands of Christians must praise God that some kind friend spoke to them about their soul’s salvation.
There is a work to be done everywhere and anywhere that opportunity presents itself. Christ said, “Tend my sheep; feed my lambs.” Christ calls you to go labor in his vineyard, to go disciple all nations, to go preach the gospel to every creature. He calls you to arm yourself with the sword of the Spirit, and to let your light so shine before men that others may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
If there is one more thing that I would drive home—if there is one more thought that I would sink into your conscience, it is this; every individual Christian has a work to do, and if he does not do it, it will not be done; an influence to exert, and if he does not exert it, it will be withheld; a kind word to speak, and if he does not speak it, it will never be spoken.
What have you done in the home, in your society, in your business for Christ? What have you done in the work of philanthropy for Christ? What have you done to rescue the perishing, to comfort the sorrowing, to strengthen the faith of the weak, to call back the wanderer, to find the lost sheep and to glorify your Father in heaven? Have you done what you could? If not, ask Christ’s forgiveness and remember what he did for you and put forth every effort to redeem the past and to do more for the Master.
What are you rich, what are you poor, what are you of high standing, what are you of low estate, doing for Jesus? It is a personal question to every heart. Is your heart’s desire and prayer to God for the salvation of the lost? Have you done anything in the past, and are you doing anything now, to advance the glory of God?
God will ask for nothing beyond your power. Ask yourself this important question, “Have I done what I could? Is my standard of duty advancing? Is my life better?” Let the busy man of affairs; let the successful ones in life; let the disappointed and sad ones; let those who have been unfortunate and those who have been ruined by the crimes of others ask this question, “Have I done what I could?”
It is an impelling thought that if we do what we can, we are immediately prepared to do more. We take one step at a time. Little by little life opens before us; little by little our faith increases; little by little we rise to eminences of thought and life, and to broader conceptions of God’s goodness, scarcely knowing how we came to see so much, do so much, enjoy so much by following the thought of doing what we can.
You know his promise—he that gives a cup of cold water to the least of his disciples will not be without his reward, and his words, “inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
Today, we honor the Master by new resolutions to serve him with all the power of our souls and with all the affection of our hearts, knowing that he will not forget our works of faith; knowing that if we do our best in thought, in word, in prayer, in deed, souls will be saved, Christ glorified, and the church go on from conquering unto conquest!
John Lincoln Brandt (1860–1946) was the father of Virginia Brandt Berg. Excerpted from Soul Saving Revival Sermons. Read by Simon Peterson.