Evangelist Dwight L. Moody and his song leader Ira Sankey traveled to England in 1873 to bring God’s word to the masses . . . and they were flat broke. They’d depended on a particular sponsor to campaign for them and finance their meetings. But when they arrived, they found that the man had died. Moody and Sankey went ahead with the first meeting — and a paltry 50 people showed up.
Well-to-do Englishman William Longstaff, author of Take Time to Be Holy, heard of their predicament, and employed his considerable influence and financial connections. With Longstaff’s help, Moody and Sankey’s meetings grew to 20,000 attendees, and they were able to travel on to Scotland as well.
It occurs to me that this one act of William Longstaff’s, this tiny window into his life, proves the worth of his advice. Spending time with Jesus indeed produces good things. I see Christ’s likeness in a life generously lived. Not only did Mr. Longstaff contribute to many evangelical causes, he gave of his own funds to renovate his home church, much the way King David and the Israelites gave their treasures to build the temple. The “man after God’s own heart” poured out this prayer to God: “Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from Thee, and from Thy hand we have given Thee.” (I Chronicles 29:12-14 NASB)
I pray that we too, like King David and William Longstaff, may possess humble hearts before the almighty God; that we may gain grateful and generous spirits, cultivated in moments spent with Him “while the world rushes on.”
While the World Rushes On
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.