Thought for the Month (January 2011)

This is the final year in the Vision4Life process.

This year the subject is Evangelism.

The best evangelist Britain has ever known has got to be Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947), the one-time Bradford plumber who became a full time evangelist in his late forties.

The story of the short-in-stature Zacchaeus, and the change that came about in his life, is a wonderful story of what can happen when Jesus of Nazareth takes the evangelist trail.

But what was the power that brought about the tax collector’s change of mind?

What has our Lord in Luke 19 vv 1-10, and Smith Wigglesworth, got in common when it comes to evangelism?

Let me tell you a story from Smith Wigglesworth’s own account of his life –

“I remember a wonderful time of conviction.
I stepped out of a railway coach to wash my hands. I had a season of prayer, and the Lord just filled me to overflowing with His love. I was going to a convention in Ireland, and I could not get there fast enough. As I returned to my seat, I believe that the Spirit of the Lord was so heavy upon me that my face must have shone. (When the Spirit transforms a man’s very countenance, he cannot tell this on his own.)
There were two clerical men sitting together, and as I got into the coach again, one of them cried out. ‘You convict me of sin!’ Within three minutes everyone in the coach was crying to God for salvation.
This has happened many times in my life. It is the ministry of the spirit that Paul spoke of.
This filling of the Spirit will make your life effective, so that even the people in the stores where you shop will want to leave your presence because they are brought under conviction.”

Jesus lived in this realm and moved in it, and his life was a constant reproof to the wickedness around Him. Can we believe that a servant of God can be so filled with the Holy Spirit that a person who is not living right can be judged and convicted by his/her presence?

Wow – to meet a Christian that God has given this gift to, would surely come under the heading of being in the presence of an evangelist.

Eric Christian

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church