‘And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judæa, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.’ Luke 5:17
Suggested Further Reading: Mark 2:13–17
Christian men and women, join together to pray for your friends who cannot or will not pray for themselves; and if you meet with any in deep distress, palsied with despair, who cannot lift the finger of faith, strive to bring them to hear the gospel; bring them where Christ is working miracles. If one of you cannot prevail to lay the case before the Lord, let two of you unite; if two should not be enough, let four blend their petitions; if four should not suffice, tell it to the church, and ask the whole to pray; but do strive to bring dying sinners where Christ is working spiritual miracles. If you read further on in the chapter you will learn how to bring some persons to the Saviour who would otherwise never hear of him. Levi made a great feast, for he thought to himself, ‘I should like Jesus to come and preach to the tax collectors. They are such great sinners, just such as I am; if I could but get them to hear him they might be converted. But,’ he thought, ‘if I ask them they would say they could not afford to give up a day’s work; they will not care to listen to a sermon; so,’ said he, ‘I will get them this way—I will invite them to my house to a feast; they will be sure to come then, and then I will ask Jesus to come and eat with them, and I know he will not let them go without saying a good word.’ So you see he used arts, as fowlers do when they are anxious to catch their prey. Now cannot you be as watchful and thoughtful in your generation as Levi was? Cannot you get the outcasts and the neglecters of the Sabbath to your own house or to anybody else’s house, and use means to bring them under the sound of God’s word?
For meditation: If your church or chapel is ‘God’s house’, so is your home! God does not live in man-made buildings (Acts 17:24), but in his people (Hebrews 3:6); fellowship and evangelism are valid wherever his people are, whether in a public place or in private houses (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 20:20–21).
Sermon no. 720
11 November (1866)