‘He did it with all his heart and prospered.’ 2 Chronicles 31:21
Suggested Further Reading: Joshua 14:6–14
Look around you; who are the most useful men in the Christian church today? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts. Where is the preacher whom God blesses by the conversion of hundreds in a year? Is he a sleepy, prosaic soul? Does he confine himself within narrow limits? Does he speak sleepy words to a slumbering congregation? We know it is not so, but where God is pleased to assemble a congregation it is, whatever it may not be, a proof that there has been earnestness in the preacher. Who are the most successful Sunday school teachers? The most learned? Every superintendent will tell you it is not so. The most talented? The most wealthy? No; they who are the most zealous; the men whose hearts are on fire; those are the men who honour Christ. Who among you today is doing the most for your Master’s kingdom? I will tell you. Lend me a spiritual thermometer by which I may try the heat of your heart, and I will tell you the amount of your success. If your hearts be cold towards God, I am sure you are doing nothing though you may pretend to do it, but if you can say, ‘Lord, my soul is all on flame with an agony of desire to do good to the souls of men,’ then you are doing good, and God is blessing you as he did Hezekiah, who did it with all his heart and prospered. Feeling that very many Christians are not Christians with all their hearts, and that perhaps some of you have only given Jesus Christ a dull, cobwebby corner of your hearts, instead of bidding him sit at the head of the table and reign upon the throne: fearing that we are all in danger of getting into a Laodicean lukewarm state, I wish to stir you up.
For meditation: While we must avoid zeal without knowledge (Romans 10:2), it is not in God’s purposes for us to be satisfied with the possession of knowledge without zeal (Titus 2:14). Do you seek to do with all your might whatever your hand finds to do (Ecclesiastes 9:10)?
Sermon no. 433
2 February (1862)