Sunday, August 22, 2010

compelled

I just got to listen to David Brainerd's biography, a talk by J. Piper, and was sweetly blessed and mightily compelled by God's grace in his life. His life was short: he died when he was 29, in 1746 (or '47?), after approx 8 years of suffering and hard persevering through Tuberculosis. But his life was rich, deeply, abundantly rich- not only in his personal enjoyment of God but also in his fruitful service among Native American Indians in New England, and, as we can see now, in his lasting impact on generations who have cherished and been inspired by his journal.

His life is a bold testimony to God's faithfulness and goodness to minister to and to use broken, weak vessels greatly for his glory.... broken, weak ones like Brainerd, and me, and all of us.

Here's a few quotes:
"Brainerd's life is one long agonizing strain to redeem the time, not grow weary in well-doing, and to abound in the work of the Lord." - said of DB by JP

"Oh how sweet it is to be spent and worn out for God." - DB

"Oh that I might not loiter on my heavenly journey." - DB

And he often wrote of fasting and prayer, of praying for long stretches of the day or many intervals in a day. In a letter to young ministers, he wrote, urging them "to build into their lives fasting and prayer." His is surely a sweet example of a life so well lived, so sweetly, satisfyingly invested.

I hope so much that you will check these biographical talks, download them and drink deeply. If you find yourself with a choice of how to spend an hour- please consider feasting your soul here, as I do believe it will stir your heart for the Lord and your prayers for his work in your life.

There is something dearly excellent about enjoying such biographies... not just one scripture passage taught through (which we need to feed on too!) but
scripture lived..... like I want to live. Oh Lord compel us to live so for you!

(Some of my favorite biographies are "Brothers, we must not mind a little suffering"- Charles Simeon, "The Swan is not Silent"- Augustine, "You will be eaten by Cannibals!"- John G. Paton, and "How few there are who die so hard!"- Adoniram Judson.)

Also, much (or possibly all?) of Brainerd's journal has been posted online in the form of a blog. You can
read it here.

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