Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Mighty Nut

Photograph by Cindy Mercer

I couldn't help reading the shirt. The girl walked right in front of me. The large yellow letters scrawled across her jet black T-shirt declared, "The mighty oak was once a nut that held its ground." I turned away and saw a very large, old congregational church. Something made me think of George Whitefield.

Whitefield was much-maligned in his time. His critics enjoyed reminding the public that his parents where rather disreputable innkeepers, and cartoonists had a heyday with his crossed eyes. “Whitefield’s eyes make the sign of the cross on which Jesus died,” they sneered. But, by the grace of God, he held his ground. Praise God he did.

Whitefield concluded his sermon on Genesis 5:24, "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him," with an exhortation to ministers:

"One word to my brethren in the ministry that are here present, and I have done. You see, my brethren, my heart is full; I could almost say it is too big to speak, and yet too big to be silent, without dropping a word to you. For does not the text speak in a particular manner to those who have the honor of being styled the ambassadors of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. I observed at the beginning of this discourse, that Enoch in all probability was a public person, and a flaming preacher. Though he be dead, does he not yet speak to us, to quicken our zeal, and make us more active in the service of our glorious and ever-blessed Master? How did Enoch preach! How did Enoch walk with God, though he lived in a wicked and adulterous generation! Let us then follow him, as he followed Jesus Christ, and ere long, where he is there shall we be also. . . . He sojourned here below three hundred years; but blessed be God, the days of man are now shortened, and in a few days our walk will be over. The Judge is before the door: he that cometh will come, and will not tarry: his reward is with him. And we shall all (if we are zealous for the Lord of hosts) ere long shine as the stars in the firmament, in the kingdom of our heavenly Father, for ever and ever. To Him, the blessed Jesus, and eternal Spirit, be all honor and glory, now, and to all eternity. Amen, and Amen."

May God raise up many more mighty nuts!

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