On Wednesday nights, our Pastor is doing a series on the book of Romans. It started the beginning of January. Along with it, I am reading this book.
John Stott is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
Having never read anything by him except a few excerpts, I did a little bit of research. In 2005, he was honored by Time magazine as being one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World". You can read here about his conversion. I love this story. But, I have to warn you. It isn't anything exciting. It won't shock you. It's almost dull. But, to me, it shows an incredible power of God to slowly infiltrate our lives and change us from within.
In August of 2007 John Stott preached his last sermon. He was entering retirement and moving to the south in England. I read that sermon here if you want to. I was completely intrigued by what someone like John Stott would want to say as his last words to the Christian world. It is humbling and beautiful.
Two things he said in his last sermon that I think bear repeating. On evangelism he quoted John Poulton who said
"the most effective preaching comes from those who embody the things they are saying. They are their message. Christians need to look like what they are talking about. It is people who communicate primarily, not words or ideas. Authenticity gets across. Deep down inside people, what communicates now is basically personal authenticity".
So often we try to have the right words, and quote the right scripture. But, in reality, we are our own message.
Secondly, on being filled with the Holy Spirit and allowing the Holy Spirit to empower you, he quoted William Temple, archbishop in the 1940's who used Shakespeare to make his point.
"It is no good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it - I can't. And it is no good showing me a life like the life of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that. Jesus could do it - I can't. But, if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like this. And if the Spirit could come into me, then I could live a life like His."
Allow the Spirit of the Living God to walk in you today.