CONCEPT shapes effort. It is important, therefore, that we clarify our objectives as ministers of the gospel. Our Commander has committed us to conquest—not siege. As He planned it, this was to be no lengthy campaign requiring extensive (and expensive) fortifications. The soldiers of the cross were to leave the safety and comfort of their breastworks and charge repeatedly until the work was done.
There were to be no jobs that would insulate one against the nonbelieving public, "no place to hide" from the rigors of personal evangelism. All organizational escape routes must be closed, and every encouragement be given to every man to spend some time witnessing. Ours is the privilege of common purpose and uncommon effort.
"Occupy till I come," when wrongly interpreted, is the language of siege. It literally means, "Yield no conquered ground." This is no encouragement for a "holding operation."
There are those who fear to blow the trumpets and sound the alarm lest these assume the character of spasmodic effort—appearing suddenly only to die out on the desert air. Better to venture and fail than to experience the uninterrupted slumber of the faithless. And for reasons more worthy than a familiar soft drink commercial, may we literally "Come Alive!"
E. E. C.
DR. COYLE WILLIAMS, orthopedic surgeon in San Antonio, Texas, believes in tithing his time as well as his income. Recently he gave a month of his time and skill to a Presbyterian medical center in Korea. He introduced rehabilitation surgery for children at this hospital. During his month's stay he performed 80 operations, examined 372 orthopedic patients in an outpatient clinic of this institution, and lectured daily to doctors and nurses on the hospital staff. He also trained surgeons at the center in the latest orthopedic technique for treatment of polio and cerebral palsy in children.
Dr. Williams paid all his own expenses for his trip, for he believes "Christians should tithe their time as well as their money for the work of the church." What a major contribution to humanity this qualified specialist has made in loving services to those so much in need!
The warm feeling of satisfaction in giving of himself is worth far more than money to the doctor. He is thrice blessed—a new experience, joy in service to others, and the Lord's "well done, thou good and faithful servant."
A. G. F.
IN FRONT of a church recently this sign was observed, "If your knees knock—kneel on them." And may I add—a sure cure for knee-knocking fear. In today's world, fear-producing factors abound. There is real reason to fear men, machines, and nature. Yet fear produces few positive effects.
A minister's anxieties are real. With souls to win, goals to reach, saints to comfort, sinners to save, youth to guide, and more besides, this man could well become a bundle of anxieties and fears. Nor is it true of him that "he is just too dumb to know that his job is impossible." Yes, most preachers know the odds. From them (the odds) he gains little comfort. But that his knees knock not is due to frequent kneeling. His view is clearer from this position. His fears are dissipated at the altar. They are Christ contained!
The key to fearlessness is self-denial. One can with safety will only himself to remain fear free. Nor may personal security challenge principle at the heart's throne room. The martyrs were fear free to the extent that they were emptied of self. No knee knock accompanies the Christ-centered, prayer-filled life.
E. E. C.