In The Last Days Newsletter, Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists
visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a
rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this
village?" The old man replied, "Nope, only babies." A frothy question
brought a profound answer. There are no instant heroes--whether in this world or in the
kingdom of God. Growth takes time, and as I Timothy 3:6 and 5:22 point out, even spiritual
leadership must be earned.
William C. Shereos.
One spring our family was driving from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa, Florida. As far as the
eye could see, orange trees were loaded with fruit. When we stopped for breakfast, I
ordered orange juice with my eggs. "I'm sorry," the waitress said. "I can't
bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken." At first I was dumbfounded. We were
surrounded by millions of oranges, and I knew they had oranges in the kitchen--orange
slices garnished our plates. What was the problem? No juice? Hardly. We were surrounded by
thousands of gallons of juice. The problem was they had become dependent on a machine to
get it. Christians are sometimes like that. They may be surrounded by Bibles in their
homes, but if something should happen to the Sunday morning preaching service, they would
have no nourishment for their souls. The problem is not a lack of spiritual food--but that
many Christians haven't grown enough to know how to get it for themselves.
Leroy Eims, The Lost Art of Disciple Making.
Commentary and Devotional
Sometimes when we read the words of those who have been more than conquerors, we feel
almost despondent. I feel that I shall never be like that. But they won through step by
step by little bits of wills little denials of self little inward victories by
faithfulness in very little things. They became what they are. No one sees these little
hidden steps. They only see the accomplishment, but even so, those small steps were taken.
There is no sudden triumph no spiritual maturity. That is the work of the moment.
Amy Carmichael quoted in: Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987,
Word Books Publisher, p. 130.