CH Spurgeon’s conversion is one of the great conversion stories in church history.
Feeling under heavy conviction and longing to find out how to be saved, he set off for church one January Sunday morning. The weather was atrocious and he couldn’t make it to his intended destination, and instead slipped into a small chapel where about a dozen people were attending.
Their preacher had also been thwarted by the weather, so eventually, a thin man stood up to preach. Some have said it was the wrong preacher, in the wrong church, in the wrong weather, with the wrong congregation. Whatever, God is still God!
Spurgeon himself said, “Now, it is well that preachers should be instructed, but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say”.
Of course, the story continues. The text was from Isaiah. “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” And the message was on target for young and troubled Spurgeon, “there was a glimpse of hope for me in that text.”
So the thin-looking preacher restated the text every way he could manage for about ten minutes, and then told the young guest at the back that he looked miserable and needed to look to Jesus to be saved. And Spurgeon was born again. Spurgeon often told the story and it is well worth reading.
But let’s just ponder that earlier point. “He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say.”
Three points to ponder:
1. Our job as a preacher is to say what the text says.
2. Our education does not give us something better to say than what the text says.
3. God once spoke through a donkey, so humbly say what the text says.
Looking back on that moment, Spurgeon quoted words you may have sung:
E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
To read a slightly fuller version of the story, click here. (And if you want to sing the song, I enjoyed this!)
Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. He blogs at Biblical Preaching
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