Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Time to do some hard soul searching!

Today's devotion will be short but extremely encouraging, but also extremely challenging. In the past I've talked about the life of David Brainerd the missionary who brought the gospel to the Native American Indians of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

John Piper in his book The Hidden Smile Of God writes about the lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd. Towards the end of the chapter on Brainerd, Piper lists some of the character and spiritual qualities that puts Brainerd in the Christian hall of fame.

I'd like to list these qualities and allow you to do some hard soul searching to see how many of these character and spiritual qualities are alive and practiced in your daily life. In other words would the people who know you best say that you emulate these character traits in your life?

Okay, here we go. Brainerd was characterized by having a:

1. Passion for prayer
2. Passion for practicing the spiritual discipline of fasting.
3. Passion for the Word of God.
4. Displaying an unremitting perseverance through hardship.
5. Having a relentless focus on the glory of God.
6. Having an utter dependence on God's grace.
7. Totally depending on the Righteousness of Christ alone.
8. Having a burning desire to reach those who were unsaved.
9. Maintaining his personal holiness while he suffered (remember Brainerd dies at age 29 of tuberculous. It is recorded in his diary that he would ride his horse while spitting up blood on his way to bring the gospel to the Indian's in Pennsylvania).
10. His mind was fixed on those things that are eternal.
11. And finally finishing well, without cursing the disease that cut him down in the prime of his life.

This is how Brainerd is described by John Piper through Brainerd's own personal diary writings. Piper ends this chapter by saying: "With all his weaknesses and imbalances and sins, I love David Brainerd."

Not too much to say here Christian, this is between you and your God, but I'd encourage you to be intentional and pick one or two of Brainerd's character traits and make them part of your spiritual life; to God's glory and honor.

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