Jack Carroll - Sidney, Manitoba Convention - Morning Meeting, November 10, 1914

All of us will be in the year we have entered exactly what we have purposed.  Many farmers start out to farm and through lack of purpose, fail.  I think often that what is true in the world may be true in the work and in the church.  Men who have ever made anything in the world, have been men of purpose, hold to their purpose through storm and sunshine. 


If we live to be useful and effective in God’s work, we will get somewhere.  One of the things you notice about Jesus was that He was full of purpose.  Paul and others were full of purpose.   Jesus set His face steadfastly towards Jerusalem.   In Isaiah, we read of Jesus setting His face as a flint.  But if we never purpose, we will never get anything.  If you give your life for the salvation of others, you will see some saved, but if you are not doing that everyday, you will be numbered among those that fail.  You may still be numbered among the saints.  There is no excuse for barrenness.  God can and will speak through us if we fulfill the conditions, if we purpose never to give up until something is done that will stand the test of eternity.  God wants to separate unto Himself saints and servants that are purposeful.  Every man will get exactly what he goes in for. 


When I preach, I look for results.  I know that if I am in touch with God, the seed will find soil that will enable it to spring up and bear fruit, some thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold.  The Christian life is compared to a race both for saints and servants.  There is the sin of losing confidence in God, losing touch with God, looking at the wrong examples, at the failures rather than at the successes.  Let us lay aside every weight.  Look unto Jesus.  If we get our eyes fixed on Jesus and run looking unto Him, we will succeed.  The prize is given to those that run the straightest and steadiest, not to those that run the fastest.  What are we going to be in this year we are entering, fruitful or fruitless, effective or ineffective?  Are our lives going to count for something, or nothing?  These two possibilities are always before us.  I want to live my one short life to some purpose and leave some mark on the world, make some little impression on the sons and daughters of men.  I want to lay up a treasure, etc.  I don’t think I could go on unless I saw something to accomplish, something to fill me with hope. 


A man that has no vision is no good.  When he takes up a homestead, he sees a vision of a seven roomed house, modern barn, 48 by 68, and good stock, etc.  It is a vision like that that keeps him there.  There are two things that are necessary for success, “go-at-it-iveness” and “stick-to-it-iveness.”  It is easy enough to get workers to go at it, but the difficulty is to get them to stick to it.  I know of whole districts that have been burned and nothing accomplished because of lack of “stick-at-it-iveness.”  It is possible for workers to go to a schoolhouse, make friends with the people, and then leave.  We are in the world to make friends for God, not for ourselves.  Get into intimate touch with Him so that you may become of some use in the world.  In making friends for Jesus, we make enemies for ourselves, and that is where we fail.  We are not willing to suffer, die, and sacrifice, and as a result, we make friends for ourselves.  Don’t sacrifice present opportunities for some future opportunities.  Don’t be afraid to make a storm here for fear of making a storm somewhere else.  Paul was filled with a wholesome fear lest he should labour in vain, I Thessalonians 3:5.

 

I believe God can and will use us no matter how bitter the enemy.  He is willing to bless and make us a blessing to those we are amongst. 


I Corinthians 9:24, every man that has some little hope of winning is temperate in all things.  He takes the needed rest, food, and exercise, etc. and as a result he is capable of running.  They are willing to go through this self denial for a corruptible crown, but we are doing it for an incorruptible crown which fadeth not away.  He purposed to be master of himself lest he should be a castaway. 


II Corinthians 10:14, he tells them how he feels with regard to his own ministry.  Not boasting of other men’s labors; he was independent.  I have learned the value of launching out.  If I want to preach the gospel, I want to go away from every saint, church, or worker.  The further I launch out into God’s great harvest field, the greater is my opportunity and the more certain my success.  Hugging the shore means failure.  Get into a place where nobody has ever heard of you before and then in quietness and simplicity hold up Jesus and you will succeed.  Old ground is harder to work than new ground, but we can have success in both and what one can do, others can do.  There are wonderful possibilities in every worker and saint’s life.  Don’t be afraid to launch out into the deep and let down your net for a draught.  Don’t go at it and run away.  He that fights and runs away, lives to fight some other day.  It is only by death working in you that life is produced in others.

 

Paul as a shepherd, worker, and evangelist are a good study.  We have no right to call ourselves evangelists unless we have proved our ability.   An evangelist is a herald of the gospel.  Paul had wonderful confidence in his message, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, etc.”  That is a good way to start out.  If I didn’t believe in the power of the gospel to grip men’s hearts and cause them to surrender to Him, I would go at something else.  But I have proved the power of the gospel.  Paul said he was ready to preach in Rome.  Rome was the capital of the world and was the centre of world power.  He felt his indebtedness to all men.  I have seen letters from workers and they said there was no use preaching in this district because the people were not much account.  We can cover up our weakness by putting the blame on the people.  The people of Corinth were taken out of a horrible pit and Paul could say, “But ye are washed, etc.”  If you are sent of God, you will increasingly feel your indebtedness to all men.  I like to see workers interested in old people and in children, and whether the people are straight or crooked, high or low, proud or humble, it is our indebtedness to give them an opportunity of embracing the gospel so that when they reject it, it is their responsibility, not ours.

 

Romans 9:1-3, Paul loved his fellow countrymen.  The word hypocrite should seldom be used by workers.  Don’t dishonor any man that is seeking to serve God the best way he knows how.  He may serve Him in ignorance and in the wrong way.  He needs to be handled carefully.  Don’t be quick to show him the wrongness; show him the truth.  Paul’s desire for Israel was that they might be saved.  They were zealous of God but not according to knowledge, so he treated them in a very nice kindly way.  He felt like seeking to open their eyes.  I don’t care how deep a man may be in the false way, I believe that if we are patient, careful, prayerful, and sensible, we can help any man that has an honest purpose in their hearts.  Don’t get discouraged if they are slow.  I have known people to take years before the scales fell from their eyes. 


Romans 15:20, that is the mark of a man in whom the fire of God is burning.

 

Paul as a worker, I Corinthians 3:9, "We are laborers together with God."  We cannot raise a crop of wheat unless we obey the laws of God.  It is just as true in the work; if we ignore the laws of God, there will be no outcome.  It is only as we are truly willing to die to everything that would hinder us from being God’s mouthpiece that there can be any outcome.  The secret of success is being like the corn of wheat.  It has to die before anything can be produced.

 

Paul as a servant:  He gloried in that word, "servant."  We preach ourselves your servants.  We are here as your servants, we are not here to lord it over you.  There is nothing so abominable to God as anything in the shape of ruling over others in the name of God.  A true servant of God always takes the place of a servant, the one that wants to help, rather than the one that wants to rule.  That is the mark of a true elder in the church or family of God.  The only way to rule is by love. When you begin to lay down the law, you might as well quit.  We are knit together by the love of God shed abroad in our hearts.  Jesus took the place of the slave, when He washed the disciples’ feet, after He had given them a chance to do it.  It was more humiliating for Peter to submit to it than for Jesus to do it.  When you are willing to take the lowly place, you will prove all along the line that that is the secret of your power and influence and the way to get into the place where God can make you a channel of blessing.  Reign as one that takes the lowest place.

 

Paul as a shepherd, Proverbs 27:23, “Feed my lambs,” said Jesus, “Feed my sheep.”  We are responsible to God for the care of those whom He has given us.  Who is responsible for caring for those that profess at convention?  Those that are responsible for bringing them there are responsible for keeping in touch with them.  Do all you can to help them.  All the epistles indicate Paul’s love for the sheep.  The epistle to the Colossians gives us another side.  He took an interest in the work of his fellow the same as he did in his own.  No man as a worker is fit for responsibility in the work apart from developing the shepherd heart, that which enables him to take as deep an interest in the converts of others as in his own.  It is a mark of weakness when you make much of your own and little of others.  I have been in homes where they found fault with other people’s children and saw no fault in their own.  I want to sympathize with every one who is fighting the battle.  My business is to help build up, not tear down, so that the very weakest may become useful in the family of God. 


Paul had never seen one of the Colossians face to face.  Epaphras worked the mission.  He was a young worker and was anxious to get advice from one who had more experience than himself.  Questions had arisen that, through lack of experience, he was not able to settle, so he asked Paul to write them a letter.  No matter where we are found, let us see to it that under every circumstance we are seeking to help others to become what God wants them to be.

 

Think over Paul as an evangelist, worker, servant, shepherd leading them on little by little.