Jack Carroll - Sidney, Manitoba Convention - Tuesday Evening, November 10, 1914

Don’t you think Moses was an awful fool to say good-bye to all he might have had?  Don’t you think he was a laughing stock in Egypt?  But Moses looked into the future; He sacrificed the present for the eternal.  The majority are sacrificing the eternal for the present, like Esau.  How many today are selling their birthright for a mess of pottage?  Esau had just that one weakness.  Jacob was by no means an admirable man, but he was always ready to sacrifice the present for the future.  He was the man God could handle.  I am always glad He is called the God of Jacob…crooked, sneaking Jacob, yet God could take that man and make him a Prince in Israel.  If you could get in touch with those that have gone ahead, in the Old and New Testament, everyone would tell you that every step they took in God’s direction was well worthwhile and that it brought more into their lives than they ever hoped or expected. 


It is worth your while and mine to buy up every opportunity, for they will never come our way again.  If I thought I could spend my life to better advantage raising wheat or running a store, I would do it, but I am convinced I can make more out of this life by seeking to get men and women saved than anything else in the world.  I want this life of mine to be spent to some purpose that I may not look back and say, I have played the fool, I have erred exceedingly.  Do you think Paul was whining and whispering as he went out to be beheaded?  I can see the old man with fire in his eye and purpose and determination in his face.  He was going out, but he was going into the presence of His master and Lord.  The God that enabled Paul and Peter to die in harness will be the same for you and me.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  They shall bring forth fruit in their old age. 


There is no old age in the Christian life.  I believe it is possible to be just as useful as when we were young.  I believe that a man’s usefulness ought to increase with his years.  I hope to grow more effective, God helping me.  I see greater possibilities ahead than ever I did behind, millions and millions the world over, in Germany, Russia, France, Italy, etc. We have greater opportunity than ever Paul or Peter had.  We have greater facilities for reaching the multitudes than ever they had.  There is no need for any of us to sit down and say, “I am no good, I never was and never will be.”  I believe that every one of us here can count for something in the family of God. 


If you are true to the thoughts He has put in your mind, and to the laws He has written on your heart, you can be useful in the home, church, and business life.  I don’t know of anything better worth living for than the furtherance of the gospel.  You may make dollars which are useful, but that is not much satisfaction compared with being an instrument to bring men and women into the kingdom.  Don’t you think Naaman will thank the Lord for the faithfulness of that little maid?  Will there be anyone in heaven giving praises to God for your faithfulness?  Don’t you think heaven would be a little sweeter if you had that knowledge? 


I believe I can enjoy heaven more now than I could some twelve years ago.  I believe there are some that will be glad I lived.  It is hardly likely that all who have met at this convention will ever meet again.  Some will likely be missing; some will have dropped out altogether.  Wouldn’t it be good to have some little consciousness in your heart, there is a brother God has taken home and I helped to show him the way of life? 


The Philippians were tremendously interested in the gospel.  They made progress in the way of life and were a source of inspiration to the servants of God and a comfort to each other.  There is seldom any trouble when each one is living for the furtherance of the gospel.  Once we get occupied with our own little weaknesses and faults, we won’t get much out of it. Fear of the consequences of obedience to God brings a great deal of weakness into the hearts of the servants of God.  


God wants us to be able to risk anything in order that we may extend His kingdom.  The first to be cast into the pit is the fearful and unbelieving.  Fear hath torment.  When I was on the road in business, it was never easy; I had to introduce myself to strange men and induce them to buy my wares.  Many a time I have said, “Lord, help me to face this fellow.”  As a worker, I suffer more from fearfulness than anything else.  We are not made of wood.  I suffer as much today meeting new difficulties as ever I did, but I have learned the value of not running away, the value of facing the difficulties as they come, and don’t look for more until you have overcome those you are up against now.  No matter how great the difficulties, I believe there is always a way over them or around them. 


If we go through the world looking for difficulties, we will find them.  When one of Napoleon’s officers came to him and told him it would be impossible to cross the Alps and take the army over, Napoleon said the word impossible is a word found only in the dictionary of fools.  It is true.  It is not the perfection of our service but the perfection of our seeking to do our best and leaving the rest with the Lord.  I want to keep my eye on the possibilities that lie beyond the difficulties which can be mine if I am willing to face the difficulties.  There are a whole lot of “fear nots” in the Old and New Testament.  They are a wonderful comfort when you go forth to fight the battle.  

 

Genesis 15:1, Abraham had been away fighting the battle.  He had been rescuing Lot.  Abraham would take no gifts from the king of Sodom.  Abraham is spoken of as the father of the faithful.  He never said, "No" to God.  He obeyed God when he didn’t understand.  That is the kind of man God delights in. 


Joshua 8:1, courage is needful in this war.  1:6-7, You get a little that is comforting and helpful.

 

II Kings 6:16, the king of Assyria came out against Elisha and the young preacher.  The young preacher said, "Alas my master, there is no way of escape.The answer is, “Fear not.”  That is a good verse to hold onto.  Elisha prayed that his eyes might be opened and that he might see.  Why should we be afraid when there is more with us than with them?  The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are for us.  They say everyone has a guardian angel, ministering spirits sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation. 


Isaiah 35:4, Did you ever see anyone in the church or work with feeble hands and knees?  What is the best way to help a saint that is not going on as well as he used to?  Comfort them.  I don’t believe in this clubbing business in trying to help saint or servant.  What is the best way to kill a saint?  Kill him with kindness.  If you kill them stone dead with kindness, it is wonderful how they will revive.  It is very easy for people to be weak.  When a man is down, there is no use pushing him farther down.  This is the message to the saints and servants.  Your God will come and save you. 


Isaiah 41:10-15, this is worth memorizing. 


43:1-4, “Fear not for thou art Mine.” 


51:7-8, all these messages are addressed to the people in Israel, but they are addressed to us today.  How many of us are afraid of the reproach of men and hide our light under a bushel? 


Luke 12:32 has reference to the servants of God. 


Revelation 1:17-18, don’t be ashamed of who you are and what you are; be open and bold and frank with all, giving to men a reason for the hope that is in you.  There are many more “Fear nots” and all are helpful to meditate on.  Remember that the message addressed to people in bygone days is just as truly addressed to us.

 

What is the meaning of the sword of the spirit?  There is the whole armour of God.  There is armour for offensive and defensive.  The Germans are on the offensive, and the Allies on the defensive.  The sword of the spirit is the word of God.  No man or woman can ever become expert with the sword except by practice.  Unless we become expert in the use of this book, we will never be of much value.  He wants us to be men of war.


Q.  Should you teach children to pray?
A.  Teach them to pray and to believe in an ever present God. 

 

You can teach children to pray their own little prayer.  Teach them to believe in a God that sees them at all times.  I heard a story of a little girl who was going on a holiday.  Before she left, she went to her room and knelt down by the bed and said, “Goodbye, Jesus.”

 

How many crowns are thee mentioned in the New Testament?  Do you intend to wear a crown by and by?  The crown of righteousness is one, crown of thorns, crown of life.  The one that is faithful gets the crown of life. 

James 1:12, the one that stands the test.  Who gets the crown of rejoicing? 

I Thessalonians 2:19, faithful workers. 

I Corinthians 9:25, incorruptible crown.  Who gets the crown of glory? 

I Peter 5, there are promises to the saints and there are promises to the servants; there are crowns for the saints and there are crowns for the servants.  Here is a special crown for a special class, a crown of glory, elders who have obtained a good report.  John and Peter call themselves elders.  The word elder is used of men that are responsible for caring for the flocks.  An elder is a shepherd.  The shepherd never drove the flock. He doesn’t use the club on the sheep but on the enemy.  


“Taking the oversight, not by constraint.”  I am not here because I have to be, but because I love to. The elder’s attitude is, “I love to do it.  I am not a worker, but I am glad of some little responsibility.”  Peter wanted to hit on the head forever any tendency of any man to use his position for any selfish purpose or aim.  Paul told the Ephesians to labour that they might have to give rather than receive.  Make yourselves examples to the flock.  They say you can lead a horse to the river but you can’t make him drink a single drop.  When you try to make saints pray, etc, you have an awful time. 


A little bit of kindness goes a long way.  Help by gentleness, kindness,
and longsuffering.  The elder is to be an example.  The next best thing to being a worker is being an elder and having the church in your home.   The crown that is awaiting the faithful elder is a crown of everlasting splendor.  If you are responsible for a little church meeting, see that you bear the marks of a shepherd; aim at helpfulness always. 


How many of the churches in Manitoba have succeeded in getting others added without the help of the workers?  Do you think all your neighbors are hopeless?  Is it not worthwhile to pay them a little friendly visit?  Don’t discuss the way the first time; get it in edgeways.  There is no reason that churches should not be effective for God.  We have every right to expect that the saints will be helpful in helping others.