Elder's Prayer - August 20, 2017
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
He was born in Kroppenstaedt Germany on September 27, 1805. He was a contemporary to many of the names that we would recognize. He did follow up work for D. L. Moody, preached for Charles Spurgeon as pulpit supply, and inspired the missionary faith of Hudson Taylor.
This man’s name was George Mueller. His father was an unbeliever and little George grew up a liar and a thief, by his own testimony. His mother died when he was 14, and it had no impact on him. While she was dying, he was roaming the streets with his friends “half intoxicated.” He went on living a sinful life, and then found himself in prison for stealing when he was 16 years old. His father paid to get him out, beat him, and took him to live in another town. He used his academic skills to make money by tutoring in Latin, French, and mathematics. Finally, his father sent him to the University of Halle (Hah-lee) to study divinity and prepare for the ministry because that would be a good living. Neither he nor George had any spiritual aspirations. Of the 900 divinity students in Halle, maybe nine feared the Lord, he said later.
Then on a Mid-November Saturday afternoon in 1825, when he was 20 years old, he was invited to a Bible study and, by the grace of God, he felt the desire to go. They read the Bible, sang, prayed, and read a printed sermon. On that evening, God began a work of grace in him. . . That evening was the turning point in his life.
There was another decisive turning point four years later in shaping the way he viewed God and the way he did ministry.
He came to England in the hope of becoming a missionary with the London Missionary Society. But LMS was turning away from the sound theology at this point and he providentially became ill in the summer of 1829 so he went for recovery to a beautiful English country town called Teignmouth.
For ten days Mueller lived with a nameless man who changed his life forever: He learned the preciousness of reading and meditating on the word of God, and the truth of the doctrines of grace. This resulted in the unwavering faith in the sovereignty of God, a drive to find satisfaction and gladness in God alone. The more he found satisfaction in God, the more he denied self as Jesus called His disciples to do.
He spent most of his life in Bristol, England and pastored the same church there for over 66 years. He was large-hearted and always directed outward for the good of others.
A. T. Pierson, in his biography, says, George Mueller “devised large and liberal things for the Lord's cause.”
In 1834 when he was just 28 years old, he founded The Scripture Knowledge Institute for Home and Abroad. This institute had 5 branches:
1) Schools for children and adults to teach Bible knowledge,
2) Bible distribution,
3) Missionary support,
4) Tract and book distribution, and
5) “To board, clothe and Scripturally educate destitute children who have lost both parents by death.”
The accomplishments of all five branches were significant, but the one that he was most known for around the world in his own lifetime, and still today, was the orphan ministry.
He built 5 large orphan houses and cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. When he started in 1834 there were accommodations for 3,600 orphans in all of England and twice that many children under eight were in prison. One of the great effects of Mueller's ministry was to inspire others so that “50 years after Mr. Mueller began his work, at least one hundred thousand orphans were cared for in England alone.” I can share story after story of God’s miraculous provisions, honoring the faith of his servant.
He did all this while he was preaching 3 times a week from 1830 to 1898, at least 10,000 times. And when he turned 70 he fulfilled a life-long dream of missionary work for the next 17 years until he was 87. He traveled to 42 countries, preaching on average of once a day, and addressing some 3 million people. He even came to the States and preached 9 times in Minneapolis in 1880.
From the end of his travels in 1892 at the age of 87 until his death in March of 1898 he preached in his church and worked for the Scripture Knowledge Institute.
He led a prayer meeting at his church on the evening of Wednesday, March 9, 1898. The next day, on March 10, 1898 a cup of tea was taken to him at 7AM but no answer came to the knock on the door. He was found dead at the age of 92 on the floor beside his bed.
We could say that, George Muller walked with God. Could that be said of us? It is a commandment from God.
God says in Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Heavenly Father, please help us to trust and obey.
Please help us have faith whatever our circumstances be like your servants Abraham & George Muller had.
Please bless us with an undying fear of the Lord like Joseph had and help us to flee from sin.
Please give us the courage and zeal that Moses had. Please give us the love for the Word of God that King David had.
Please help us to imitate our Savior in His humbleness, obedience, dependence on the Father and love for those who have been redeemed by His blood.
Please help each of us at Summit Woods to leave behind a legacy of righteousness like Seth did.
Thank you for the clouds of witnesses who have gone before us. Please help us to walk humbly with you.
We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.