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7 Days of Uplifting Last Words

Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries

Welcome to week 4 of the #Write31Days Challenge!

I have titled my series “31 Uplifting Quote Graphics” and plan to release a beautiful image & inspirational quote every day throughout the month of October.

31 days of interesting people, inspirational quotes, and beautiful photography. #write31days Click to Tweet

So far this month, we have studied the lives of three inspiring individuals!

This week, we are turning our attention to the uplifting last words of seven faithful men.

I must take a moment to state that I have done my very best to give a historically accurate description of these individuals and their final words.  But this is not as easy to do so as I would have wished. If you find errors in my telling of these stories, please point me to better sources and I will do my best to remedy the mistakes immediately.

The pictures for this 7-day series include some striking shots of the moon taken by my friend and photographer, Todd White.

Rather than overwhelming my blog with a new article each day, I will update this article each morning with a new quote graphic and story.

If you would like to comment, please scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post to add your thoughts to the conversation!

People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. Click to Tweet

I have already uploaded each day’s quote graphic to Twitter & Facebook so all you have to do is click the links below the graphic to share with your friends & followers.

Thursday, October 15  2015

Quote #1 from Dwight L. Moody. Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Dwight L. Moody {1837-1899}

“The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” – Henry Varley

These words motivated and inspired Dwight Moody to do great things for God during his life.

The interesting thing is that Varley did not remember saying this to Moody, yet the words had a lasting impact on the listener.

Dwight Moody was working as a shoe salesman when he was introduced to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 18.

A few short years later, he discovered his mission in life.

After having recruited 18 ragamuffins for a Sunday School class and filling the role of teacher, he said:

“That was the happiest Sunday I have ever known.  I had found out what my mission was.”

His Sunday School class quickly grew to more than 1,000 students and was even visited by Abraham Lincoln in November of 1860.

Moody was a natural salesperson and he dedicated his talents and skills to winning souls for Christ.

He remained a lay-person throughout his life and ministry, and even though he never became an ordained minister, his life work shows proof of the Lord’s ordination.

It is said that Harry Moorhouse taught Moody how to love sinners to the Savior.

“Learn to preach God’s words instead of your own. He will make you a great power for good.” -Harry Moorhouse

God did make Mr. Moody a great power for good!

Dr. A. T. Pierson made a conservative estimate that Moody brought the gospel to 100 million people during his lifetime, all without the use of technology that many ministers now rely on.

Moody had a great burden for the lost, no interest in making money, and was seemingly fearless in his ministry.

Prayer was of utmost importance to him.

One of my favorite quotes from Mr. Moody is this:

“I’d rather be able to pray than to be a good preacher.  Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.”

Near the end of his life, Moody focused his time and energy on establishing schools to teach future evangelists.

Many of these schools exist in some form even to this day, the most recognizable being the Moody Bible Institute.

” As a higher education and media ministry, Moody exists to equip people with the truth of God’s Word to be maturing followers of Christ who are making disciples around the world.” -Moody Bible Institute Mission Statement, 2015

I find the most remarkable and memorable thing about this man was his tenacity.

His deep desire to know God and make Him known impacted each and every moment of his life and ministry.

Friday, October 23  2015

Quote #2 from Charles Spurgeon. Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Charles Spurgeon {1834-1892}

“To me he is master and friend. I have never known nor heard of any other, in my time, so many-sided, so commanding, so simple, so humble, so selfless, so entirely Christ’s man.  Proudly I stand at the salute!” – W.Y. Fullerton, Spurgeon’s Assistant

Men have called Charles Spurgeon the British counterpart to America’s Dwight Moody.

The men lived during the same era and although neither attended theological school, their preaching drew large crowds.

Both men were dedicated to the ministry of sharing the gospel through preaching, Sunday school, and educating the next generation.

Spurgeon often drew crowds of 10,000 or more with his sermons.

Sermons that were often transcribed as he spoke and translated into many languages and distributed widely.

Charles Spurgeon is often remembered as the “Prince of Preachers” as his sermons are  discussed and debated in theological seminaries around the world even to this day.

During his lifetime, Spurgeon published 49 different books including commentaries, anecdotes, and devotionals.

The complete library of his published sermons fills 63 volumes, many of which are still in print.

Spurgeon was an avid reader, often reading 6 books per week; he read The Pilgrim’s Progress more than 100 times throughout his life.

In 1856, Spurgeon married Susannah Thompson.

Their twin sons, Thomas and Charles,  were born the following year.

Susannah was afflicted with a debilitating chronic illness that forced her to spend many years in bed.

She continued her own ministry work from the sick bed, managing the book orders, caring for financial matters and writing letters to pastors.

Charles’ own declining health kept him home during the final years of his life, yet more than 60,000 attended his funeral.

I want to wrap up today’s post by sharing one of my favorite quotes from Mr. Spurgeon:

“If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.” – Charles Spurgeon

An important reminder that we all need to embrace community; imperfect as it is!

Saturday,  October 24  2015

Quote #3 from Jim Elliot. Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Jim Elliot {1927-1956}

For the sake of transparency, I must admit that the words quoted above were not Jim Elliot’s last words, but they beautifully illuminate his perspective on life and death.

His final recorded words spoken through a plane radio were simply, “We’ll call you back in three hours.”

Jim did not expect to die that day, rather he was anticipating the opportunity to finally reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador with the message of the gospel.

But something went terribly wrong and Elliot and three other missionaries were speared to death by the very people they were hoping to minister to.

The quote I chose for today’s entry was taken from Jim Elliot’s journal dated October 28, 1949, approximately 2 years before he was martyred.

Jim Eliott was 29 years old at the time of his death, leaving his wife Elisabeth and 10 month old daughter, Valarie, to continue his work with the unreached people of Ecuador.

He was known by others as a man whose life was characterized by simple daily obedience to the Father.

There is no way to reveal the depth of this man’s character to you in such a brief article, but I hope that these words from another journal entry give you just a bit of insight into this inspirational man:

“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” ― Jim Elliot

Two years after his death, Jim’s widow and his daughter bravely went to live with the Auca Indians.

Elisabeth Elliot eventually learned the story of her husband’s death from one of the warriors who speared him.

“The Auca was trying to preserve his own way of life, his own liberty,” she explained. “He believed the foreigners were a threat to that liberty, so he feels he had every right to kill them.”

She expressed similar thoughts of understanding and forgiveness in her book, Through Gates of Splendor:

“The prayers of the widows themselves are for the Aucas. We look forward to the day when these savages will join us in Christian praise.”

The love of Christ shown through forgiveness allowed her to build a relationship and share the gospel with the with the people who took the life of her husband.

What a remarkable testimony of faith and trust!

Jim Elliot’s life mission was to be approved unto God; I pray we all have the courage to live and die as he did, in simple daily obedience to the Savior.

Sunday,  October 25  2015

Quote #4 from Matthew Henry. Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Matthew Henry {1662-1740}

‘It is impossible for a person of piety and taste to read the Exposition of Mr. Henry without wishing to be shut out from all the world to read it through without one moment’s interruption’. -John Ryland Sr.

Charles Spurgeon recommended that every pastor read Matthew Henry’s Commentary from start to finish at least once during their life.

I find it truly inspirational to learn that the author of this famous commentary was physically weak yet intellectually and spiritually strong from a young age.

Matthew Henry’s testimony is proof that we need not be held back by physical weakness; strength of spirit is all that is required to make a lasting impact on this world.

Ordained at the age of 25, Matthew Henry’s ministry was marked by cooperation with all who loved and served Christ with an utter disregard to denominational connections.

His first wife died in childbirth, and he was a single father to a beautiful daughter until he married again the following year.

His second wife gave birth to 8 daughters and one son.

Henry’s only son, Philip, became a man of the world and chose to turn his back on the Christian faith.

This re-affirms to me that although we train up our children in the way we should walk, the final decision of faith remains utterly and completely up to that child.

Matthew Henry’s goal in writing the commentary was simple.

He wanted to explain and apply the truths of the Bible in a way that common people could understand.

Dr. Wieresby said this about the Matthew Henry Commentary:

“You will not find Matthew Henry grappling with big problems as he expounds the Word, however, for a devotional and practical approach to the Bible exposition, this commentary leads the way. One does not have to agree with all of his interpretations to benefit from his observations.”

I have known of and used Matthew Henry’s commentary for many years; it is nice to finally meet the man behind the words

Monday, October 26  2015

Quote #5 from Johnathan Edwards. Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Johnathan Edwards {1703-1758}

“Edwards divided men in his lifetime and to no less degree he continues to divide his biographers.” – Iain Murray

Johnathan Edwards was the only son of Reverand Timothy Edwards of Connecticut.

He had 10 sisters.

He went on to marry and have 11 children of his own, and several books have been written about his successful marriage and family life.

Any man who grows up surrounded by 10 females must certainly be well prepared for marriage.

It seems as though history is divided on the subject of Johnathan Edwards.

Some call him the most profound Christian philosopher America has ever produced while others consider his sermons barbaric and frightening.

I enjoy Warren Wiersbe’s description of Edwards in his book 50 People Every Christian Should Know:

“Edwards was never content to have only book knowledge of God. He sought to experience God in his own life in a personal way.  He was not an ivory-tower theologian, spinning webs of words.  He always centered on the experience of the heart; it was this conviction that brought him many spiritual blessings as well as many spiritual battles.” – Warren Wiersbe

I find it fascinating that 1 Timothy 1:17 is the Bible verse that brought Edwards to saving faith at the age of 17.

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be the honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Timothy 1:17

Once he saw God for who He truly was, he dedicated the rest of his life to spurring a revival within the hearts of  his countrymen.

Edwards was a man who had a longing to lead people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, but he was unwilling to bend his theology in order to get results.

Some of the Biblical stances he took throughout his life cost him dearly, yet he always sought to give his people solid doctrine.

At a young age he “resolved to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, so that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.”

What a wonderful resolution: to know God in order to make Him known.

Divisive figure or not, there is much we can learn from the life of Johnathan Edwards.

Tuesday, October 27  2015

Quote #6 from Phillips Brooks. Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Phillips Brooks {1835-1893}

Phillips Brooks was one of the most well-known preachers of his time.

He was the rector for the Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston and worked diligently to rebuild after the original structure burned in the Great Boston Fire of 1872.

Brooks never married; it is said he was married to the pulpit.

He was what many considered to be a Christian humanist.

Phillips Brooks preaching and teaching focused more on Christ’s incarnation than it did on His death and atonement for sin.

He stuck to the basics and used interesting language to get his point across.

I enjoyed reading this quote from a lecture he gave at Yale:

“May the souls of men always be more precious to you as you come always nearer to Christ and see them more perfectly as He does.  I can ask no better blessing on your ministry than that.” -Phillips Brooks

The thing I find most interesting about Phillips Brooks was his friendship with Helen Keller.

Helen was both blind and death from a very young age, and she lived a life of complete isolation  until a kind teacher named Amy Sullivan entered her life.

Eventually she learned to speak, to read, to write.  She went to college and graduated with honors.

Miss Keller and Phillips Brooks frequently wrote letters to one another even though she was a young girl and he was an elderly cleric.

They shared a common goal: To shine light in a darkened world.

In one of her letters to Reverand Brooks, Helen wrote that she had always known about God, even before she had any words.

Even before she knew his name, she knew God was there.

Even though she lived in darkness and isolation, she knew she was not alone.

She felt God’s love and when she was finally able to receive education on the things of God, she declared she already knew Him.

Needless to say,  Phillips Brooks was thrilled by this revelation.

For this was the God he had come to know.

The kind of God who was capable of speaking love to a lonely little girl without needing any words to communicate.

That was the kind of God Phillips Brooks dedicated his life to sharing with people of all classes and any station.

Wednesday, October 28  2015

Quote #7 from Jesus Christ. Uplifting Last words from 7 Faithful Men. People's final utterances reflect the condition of their heart and what they believe about God. What will yours be? #write31days

Jesus Christ

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” -Matthew 1:23

It would not be possible for me to write a series about famous last words without sharing my favorite ones with you.

Jesus Christ is by far the most important historical figure the world has ever experienced.

Whether people believe in Him or despise Him, there is no denying the lasting impact His life has made on all of mankind.

To say that He is the most controversial figure that has ever walked the face of the planet would be a complete understatement.

He even claimed division to be part of His mission here on Earth:

Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” – Luke 12:51-53

We live in a society that embraces the “status-quo” and encourages acceptance of all people.

Although Jesus encouraged His followers to love all people, there is a marked difference between love and acceptance.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

People who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have chosen to accept the free gift of Salvation, are called to live a different kind of life.

The kind of life that is focused on the eternal rather than the carnal.

They should be held to a higher standard, because those who have been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

I am a Christian, a Christ follower.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

I believe that He came to this earth to live a perfect life and die a sinful death in order to rescue mankind from their sinful ways.

I believe that He loved me enough to give up His life in my stead, and I seek to bring Him glory with every word and every deed.

He is, and always should be, a divisive figure in our world.

You must choose to follow Him, or reject Him, there is no middle ground.

Love and acceptance are two different things, and true love often carries with it the possibility of rejection.

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. -Luke 6:22

A willingness to love and be rejected for the sake of Christ is an element of  Christianity is lacking in most churches today.

We must never forget that Christ came to divide mankind, not to unite us.

I want to sincerely thank you for joining me for this #write31days series.

I know I have three more quotes to deliver, and look forward to compiling one last BONUS post for you all.

Bible Study with Sarah Koontz

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About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and a house full of foster kittens. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, an unexpected homeschooler, and a Dallas Seminary student.

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