Sermon 2227. Wanted!-Volunteers
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, OCTOBER 25, 1891,
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, MARCH 22, 1891.
"And next to him was Amasiah the Son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the Lord; and with him two hundred thousandmighty men of valor." 2 Chronicles 17:16.
IT was a great thing for King Jehoshaphat to have such a pious lord-lieutenant, one who could command an army and, at thesame time, obey the commands of God. Christian men ought greatly to value Christian servants, especially if such persons areemployed in positions of trust. If we can have godly men to occupy our offices and transact our business, we should be verygrateful and do our best to encourage and cheer them. It is true that sometimes those who make the loudest profession of religionare the least trustworthy, but that very fact shows that there is something in the religion they falsely profess, which, ifreally laid hold of, makes a man more upright and reliable. Otherwise why should it be counterfeited? The larger the responsibility,the more necessary it is to have men who can be depended upon to manage the business. It was for the great benefit of Jehoshaphat,as king, that he should have a godly captain over so large a part of his army as 200,000 mighty men of valor.
It was also a great thing for the country of Judah to have a godly man in such a position. "When the righteous are in authority,the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn." I hope that in England there will be an increasing desirethat those persons who represent us in Parliament, or who legislate in any way, should be men of good character. The day willyet come when it will be judged that those who are immoral are not the men to make our laws or to see that those laws arecarried out. It is, however, a great blessing to a country to have godly men in high places who will see to it that rightis done, that justice is maintained and that the ends of true religion are promoted. Happy is the nation that has godly officersto discharge its business-men who fear God and fear no one else!
I wonder how this man, Amasiah, the son of Zichri, came to be a servant of God? We have no history of his experience. We couldalmost wish that we had, but since it is not recorded, it makes us feel that although men and women cannot tell us the wayin which they were led to yield to Christ, yet if their lives show that they are serving God, we must be well content. Ifyou are saved, even though you cannot tell us when or how the great change was worked, we will rejoice in the fact of yoursalvation! Amasiah is a man of whom we do not know anything beyond this-he "willingly offered himself unto the Lord." Theremust have been a turning point in his career-a time when first he knew the Grace of God which worked such a change in him.There must have been a waking up to the feeling that God deserved his love and his life. There must have been a time of quickeninginto spiritual consecration. We are told nothing about that-therefore we must leave it under the veil which Scripture drawsover his history. But if I say little about his exercises of soul and press onward to a very practical point, I earnestlydesire that the inward enlightenment that he enjoyed may be known by many of you-and that God, the Holy Spirit, may work uponyour hearts and bring you out of the bondage and servitude of sin into the glorious liberty of the Gospel which will makeyou capable of willingly offering yourselves to the
I am here as a recruiting sergeant. I have no ribbons with me, nor shillings, but I cast a longing eye on many here presentwho, as yet, do not belong to my Master! And I fervently hope that they may be enlisted in His service. Often have I seenthe recruiting sergeant lingering about certain streets and looking at every young man passing by. I have known him addresssome young gentleman who was amazed that he should ever have been spoken to him about such a thing- and who, in his offendeddignity, felt a deal more inclined to kick the sergeant than to give him a civil answer! And the officer has said to him,"I beg your pardon, Sir, but I thought such a smart looking fellow as you would be just the kind of man to take the Queen'sshilling," and, soothed by the compliment, the gentleman has gone on his way laughing. He wanted no Queen's shilling and wasnot at all inclined for army service!
I would desire to be as bold in addressing you as the sergeant is in his calling. And if I should intrude upon some younggentleman who should feel angry because of my importunity, I shall not at all object. I shall say, "Very well, but you mustexcuse my feeling that the more ability and influence you have, the greater is the reason why you should be converted to Christthat you might serve my Master." God knows how I rejoice over the poorest, the most ignorant, the most depraved of men orwomen when they are brought to Christ! But I do like, sometimes, to see those come to Him who have some life in them, sometalent about them and who can, by consecrating themselves to the Lord, do for His cause and Kingdom, by His Grace, a realservice in days to come! There is hard fighting to be done and my Lord calls for men who will not be afraid to do it! Letall the heroism of your manhood impel you to this blessed service. You are not asked to serve the Lord because He promisesyou ease and pleasure-you are, rather, called to "endure hardness" as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. As we sang just now-
"You that are men, now serve Him Against unnumbered foes! Your courage rise with danger, And strength to strength oppose."I am going to use the account of this Amasiah, the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the Lord, as an illustrationof what, I trust, will be true about many of my hearers. Oh, that the Holy Spirit may draw out somebody who shall become avery Apostle in these times! A standard-bearer for the Lord Jesus, who shall-
"Lift high His royal banner,"
among the sons of men!
I. First, let me say that Amasiah is distinguished from the other mighty men of King Jehoshaphat by the fact that HE MADEIT HIS LIFEWORK TO SERVE THE LORD. He "willingly offered himself to the Lord," and he was accepted and became a life-longservant of Jehovah, the God of Israel!
It should not need much talk to make men feel that this is reasonable service. To serve your Maker, who created you that youshould glorify Him, is surely a natural thing to do. And it becomes a thing to be more expected when you are asked to serveyour Redeemer who shed His blood that you might be set free from sin and, "yield your members servants unto holiness." Wouldit not be a right thing for you to offer yourself to Him who yielded Himself to the death for us?-
"Offered was He, for greatest and the least; Himself the Victim, and Himself the Priest." This is an argument Amasiah hadnot, yet did he find reason enough to serve the Lord. How much stronger is the claim upon you! And if this plea needs to bestrengthened still farther, think that you are called to serve Him with whom you hope to dwell forever in Heaven. It oughtto be an instinct of every reasonable soul to set about such service instantly! Ordinary gratitude should cause every Christianto say to his Lord, "Whom else should I serve? I owe You my very being, my new life and all I possess. In You I live. By YouI am daily fed. Why should I not serve You?"-
"Yours am I by all ties, But chiefly Yours That through Your sacrifice You, Lord, are mine.
By Your own cords of love, so sweetly wound Around me, I to You am closely bound."
Moreover, this is honorable service. Men like a service that seems to reflect some kind of glory upon them. To serve a greatman makes even the footman feel as if he were, himself, a great man, too-at least I have seen some of these gentlemen givethemselves mighty airs under the notion that they were as grand as their master! But to serve God really gives honor and glory!O Sirs, if this is not done in mere pretense, but in reality, what a grand life a man must lead who is the servant of God!To serve Him whom angels serve, whom archangels serve-whose service is perfect freedom-is the most honorable service to whicha man can attain! There is nothing humiliating or debasing about it, but everything that tends to lift us upward and to makeus grow in spiritual force. To serve God is to reign! Every man becomes a king in proportion as he really serves the Lord!
Further, this is remunerative service, the most remunerative in all the world! The devil spoke a Truth of God that he didnot mean to speak when he said, "Does Job serve God for nothing?" God never lets His servants serve Him for nothing! He maynot always give them gold or worldly prosperity, but He will give them a reward more satisfying to them than these things-moregrateful to their hearts than all the treasures of the Indies! I never met with a man that served God who complained of hiswages. No, it is so much a work of Grace that the work, itself, is a gift to us. The privilege of
serving God-yes, call it the high honor, the delight, the great gain of being a servant of God-if there were no other reward,this would suffice us! I can sympathize with him who said-
"Dismiss me not Your service, Lord, But train me for Your will, For even I, in fields so broad, Some duties may fulfill. AndI will ask for no reward Except to serve You still."
But the fact is that, in serving the Lord, we have, through Grace, "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." We realizethat the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us. "We know that all things work togetherfor good" to us while we are here and that the best part of our religion is yet to come, for-
"After death its joys shall be Lasting as eternity."
He whose life is devoted to the service of God must have a blessed life! It is not always a happy life in the judgment ofmen, yet is it still happy in the judgment of God-and in the estimation of the Believer, himself! The servants of God havea happy service.
I may also say that this is safe service. God will not put you into a position of danger when you enter His service. If youserve men, they may tempt you to do wrong. Many a young man who has entered an office or a shop has found himself commandedto do what no honest man ought to expect another to do. Many a young woman has taken her position in a family where temptationhas been like Nebuchadnezzar's furnace to her. But if you serve God, He may try you, but He will never tempt you to sin. Infollowing hard after Him, you will be in safe places, and the more you are obedient to the will of God, the more secure willyou be from temptations within and without. Obedience will keep you from peril. The Grace of God will preserve you from allevil.
After all, I am not like that recruiting sergeant, who, if he tries to get a man to serve under the colors, has to put itvery prettily. He tells about the merry times that soldiers have, but he does not say much about wounds and wooden legs. Hedoes not talk much about bleeding to death on the battlefield, nor about being discharged, at last, with nothing a week tolive upon after your best days have been given in your country's service. No, he always picks out the bright colors and praises"Her Majesty's Service" as if it were all pipe clay and red coats and fine feathers and glory and I know not what besides!
Now, I have not to do that. There is no fault in my Master's service that I need to conceal from you! All round it is thebest, the happiest, the most glorious position that a man can occupy! And though I would bid you count the cost before youenroll yourself under His leadership, you may rest assured that you can never calculate the value of the reward that Christhas in store for all His faithful followers! Therefore, without any reserve, I may fairly come to each man here and say, "LikeAmasiah, the son of Zichri, offer yourself willingly to the Lord."
II. Now, to go a step further, notice, in the second place, concerning this man Amasiah, HE WAS A READY VOLUNTEER "who willinglyoffered himself to the Lord." There is much truth in the old proverb that "one volunteer is worth 20 pressed men." Servicewillingly rendered has a fragrance and a bloom about it that make it most delightful and acceptable!
He needed no pressing. Some of you need so much persuading that you are hardly worth having when, at last, we get you. Thereis such a thing as pressing a man so long that all the juice is gone out of him and you have only the husk of the man whenyou do manage to get him. Amasiah needed no pressing at all, for in his soul there was an ardent desire to serve the livingGod-he "willingly offered himself to the Lord."
He needed no hunting out. How many, even of Church members, seem to be like Saul when he was elected king and they could notfind him! "Where is that tall fellow, head and shoulders above the rest of the people?" At last somebody said that he hadhidden himself among the stuff! Many of our young men, today, are among the stuff-and there are numbers both of men and womenwho ought to be coming forward for the Lord's service instead of hiding among the rubbish! My dear friend, Mr. Pearce, thesuperintendent of our Sunday school, says that he needs more teachers. There are plenty who might engage in the work, butthey are among the stuff! Let them imitate Amasiah, "who willingly offered himself to the Lord."
Amasiah was a self-contained man. He needed no looking after when he had once come out. We have some Christians who will stayright as long as somebody else looks after them. How many such there are in all Churches! You must always
be watching them or else they will be up to mischief, or growing cold, ceasing to attend the means of Grace, getting intoevil company and going back to the world! Amasiah was not of that kind. He "offered himself willingly to the Lord" and, havingdone so, he stood to his consecration vow.
He needed no leader. On the contrary, he took the lead, himself, over 200,000 men! We have many that will follow pretty well.We need some that will not need leading except by our great Leader, the Lord Jesus-men who know what they know, believe whatthey believe, know how they ought to act and are resolved so to act-and will do it even to the end. It was a fine motto whicha distinguished worker once adopted-"Resolved, that I will act as if there were no one else to act, not waiting for others."This is the spirit which we long to see among the Lord's people-not a spirit of lawlessness and disorder-but of loyalty andindependence! A spirit which will not timidly wait until everybody is ready, but, knowing the will of God, will at all hazardsgo forward to do it!
Amasiah, the leader of this host of "mighty men of valor," would be certain to be a man, himself, of valor! Like leader-likefollowers. He that would lead brave men must, himself, be brave! We need in this generation more men, who, in Christ's service,shall perform deeds of daring as British soldiers do to win the Victoria Cross which has inscribed upon it the words, "Forvalor." Christ has right royal rewards for those who faithfully serve Him. I should like to meet with a band of brave youngmen, ready to render valiant service to my Lord, young men with backbones-there have not been many of that kind made lately-theyare, today, generally soft down the back. Most men I meet are very squeezable, men of India rubber that yields every way!
But we need for Christ and for His cause, some who cannot be turned aside to offer themselves willingly to the Lord, doingit decidedly, at once, and from the bottom of their hearts! God grant, by His Spirit, that some such may, by this sermon,be led to the knowledge and service of the Lord!
III. The third point about Amasiah is that, while he was a volunteer, HE OFFERED HIMSELF TO THE LORD.
"Himself"-it was the best thing he had! Some of you, perhaps, have not anything else to offer. Then, do as he did- willinglyoffer yourself! I have heard of a little boy at a public meeting where there was a missionary collection. When the collectorcame to him, he asked him to hold the plate a little lower. Thinking he wanted to see his money drop on the plate and, beinga kindly man, he held the plate down low. "Please, Sir, it is not low enough. Would you mind putting it on the floor?" Thecollector good-humoredly put it down and then the boy said, "I have not even a penny to give to the collection, so I wantto get into the plate and give myself to God." It was a simple thing to do, but that is exactly what we desire that many maydo at this good hour. Willingly offer yourselves, like Amasiah, to the Lord!
He made no reserve as to what he had. He gave himself, his money, his ability, his position, his influence. All was yieldedup to the Lord. "Well," says one, "I give so much to the weekly offering." Do you? I am glad to hear it, but have you givenyourself? "I sometimes go out and sing a sacred song at a meeting," you say. That is quite right-you give your voice-but haveyou given yourself? "I have joined the Church," another says. That, too, is a very proper thing to do if you are really aBeliever. But it is not all, nor is it the first thing-you have given us the distinguished privilege of having your name writtenon our Church Roll-but have you given yourself to the Lord? It is said of Amasiah, that he "willingly offered himself to theLord."
You have often found, I doubt not, a chrysalis. You have perhaps said, as you stooped to pick it up, "I will take that homeand see what kind of butterfly comes out of it." You have kept it and kept it and nothing has ever come out of it becausethe butterfly had already flown away. Many people about us are like that. We hope that they are going to do something, butnothing ever comes out of our chrysalis! There is nothing living inside and, therefore, there is never any flutter of life,nor flight of wings. But when a man gives himself willingly to the Lord, making no reserve as to what he has, then we havesomething worth the having! I like to sing-
"Yet if I might make some reserve,
And duty did not call,
I love my Lord with zeal so great
That I should give Him all."
Notice yet another thing about Amasiah, which, I think, must have been true-he made no reserve as to what he did. He gavehimself to the Lord, as much as to say, "Lord, put me here and I will stay here. Put me there and I will stay there. Makeme a great man and I will serve You. Make me a little man and I will serve You. Give me health and strength, and I will serveYou. But if You choose, rather, to send me sickness and lay me on a bed of languishing, still I will serve You." In some suchway I can fancy that Amasiah gave himself up to the service of the King of Kings! This is how we should come willingly toChrist-when He says, "Go"-to go! When He says, "Come"-to come! When He says, "Do
this"-to do it! We must be willing to do His will as the little girl said the angels do-"without asking any questions"-andthus numbering ourselves among the company who stand ready to obey their Master's least word-
"Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs but to do or die."
Christ must be the absolute Master of the saved soul-and the soul that is truly saved is willing either to go or stay as mayseem best to his Lord. For it is to the Lord that he has given himself-to One who henceforth is to rule and reign over hiswhole life! I trust that some to whom these words come will thus offer themselves, making no reserve as to what they shalldo, and-
"Where duty calls or danger, Be always wanting there."
When Amasiah willingly offered himself for the Lord's service, he made no reserve as to when it should be. He probably gavehimself to the Lord while he was a young man. He began with all his heart to serve God in his youth. And when he was in middlelife and his children were round about him, he was still unfalteringly the servant of God. When he grew gray and others venturedto think that he had better retire from active service, he might think it wise to give up some of his work, but never wouldhe retire from the service of his God, for he had willingly offered himself to the Lord! He made no reserve about servingup to a certain time and then stopping-but he would serve his God while he had breath in his body!
And he made no reserve as to how that service should be rendered. As I have already said, he would serve in health, but hewould serve Him in sickness, too. Yes, and he would serve God by doing nothing at all, if such was His will. One of the hardestworks for saints to do is to do nothing. When they get so infirm that they cannot leave their room, or even their bed-perhapstheir very voice fails them so that they cannot speak-then what difficult work it is to say with the heart, "Lord, I servedYou when I labored for You, and I will serve You when I cannot labor for You. I trusted You when I could speak about You andI will trust You now that I cannot speak about You. I am Your servant. If my Lord bids me do anything, I will do it. If Hegives me no command, yet I will still be His servant. In life and in death my ear shall be bored to my Master's doorpost!"In this fashion, I suppose, Amasiah willingly offered himself to the Lord. Have you not sometimes seen the telegraph boys,standing or sitting still at the Post Office when there is no message to be delivered? They are as much doing their work bywaiting as when they carry to its destination the dispatch which has been flashed along the wires! In waiting they serve and,in like manner, they most truly serve the Lord who give up all idea of self-pleasing and, go or stay, as best pleases Him,to whom they willingly offer themselves to be His servants.
I have been explaining what kind of volunteers I want to enlist for my Lord. I wonder whether the Holy Spirit is saying tosome young man, "You are the man. You are the man. You should willingly offer yourself to the Lord," or whether he is gentlysuggesting to some dear Sister, "You are the beloved of the Lord and may serve Him like Deborah or Dorcas if you will butgive yourself now." You remember how Zinzendorf was converted to Christ by seeing, at Diis-seldorf, Stenburg's picture ofChrist on the Cross, and at the bottom these words-
"All this I did for thee.
What have you done for Me?"
I pass on the question to you, though I cannot paint the picture or make you see the vision. If Christ has redeemed you, why,it follows, as a matter of course, that you will reckon that you are not your own, for you are bought with a price and, likeAmasiah, you will willingly offer yourself to God! As you survey the wondrous Cross on which He died, you will surely be constrainedto say with Dr. Watts-
"Were the whole realm of Nature mine, That were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so Divine, Demands my soul, my life,my all." IV. Now, I have a fourth observation to make which is important, though it may not seem so. When Amasiah willinglyoffered himself to the Lord, HE DID THIS IN A SECULAR CALLING.
He did not stipulate to be a Prophet. I do not know how it is, but when a certain type of young man gets it into his headthat he will serve God, the next thing is that he wants to see me about how he can get into the ministry. Perhaps I look athim and I see that his mouth was never made for preaching. You can see by the appearance of his eyes that they were nevermade to look a congregation in the face. When he begins to talk, you can tell that he might possibly make a
good student for the next 20 years and then, perhaps, he would be able to teach a class of boys-but the boys would soon betired of him, for they would probably find out, even then, that they knew as much as he did.
Some have no gift for instructing others, but that need not hinder them from serving Christ as they can. Remember, Amasiahdid not say, "Lord, I will give myself to You if You will let me be a Prophet." No! He willingly offered himself to the Lordto be what the Lord would have him to be- and so he remained a soldier. He was in the army and never went to any college andnever preached a sermon in his life-but he "willingly offered himself to the Lord." You may willingly offer yourself to theLord and go and keep a shop, selling articles unadulterated-sixteen ounces to the pound and 12 to the dozen-unless you makeit thirteen! You may willingly offer yourself to the Lord and be a shoemaker-there have been consecrated cobblers before now,as both Sunday schools and foreign missions can testify! You may willingly offer yourself to the Lord, even though your dailycalling is that of a chimney-sweep-that is a very necessary business and though your face may become blackened in it-yourheart may be clean all the time!
You may willingly offer yourself to the Lord and be breaking stones on the roads, praying your Master, all the while, to breakstony hearts. There is no lawful occupation in which a man cannot thoroughly serve the Lord! It is a great privilege and blessingto be set apart to the work of winning souls, but we must never separate that work from all the rest of the callings of lifeas though it, alone, were sacred, and all the rest were secular and almost sinful! Serve God where you are! Good Woman, goon looking after those dear children now that your husband has been called Home- you will be serving God by bringing up thoseboys and girls in the knowledge of Christ-God help you to do it! Go on, dear Daughter, helping Mother. You need not aspireto be shaking a kingdom-shake the bed, well, tomorrow morning! There are many persons who have some very exalted ideas intheir heads about who will serve God best by just doing commonplace work in a commonplace way-and will probably never be permittedto do anything else-at least that will be the case until they step down from their stilts and get rid of their lofty notions.
Yet it cannot have been very easy for Amasiah to live wholly to God as a soldier. His was a difficult calling, though, I suppose,in his days it was not so difficult as it is now. But he did it, whether his occupation was difficult or not. Wherever yourlot is cast, abide in your calling and glorify God in it, as this man did! "For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant,is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant." Even if your lot is cast in thebarracks, be bold to confess your Master! Many a man has become a soldier of Christ by seeing his comrade in the regimentkneel down and pray. With the memory of many a hero, both in the army and out of it, we may be certain that however difficultthe place, the Grace of God is sufficient for us as it was for Amasiah.
Not only did he serve the Lord in this hard place, but he rose to eminence in it. I do not know how he began. When I saw himlast-that is, when I last looked at my text-he was the commander of 200,000 mighty men of valor! A fine position that! Hehad become one of the five great generals of Jehoshaphat's army. Where he began, I cannot tell, but it is quite certain that,in fearing God, he was not hindered in his promotion. The man who fears God need not be hindered one whit in rising in theworld! That is to say, if it is worthwhile rising in the world, for there are some kinds of elevation so disgraceful thatthey are better shunned than sought! It is, in many cases, a great thing for a man to be kept down. A good doctor of divinity,whom I well knew, met a Christian man in the street, shook hands with him and congratulated him. The man said, "I do not know,Dr. Jeter, why you congratulate me, for I have had a world of trouble. In fact, I have failed in my business." To which thegood doctor replied, "I congratulate you because you failed honestly-you are the only man that I have seen for years who hasdone that." Then he shook hands with him again and said, "My dear fellow, I do thank God that you failed honestly." But noman need fail because he serves God. No man need stick in the mud forever because he becomes a Christian, for, "godlinessis profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."
Yet another thing we may venture to say of Amasiah. He left an honorable record. Here is a man in Jehoshaphat's army who willinglyoffers himself to the Lord and rises to be commander of 200,000 mighty men of valor. It reminds me of Havelock and his saintsin the Indian Mutiny. There was a stern fight to be fought and the general said, "Send for Havelock and his saints"-and theysoon accomplished the task! When you get men who thoroughly serve God in whatever position of life they are, they are terriblefellows! They will do the thing where others only talk about it, for God does help, even in the ordinary concerns of dailylife, those that put their trust in Him. They shall never be confounded. "The angels of the Lord encamps round about themthat fear Him, and delivers them." They can say, "By You I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall."Moreover, "The memory of the just is blessed"-the footprints they leave behind them help others on in the blessed way. Andwhen they fall asleep, they are among the blessed dead who "rest from their labors"-they could not do that if here they hadbeen idle-"and their works do follow them."
I am still working away, you see, at my main point. I am wanting to get that fine young fellow into my Lord's army! I am prayingGod the Holy Spirit to influence men and women to say, "We will willingly offer ourselves to the Lord. We will serve Him withour whole heart and soul." God grant that it may be so!
V. I have done when I add these words-Amasiah not only served the Lord, but HE IS AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS. Let us make the bestapplication of the sermon by working it out in our own lives.
First of all, he is an example to the young. He was probably a young man when he "willingly offered himself to the Lord."Why wait to grow older in sin before entering the glorious service of Christ? The world has nothing that can satisfy yourheart-turn from its folly and choose the nobler path! If you are only a child, still I appeal to you-the earlier you offeryourself to the Lord, the better will it be for all the future of your life!
Amasiah is an example, also, to men of position. He held a high office, but he "willingly offered himself to the Lord." Youngman of fortune and rank, I have a message from the Lord for you! Offer yourself willingly to the Lord. As you would be savedby the precious blood of Christ and the Free Grace of God, come and lay yourself down at those dear feet that bled for yoursalvation-you know not what work the Lord has yet for you to do!
He is also an example to men who are rising in the world, for he was such. I speak to some of you who have not risen, yet,but are rising. You are doing well, as the world has it. God is prospering you. I would lay my hand upon your shoulder, youngman, and say, "Since God is blessing you so, willingly offer yourself for His service. You know that you are not saved bythe offering of yourself to Christ-you are saved by Christ offering Himself for you-a Sacrifice for sin. But if He has savedyou, then come and offer yourself to the Lord! The children do not now cry for bread to you, as they used to do. No, thankGod, those sad days are over with for you! The wife has not to wear rags, as once she did. God has been gracious to you andhelped you on in the world and now, by the gratitude that you have for Him, ask yourself whether you cannot serve Him andmay He, by His sweet love, bring you to do so!" My Lord ought to have you. Shall He not have you?
I recollect how Mr. Rowland Hill once held an auction over Lady Anne Erskine, who drove up in her carriage to the edge ofthe crowd while Mr. Hill was preaching. He said "Ah, I see Lady Anne Erskine." A careless, thoughtless woman she was, then,and he said, "There is a great contention about who shall have her! The world wants to have her. What will you give for her,O World? 'I will give her fame and name and pleasure!' And sin wants to have her. What will you give for her, O Sin? 'A fewpaltry transient joys.' And Satan wants to have her. What will you give for her, Satan? 'And the price was very low.' At lastChrist came along and He said, 'I give Myself for her. I give My life for her, My blood for her.'" And turning to Her Ladyship,Mr. Hill said, "You shall have her, my Lord Christ, if she does not object-My Lady, which shall it be?" he asked. And shebowed her head and said that she accepted Christ's offer and would be sold to Him, and be His forever.
I do not know how to pick anybody out, here, for auction, but I would sell some of you to my Master if I could, without moneyand without price, save that which He paid for you when He poured out His life on the accursed tree! Where are the volunteers?Perhaps it is some bright boy that I have to get for Christ; or some dear girl whom the Lord means to have now; or some ofthese young men. Never did anyone truly offer himself to the Lord without being accepted-no, your offer of yourself to theLord proves that you are already His in the Covenant of His Grace! Oh, how happy are they who, in their youth, willingly offerthemselves to God! But, indeed, my Lord will take into His service people of all ages, both sexes, all ranks and conditions!He cares not what your possessions may be, but, whatever they are, offer yourself and them to Him to whom they rightfullybelong! He will take the poorest and weakest, but still, I would like to win for my Master some man in the very strength ofhis days, with ability to think and power to speak, who will now say, "I have found my vocation. God calls me to Christ tofind salvation in His wounds and to be His servant. It shall be all my business here below to magnify His blessed name!" Godgrant it, for Jesus' sake! Amen.
PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON-2 Chronicles 17; Romans 12.