The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/18

Posted on | May 18, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 5/18

Scripture reading: Acts 2:14–18

Tell Me Your Dreams and I Will Show You Your Future

And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)

 

On the day of Pentecost, when people asked Peter to explain what was happening, he quoted from the prophet Joel. The first mark of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, Peter said, would be the ability to see visions and dream dreams. When the Spirit of God fills a prepared heart, it opens that person’s eyes so that he can see what others can’t even imagine.

Few people in the history of the church are a better illustration of visionary living than William Carey (1761–1834). Born in humble circumstances in England, Carey had little formal education. He began his adult life as a shoe cobbler and, while working on shoes, was able to teach himself Greek, Hebrew, Italian, French and Dutch! In his little work shop he hung a map of the world which he had made himself. Even while repairing shoes, William Carey was dreaming big dreams!

As a young man he entered the Baptist ministry and at age 26 was ordained. Feeling a burden to take the Gospel to the nations, he proposed to the leaders of his denomination that missionaries should be sent. He received this harsh reply: “Young man, sit down. When God pleases to convert the heathen, he’ll do it with- out your aid or mine!”

In 1792 he preached a famous sermon on the text Isaiah 54:2–3 in which he set forth what became his life motto: “Expect great things from God—attempt great things for God.” Sailing for India the following year with his family, he began to do just that. For the next 34 years he served in India without ever taking a furlough. Although his life and ministry were characterized by incredible trials and adversities, the fruit of his labor was truly remarkable.

,. He translated the Bible, or portions of it, into over 35 languages and dialects, giving the Bible to more people than perhaps any other man in history. .

,. He helped to establish co-ed schools across India and other institutions of higher learning.

,. His work in botany and agriculture was very influential in India. In fact, a variety of eucalyptus has been named after him: Careya herbacea.

,. He introduced the steam engine, the idea of savings banks, and the first modern newspaper to India.

,. He worked hard for human rights and helped to end cruel practices such as infanticide and sati (widow burning).

,. His example inspired the greatest century in mission activity the world has ever seen. History knows Carey as “The Father of Modern Missions.”

 

While in Calcutta for a pastor’s conference in January 2001, I had the privilege of visiting William Carey’s grave in Serampore, about fifteen miles up the Hoogly River. In a rather poorly maintained cemetery not far from the theological school that he founded, I found an unimpressive slab of stone marked only with his name, the dates of his birth and death, and these simple words: A wretched poor and helpless worm, on thy kind arms I fall.

 Carey’s life changed human history. And it all began with a Spirit-inspired dream. What about you? Tell me your dreams, and I will show you your future.

 

A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery.

A vision and a task are the hope of the world.

—Inscription on a church wall in Sussex, England, c. 1730

 

point to ponder What are your visions and dreams?

prayer focus •    A fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that God-sized dreams will be birthed in sanctified hearts.

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