Ephesians 3:16, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.”

Dearly Beloved,

In the exhortation on our Tuesday night prayer meeting, Dr. Cairns urged that prayer would have its sharp edge to stir us to greater spiritual heights. Prayer is a vital part of the Christian life and should occupy a prominent place in the life of every believer. “To be strengthened with the might by His spirit in the inner person”, intimates the weakness of the believer’s faith. It is not by human means or methods but the infilling of the Holy Spirit if ever the inner man is to be strengthened. We may get the impression that Tabernacle BP Church has gone past twenty-four years and therefore, has been strengthened. Nevertheless, there are amongst us brothers and sisters who are struck by their own weaknesses to remain on the lowest rung of the spiritual ladder without much progress. Dr Cairns did mention in his prayer talk of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying while His disciples slept. Today, those in the Church can possibly fall into three circles and in the centre of each circle is the Lord Jesus Christ.

a)  The first circle. Those nearest to Christ were Peter, John and James who had a special preview of Jesus in His glory at the Mount of Transfiguration that others did not. Since then in every age, there are Christians of the inner circle who are nearest to Christ to come under His blessed influence. Nevertheless, those within this circle need to be further strengthened by humility in Christ.

b) The second circle. Those a little further out and not as near to Christ were Andrew, Philipp, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thaddaeus, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon. They loved to be near to Christ and yet the weakness of the flesh and their faith had shut them out of the blessed presence of Christ. Today, those in this circle need to be rooted and grounded in Him.

c) The third circle. Those who are so far out that they would no longer be under the influence of Christ and such, was Judas Iscariot. Today, those that are in this circle stand in great need to be saved from the wrath to come.

Which circle are you in?

Those in the first circle have the need to continue to be in close fellowship and communion with Christ. Those in the second circle, need to move closer to Christ and those in the third, may the Lord have mercy to deliver such into His kingdom.

Elder Douglas Ho

C. T. Studd, 1862-1931: All for Christ

Over a hundred years ago, in February 1885, a group of young men set sail from England to become missionaries in China. They included graduates and ex-army officers and were known as the “Cambridge Seven” because they had felt called to the mission field after attending meetings at that University. The leading member of the group was Charles T. Studd, the son of a wealthy indigo planter who had retired from India to a large country house at Tidworth in Wiltshire. His father had been converted in 1877 when a friend took him to hear D. L. Moody preaching in London and he immediately gave up his pastimes of racing and hunting, and used his home for evangelistic meetings until his death two years later.

Charles and two of his brothers, Kynaston and George, were all at Eton [College] when their father was converted and they were far from pleased by his efforts to interest them in the gospel. However, unknown to each other, all three were also converted when a visiting preacher went to stay with the Studd family during the summer holidays of 1878. The three brothers excelled at cricket both at Eton and later at Cambridge where they achieved a remarkable record of each captaining the cricket team in successive seasons from 1882 to 1884. The exceptional skills shown by Charles gained him a place in the England team in 1882 which lost the match to Australia which originated the tradition of the “Ashes” between the two countries. The following winter he toured Australia with the England team that recovered the trophy, but in 1884 his brother George was taken seriously ill and Charles was confronted by the question, “What is all the fame and flattery worth…when a man comes to face eternity?” He had to admit that since his conversion six years earlier he had been in “an unhappy backslidden state.” As a result of the experience he stated, “I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worth while living for the world to come.”

From then onwards Charles began witnessing to his friends and fellow players and helping his brother Kynaston who had started organising missions amongst students. Soon he had the joy of leading others to the Lord and he prayed for power to be more effective in proclaiming the gospel. Through the promise contained in Acts 1:8, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me….unto the uttermost part of the earth,” he realised that his own zeal and energy were not sufficient and that he had to rely entirely upon God.

Up until that time he had felt content to witness amongst his own associates but after hearing a missionary speaking about the need for workers in China. Charles was increasingly burdened and convicted by verses such as “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:8). Although his friends and relatives tried to dissuade him, Charles knew he was being called to the mission field and he sought an interview with Hudson Taylor, the director of the China Inland Mission and was accepted as an associate member.

Studd’s decision was followed by six others within a few weeks and as they prepared for the mission field, members of the “Cambridge Seven” spoke at meetings up and down the country with remarkable results. In addition to numerous conversions, a great wave of missionary zeal swept through the students of Edinburgh, London, Oxford and Cambridge which was to have profound effects throughout the world in later years.

For C. T. Studd those future years were to see him giving away his family inheritance to help the work of George Muller, D. L. Moody, Dr. Barnardo and others and spending ten years in China where he suffered great hardships to reach remote areas where the gospel had never been heard before. On returning to England he was invited to visit America where his brother Kynaston had recently arranged meetings which had led to the formation of the Student Volunteer movement. During this tour he experienced powerful blessing upon his ministry and the spiritual life in many colleges, churches and other bodies was radically transformed.

From 1900-1906 Studd was pastor of a church at Ootacamund in South India and although it was a different situation to the pioneer missionary work in China, his ministry was marked by numerous conversions amongst the British officials and the local community. However, on his return home Studd became concerned about the large parts of Africa that had never been reached with the gospel and in 1910 he went to the Sudan and was convicted by the lack of Christian witness in central Africa. Out of this concern Studd was led to set up the Heart of Africa Mission and when challenged as to why he was preparing for a life of inevitable hardship he replied, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

On his first venture into the Belgian Congo in 1913, Studd established four mission stations in an area inhabited by eight different tribes. Then a serious illness to his wife required his return to England, but when he returned to the Congo in 1916 she had recovered sufficiently to undertake the expansion of the mission into the World Evangelism Crusade with workers in South America, Central Asia and the Middle East as well as Africa. Supported by his wife’s work at home, Studd built up an extensive missionary outreach based on his centre at Ibambi and although [Mrs. Studd] made a short visit to the Congo in 1928, that was the only time they met again since she died in the following year. Two years later, still labouring for the Lord at Ibambi at the age of seventy, Charles Studd died, but his vision for China, India and Africa had expanded to reach the whole unevangelised world.

(Adapted from http://www.truthfulwords.org/biography/studdtw.html)