In England, this was a revolutionary thought for the day. For a church to see beyond its national borders to the heathen in far-off lands was uncommon, but one young man was about to change the missionary landscape. In 1792, a little-known, thirty-one-year-old English preacher exhorted his congregation to “stretch forth” into the unknown and carry the gospel to a lost world. A year prior he was met with violent opposition as a man from the congregation stood to his feet and reprimanded this preacher boy: Young man, sit down: When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine! But young William Carey, burdened with an unrelenting passion for souls, would not concede. This man, gifted with a global vision, would become known as the father of modern missions. Through his influence, The Baptist Missions Society was formed, and on June 13, 1793, the Careys and their three children would leave for India, never to see their homeland again. The initial seven years would cost William his health, his young son’s life, and his wife’s emotional well-being, but great things would be accomplished for the sake of the gospel in the land of India.
Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God. Those simple words spoken by Carey to an English congregation centuries ago are an inspiration to me as I stand on the precipice of a new year. Even though my age is advanced, I can pray that God would, “Enlarge the place of thy (my) tent…lengthen thy (my) cords…strengthen thy (my) stakes.” I desire to be stretched this new year, lengthened, strengthened. I want to stand beside the disciple Simon Peter and those rugged fishermen after they had fished all night with no fruit to show for their labors. Yet Christ encouraged those weary laborers to “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught,” to try again. But Master, we have worked so hard, we have endured such a long, tiresome, exhausting night, and there is nothing to show for all of our efforts, “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Let’s give it one more attempt. Miraculously, those empty nets were filled to overflow so that “the net brake.”
Even though I am weary at times, I want to be “astonished” with what God can accomplish in and through my life this year. I don’t know what the coming year holds for me, and the temptation to fear and to be apprehensive can be strong when in the winter of life. But please join me on this new beginning, and let’s all determine to expect great things from God, regardless of how He sees fit to use us, grow us, stretch us, push us out of our comfort zones. Let’s resolve to surrender our lives and to allow Him to enlarge the place of our tent, to give us an expanded view of a lost and dying world, to fill us with His Spirit, to bless us with a deeper walk with the Father, and to be our guide as we attempt great things for God. Expect/Attempt…that’s a good New Year’s resolution for all of us!
Luke 5:4 “…Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
Lord, make this year count for You, Help me to grow to love You more, trust You more, and to accomplish more for You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1258-63d9dcaeda630' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1258&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1258-63d9dcaeda630' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1258-63d9dcaeda630' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>