Abundant Grace Unto Redounding Thanksgiving

by Frank Jones


A servant of Christ in the past, Lucius von Machtholf, was a man singularly rich in the gift of spiritual influence over individuals. When asked to disclose something of his secret he replied, ‘I know no other tactics than first of all to be heartily satisfied with my God, even if He should favour me with no sensible visible blessing in my vocation. It were better to be sick in a tent under a burning sun, and Jesus sitting at the tent door, than to be enchanting a thousand listeners where Jesus was not. Never let your inner life get low in your search for the lives of others.’ … And this took friction and anxiety out of his life in a very wonderful way, while it kept that life, so to speak, always directed, peacefully and unwearily, towards the thought of service, towards the idea of being used. And the service was all the happier, because it was not the source of the man’s happiness. The source and secret was Jesus Christ; and that secret acted equally whether marked success attended speech and action, or apparently no success at all; whether the servant was put by the Master into the front rank of active reapers in the harvest field, or told to sit down in a corner and sharpen the sickles of others; whether he was called to speak in spiritual power to a multitude, or to lie still on a sick bed (H.C.G. Moule, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 31).