Labor of Love
In this week’s lesson, I share with you the story of a man who had a true Labor of Love for the Lord. For all those of you, who labor in love for the Lord, know that you make a difference and the Lord honors all those who obey and are faithful servants for His kingdom. God Bless You All.
Handout: Labor of Love
Here is a story I read about a servant of the Lord named Frank Jenner. I want to share this story with you for the glory of God. Mr. Jenner’s faith and perseverance for the Lord is a blessing and encouragement to me. I pray that it will be encouragement for all of you who labor for the Kingdom of Heaven as well. Here is the story of Mr. Jenner also known as The Man from George Street.
This all started a number of years ago in a Baptist church in Crystal Palace in South London. The Sunday morning service was closing and a man stood up at the back and raised his hand and said: “Excuse me pastor can I share a short testimony?” The pastor looked at his watch and said “You have three minutes.” The man proceeded with his story: “I’ve just moved into this area. I used to live in Sydney Australia. Just a few months back I was visiting some relatives and I was walking down George Street. You know where George Street is in Sydney going from the Business Area out to the colonial area. A strange little white haired man stepped out from a shop doorway, put a pamphlet in my hand and said: ‘Excuse me sir, are you saved, if you die tonight are you going to heaven?’ “I was astounded by these words. No one had ever asked me that. I thanked him courteously and all the way home to London this puzzled me. I called a friend and thank God he was a Christian and he led me to Christ.” The Baptists love testimonies like that. Everyone applauded and welcomed him into their fellowship.
The Baptist pastor flew to Adelaide, Australia the next week and 10 days later in the middle of a three day series in a Baptist church in Adelaide, a woman came up to him for some counseling. He wanted to establish where she stood with Christ. She said “I used to live in Sydney and just a couple of months back I was visiting some friends in Sydney and doing some last minute shopping down George Street. A strange little white haired man stepped out of a shop doorway and offered me a pamphlet and said ‘Excuse me madam, are you saved, if you die tonight are you going to heaven?’ “I was disturbed by those words. When I got home to Adelaide, I knew this Baptist church was on the next block from me. I sought out the pastor and he led me to Christ. So I am telling you that I am a Christian.”
The London pastor was now very puzzled. Twice in two weeks he had heard the same testimony. He then flew to preach in the Mount Pleasant Church in Perth. When his teaching series was over the senior elder of that Church took him out for a meal and he asked the elder how he got saved. “I grew up in this church from the age of 15. I never made a commitment to Jesus, just hopped on the bandwagon like everyone else. Because of my business ability I grew up to a place of influence. I was on a business trip to Sydney just three years ago. An obnoxious spiteful little man stepped out of a shop doorway, offered me a religious pamphlet and accosted me with a question: ‘Excuse me sir, are you saved, if you die tonight are you going to heaven?’ I tried to tell him I was a Baptist elder. He wouldn’t listen to me. I was seething with anger all the way home from Sydney to Perth. I told my pastor, thinking that he would sympathize, but he agreed. He had been disturbed for years knowing that I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus, and he was right. My pastor led me to Jesus just three years ago.”
The London preacher flew home and was soon speaking at the Keswick conventions in the Lake District and he threw in these three testimonies. At the close of this teaching series, four elderly pastors came up and explained that they too had been saved between 25 and 30 years earlier through that same little man on George Street, offering them a pamphlet and asking that same question.
The following week he flew to a similar Keswick convention in the Caribbean to missionaries. He shared the same testimonies. At the close of his teaching three missionaries came forward and said that they had also been saved between 15 and 25 years earlier by that same little man’s testimony and the same question on George Street in Sydney.
Next he stopped in Atlanta, Georgia to speak at a Naval Chaplain convention. Here for three days he spoke to over 1000 Naval Chaplains. Afterwards the Chaplain General took him out for a meal and he asked the Chaplain how he became a Christian. “It was miraculous. I was a rating on a Naval battleship and I lived a reprobate life. We were doing exercises in the South Pacific and we docked at Sydney harbour for replenishments. We hit King’s Cross with a vengeance. I was blind drunk, got on the wrong bus and got off in George Street. As I got off the bus, I thought I saw a ghost as this man jumped out in front of me, pushed a pamphlet in my hand and said, ‘Sailor, are you saved, if you die tonight are you going to heaven?’ The fear of God hit me immediately. I was shocked sober, ran back to the ship and sought out the Chaplain. He led me to Christ. I soon began to prepare for the ministry under his guidance. I am now in charge of 1000 chaplains who are bent on soul winning today.”
Six months later that London pastor flew to a conference for 5,000 Indian missionaries in a remote part of NE India. At the end the head missionary took him to his humble little home for a simple meal. He asked how he as a Hindu came to Christ.
“I grew up in a very privileged position; I worked in the Indian Diplomatic Mission and I traveled the world. I am so glad for the forgiveness of Christ and blood covering my sin. I would be very embarrassed if people found out what I got into. One period of diplomatic service took me to Sydney. I was doing some last minute shopping, laden with toys and clothes for my children. I was walking down George Street when a courteous white haired little man stepped out in front of me and offered me a pamphlet and said ‘Excuse me sir, are you saved, if you die tonight are you going to heaven?’ I thanked him very much but this disturbed me. I got back to my town, sought out our Hindu priest. He couldn't help me, but he advised me that to satisfy my curious mind, I should go and talk to the missionary in the mission home at the end of road. That was good advice because that day the missionary led me to Christ. I quit Hinduism immediately and began to prepare for ministry. I left the Diplomatic Service and here I am today, by God’s grace in charge of all these missionaries who have together led 100.000 people to Christ.”
Eight months later that London Pastor was preaching in Sydney. He asked the local Baptist Minister if he knew of a little elderly white haired man who handed out tracts on George Street. He replied, “Yes I do, his name is Mr. Jenner, although I don’t think he does it any more because he is so frail and elderly.”
Two nights later they went to meet him in his little apartment. They knocked on the door and this tiny frail old man greeted them. He sat them down and made them tea. He was so frail that he was slopping the tea into the saucer as his hands shook. The London preacher sat there and told him of all these accounts from the previous three years. This little man sat with tears running down his cheeks. He told them his story.
“I was a rating on an Australian warship. I was living a reprobate life. In a crisis I really hit the wall. One of my colleagues, to whom I gave literal hell, was there to help me. He led me to Jesus and the change in my life was night to day in 24 hours. I was so grateful to God; I promised God that I would share Jesus in a simple witness with at least 10 people a day. As God gave me strength I did that. Sometimes I was ill and couldn't do it, but I made up for the days I missed it at other times. I wasn’t paranoid about it. I have done this for over 40 years. In my retirement years, the best place was on St. George Street where I saw hundreds of people a day. I got lots of rejections, but a lot of people courteously took the tract. In 40 years of doing this, I have never heard of one single person coming to Jesus until today.”
You know, I would say that he has to be committed to show gratitude and love for Jesus to do that for 40 years and not hear of any results. That simple little non-charismatic Baptist man witnessed to perhaps 147,000 people. I think that God was showing that Baptist pastor from London was the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Goodness knows how many more had been arrested for Christ, doing huge jobs out in the mission fields.
Mr. Jenner died two weeks later. Can you imagine the reward when he went home to be in Heaven? I doubt his face would ever have appeared on Charisma Magazine. No one except a little group of Baptists in Sydney knew about Mr. Jenner, but I tell you his name was famous in Heaven. Heaven knew Mr. Jenner and you can imagine the welcome and Red Carpet and the fanfare that he received when he went home to Glory.
By: Dave Smethurst
Matthew 9:37-38 “Then saith He to His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.”
What a testimony. 40 years in a Labor of Love for the Father and NEVER hearing of a single convert and never knowing of a harvest. That is true faithfulness and commitment to The Father. What encouragement that should be to we who are also in a Labor of Love for the Master. We walk by faith and not by sight, even if we can’t see that what we do is reaping a harvest, we must believe that God will take our efforts and use them for His glory and to help in the lives of those we reach out to. Our labor for the Lord is NEVER in vain, Hallelujah!
Galatians 6:9 “And Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
2 Thessalonians 3:13 “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
Don’t you know that Satan sent his demons to torture Mr. Jenner’s mind. I’m sure every day they tried to tell him that he was wasting his time and that no one was being helped. Can you imagine how he felt as he went out on the street sometimes in the wind, rain, in the cold, in the heat, that each time someone was rude and refused a pamphlet from him, Satan tried to whisper in his ear that his work was in vain? But the grace of God kept him on the task for the Master in his labor of love. That same grace the Lord gives to you and I Dear one. We can continue on in our work for the Lord knowing that Satan is a liar and he fights against those who are making the most difference. The devil comes up against those that will obey The Holy Spirit because God uses those who obey in a mighty way and in our obedience He is glorified and much fruit is produced.
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
John 12:32 Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
Jesus was speaking of His death and resurrection but when we lift up the name of Jesus to a lost, dying, and hopeless world, He draws them unto Himself. We need to be a light and even if we don’t see results, we must labor on. What an honor to be a servant of the Lord.
Like the moon is a reflection of the Sun’s light, you and I as believers should be a reflection of the Son’s light. That is the Son of God, Christ Jesus. Satan won’t like it but that doesn’t matter. Shine anyway.
There was an old story my dad told me when I was a little girl and I have always remembered it. He said that there was an old hound dog, and every night the moon would shine beams brightly down through the darkness of the night. This disrupted the old hound dogs sleep so he began to howl and howl at the moon wanting it to stop shining so brightly. Night after night it was the same routine. That old dog howled and howled, but the moon, it just kept right on shining. Glory to God by the mercies and grace of the Father, we can shine through rain, through, pain, in the storm, in the night, even in struggle we can shine by the help and the grace of God. Let the devil howl, we are more than conquerors through Christ! Shine on Beloved, Shine on!
Be encouraged today, your Labor of Love for Christ is not in vain. Even if no one knows your name, those of you who struggle along in trials and temptations, through danger and heartache, in times when no one seems to appreciate your efforts, some of you work when you are tired, hungry, some of you toil on when it seems everyone is against you and when you are sick and in pain. Some of you labor on even when your family does not understand, when your friends let you down, some of you who labor alone in tears and it’s hard, but I encourage you today to keep working for the Lord. He is with you and you will reap in due season if you do not give up. Obey the Lord and leave the rest up to Him. He will take you further than you could ever even imagine. Your strength is in the Lord. He is your help and your refuge in all things.
Psalm 9:9 “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Dear Righteous, Heavenly Father,
We thank You for all things. Thank You for providing for us and comforting us. Father today I come to You in thanksgiving for all the mighty works You have done and continue to do in my life and in the lives of all Your children. Father You place each of us in the world where You can use us effectively. Father I pray for those today all over the world who are in a labor of love for Your glory and to bring others into Your Kingdom. Father I ask today that You give favor and grace to Your children and that You bless them. Father I ask that You send Your angels to surround and protect those that labor in danger. I ask that You send divine provision for those who labor in need. Father I ask that You shine Your face down upon those who struggle alone and let them feel Your presence so strongly around them letting them know that they are really never alone and that You love them. Father I ask that You help us to walk in the Spirit. I ask that Your Holy Spirit will burn like fire in our hearts. I ask You to give each one a desire to know You more intimately and desire to know Your word on a whole new level. I ask You to pull us close to Your bosom Father and let us feel that love that You have, help us to reach out to others with that love and forgiveness so that they will draw nearer to You. Father you know the needs of all Your children around the world and You supply. Help us to reach out to those in need and give so that Your name will be lifted up. Please give us the heart of faithful servants so that we can do the work that You have for us to do. Father we praise You and we worship You and we know that You inhabit our praise. Father I ask that You heal those that are sick and in pain according to Your will. I ask that You continue to give abundant grace to all Lord to help us endure what we must endure for Your glory. Give us wisdom, strength, peace, and courage to ever abide in You. Help us to lift up the name of Christ Jesus our Redeemer and our Savior. In the precious name of Jesus we ask and pray. AMEN. Jesus You are the Love of our lives and we Thank You Lord, for hearing and answering our prayers according to Your riches in Glory. Thank You Lord.
January 8, 2017