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Fire in the Bones

The voice on the phone said, “I see you have to preach 25 times during your stay in Singapore, that’s quite a heavy schedule.” And I suppose, in my heart, there was an echo of agreement! 

But I was chastened in my subsequent reading, to discover the labours of others of far greater spiritual stature. Did you know for instance, that George Whitefield preached 18,000 sermons in 34 years? John Wesley, who lived a lot longer, and was preaching well into his eighties, preached it is estimated, 40,500 times. But Rowland Hill, who died well into his eighties, delivered at least 23,000 sermons at an average of something like 350 sermons a year. At least once a day! On being asked what did he attribute his good health and long life to, replied, “Preaching three times a day, and seven days a week.” Remarkably, he very rarely prepared his sermons and more often than not, did not know what to preach on until the start of a service. 

These were special servants, but one cannot but be impressed with their vigour and industry. Yet it was the grace of God in them, and the divine fire upon them, that were the motivating reasons for their Herculean endeavours.