A man who could spare time to inquire deeply into the affairs of others did not have enough to do.”
–Elmer Kelton (The Pumpkin Rollers)
“If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs.”
–1 Peter 4:15 (NLT)
In years past I have often read of the circuit-riding preachers. Many of them lived unbelieveable lives. One of the most famous, and posssibly the greatest of these circuit-riders was the person responsible for their beginning and administration. Here is an excerpt of his life.
“During his lifetime Francis Asbury was one of the most famous men in America. He once received a letter from England that was addressed to ‘The Rev’d Bishop Asbury, North America.’ The sender knew that someone as wellknown as Asbury could be located.
He did not have a fixed address. In his long career preaching and supervising Methodist churches in America, Asbury traveled 300,000 miles on horseback. His aim was to grow the church, and he did–from about 5,000 Methodists at the time of the American Revolution to more than 200,000 at the end of his life in 1816.
Asbury was born in England in 1745. He joined the Methodists at fourteen. When he showed an eagerness to go to America, Methodist leader John Wesley sent him off. Later Wesley conferred the title ‘superintendent’ on Asbury, although American Methodists referred to him as ‘bishop.’ The title was not important but the willingness to do without home, wife, or any form of earthly comfort was. Asbury’s diary is almost a catalog of health problems, yet he gritted through his ailments, depression, and doubts, not to mention foul weather and sleeping in barns and woodsheds. The circuit-riding preachers he supervised were tough men too, but many married and settled down–they called it ‘locating.’ Asbury himself never married nor even seems to have considered it. God had given him a task. He did it.
…It took men like Asbury–who described himself accurately as ‘steadfast as a wall of brass’–to create and sustain vital communities of faith on the American frontier.
Having preached more than sixteen thousand sermons, Asbury died on March 31, 1816, meeting the God he had served with distinction.”
(taken from The Christian History Devotional by Stephen J. Lang)
I have his diary in an abridged edition somewhere in my books that are packed up. If you want some exciting reading about the dedication of a man of God I would encourage you to read about the life of Francis Asbury.
“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory.”
–2 Corinthians 4:17
Ponder This: “When the horse dies, it will do no good to have a committee work out a plan to get the horse back on its feet.”