I was challenged by John Friesen’s convocation address at Heritage College & Seminary this past Tuesday. He cited Oswald Chambers who according to Wikipedia, “founded and was principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham Common, Greater London, in an “embarrassingly elegant” property that had been purchased by the Pentecostal League of Prayer.”
Chambers singular aim in establishing this school is cited in “My Utmost For His Highest” (November 3rd). He writes…
“One student a year who hears God’s call would be sufficient for God to have called the Bible Training College into existence. This college has no value as an organization, not even academically. Its sole value for existence is for God to help Himself to lives. Will we allow Him to help Himself to us, or are we more concerned with our own ideas of what we are going to be?”
It appears his vision was realized. Between 1911 and 1915, 106 resident students attended the Bible Training College, and by July 1915, forty were serving as missionaries.
Never before have we had more resources available at our disposal. In the English-speaking world, consider the wealth of electronic resources, Bible translations, commentaries, conferences, lectures and other tools available. We will give account for how we have used what God has entrusted.
May I urge you at the launch of 2015-2016 to make a prayerful commitment for all students whom you know who are taking post-secondary education. Some are in Biblical training in institutes, colleges and seminaries like Heritage, where God has privileged me to serve. Others are tackling challenging educational tracks in colleges and universities and are seeking to glorify God in a diverse selection of academic paths. Would you pray that during 2015-2016 God would “help Himself to lives?”
I conclude with a hymn of devotion which I pray stirs your heart to fresh consecration –
Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.
Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv’ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.
Living for Jesus, wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy Name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.
Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.