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Godly Men: The Divine Methodology

E.M. Bounds, in his book The Power of Prayer, made the astute observation that humanly devised methods can never replace the working of God in the man of God. He wrote:

God's plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else, because men are God's method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods but through men; he does not come on machinery but on men; he does not anoint plans but men. It is not great talents nor great learning that God needs but men great in holiness, great in faith, great in love, great in fldelity, great for God. These men can mold a generation for God.

The church advances through men of godly character, albeit, ordinary men. Consider Stephen, the first Christian martyr; he was an ordinary man in many respects. He was not an apostle. He might have been an evangelist (although there is serious question about whether his speech is to be considered an actual sermon or simply a defense before his accusers). He was chosen to wait tables in the church. He was an ordinary man with an ordinary calling, yet there was something so extraordinary about him. Stephen was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5); he was full of grace and power (6:7). Stephen was filled with the fullness of Christ. He knew something of the infinite greatness of His God and Savior. It is precisely because he was filled with the fullness of Christ that did not love his life even to the death. It is men and women like him that God uses for the advancement of His kingdom. It is not intellectual acumen, cultural relevance, or homiletical prowess that makes someone useful for the Lord. It is the fullness of faith and grace, the Spirit and power that makes men and women like Stephen extraordinarily useful vessels of grace.

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