Friday, 23 November 2012

A Renewed Mind Transformed A Nation


Ebenezer ErskineThe young Ebenezer followed his father, the Rev. Henry Erskine, to their old kirk in 1690 for the Catechism Class. The children were drilled in the questions, but F.W. Boreham tells us that young Ebenezer was struck by the answer to the 43rd Question of the Shorter Catechism which starts with I am the Lord thy God. These words were planted deep into the mind of Ebenezer and would take a further twenty or so years before they would germinate.
Following in his father's footsteps, Ebenezer became a pastor at Portmoak, Scotland.
"I began my ministry without much zeal, callously and mechanically, being swallowed up in unbelief and in rebellion against God." Ebenezer Erskine
F.W. Boreham tells us-
'He feels no enthusiasm for the Bible; indeed, the New Testament positively wearies him. His sermons are long and formal; he learns them by heart and repeats them parrot-fashion, taking care to look, not into the faces of his people, but at a certain nail in the opposite wall.'
A HANDFUL OF STARS, page 58, Dr. F.W. Boreham
But Ebenezer's understanding of God and His Word was about to dramatically change. His wife, who knew God, prayed fervently for her husband to meet Christ. She then took seriously ill. The fever gripped her. She begain speaking to her husband in her delirium and "her words were wild and passionate." She spoke of the Lord and His dealings. Her husband was pierced "to his soul." As she lay on her death-bed, Ebenezer cried out to the God he did not know.
"At last, the Lord was pleased to calm her spirit and give her a sweet serenity of mind. This, I think was the first time that ever I felt the Lord touching my heart in a sensible manner. Her distress and her deliverance were blessed to me. Some few weeks after, she and I were sitting together in my study, and while we were conversing about the things of God, the Lord was pleased to rend the veil and to give me a glimmering view of salvation which made my soul to acquiesce in Christ as the new and living way to glory.".From the Diary of Ebenezer Erskine
The words of the Catechism: I am the Lord! I am your God. I am the Lord your God - gripped the mind of Ebenezer. These words of Scripture transformed his mind.
¶ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2
Despite being religious, Ebenezer Erskine was lost. Then the Lord, the Lord his God, gripped his mind. He realised that the Lord God had a rightful claim on his life. He discovered that what he was taught in his childhood was no mere religious program, but life! Parents should ever be mindful that what they teach their children by word or by deed may take years before it germinates!

Ten years after his conversion the full impact of what Christ had done in his thinking was felt by congregation when he preached not from notes, not from rehearsal - but from his soul as he gazed through the eyes of those in his congregation into souls and declared that God is their God, their Lord, and that Lord thy God was their God! This sermon would go down in history as one of the greatest ever preached in Scotland. Ultimately he would lead to one of the greatness spiritual revivals Scotland had ever witnessed. All because a father sowed a seed of Scripture into his son, a praying wife pervently interceded for her husband, and the Lord God intervened.
Trusting in the Lord thy God,
Onward go! onward go!
Holding fast His promised word,
Onward go!
Ne'er deny His worthy name,
Tho' it bring reproach and shame;
Spreading still His wondrous fame,
Onward go!
"ONWARD GO!" Ira D. Sankey, 1881
¶ Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
First Corinthians 14:20

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