Night Whispers - February 16

Night Whispers Devotional

February 16th

Dream word – GET

Mark 8:36

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” NKJV

The colour purple and some big news from Baghdad

TempleUniversity in Philadelphia was founded in 1884 by the Rev Dr. Russell Conwell. At the time of my writing, it is the 28th largest university in the United States and the sixth largest provider of professional education in that country, being renowned for its specialist courses in law, education, media, business, and the health sciences.

As I recounted last night, this “temple” of learning and blessing, was built through tremendous sacrificial and focused hard work, and of course, lots of money! I suppose, that Conwell could be described as the first great “prosperity preacher” to come out of America, and his sermon entitled “Acres of Diamonds”, has been estimated to have been preached by him over 6,000 times, across a period of 58 years, to upwards of 10 million people and above!

The big idea of Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds” was that you don’t need to look elsewhere for opportunities, achievements, or fortunes because the truth is, that all the resources to acquire these good things, are in fact already present in your own back yard!  With anecdote upon anecdote, Conwell pummels this theme into the ground of the hearers hearts but the first big and titled blow, relates to a story told to Conwell by an Arab guide he met in Baghdad, when he was on his world travels.

The story is about a man who wanted to find diamonds so badly, that he sells everything, including his property and goes off in an unsuccessful and eventually suicidal search for those precious stones. Meanwhile, the new owner of the now dead, diamond-searching Arab’s home, discovered that the richest of diamond mines, was actually located right there on his newly and lately acquired property! Conwell then repeatedly beat this same post, deep into the ground of his hearers, through successive examples of American success, American local genius and the sacrificial service of ordinary American men and women throughout the land, which then would have been contemporary to his listening audience. “Money is power,”he says,“and you ought to be reasonably ambitious to have it. You ought because you can do more good with it than you could without it. Money printed your Bible, money builds your churches, money sends your missionaries, and money pays your preachers, and you would not have many of them, either, if you did not pay them. I am always willing that my church should raise my salary, because the church that pays the largest salary always raises it the easiest. You never knew an exception to it in your life. The man who gets the largest salary can do the most good with the power that is furnished to him. Of course he can if his spirit be right to use it for what it is given to him.”

The difference between Conwell, this man of millions and millions of dollars and the prosperity preachers of our present day, was that in getting his riches, he chose poverty for himself! In 1921, The New York times wrote concerning Conwell, “Although Dr Conwell preaches riches, for himself he has chosen poverty, His very earnings of millions have all been given away. He has built a large church. He has founded a University, which now has approximately 7,000 students. He has personally contributed to the support of thousands of students who attended various colleges and universities throughout the country. He is now at 77 engaged in building two hospitals...”

Conwell’s Sermon entitled “Acres of Diamonds” is very American, it is very capitalistic, it is very Republican, and with all that, it is very good indeed! The character of Conwell, the context of his message and all matters concerning his living, coupled to the common sense and practical power of the sermon itself, gird it even today, with a manly virility. I am pleased to tell you tonight that I personally know of a few good men who right now, are intent on making millions with the one purpose of giving them away!  How about you? How’s the practicality of your giving tonight?

Listen: “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.” - Acts 16:14-15 NKJV

Pray: Lord, make me a purveyor of purple, solid in silver and all glorious in the gold of giving, for Your eternal glory and my temporal health I ask it, amen.

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