GUEST POST: Moody’s Great Impact Upon My Life June 28, 2023

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”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

A Snapshot of the Life of Dwight L. Moody:

Born: Feb. 5, 1837, Northfield, Massachusetts
Died: Dec. 22, 1899, East Northfield, Massachusetts

One of the greatest evangelists of all time. Moody was to the nineteenth century, what George Whitefield was to the eighteenth century, and what Billy Graham was to the 20th Century. He traveled more than 1 million miles, spoke to more than 100 million people, and dealt personally with nearly 50,000 individuals, all before the days of rapid transportation and mass communication. “Baptized” as an infant in a Unitarian church, he became a Congregationalist and, with only an eighth-grade education behind him, worked on the farm to help his widowed mother. In 1854, he went to Boston, where he was converted as a result of his Sunday school teacher’s witness (Ed Kimball) on April 26, 1855. He went to Chicago in 1856 to continue work as a shoe salesman and got active in building Sunday Schools in 1858. He married Emma Revell on August 28, 1862. He pastored the Illinois St. Church, 1863-66 (eventually Moody Church). He became president of Chicago YMCA, 1865. Ira Sankey joined him (1870) to assist with music and songleading. Within a year, the great Chicago Fire destroyed his church, then meeting in Farwell Hall. They went to England and Scotland in 1871, holding huge crusades; conducted 85 meetings, ended up in London in April 1875. Moody and Sankey, held large city-wide crusades in Brooklyn in 1875, preaching to 20,000 per day, sometimes admitting only non-church members by ticket. They also held crusades in 1876, in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and many other places. He established the Mount Herman School for Boys (1879), the Northfield School for Girls (1881), and the Chicago Evangelization Society Moody Bible Institute) (1886). It opened in 1899. The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago was used as a great evangelistic endeavor. On one Sunday, 72,000 people were reached in 56 separate meeting locations. Stricken as he preached in Kansas City, MO he was taken by train to his home. As he died, he said, “I see earth receding; heaven is opening. God is calling me.” His favorite Bible verse was John 3:16. – (Excerpt taken from the Reese Chronological Encyclopedia of Christian Biographies. Used by permission.)

A Spiritual Application for Our Lives:

For forty years it has been a great joy of my life to study the life of D. L. Moody. I have over one hundred biographies and books about his life. When you study his life there are many entry points. By that, I mean a man of diversity. His influence around the world cannot be measured.

Even after one hundred fifteen years after his death, his name in Christian circles is still a household name. When you study his life in depth you will see God directing him to those who would give him great insight into the Christian life. Mr. Moody through the years as he preached would look back in retrospect and refer to these divine appointments as the “pivotal points” in his life.

What he was able to learn about the Christian life, or better put the spirit-filled life, should inspire us to do the same. That life is the normal Christian life. When you study Christian history you will find that D. L. Moody was used more to impact his generation around the world than any other Pastor or Evangelist that were his contemporaries. The study of his life is so rich and inspiring.

After forty years of study, I have more interest now, because I can see clearly the “pivotal points” that God used to endue D. L. Moody with power. The real key to Mr. Moody’s power was once he attained it, he never lost it. When he died he was at the pinnacle of power.

I would challenge any Christian to study with diligence his life and ministry. The open secret of his life and power is contained in the statement that Henry Varley made to him. “It remains to be seen what God will do with… the man who is fully consecrated to Him.”

Mr. Moody thought to himself, “He said a man; he did not say a great man, nor a learned man, nor a smart man, a wealthy man, but simply a man. I am a man, and it lies with the man himself whether he will or will not fully surrender, by the grace of God I will be that man.” From that moment on D. L. Moody was in hot pursuit of full consecration to his great God.

This statement burned brightly throughout his entire life and ministry. Because there are so many biographies and books about his life, you will also see clearly how you to can attain the power of God. The key is to start your pursuit of full consecration. Let Mr. Moody’s life mirror to you those “pivotal points” that God used to put him directly under the fountain of power, the complete filling of the Holy Spirit.

– Bob Crichton

A Suggestion for Further Reading…

A Passion For Souls – Lyle Dorsett, 1997; Moody Press

Moody Still Lives – Arthur Percy Fitt, 1936

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