Speaking of John Stott

August 3, 2011 — Leave a comment

At the age of 60, John Stott wrote:

“I was reading Leviticus 27 that day, which is about redemption prices. From it I learned that in Hebrew society “the value of a male between the ages of 20 and 60” was “50 shekels of silver”, whereas at 60 he dropped 35 shekels to a mere 15! Perhaps therefore, I thought to myself, I should regard my 60th birthday as my “Devaluation Day”. A Singaporean friend helped to rescue my sagging morale, however, by telling me that according to the Chinese a 60 year-old is worthy of added respect because he is now embarking on his sixth 12-year cycle.

Leaving aside these cultural perspectives, I sat that afternoon in my favourite nook on the Pembrokeshire cliffs and read the exhortation in Hebrews 12.1 to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. So I prayed for grace to persevere in Christian faith, life and service, and a few months later was encouraged by the promise of Psalm 92.14 that God’s people “will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green”. May it be so!”

***
At the age of 67, John Stott reflected:

“50 years ago today, on 13 February 1938 a young man knelt at his bedside and opened the door of his heart or personality, and invited Christ to come in. I was that young man. I have now had 50 years in which to test the reality of Jesus Christ. Tonight, on my 50th spiritual birthday, I want to bear witness to him, and to the length, depth, breadth and height of his love…

When I am asked if I have any further ambition, as my life approaches its end, I answer that my overriding desire is to become more like Jesus Christ, through the transforming power of his indwelling Spirit. For that is God’s eternal purpose for us all. And when Christ comes again, in spectacular magnificence, we will at last be fully like him, for we shall see him as he is.

***
At 85, John Stott said:

Pride is without doubt the greatest temptation of Christian leaders. And I’m very well aware of the dangers of being feted and don’t enjoy it and don’t think one should enjoy it.

***
More wisdom from John Stott:

At every state of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is our greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.

***

If we truly love our neighbor,we shall without doubt tell him the good news of Jesus. But equally, if we truly love our neighbor, we shall not stop there.

***

We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather, we should ask, ‘What has happened to the salt and light?’

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