As a young man, C.T. Studd had everything going for him. A famous cricket champion during his Eton and Cambridge days, fame and success were his. But upon the death of his older brother George, he asked himself, “What is all the fame and flattery worth … when a man comes to face eternity?”
“I knew that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last,” he said, “but it was worthwhile living for the world to come.”
C.T. Studd was already a missionary in China when he inherited, at age 25, the veritable fortune (for that time) of £29,000.
Certain God would meet his needs, he wanted to show the world that he relied on the Lord, and not money. So he gave it all to orphan work and missions. All except £3,400. That was his wedding gift to Priscilla, his bride-to-be. But Priscilla was not about to let her husband outdo her, and she gave it all away.
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”C.T. Studd
Things couldn’t have always been easy for the Studds, for Charles on one occasion stated, “Funds are low again, hallelujah! That means God trusts us and is willing to leave His reputation in our hands.”
C.T. Studd, because he firmly believed that no sacrifice could be too great for God, spent both his fortune, and his very life, serving the Lord on the mission field. Leaving us with a great example of faith and faithfulness.
And with the lesson that God trusts each of us with his reputation.
For C.T., this meant giving everything away. Leaving everything, and going to the foreign field, because he longed to share the peace and joy he’d found in knowing Christ. But he also wanted to faithfully portray God’s character. His reputation.
What a privilege is ours!
God trusts us with his reputation! Let that sink in a minute.
1. Funds are getting low? The cupboards bare?
God trusts us to display the trust and peace he’s put in our hearts. That unshakeable peace that only he can give. Which keeps looking to him in trust, without hand-wringing worry. Knowing that God has only good in mind for us.
2. You’ve argued or been wronged?
God trusts us to extend forgiveness and restoration to others, just as he does to us. He waits for us to take the first step. To apologize even when we’re not in the wrong. And to extend the mercy and grace he bestows on us.
3. Fearful at what’s going on in the world?
God trusts us to show that his perfect love casts out fear. And he waits to see us reach out with love, not draw away in fear. And to give and keep on giving, no matter the cost.
We are called to protect God’s reputation. Because the only thing others may ever see of Christ is what they through our lives.