August 8: David Brainerd

This Day in Presbyterian History: 

A Deluge of Pentecostal Power

We have at  various times in this historical devotional turned to the Diary of David Brainerd.  Brainerd was a Presbyterian missionary to the Indians, or native Americans as we would call them today, in the mid seventeen hundreds.  In his short life and ministry among them, he recorded his thoughts and his actions to them and on their behalf, which diary has been used by the Holy Spirit of God to lead countless in both olden times and modern times to commit their lives to service to the Lord.

We look at one day in August 8, 1745 when in a return visit to the Indians of Crossweeksung, New Jersey, the Lord brought about an awakening of their hearts which surpassed anything David Brainerd had experienced up to this time.  Listen to his words from his diary:  “. . . the power of God seemed to descend upon the assembly ‘like a mighty raging wind’ and with an astonishing energy bore down all before it.  I stood amazed at the influence which seized the audience almost universally; and could compare it to nothing more aptly than the irresistible form of a mighty torrent, or swelling deluge, that with its insupportable weight and pressure bears down and sweeps before it whatever is in its way.  I must say . . . that the Lord did much to destroy the kingdom of darkness among his people.”

And then at the bottom of his diary, he writes “This was indeed a surprising day of God’s power, and seemed enough to convince an atheist of the truth, importance, and power of God’s Word.”

When so much of his missionary work has been dry of any results, at least from what he could see, it must have been refreshing to finally see God’s powerful work in breaking up  the hard hearts and the giving to them soft hearts for the gospel.

Words to live by:  There is a powerful text which all believers to remember.  It is a wonderful comfort for us.  It is found in the last phrase of Acts 13:48 where it says, “and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”  Both parts of this text are correct.  Who will believe the gospel?  Answer: as many as were appointed to eternal life.  How do we know those appointed to eternal life?  Answer: They will believe.  Be encouraged to continue to share the good news of eternal life with all those who are interested in listening to you – unsaved loved one, neighbors, work associates, school mates, friends, and strangers you meet.

Through the Scriptures: Jeremiah  9 – 12

Through the Standards: The ninth commandment: Duties required

WLC 143 & WSC 76 — “What is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” 

WLC 144   “What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
A.  The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency, a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.”

WSC 77 “What is required in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness-bearing.”

Tags: , , ,


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *