Thinking of a faith-inspiring character isn’t exactly a hard thing – there are so many examples for us right from the Bible times throughout history. One of my favourite examples though is D.L. Moody (Feb 1837 – 1899). As one of the youngest of 7, Moody was very young when his father died, which impacted his early life considerably. Despite the pressures of everyday life for a single mother in this period, church was given a central family focus. This allowed Moody to mature into the Christian faith, by the time he was 17 and living away from his family.
Once he had found salvation, Moody had some ‘training’ by the church deacons to strengthen his theology. A year or so later he moved to Chicago and rented 4 pews so he could invite people along to hear God’s word. Not content with inviting adults to church he matched the Sunday School’s challenge that he could join as a teacher if he could bring more children as they currently had enough teachers, the next week Moody had 18 children to bring along, even though he decided teaching wasn’t his gifting – he continued to help the Sunday School by recruiting children on a regular basis until it was full!
As his commitment to church and Christian endeavours increased, Moody found it difficult to keep up with work – so he left work to fully commit himself to God’s work. He continued working right through until his death. Moody, founded his church before widening his witness beyond his homeland, travelling to the U.K. and touring round preaching, he also visited other countries.
Later, he met Ira D. Sankey and the pair became quite a force working together. Moody preached while Sankey conducted the worship. They travelled America in between their visits to the U.K., and during the rest of the 1870’s Moody and Sankey’s combination of music and preaching had great results.
Moody often felt his lack of education was a hindrance and he had to be pressed hard to take on some talks at some on the world’s most prestigious universities. However, he did not let his lack of education go to waste because he saw great value in education reflected by his endeavours back in America. Moody managed to set up a school for girls based on the Bible, then later a school for boys and finally a Bible training college, which still exists today.
Moody’s faith inspired his hard work throughout his career, touching many lives through introducing them to church, preaching to them or providing the means by which they were educated. He ran his race right until the end when his Saviour called him home. Difficulties did not stop him, they were mere obstacles to manoeuvre round to reach the desired goal. Even today Moody stands out as a faith inspiring character from our recent history, and motivates me to keep on running in the race, telling as many people the Good News of Jesus as I can and challenging me as I don’t meet up to his standards! Hopefully I will run a full race right until the end. Persevering just like Moody did.