In 1912, General William Booth founder of The Salvation Army gave one of his final addresses to a crowd of 7,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall in London:
“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight
While little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight
While men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight
While there is a drunkard left,
While there is a poor lost girl upon the streets,
While there remains one dark soul without the light of God,
I’ll fight-I’ll fight to the very end!”
General Booth spoke passionately and just three months later he was “Promoted to Glory” having lived a life of service and reaching the lost for Christ. Throughout General Booth’s life he was thought of as a bearded fanatic, a charismatic champion of religion and reform, he offended the middle class but his approach to religion didn’t come from intellect but rather from a place of intimacy with his Heavenly Father. General Booth upset many with his unconventional approach but his style of showing God’s love to people in need has inspired millions more.
Do we have the same love and compassion for others that General Booth had and so diligently fought and advocated for?
In Micah 6:8 God says “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” What are we doing as believers to reach the lost in Ireland? Are people seeing Christ followers as a people of love, compassion and service towards our neighbours and each other?
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul reminds us that we are to be God’s ambassadors, working hard and urgently to persuade others, being controlled and led by Christ’s love and in verse 15 we are reminded that “He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” We are called to live our lives for Christ, willingly giving ourselves for His work, to put our desires, our money and time second place in our lives so we can make a difference wherever we go. General Booth was a man of intensity and drive and he left a lasting legacy which now spans over 130 countries. We may not be called to start a worldwide ministry but imagine if each of us rose up, fought like General Booth and took action in our streets and local communities. Believers! Rise up! Share the hope that is within you, people are desperate for hope, genuine love and friendship more than ever before.
I’ll fight…will you?
Father, we thank You for the legacy that has been left by godly men and women. Father, I pray that we won’t be people who live for ourselves but instead we will do all that we can to reach out and help others, sharing Your love and sacrifice and that our communities throughout the land of Ireland would be transformed in Your Name. Amen.