Monday, 30 August 2010

George Whitefield - God's Divine Dramatist

During the 18th Century the most famous person throughout America and the United Kingdom was not a politician or musician, it wasn’t a war hero or sportsman it was one of God’s generals who went by the name of George Whitefield. George was mainly known for his ability and gifting to deliver powerful sermons to large crowds, this gifting was recognised by all types of people from the working class men to the President of USA, from slaves to other generals in God’s army. George’s sermons were always dramatic and passionate and it was not uncommon to hear people weeping aloud while George shared the truth of God. This man preached an estimated 18,000 times in a formal setting and 78 of his preaches were published, he travelled to America 7 times and all around the United Kingdom. George preached where ever he was even while he was travelling, on one occasion George preached over three boats while they were sailing to America. The crowds that would gather to hear this divine dramatist would be in the tens of thousands, this man had great influence, great gifting and a great love for Jesus Christ.

George’s ability to deliver a powerful and passionate sermon is the first thing that draws me to him; even the President of the United States was blown away by his gifting. George didn’t have to have a lifetime of experience to acquire this gifting, in fact he was preaching to large crowds in his early 20’s. During George’s first sermon it is reported that fifteen people went mad under the conviction of their own sin. This man had power right from the word go, he didn’t wait around for an opportunity he grab any opportunity he could. He knew Jesus and he knew his identity because of Jesus.

Having an overview of George’s life helps us see the massive influence this man had. He was one of the most famous people of the 18th century and he wasn’t just known he was loved. He had influence with the working class because he showed them freedom and forgiveness, he had influence in the government because he was an expert in his field and had excelled in his gifting and he had influence with other generals because he was a pioneer and had such great fruit. George was taught and mentored by the Wesley brothers but he had such gifting and grew so fast that soon he was teaching the Wesley brothers how to preach in the open air and he also super seeded them by gathering crowds 10x the size of what they were gathering.

I pray that my life has influence. Influence through my love for Jesus, through immense gifting and through pioneering movements of the Holy Spirit. I pray that this influence wouldn’t just be with Christians but would actually be primarily with the unbeliever and would span all classes and generations reaching from the homeless man on the streets of Bracknell to the President of the United States.

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