Likewise, this second book, Working For God, included a word study on work, with each chapter studying a verse about our working for God. I usually enjoy reading Andrew Murrays works, but it took me awhile to get into this book for two reasons, neither of which really have to do with the book itself. It was hard to read the word work and not think of what they meant by it. You have been treated with kindness and generosity by someone in a church, to have them say, God loves you even more than we do. I realize that two things can go wrong with this analogy: when what the church has given is a poor shadow, a poor representation, of what God offers. It is a good thing to give to someone in need, but they had forgotten why we give because God loves them. But Jesus really is the main gift, and they still are loved by God, whatever they choose. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience ..." 1 Peter 3:15-16, NIV Or there can be even worse misrepresentations of good works, in that some people not only have forgotten that they contain a very priceless gift within, an offer to come to Jesus, but they think that they can earn heaven through good works. Here is Andrew Murray's reasoning for sharing the faith with words, not just with kindnesses: As Christs doing good to mens bodies ever aimed at winning their souls, all our ministry of love must be subordinated to that which is Gods great purpose and longing the salvation unto life eternal. I found a verse on the purpose of God's kindnesses, which seems to corroborate Andrew Murray's thinking: "Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" - Romans 2:4, ESV. It was still hard for me to read this book and remember in each chapter that Andrew Murray wasnt referring to the wrapping paper, but the valuable gift within, because Id heard so much of random acts of kindness or just doing good works because they were good. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for His good pleasure. Philippains 2:13 In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love. Galatians 5:6,13 To walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all patience. 1 Corinthians 15:58 And God is able to make all grace abound unto you, that ye may abound unto every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 That we may grow up in all things into Him, which is the Head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint together supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, making the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love. 2 Timothy 2:15 Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work. Titus 3:1 And these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. The work of leading young souls to Christ is too high for us indeed, but if we live as little children in believing that God will work all in us, we shall do His work in His strength. Whatever work for God you try to do, seek to put love into it. Work in our own strength, with little prayer and waiting on God for His spirit, is the cause of failure. A kind word, a little help to someone in trouble, an act of loving attention to a stranger or a poor man, the sacrifice of a seat or a place to some one who longs for it practice these things. It is possible to delight in hearing, to be diligent in increasing our knowledge of Gods word, to admire and approve the truth, even to be willing to do it, and yet fail entirely in the actual performance.
His father was a Scottish Presbyterian serving the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa, and his mother had connections with both French Huguenots and German Lutherans. He helped to found what are now the University College of the Orange Free State and the Stellenbosch Seminary He served as Moderator of the Cape Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church and was president of both the YMCA (1865) and the South Africa General Mission (1888-1917), now the Africa Evangelical Fellowship. Many of his 240 publications explain in how he saw this devotion and its outworking in the life of the Christian.