I have written a lot lately about Hugh Black. It seems from your private responses that he is a connection between myself and others who read this blog! Some of you have told me how he was instrumental in your experiencing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for taking the time to do that.
Tonight, I am half remembering the details of a story he told during a sermon. He had just had his teeth out and felt he could not preach for that reason. However someone challenged him that he still could and even though, as he himself said, he had fewer teeth in his head than a hen, he went ahead and preached. He found out that you could indeed preach without teeth! God still moved and worked upon the gathering.
Would you have done that? Would I? Mmmm….Sometimes you don’t have to look very far for clues as to why someone is greatly used by God. From this half remembered story, I am remembering one of Hugh Black’s great themes in his preaching: death to self.
I think it is probably impossible to be used to the glory of God if you are worried about what people “make of you.” Sooner or later if you want God to use you, worry about that has to go. So long as you are walking in the love and truth of Christ and in love for Christ, well, what people make of what you look like or sound like, what people make of you on any level, need not be of undue concern.
We are so concerned about image these days, where appearance means so much. Churches have images they want to promote and cultivate as well. I remember meeting and speaking to a homeless alcoholic man who was told when he went to a church nearby where we were standing that he was not the sort of person that church was looking for and he would be better trying somewhere else! The only image we should be concerned about in our own lives or ministries or in whatever church we are part of, is being remade in the image of our Creator, which is what Christ seeks to bring about in every life where He is resident.
So, I leave the theme of “death to self” with you to think about, as I have been thinking some more about it myself. Perhaps too it would be profitable to ponder this verse that I heard someone preach on not long ago:
“They were more concerned about what people thought of them than about what God thought of them.” (John 12:43; God’s Word translation)
P.S. – You are very welcome to enjoy these blogs and share them with anyone “without money or price!” However, if you ever feel grateful for these blogs and are able to do so, then please make a donation to Open Doors, Scotland. Their website is
In case you have not heard of them, Open Doors works to help our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.