I have just finished reading Adolphe Monod's wonderful classic Farewell. I picked up this book at a book sale at the Evangelical Library (London). I did not know anything about Adolphe Monod, but seeing that it was published by Banner of Trust, I thought it must be okay. And it proved to be more than okay!
I discovered later that Monod is regarded as the foremost preacher France has produced in the last two hundred years. You can read more on Wikipedia and Banner of Trust. I have not yet located a good biography of Monod to read. But I have started ploughing through some of his books.
As the name suggests, Farewell is a collection of exhortations that Monod gave towards the end of his life. The devotions were not delivered in strength to hundreds as his other sermons had been, but to a small bedside gathering "under the shadow of eternity". There are so many gems in this little book, which I shall read and re-read. Here is one of the gems on the importance of investing in your faith:
"You must gather faith for the future, you must labour today for the faith which you will need in five, ten, twenty years' time. You must store up day by day this spiritual provision, so that when the strength even to pray declines and when your languishing body and oppressed spirit help but little in the terrible conflict of which faith is the prize and reward, then surrounded by the superabounding gifts of God, all you will have to do is to open your eyes and stretch out your hand! Oh! do not wait until then to acquire faith: you may indeed find it; but let us apply ourselves to prepare for such moments of supreme conflict by increasing our provision more and more and growing up every day in faith".
What a powerful truth! Many of us spend our lives in building up our financial pension pot for that time when we are not able to work. Monod encourages us to prioritise in investing in our faith for tomorrow. When we remember that Monod is speaking these words on his death bed, we realise that he is living out what he is preaching.
We have this wonderful classic because here is a man who could draw on his spiritual pension after years of investing in His relationship with Christ Jesus! It is probably true to say that Monod did not just invest in his faith, he invested in his ministry because in his life he had build up enough spiritial capital to enable him to minister on his death bed! What an example to all followers of Jesus who long to use the spiritual gifts God has given to their last breath!