8 lessons for Christian living from 19th century preacher D.L. Moody

8 lessons for Christian living from 19th century preacher D.L. Moody By Michael Gryboski, for Christian Post

A new book examines the important lessons Christians can learn from the life and teachings of one of the most important American evangelists of the 19th century.

Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) was an influential preacher, having spoken to millions, founded multiple schools, and having played a leading role in the Sunday School movement.

Theologian and D. L. Moody Center President James Spencer has written a book titled, Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody, which was released on March 2.

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These lessons, each having its own chapter in the book, include: being humble, studious, surrendered, prayerful, undistracted, “free from the love of money,” “imbued with power from on high,” and being “consumed with a passion for the lost.”

In the introduction, Spencer recounted that he was inspired to write the book in 2018 after he had seriously considered leaving ministry work due to burnout.

Spencer recalled joining the Moody Center at the time and being inspired as he read through the private and public works of the 19th century evangelist.

“God continues to use Moody’s story,” wrote Spencer. “My hope is that in considering why God used D. L. Moody, you will be inspired, as I am, to show the world what God can do through an individual who is totally surrendered to him.”

In an interview with The Christian Post, Spencer spoke about his book, focusing on issues including the lessons Spencer himself has struggled with, the importance of learning about Moody, and how Moody would likely approach the modern debate over social justice. The following is an edited transcript of that interview.

CP: In the Introduction, you wrote that as you studied Moody’s life, “I realized I had been too independent, too willing to tie God to my own agendas, and too focused on achievement.” Do you believe this is a common problem among Christians who try to undertake ministry work?

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