Lesson Seventeen | Devotion #5: Hudson Taylor
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor
James Hudson Taylor, better known as just Hudson Taylor, was probably the most influential missionary to China where he founded the China Inland Mission (also known as Overseas Missionary Fellowship, and now known as OMF International).
Although Taylor became such an impactful servant for the Lord, he reports his frustration in wrestling with the Gospel, “Often I had tried to make myself a Christian, and failing of course in such efforts, I began at last to think that for some reason or other I could not be saved, and that the best I could do was to take my fill of this world, as there was no hope for me beyond the grave.” His parents were consistent role models and spent a lot of time in prayer for their son.
Warren Wiersbe reports how Taylor got saved at age seventeen while reading a Gospel tract, “While he was reading, he was struck by the phrase ‘the finished work of Christ.’ Immediately the words of Scripture leaped into his mind: ‘It is finished!’ He said to himself, ‘If the whole work was finished and the while debt paid, what is there left for me to do?’ He fell to his knees and yielded himself to Christ.” It is a great reminder and challenge to the power of God’s Word and a simple tract.
Christian History Magazine continues his story, “He spent the next years in frantic preparation, learning the rudiments of medicine, studying Mandarin, and immersing himself ever deeper into the Bible and prayer.” The magazine continues, “In September 1853, a little three-masted clipper slipped quietly out of Liverpool harbor with Hudson Taylor, a gaunt and wide-eyed 21-year-old missionary, aboard. He was headed for a country that was just coming into the Christian West’s consciousness; only a few dozen missionaries were stationed there. By the time Taylor died a half-century later, however, China was viewed as the most fertile and challenging of mission fields as thousands volunteered annually to serve there.” One man changed a country and the mind of the world.
Taylor is one of the most quotable Christian giants:
“Whatever is your best time in the day, give that to communion with God.”
“I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.”
“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”
“You must go forward on your knees.”
“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”
“Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.”