It was forty four years ago that I began to preach in my own country, but I saw very little fruit from my preaching. I loved to preach, there was a real earnestness in my preaching, and a real desire to do good. And yet I never met with a single instance in which I could say I had been used as God's instrument in the conversion of a sinner. I do not say that persons may not have been converted, but I never met with one single instance of conversion. It did, however, please God in a few instances to use me in the conversion of sinners, quite apart from preaching. I once visited a poor tailor and expounded the Scriptures at his house, and a person was brought to the knowledge of the truth. Two of my fellow students, my companions in sin, were instantaneously converted while I was speaking to them. When I expected nothing I was made an instrument of blessing.
When I expected great things there was nothing at all. But when it pleased God to reveal the truth of His grace to me my heart was brought to a state so that I could say, "I am not only content simply to be a hammer, an axe, or a saw in God's hands, I shall count it an honour to be used in any way. If sinners are converted through my instrumentality, from my inmost soul I will give Him all the glory". I delight to dwell on this. We may say God shall have all the glory, but do we mean this? We must be ready to give Him all the glory. We must aim for this, to be content to be nothing but the instrument.
We must not give God ninety-nine parts. We must not take even one hundredth part, He is worthy to have it all. Let us aim for this and assuredly God will take us up. The Lord Jesus, during all His life on earth, had one single aim - to seek glory for the Father. As we are enabled to get glory for Him, not for the servant, He will see to it that honour is bestowed on His servant.