I recently read a children’s biography on the life of John Stott. I picked it up because I knew I could finish it in one sitting and maybe pass it on to my children in a few years. John Stott is one of my heroes in the faith. The Cross of Christ was a book that significantly shaped me as a young Christian and provided clarity on the heart of the gospel. Here are a few lessons I took away from his life in this short little book:
1. Christians should be humble.
Time magazine listed Stott among the 100 most influential people of the world. He was an educated man with several honorary doctorates. He was a published author and well-known speaker throughout the world. He simply liked to be called “Uncle John.”
2. Christians should be consistent Bible-readers.
Stott woke up every morning reading his Bible using the M’cheyne reading plan. He wanted to familiarize himself with the great themes of the Bible reading the whole Bible each year.
3. Christians should be disciplined.
Stott usually slept early and woke up early. He read his Bible everyday. He had his usual cup of tea. He was disciplined with his eating habits. He would spend time alone with the Lord and write his reflections in his journal. He was a man of great consistent spiritual discipline.
4. Christians should live simply.
Stott did not have a big wardrobe of clothes. He felt that if he did not use something within a year, it should be discarded. He knew that he was a pilgrim on this earth and his home was heavenly and eternal. He knew that he wanted to store up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20).
5. Christians should love people.
He gave his full attention to people he would meet. He would try to remember their names and actively listen to them. He would pray for them. He also would try to listen to ideas and people who did not believe in Jesus. He wanted to know why people didn’t believe in Jesus and help people overcome obstacles. He was passionate about teaching children and university evangelism.
6. Christians should be passionate about evangelism.
Stott traveled to several countries in his lifetime. He never married and devoted his whole life to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Stott passionately shared the gospel in churches, schools, streets, offices, and universities. Stott developed a friendship with the great American Evangelist Billy Graham and helped start the Lausanne Movement for world evangelism.
7. Christians should do everything for the glory of God.
John Stott’s motto was, “Lay it to heart to give glory to God’s name.” He work every morning thanking each person of the Trinity. The glorification and fame of God’s name was the heartbeat of Stott’s ministry. His influence continues to live on because his life displayed what he believed.