In the 1840's, a young man who was an earnest Christian found employment in a pawn shop. Although he disliked the work, he did it faithfully "as unto the Lord". To prepare himself for a life of Christian service, he wrote on scrap of paper the following resolutions: "I do promise God that I will rise early every morning to have a few minutes - not less than five - in private prayer. I will endeavor to conduct myself as a humble, meek, and zealous follower of Jesus, and by serious witness and warning I will try to lead others to think of the needs of their immortal souls. I hereby vow to read no less than four chapters in God's Word every day. I will cultivate a spirit of self-denial and will yield myself a prisoner of love to the Redeemer of the world."
That young man was William Booth, who later led thousands to Christ. The Salvation Army, which he founded, stands as a monument to his faithfulness in preparing himself each morning to serve the Lord.
-Sermons Illustrated, May/June 1990