One of the great preachers of his day John Chrysostom nicknamed “Golden Mouth” was a bright light in the darkness of cultural disgust for the message of the gospel. One such adversary to the gospel Libanius a learned and great philosopher of the day and an instructor of John was asked on his deathbed, which of his students should succeed him in his professorship of rhetoric, he replied, “it ought to have been John, had not the Christians stolen him from us.” John used his speaking skills for the name of Jesus Christ. (Getting to Know the Church Fathers, Bryan Litfin)
The life and work of John Chrysostom will introduce you to the of movement of monasticism. John gave all he had to the commitment he made to the Master Christ Jesus and suffered physical as well as social ills for his deep consecration. While the life of an ascetic is open to criticism, rightly so, still it behooves us to examine our covenant relationship with God and apply the wisdom of the Spirit to our Christian walk.
It has been said, “tears of repentance replaced the blood of the martyrs.” Every church body, every believer has need of the prayers of the warriors of faith. Our lives of luxury and comfort often give us obstacles that are not easily overcome. Work schedules, long commutes, and family obligations often eclipse the wooing of the Holy Spirit to come away and fellowship with the Master. Only the Holy Spirit can accomplish this in us.
We must consciously avoid the pull of cozy Christianity and allow the Scriptures to motivate us to the renunciation of our bodily comfort. Men like John Chrysostom help us understand the Christ is us that desires to live through us to be seen by those around us.
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”