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Nicholaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf was born into one of Europe's leading families in the year 1700, and he grew up in an atmosphere of prayer, Bible-reading, and hymn-singing. He excelled in school, and seemed to possess all the qualities for national leadership. After finishing his university studies at Wittenberg, Germany, Zinzendorf embarked on a grand tour of Europe, attending lectures and visiting museums, palaces, and universities.

It was while visiting the art museum at Dusseldorf that the young count had a deeply moving experience that stayed with him the rest of his life. Seeing Domenico Feti's Ecce Homo ("Behold, the Man"), a portrait of the thorn-crowned Jesus, and reading the inscription below it--"I Did This For Thee! What Hast Thou Done For Me?" Zinzendorf said to himself, "I have loved Him for a long time, but I have never actually done anything for Him. From now on, I will do whatever He leads me to do."

His life was never again the same, and he went on to found a spiritual community on his property, Herrnhut, which provided hundreds of Moravian missionaries over the next several decades and sparked the modern missionary movement.

[Adapted from Christian History Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, "The Rich Young Ruler Who Said Yes," 7ff.Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (168). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.]

From David Scudder's Sermon "The Blood of Christ"

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