He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
The message of the Gospel is all about self-sacrifice. At it's very core, it tells us how Jesus sacrificed Himself (His life was not taken; He gave it) for our salvation. The Word of God is filled with accounts of men and women who were willing to take the risk, though it might mean suffering and/or death, and fully yield their lives to God... for the sake of others.
This is the message and yet so many of us as Christians turn a blind eye to this. We want to mouth pretty words in pretty sanctuaries. We don't want to see the blood, sweat and tears of Jesus Christ or those who faithfully take up their cross and follow Him. We want a comfortable "feel-good Gospel" and a "genie god" who says to us, "Your wish is my command."
The above quote was written in the journal of Jim Elliot on on October 28, 1949. He and four other missionaries would later be killed by Waodani Indians on January 8, 1956. They knew the risk involved. They knew the reputation of the people they sought to make contact with and yet they were willing to take that risk to so that people whom they'd never met might hear the gospel.
Over the years, I have heard Christians make statements which imply that if anything bad happens to a Christian, it is their fault. They have unconfessed sin, they lack faith, they were disobedient or whatever. When I hear such comments coming out of the mouths of Christians, I think about people like these missionaries. I think about God's people who have suffered hardship and often ridicule and I want to weep. Do we stop and think about what we are really saying? Maybe we should.
Great post - at the heart of the Christian life.
When I was a youngster I lived in the Elliot home with Jim and his family for a period of time.
Jim was also my Sunday School teacher.
He was the real deal.
One of my favorite quotations from Jim is:
"Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know such an extraordinary God."
May God bless you and your ministry for Him.
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW