Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador and martyr, once said, \”He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.\”
As \”missionaries\”, Richard and I sometimes get reactions and responses that surprise us when we share about where we\’ve been called to go and what we\’ve been called to do. It\’s almost like when you become a missionary to the foreign field [meaning, one other than your own], you reach some new, higher spiritual plain in the eyes of other Christians.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
We are all called to surrender our selves wholly to Christ. That\’s the whole idea that Christ was teaching. He wasn\’t just playing around when He said, \”So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.\” [Luke 14:33 ESV]
So what does that mean for us? It just means that we don\’t have a choice. It\’s not like you have a choice between being a Christian who gives up everything for Christ and one who just gives up some.
The difference is that for some, giving all means leaving house and home, family and friends, and going to live in the hot, rainy jungle. For others, it means living incognito in the Middle East, starting underground churches in militant Muslim communities. For others, it means building a successful business and using the wealth to further the Gospel of Christ at home and abroad. For others, it means raising a family to fear God and live sacrificially so the world can see Christ.
It\’s a beautiful picture of the BODY of Christ. One in which each member has a separate function that glorifies and honors Christ in a way that no one can deny His power and glory. No one is greater than anyone else. We are all priests and sons of God.
Peter said it beautifully in 1 Peter 2:9, \”But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.\”
It would be boring and impractical if we were all called to do the same thing!
So let\’s not exalt our foreign missionaries and pastors while we sit passively in the pews because we weren\’t \”called to do that\”. We\’re all called to give up what we cannot keep to gain that which we cannot lose.
“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”\” — David Livingstone
\”“Go, send, or disobey.”\” — John Piper
\”“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him”\”
— Hudson Taylor
\”When the word Christianity becomes an adjective instead of a noun, you start running into some serious theological problems.\” -Matt Chandler