For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain
Philippians 1: 21
I was reminded of the story of Jim Elliot and other four missionaries who gave their life for making gospel reach among the tribes of Aucas. Many people thought it was a tragic waste of a life when Jim Elliot and the other four missionaries died trying to contact the unreached Aucas.
Jim Elliot, a young modern martyr, gave what he could not keep and gained what he could not lose. The last radio contact they made was Jim calling his wife saying, “We’ll call you back in three hours.” Jim Elliot’s body was found downstream with three others. Their bodies had been brutally pierced with spears and hacked by machetes. After Jim’s death, Elisabeth, her daughter, and other missionaries’ sister, Rachel, moved to work with the Auca Indians. The love of Christ shown through their forgiveness allowed them to have amazing success with the once murderous Indians. Jim’s life was not a waste, in fact, God used his death to bring life through salvation to many Aucas and encouragement and inspiration to thousands of believers worldwide. His death not only brought Him home with our heavenly Father but also brought many souls to Christ.
His life was not a long one, but it was full. Once I heard someone say, “living for Christ is more difficult than dying for Christ”. I used to tell myself I want to die as a martyr for Christ. But then I realized living for Christ is more difficult, dying may take a moment or two but living takes a lifelong.
Let’s examine our lives and think if we are really living for Christ. It’s not an easy one. It needs a heart of commitment and obedience to God. It shouldn’t be out of compulsion to do something but it should come out of our love for God. God loved us when we were still sinners and He called us His sons and daughters. Can we show the same love towards the people around us? God forgave us by demonstrating His forgiveness on the cross and He bore our shame, our brokenness, and the heavy weight of sin on the cross. Can we show the same forgiveness to others? Paul says, “let’s live a life which is worthy of the gospel of Christ”. God gave His Spirit to us and He moves through us, works through us, and speaks through us. Are we bearing a heart for Christ? Are we carrying His heart? How many of us can say that let my heart be broken for the things that break God’s heart? Are we able to see the inner struggles which our brothers are going through?
God is humble and we must humble ourselves. God is selfless and He expects us to be selfless. We operate our life with a spirit of pride and self-righteousness. We are not ready to come out of our own comfort zones. When God’s desire for us is to grow and gives opportunities for us, our interest is growing cold. Our priorities are changing each day. We say, “I need my own space, I need freedom, I need a break, I want to relax for some time, I get only weekends to rest, I need to spend more time with my family, I think I am not well, I think I am not fit for this”. So many reasons when it comes to doing the work for Lord. We need to realize that we are living in a period of urgency where we need to use every opportunity provided by God to bring people out of darkness. Our life here is short and a temporary assignment. At the end what really matters is how we spend our life for God.
C.T Studd said it the best way, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”