The impact of this Sunday School lesson I prepared for last week continues to resonate in my soul for my own life. I decided I needed to share it here because God has just not allowed me to let it go.
Sometimes we all need a reminder of the importance, value, and desperate nature of our faith. Yes, I believe we have a desperate faith. People are dying every day without a relationship with Christ.
I have questions that I have been asking myself this week and I would like for you to ask yourself these questions as well.
Those of you who are now reading this lesson on the blog, I suggest that you grab a paper and pencil and jot these down. Other questions follow as well. Take time this week to ponder, search your heart, ask God to speak to you.
- What am I willing to give for people to know Jesus?
- What have I given lately?
- To what lengths will I go to share the message with others?
- How important is it to me for others to know my Jesus.
- Is it important enough for me to do it myself?
- Where have I shared the message this year?
- Who have I shared the message with this year?
- Did I share with everyone I was given the opportunity to share with?
- Do I see a lost world through the eyes of Christ or have I begun to use the eyes of the world as my filter and vision?
Sometimes I feel a need to look at the lives of those have given everything for the sake of Christ in order to get myself back into a healthy perspective.
Sometimes, God causes me to recall something in my memory bank and plays it over and over until I realize that He wants me to learn something new or re-learn something that I may have forgotten or pushed to the back of my life.
This has happened lately with this quote. It’s one of my favorites….
“Wherever you are, be all there.”
Life has been incredibly busy for me this summer and this quote has been on my mind a lot. I would just brush it aside because I really just didn’t have time to ponder it. Then, as I was praying and asking God about this lesson and what I should prepare, that gentle whisper came in the form of that quote again. Now, what on earth am I suppose to do with that? Boy was I in for a lesson? I don’t know what you all will get out of this, but God had a lot for me to learn this week while I prepared.
All I know how to do is just share my heart. This is what I feel like God wants us to hear today.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” hhmmmm
I had forgotten who this quote came from so I did a little research. It’s still amazing to me how God hits me at my greatest need and nails it right in to supply for that need. This was one of those times.
This quote came from Jim Elliot – 1927-1956. A missionary who died along with 4 other missionaries as they went to share the Message of Jesus with a very dangerous, even deadly Indian tribe known then as the Aucas (Ow-cuz). The Aucas had were known to kill every single outsider that ever entered their territory. Jim Elliot felt called to tell the Aucas about Jesus. The danger did not stop him from following that call. They made a movie “End of the Spear” about this event.
Today we are gong to read some of Jim Elliot’s quotes. His writing comes from the heart. Many are from his journal. I believe we can gain great insight, conviction, and renewed determination by studying the lives of those who gave everything for Christ.
Just a side-note. Jim’s wife Elizabeth stayed in Ecuador. She continued to serve the Quichua (or Quechua) Indians. Their daughter was 10 months old when Jim was killed. Elizabeth worked with two women from the Aucas tribe (the tribe who murdered her husband). A little over 2 years later she was able to begin the build relationships with this tribe and even lived with them and shared Jesus Christ. God’s work through her is remarkable.
I have discovered that she was a gifted writer as well and I can’t wait to read more about her story. She passed away in 2015.
Today, we are going to do something a little unusual. When I began to read about Jim Elliott, I discovered many quotes that just resonated in my spirit. His words made me think. His thoughts on life, servanthood, and spreading the message of Jesus Christ brought me to some hard discussions with myself.
So, we are going to read these quotes and we are going to connect them with scripture. I would love for you to share (comment) scriptures that come to mind as well!
How better can we understand what it means to live a sacrificial, obedient life than to study someone who gave it all. You will find the quotes of Jim Elliot in red and scripture in purple.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
What things in this life are things you cannot keep?
What is the one thing we cannot lose?
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Are there any other scriptures that come to your mind about this?
“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
I don’t know about all of you, but sometimes life gets so busy that we are running from thing to thing, responsibility to responsibility, person to person, and never really fully engaging in the “Now” of anything. Cell phones, television, texting, internet, so many things vie for our attention. I have always been so proud of my ability to multi-task. But now I am not so sure that it is something to be proud of. I have to learn to give my full attention to what is happening in my actual reality….my “now”. Look people in the eye. Really see, really hear, really feel. Be present – fully engaged in each moment.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17
“When the time comes to die, make sure that all you have to do is die!”
If you were told that your life would be ending in 24 hours would you have a huge list of things you needed to take care of? What things would they be? Would there be relationships that needed to be mended. People you needed to tell about Christ. Documents you needed to shred. Search history on your computer that needed to be destroyed. People you needed to tell you love them. What would be on your list? Now let’s look at this quote again.
“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21
If we are living every day for Christ and making every day count then death should not be feared. Our final “to do” list should be brief.
“Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God.”
Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power, Your right hand. O Lord, shatters the enemy. Exodus 15:6
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Are your own ideas of yourself limiting what God can do through you?
“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him”
Why do I sometimes think that I know what is best for me? Do you do that?
Oh how I wish I would do a better job of leaving the choice of blessing up to God! How could I possibly even imagine the incredible things He has planned for me?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down front the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17’
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
“Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.”
Have you ever wanted anything so badly or longed for something to happen so fervently that the rest of life was put on hold.
I can say that I have. When we were in our mid 20’s I was told that I couldn’t have children. I wanted a baby so badly. Every ad I saw on TV had a baby in it, every friend I had was pregnant. The only thing I desired in life was a baby. While I was adjusting to this reality I put my life in a holding pattern. We eventually started the adoption process and I came back to living. But it took a while. Then I got pregnant…twice. But I know exactly what this quote means. You probably do too!
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:11-12
“We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth Century does nothing reckon with. But we are “harmless,” and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are “sideliners” — coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!”
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the posers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first’ If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15-18-19
Every now and then I think we need to stop and ask ourselves if we are a sideliner. Are you a fan or a player in the game? How does the world feel about you? Are you dangerous?
We do not have to fly onto a beach in the middle of a tribe of hostile natives to prove our dedication to Christ. But would you be willing?
What about walking across the street to show the love of Christ to a neighbor?
What about sending a note of encouragement or making a phone call to someone you know is struggling?
My challenge to you – and to me – is this…
Get in the game. Live the life of the redeemed. Accept the challenge to give it all. Be dangerous to the forces of evil with Christ as your strength!