In America we have many freedoms. Freedom of speech, the press, the right to bear arms, and the freedom of religion. While on my journey around the world with the World Race, it became clear to me that not everyone is as fortunate. In many countries, the law determines what religion you are to practice. As in America, if a law is broken, you are punished.
For some Hindus or Buddhists, converting to Christianity would mean being exiled from their family. In a country where radical Islam has religious rule, converting could mean death. For us here in America, it may look like being bullied at school or our job.
You might be asking, why take that risk, then? Why risk family or even your life? To answer this question I want to look at the story of Jim Elliot. Jim and a few friends felt called to travel to an unreached people group in Ecuador and share the gospel with them. They said goodbye and see you later to their wives and families, boarded a plane, and set out to share the love of Jesus. After spending some time in the nation’s capital and other cities they journeyed into the area where the indigenous people were. They made camp a short distance from the village and were greeted soon after by a small group from the village. Based on that group’s welcoming attitude Jim and his colleagues decided to head into the village to meet the people they had been planning to meet for years; this time they were met with spears and knives. Jim’s body was later found floating downriver. Years later his wife and teenage daughter visited with the very same people who had killed their loved ones and many came to Christ.
You may be thinking, how could they go back? How could they face the people who had killed their husband and dad? The answer can be found in Psalm 46:10.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
They could stand to go back because the call from God for every nation to declare His name was greater than their feelings. Sure, they could have hardened their hearts and said, “Those people don’t deserve to hear about God after what they did.” But through seeking the Father’s face and knowing their purpose on Earth was to serve God no matter what, they made their way back. Because of their willingness to listen and be obedient, a previously unreached people came to Christ.
Faith cost Jim Elliot his life. For many missionaries, it costs time with family or comforts. Faith comes at an even higher price for those living under harsh governmental laws. 2 Timothy 3:12 says,
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Depending on where you live, the cost of living a life dedicated to Christ will look different, but it will be a life more full and abundant than anything you could ever imagine. Are you willing to pay that price? Are you willing to be the object of ridicule? Are you willing to lose your job because a new rule does not follow the guidelines God has set in place for His people? Are you willing to leave all you know behind because there are people who have yet to hear about Jesus?
Let’s share about a person or people we know that could use our prayers. It may be a missionary living in a hostile country or a person you know who is stepping out in faith in an area of their life. Share those stories here!
- James, carpenter turned evangelist - August 22, 2017
- Faith Is Not Always Free - July 28, 2017
- Why Do Fathers Provide? - June 19, 2017
- A Mom’s Super Power - May 19, 2017
- The Tomb was Only Borrowed - April 16, 2017
- Loosen Up on the Leash - March 17, 2017
- Not My Heart But His Heart - February 15, 2017
- God Said to Stop Asking When - January 16, 2017
- The Real Reason for the Season - December 16, 2016
- How to Receive Joy From Giving Love to the Least of These - November 18, 2016