Friday, November 30, 2012
Do. Dare. Part 2: What about success?
(Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons: public domain)
I decided I needed to add a few more words...
You see, as I was listening to my sister read from the book 'Christian service', I thought of even more excuses that might come up. And I think these ones need addressing...
'What if I don't succeed?...' 'What if I'm too young, or old, or un-educated, or.............?'
'What if I die?'
Let me direct you to a story...
The Lello family, whom I was never privileged to meet, felt God's call to their hearts, to be foreign missionaries. For them, it was Papua new Guinea. They arrived in their new mission field in March, 2012.
(See this link for more info: http://www.afmonline.org/forms/article.php?id=5998)
On a recent day, as part of his responsibilities, Mr. Lello was falling trees in a forest near his new home.
He never returned alive.
Oh, what a tragedy! A mother and wife, left with two small daughters. Alone.
And, looking upon this example, we may wonder. Did they succeed? Was it only a tragic waste?
Another story. The Majesty of Heaven. King of the universe...
Becomes a poor, homeless person.
And is murdered by, of all people, His chosen ones.
Was it a waste?
I'll let you decide...
"The duke of Wellington was once present where a party of Christian men were discussing the possibility of success in missionary effort among the heathen. They appealed to the duke to say whether in his judgment such efforts were likely to prove a success commensurate to the cost. The old soldier replied: "Gentlemen, what are your marching orders? Success is not the question for you to discuss. If I read your orders aright, they run thus, 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.' Gentlemen, obey your marching orders." --Gospel Workers, p. 115. (emphasis supplied)
My friends, we must count the cost. It may cost money. It may cost your success in temporal things.
It may cost your life.
But at what gain?
"The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul." --Christ's Object Lessons, pg. 196.
"There is danger in delay. That soul whom you might have found, that soul to whom you might have opened the Scriptures, passes beyond your reach. Satan has prepared some net for his feet, and tomorrow he may be working out the plans of the archenemy of God. Why delay one day? Why not go to work at once?" --Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 443.
"We have no time to lose. The end is near. The passage from place to place to spread the truth will soon be hedged with dangers on the right hand and on the left. Everything will be placed to obstruct the way of the Lord's messengers, so that they will not be able to do that which it is possible for them to do now. We must look our work fairly in the face, and advance as fast as possible in aggressive warfare. From the light given me of God I know that the powers of darkness are working with intense energy from beneath, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a wolf taking his prey. We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do; but soon it will be more difficult than we can imagine. God help us to keep in the channel of light, to work with our eyes fastened on Jesus our leader, and patiently, perseveringly press on to gain the victory." -- Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 22.
I won't belabor it. I will simply say this: I am counting the cost. Will you join me?
I feel that working for souls far outweighs what this temporal life is worth, if the Lord sees fit to lay me to rest. Or sees fit for me to be poor. Or unknown. Or afflicted in any way... Above, we have seen our marching orders.
I can only repeat the words of the old duke, slightly modified...
Seventh-day Adventists, obey your marching orders.
And please pray for the dear, brave Lello family... They know what it means to sacrifice all.