I love Jesus. There is no doubt in my mind. I also love people, and I know that Jesus calls us to share His love with others every day. Even so, sometimes I get distracted. From paying bills to watching sports, grocery shopping to reading a good book, there are a thousand things to compete for my attention.
Then I come across a quote that reignites that passion to see people come to know my God and His great love, stories of people with great passion and deep faith. God has used the stories of missionaries from around the world to remind me of His calling to share His word and His love. As you read these quotes, may your faith be renewed and your fire relit, as mine has been.
Jim Elliot was a missionary in Ecuador, with the mission of bringing the Gospel to the Quechua people. He and four other missionaries reached out to the Quechua people via a plane with which they dropped gifts and made announcements over a loudspeaker. Elliot is quoted as saying, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Elliot and four other missionaries would lose their lives on January 8, 1956 to a group of Huaorani warriors. After his death, his wife went to live in the same tribe. Today, there are many Huaorani Christians, thanks to the first contact made by Elliot and his companions.
C.T. Studd said, "Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell." And he did. Studd was first a missionary to China where he worked with the China Inland Mission. Later he would pastor a church for 6 years in India. Studd also began missions in Sudan and the Congo. He died at the age of 70, still serving as a missionary.
Hudson Taylor was called to serve God in China. He said,“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” Without a doubt, Hudson Taylor obeyed the command. Taylor is considered one of the founders of modern missions because of his pivotal work in China. Taylor founded the China Inland Mission and worked to see the Chinese people come to know Jesus for over 50 years. His organization is responsible for hundreds of schools, thousands of missionaries, and countless new Christians.
The Great Commision is a call to all of us. God calls us to share His love and His word throughout the world. Some people are called to do so by traveling to the ends of the earth, like the people in these missionary stories. Some people are called to love their neighbors and share the good news of Jesus exactly where they are right now. We can do this by treating our friends and family members with respect, by starting a prayer group with friends, by raising our children in the image of the Lord, and in many more ways. We are all called to live in faithfulness to God every day of our lives.