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Monday, December 13, 2010

You Can Go Back

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10 (New American Standard Bible)

I’m pretty sure if I took the Gospel message to a group of people and they abused me I would more than likely shake the dust off my feet and say “Tough luck, guys. You had your chance. I’m out of here.”  The history of the Christian faith has many folk who have chosen to go back. In 1956 Christian and Missionary Alliance light bearer, Jim Elliot, and 4 fellow missionaries were brutally slain in the jungles of Ecuador by members of the Auca Indian tribe as they tried to share the message of God’s love. While Jim Elliot couldn’t go back his wife, Elisabeth, did. She returned and spent 2 years ministering to the people who were responsible for shattering her life. Several of the Auca men who had participated in the murder of her husband became Christians as a result. The Apostle Paul was stoned at Lystra and his body dumped outside the city. He miraculously stood up and returned to the city which had almost ended his life (Acts 14:10). Hudson Taylor’s first endeavors to bring the gospel to China seemed to bring defeat. In 1855, 18 preaching tours to Shanghai were poorly received by the Chinese people and his medical supplies were lost to fire. In 1856 he was robbed of nearly all he owned. The year 1858 brought the death of his child. Taylor remained in China for another 51 years, in that time he was able to bring 800 missionaries over and establish 125 schools while learning 4 Chinese dialects.

How could they do it? The world believes the message of the cross is foolishness while we who are being saved know it is the power of God (1st Corinthians 1:18). No man or woman born of Adam’s seed can do it on their own. Those who do are endowed with the same Spirit of our loving Heavenly Father that came back to Adam’s lost race to redeem it; the same human race who murdered His Only Begotten Son. The thought of it is glorious in its theme. No other belief system unveils such a Divine Being or offers such hope to those who feel so hopeless. The example serves me well. I can say to those who abuse me “Hey, I’m back. How can I be of service?” This is the Christmas season where we celebrate the birth of He who became flesh and dwelt among us bringing light into our darkness, opening the eyes of the blind, healing the broken hearted and proclaiming the acceptable year of our Redeemer God. You have loved us with an everlasting love Jesus. I'm so grateful You came back for me.