I have been thinking that my longing to see unreached people continues to be a driving passion in my own life—especially those who have never had the opportunity to really hear and understand the Good News that Jesus has for them!
But I have been asking myself… Is it worth dying for and am I willing?
Why am I thinking about this?
Maybe it’s the recent story of the 26-year-old American missionary who was killed by a remote Indian tribe. He had planned the trip for two years knowing that his own death was highly likely. His friends didn't stop him because 'that’s what God is calling him to do.’
Or maybe it’s our recent trip to Africa where good friends are now routinely going into dangerous situations:
- Our friends from Rwanda are now making their third trip into a remote area of South Sudan. If someone there had not taken on the role of their personal bodyguard, they likely would have been killed the first time in.
- Our friends from Kenya are routinely going into areas of Turkana and Pokot (remote north) where children carry guns and deadly cattle rustling is the norm.
So, this has brought me to some measure of self-examination. Do I still truly and fully believe deeply that the unreached and the mission that Jesus initiated is worth dying for… and worth giving up my life for?
I hope to say, ‘yes!’ I think back to oh so many years ago, when I was lost. I mean really lost. 19 years old and alone. And confused. And terribly misguided. Headed for more and more trouble. Without purpose or direction or hope. When Jesus sought me out, reached in, and poured grace and forgiveness and unimaginable love. And I went from lost to confidently saved, from pauper to prince, from prisoner to free indeed, from orphan to adopted by Father. From death to life everlasting. How can I not still want this for others with the willingness to pay any price!
But then the follow up question is, ‘so what does that mean?’
For now, I suppose it means that I do not want my focus and passion for the lost to diminish. This is a blog about ‘church’ in the sense of desiring to see expressions of church that reflect life without institutional trappings. But, at the end of the day, none of this matters if my heart is not reflecting that which Jesus himself died for: those who do not know Him including those who are currently beyond the reach of the Gospel.
Maybe this season of Advent is a good time to reflect and renew my own heart in the focus that led to Jesus’ own coming and how I want my coming year to walk out as a result.
Something worth dying for gives life a passion and focus that makes life worth living for!
(Readers, forgive me if I add one more thing on a ministry note. I rarely mention our work and efforts through Appleseed Ministry on this blog, but we have a special year-end focus related to unreached areas and helping the Gospel go to where it is NOT. These funds go 100% directly to field work, not to us, not to our organization, and not to administration. Your partnership here--as well as many other wonderful efforts around the world--can impact directly those who have not heard.)