I read a lot of life stories – biographies of believers who have made an impact on their world for Jesus. Some have been long gone and enjoying their reward in heaven – others are still pushing on through daily obstacles here and now. In the summer I take the opportunity of a slightly slower pace and a few free evenings to sit outside under a large tree (I planted it 30 years ago) and read while sitting in the shade. People like John Paton, Jim Elliot, C.T. Studd and many others have become good friends.
These great men and women of God all illustrate one fundamental truth: your life is free to be radical when you see death as reward. This is the essence of what Jesus taught in Matthew 10, and I believe it is THE KEY to taking back your faith from the world, the flesh and the devil. The key, it seems, is realizing – and believing – that the world is not your home. If you and I ever hope to live our lives free from worldly desires, worldly thinking, worldly pleasures, worldly dreams, worldly ideas, worldly values, worldly ambitions, and worldly acclaim, then we must focus our lives on another world. We must fix our attention on “a better country – a heavenly one.”
Though we find ourselves surrounded by the lure of temporary pleasure, we must fasten our affections on the One who promises eternal treasure that will never spoil or fade. If your life or my life is ever going to count on Earth, we must start by concentrating on Heaven. For then, and only then, will you and I be free to take radical risks, knowing that we are citizens of Heaven and it is in Heaven that we receive our reward.
Listen to the reward that C.T. Studd* was living for…
“Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past!…Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm. faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust God…and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing loud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in God than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.”
That is what it means to live for Heaven and not be afraid to die for Christ…and thus to make a real impact on your world for Jesus.
* C. T. Studd (1860-1931) was a cricketer and a Christian pioneer who help to found a number of organizations and did mission work in both China and Africa while having a worldwide impact for the Gospel. For more information go to Wikipedia…