Luke 9:23-24 (NIV)
23 Then he said to them all: �Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
We must live a life of self-denial, mortification, and contempt of the world; we must not indulge our ease and appetite, for then it will be hard to bear toil, and weariness, and want, for Christ. We are daily subject to affliction, and we must accommodate ourselves to it, and acquiesce in the will of God in it, and must learn to endure hardship. We frequently meet with crosses in the way of duty; and, though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, carry them after Christ, and make the best of them. [Matthew Henry]
Benjamin Kwashi, a Christian leader from Jos, Nigeria, tells the following story of how the gospel came to his part of the country:
Missionaries came to my home area of Nigeria in 1907. One of them was a man named Reverend Fox. Reverend Fox was a professor at Cambridge University, and when he arrived his walk with Christ was so deep that he led many people to Christ. He founded a church and moved about 10 kilometers away to Amper, my own hometown, and founded the church there too. How a first-class person from the University of Cambridge was communicating to illiterates, I don't know, but God suddenly gave him favor and people were turning to Jesus Christ. So many people came to Christ that he wrote to his younger brother, who was a physician also in Cambridge, and asked him to come and help him because medical practice was needed. As his brother started the journey from England, Reverend Fox fell ill and died. Soon after his brother arrived, he also fell ill and died.
The Church Mission Society wrote to their father, who was also a pastor. When they told him he had lost two sons, he and his wife cried, but then they did something astounding. They sold their land and property, took the proceeds to the mission society, and said, "As much as we grieve the death of our two sons, we will only be consoled if the purpose for which they died continues." They gave that money and walked away.
Recently I looked through the profile of those two missionaries who came to my hometown. They both had first-class educations and degrees from the best schools. They died as young men�the oldest was only 32. They gave up everything to serve Jesus and bring the gospel to my country. Were they crazy? No, they had heard what Jesus had said, they believed it, and they were willing to stake their whole lives on the truth of Jesus' words. These men wanted to end their lives well. No matter how long or short their life, it wasn't going to be wasted, but they would invest it for eternity.
[Benjamin Kwashi, "Where Do You Want to Finish Your Life?" PreachingToday.com]
These men lost their lives serving Christ, but many others found their lives due to their service to Christ.
Last edited by AskMe; 04/12/16 05:58 AM.