How Shall We Begin To Live?
The war of 1812 was fought by the US and its indigenous allies as a “Second War of Independence” against the United Kingdom and its allies in British North America. It was during that tumultuous time that the Lord led America’s first missionaries to set sail from Boston Massachusetts bound for the East Indies on February 19, 1812—over 200 years ago. These young sons and daughters of New England natives were choosing to forsake all they had to hazard themselves in months of unrest and uncertainty at sea and seaports so they could eventually arrive and settle in India and Burma to be the Gospel’s “savory salt” to the hardened heathen there, (Luke 14:33-34). Some succumbed to their suffering soon after arrival. Babies died. Wives perished. A few had to return. Others went on to live and minister for as long as 54 years on their field of service. No life was wasted. No opportunity was squandered. No one blamed God or each other. Instead, they grieved, and they wept. But then, through the power of God and their portion of faith, they pressed on for the glory of God and the spread of the Gospel further on, (Rom.12:3). It must have been through a time of anxious grief not long resolved that one of those missionaries, Adoniram Judson, penned these words:
“Let us die as soon as possible, and by whatever process God shall appoint. And when we are dead to the world, and nature, and self, we shall begin to live to God.”
One reason why our churches here at home have not produced any missionaries, let alone ones of the same calling and caliber as those of 200 years ago, is because they have not perished to this present world (Titus 2:12). Our sons and daughter dare not lay down their lives for Christ’s sake and for the far flinging spread of His Gospel because of the loss it would require. Loss of their own lives, yes, but also loss of favor from their families who would not let them go—fathers, mothers, wives, children, brothers, and sisters (Luke 14:26). Yet, as Judson noted, it is only in this dying that we even begin to live! Or as Jesus stated:
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’” Matthew 16:24-25
It is by this cause you and I must then begin to live! Thank you for always praying for the furtherance of the Gospel….for the faithfulness of our local churches…and for the fortitude of our missionaries!
Praying & Pleading!
GFF General Director