I was recently talking to an indigenous leader in Africa. Having experienced the love and forgiveness of Jesus and having enjoyed the reality of God being with him, his passion was to have the Love of Jesus shared with the strong Muslim community around him. But he had a choice. He knew that to properly share the good news of Jesus would require time in studying the scriptures, time in developing study materials and especially it would require large amounts of time to translate and write out the scriptures in a language which his local people could understand. However, the amount of time required also meant that he would have less time to work at his job, meaning that he would have less money for food and other necessities. He could not work faithfully at ministering in God’s word for others and also put in full time work earning a living for himself. What should he do? It was either provide for himself in the natural things or provide for others in the spiritual realm.
His choice was to have less food for himself, to sacrifice his own personal ease or convenience in life. He cut back in all his spending to the point where his own physical condition deteriorated and he was coughing up blood and about to die. Yet he did so to enable others to hear about the great love of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul talks about his fellow coworker, Epaphroditus, who labored so much for the sake of the kingdom of God and “for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.” “For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.” (Phil. 2:30 NLT)
I was challenged in my heart as I talked to this African Leader. He was not boastful or arrogant in what he had done but he had a passion that those around him have a saving walk with Jesus Christ and he was very self sacrificing in trying to bring this about. His priority for others knowing Jesus was stronger than his desire for personal ease or comfort. This man’s passion and sacrifice has helped opened the door to 253,000 people having a clearer opportunity to hear about the good news of Jesus.
Lord Jesus increase our desire to see others walk with You. Lord, may our sacrifice bring increase into your kingdom.
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