Saturday, July 3, 2010
Searching For The Savior Saturday
Next Saturday I leave with Scott and Hannah and Alex for Michigan. We will be at the SEND International Headquarters for two more weeks of training. The majority of the training will be cross-cultural training, both for us and the kids. Hannah and Alex are excited about meeting some kids who understand all the thoughts that are going through their head. Scott and I are excited because we realize it puts us one step closer to Spain.
Part of the requirements before we arrive is to read three books. Have We No Rights by Mabel Williamson is a short, seemingly easy read. Until you stop and think about what you are actually reading. The book attempts to summarize rights that career missionaries give up to reach the lost.
Williamson says “On the mission field it is not the enduring of hardships, the lack of comforts, and the roughness of that life that make the missionary cringe and falter. It is something far less romantic and far more real. It is something that will hit you right down where you live. The missionary has to give up having his own way. He has to give up having any rights. He has, in the words of Jesus, to “deny himself.” He just has to give up himself.
Paul knew all about this. If you do not believe it, look at 1 Corinthians 9. “Have we no right to eat and to drink?” He asks. “Have we not a right to forbear working?....Nevertheless, “he goes on, “we did not use this right… Though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more” (vv.4, 6, 12, 19)
Paul, as a missionary, willingly gave up his rights for the sake of the Gospel. Are we ready to do the same?
But, someone will ask, why should this be especially true for the missionary? What rights must be given up on the mission field that a consecrated Christian at home would not have to give up?”
The book goes on to answer that question with a list of 11 rights that are given up to be a missionary. The rights include things such as privacy, ordinary safeguards of good health, to run things and more. And yes, I realize that the missionary on international soil must give these up in greater extremes than my mind can even fathom today. But what about the missionary (all believers) left at home?
Are we ready to “bring myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more?” What are you hanging on to that you aren’t willing to forsake for the sake of the gospel? Jesus gave up every right that he deserved for the sake of all of us. Do we really deserve more rights than Christ?