My life has been significantly impacted by the life of Elisabeth Elliott, who only this past year came into the presence of the dear Jesus to whom she gave her entire life. A major piece of her life was her relationship to her former husband, now deceased, Jim Elliott, who, along with four other missionary men, obeyed the compelling call of God to share Christ with a primative tribe of people in a remote jungle in Equador. These faithful men paid the ultimate price with their lives. Later, Elisabeth, along with Rachel Saint, the sister of one of the other slain men, Nate Saint, returned to the same tribe of people. God, through their obedience, granted repentance to many of the tribe of the Huaorani indians. The story is recorded in Elisabeth's books, Shadow of the Almighty and Through Gates of Splendor, the latter of which was made into an inspiring and convicting movie by the same title. Later Steve Saint, the son of Nate Saint, produced a follow up movie, Beyond The Gates of Splendor, chronicling the lives of those of the tribe who were converted to Christ. One of those converts was the killer of five missionaries. These true accounts of the grace of God working the the lives of unlikely converts is a testimony of His power to save. And, perhaps most importantly, these are testimonies of the power of God in forgiveness and the impact of the choices of people to forgive one another.
This year marks the 60th year since the death of these brave and faithful missionaries. The Gospel Coalition has commemorated this anniversary in a recent blog, THEY WERE NO FOOLS: 60 YEARS AGO TODAY—THE MARTYRDOM OF JIM ELLIOT AND FOUR OTHER MISSIONARIES, that is worthy of all our reading. This story is one which gives us all a since of living by faith, out of a clear since of calling, by faith, doing what seems impossible, and seeing the God of grace and power doing what only He can do.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Jim Elliott
The reality is that we are going to live forever. How much of our lives would be shaped by and lived differently if we lived with an eternal perspective. In this song by the Afters, we are reminded of the truth of eternity. Listen and worship. Set you mind on things above (Colossians 3:2).
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” CS Lewis
Tim Challies has written an excellent blog, Burning and Yearning, about the issue of our sexual desires. Given that this issue tends to be an area of major struggle for many people, both for the married and not, you are strongly encouraged to read it for your personal growth.
Joshua chapter 7 is a narrative of Israel’s attempt to take down the city of Ai, after having destroyed the city of Jericho. As those who are seeking to walk closer with the Lord in this New Year, several things in this passage are worth our attention.
The Lord had graciously and miraculously given the city of Jericho into Israel’s hands (Joshua 6). He spared the life of a prostitute named Rahab, who had provided shelter of hiding for the spies Joshua sent to spy out the city. Rahab later shows up in the lineage of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. The Lord also, through the city’s destruction, provided for the people of Israel a reputation among the inhabitants of the land as people to be feared. Additionally, He provided for His treasury gold and silver, vessels of bronze and iron—these were to be holy to the Lord. Everything else was to be devoted to destruction.
The struggles of teenagers are intense and growing. Parents of teenagers are facing challenges that are unprecedented. John Piper gives a historial perspective on teenagers and gives wisdom in how they can live disentangled and free from a world that seeks to consume and enslave them.