Sep
7

Risky Love

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  2 Comments

“Men who have hazarded their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ”  Acts 15:26 (KJV)

As we read of the lives of God’s people in the Bible and in Church history, there are some who stand out – whose actions must appear either extremely heroic or else downright crazy. These were men and women who despised the very visible risks and dangers before them in their bid to be true to God and to his call on their lives. They all seem to have said, like Esther, “If I perish, I perish!”

In the 1950s there were five very promising young men in the USA who had all the opportunities and resources to stay home and make “something” of their lives. But instead they decided to follow God’s call upon their lives to go out to reach a small headhunting  tribe – the Auca Indians of South America – who had never heard of Christ. They all knew the risks involved – that there was a strong possibility that they could be killed; yet they went, and they were all killed even before they had the opportunity to preach to them. But through their death many of the Aucas today know Jesus Christ.

Like his Master, Mark’s life was short – 35 years and the carnal man like Judas would ask, “To what purpose is this waste?” (Matt 26:8 – KJV) . But the explanation Jesus the Lord gave, was, “for she loved much.” (Luke 7:47 – NIV) Now, we must understand that it is well pleasing to God when men “love not their lives unto death” for his sake. It is to our shame that we know very little of this kind of love in this age of the “bless me, bless me” gospel. But God seeks lovers – those who love much. Not in word alone, but in deed.

Let’s look now at four attributes of men with this kind of love, as portrayed in the lives of three of David’s mighty men in 2 Samuel 23 verses 13 to 17.

We are told first of all that these men “came to David”(v.13). They sought first fellowship and intimacy with the king. Men with this kind of love for the Lord are not primarily ambitious adventurers seeking to accomplish great feats. No, their first and all-consuming desire is, “that I may know him”. So they draw near. Any risk-taking or venture that does not spring from  intimacy with God  cannot please God.

Secondly, it was when they came close enough to David that those men were able to hear his longing – his heart-cry (v.15). Many of us today are unable to hear God’s heart-cry because we are too far from him. Too many unnecessary things have drawn our hearts away – “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things”. So many do not know God’s program for their lives, nor for their generation. Others have abandoned their initial calling and vision.

Thirdly, it comes as a sharp contrast to most of us today the way these men responded immediately to the king’s longing (v.16). (Note: David never requested his men to go on that dangerous mission.) Remember in Isaiah 6:8, Isaiah heard God telling of a need, to which he personally responded.  These men were not “specifically” called to do something. They could have felt ’not fully persuaded‘ that it was they who should do the work. Or they could have spent time deliberating on whether or not the task at hand was within ’their calling‘, as we often do today.

But love is much simpler. All that matters to a lover is the desire of the one he loves. The immediate reply of the lover is “Here I am, send me”. The lover starts to move in the direction of the Lord’s longing and trusts that the Lord would redirect him if the work were not for him.

Today we do the opposite. When we hear God’s longing or call we stay put or continue to move in the opposite direction hoping that God will not disturb us (most of the times he doesn’t seem to!). A brother who was well acquainted with the needs of the mission fields, told me it was more advisable (he must have meant safer) for one to go on pursuing his plans and leave God to direct if he wants one in the mission field. I told him that I felt it would be more pleasing to God if those who hear of the unreached would begin to head out to meet these needs, trusting God to redirect them if he has some other plan for them. Can’t God do that?

It’s the hardness of our hearts that makes us so cautious in responding to God’s heart’s desires. We are afraid of the consequences of God’s call on our lives. Yet “there is no fear in love”.

Lastly we see that they counted their Master’s desire more important than their safety, comfort, ambitions, or even their  own lives(v.16). They despised the risks and accomplished the task. Today we are taught that the more faith we have, the more our comfort will increase. We have learnt to love our lives. Yet these men “went in jeopardy of their lives” (v.17).

The heart-cry of God today is that all “the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14 – NIV). There are still many ethnic groups or peoples unreached with the gospel today in Africa and all around the world. Researchers tell us that there are over 6,900 such remaining unreached ethnic groups. And God calls “whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” He calls us to leave our comfort zone and go out to quench his thirst. If we love him we will earnestly seek to find out from him (even with fasting and praying), how we can be involved in praying, going and giving of our resources.

Jim Elliot, one of the five men who was killed, said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”. Jesus said “He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” John 12:25 (KJV)

Do you love him as much as that?

2 Comments to “Risky Love”

  • I really desire to get to that level of loving Christ completely…don’t know how. wept too any times that I hate tears now

  • Hmm. Thanks bro Chim.The Bless-me gospel is not as harmless as that word used. It is actually a Beast that has swallowed willing and unwilling sincere christians. I thank God for His patience in helping us out of it and His graciousness in helping us on.There are so many needs around and yet man has never been “richer”. Thanks, I didnt know where I saw that quote but I have quoted it and met nothing but blank stares around me.The case is so bad that getting passionately angry can lead one to self-righteousness. Only the righteousness of God and the patience He gives will help get any out of that beast.
    Everywhere seems to be a mission field right now. Only with the eyes of the Spirit can one truly say “the earth is filled with His glory…” And it truelly is.
    His will will be done.
    Home at last and Home a-glorious way to Bro Mark and the Comforter’s comfort to His wife and children. Where are they right now?
    Well done. Love to Sis Ibidun.

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