A new generation of believers and seekers is learning about those who have counted their wants and needs as being unimportant when compared to the purposes of God. The junior high kids at my church have recently heard the story of Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderan who were martyred in 1956 while striving to share Christ with those who had never heard His name.
Tom Little, an American who along with his family, went to Afghanistan in 1977 to serve God and impact an unknown area in His name. In 2010, after thirty-three years of serving, Tom and nine other medical aid workers were killed by the Taliban.
In each event, the surviving family members chose to pick up the ministry from where it had been laid down and continued to serve Christ. When asked by others why, each family answered the loss of their family member, their husband and father, hurt, but the purposes of God matter more.
Each of those who have laid their life down believed with conviction the lyrics we now often sing in our churches, “I lay me down, I’m not my own, I belong to You alone, lay me down, lay me down…”
Each one of those who lost their life in the name of Christ, knew that there was so much more for them and for us, that it was and is literally worth laying our lives down for that purpose.
Philippians 3:7-11 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
So, when someone asks, “What is it going to cost me to serve Christ?” The answer is everything. But the outcome –from the eternal perspective, is worth it.