David Livingstone described his work as a medical missionary in Africa as a high honor, not a sacrifice. He said, “Forbid that we should ever consider the holding of a commission from the King of Kings a sacrifice, so long as other men esteem the service of an earthly government as an honor. I am a missionary, heart and soul. God Himself had an only Son, and He was a missionary and a physician. A poor, poor imitation I am, or wish to be, but in this service I hope to live. In it I wish to die. I still prefer poverty and missions service to riches and ease. This is my choice.”1
C. T. Studd, who served as a missionary to China, India, and Africa, said, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice is too great for me to give to Him.”2
Bob Pierce established World Vision, and Samaritan’s Purse, to minister to the poor and needy. He prayed, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”3
I still prefer poverty and missions service, to riches and ease.
Oswald Smith was a missionary statesman from Canada.
He said, “I want Thy plan, O God, for my life. May I be happy and contented whether in the homeland or on the foreign field; whether married or alone, in happiness or sorrow, health or sickness, prosperity or adversity – I want Thy plan, O God, for my life. I want it; oh, I want it!”4
Jim Elliot was a missionary to the Quichua Indians in South America.
He was killed by South American Indians, as he sought to take the message of Christ to those who had never heard. Later, his wife and others shared the gospel with the very ones who had murdered him, and many came to know Christ. His famous quote is, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep; to gain what he cannot lose.” 5
Remember, “Self-preservation is the first law of nature, but self-sacrifice is the highest rule of grace.” 6
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- Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King, Experiencing God, Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN., Copyright 1994, pp. 153 – 154.