Luke 9:24-25 (NIV) – For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
Jim Elliott famously paraphrased these verses when he wrote, “he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” The journal entry was dated October 28, 1949. Seven years later, Jim Elliott along with four other missionaries were martyred by the very people they were evangelizing in Ecuador. Their stories made the news in the States with most containing headlines regarding the tragedy of these lost lives and the wasted effort. Yet, the response by Elizabeth Elliott, Jim’s wife, was the following, “There can be no greater joy than to know that the blood of our husbands has been the seed of the [Huaorani] church.”
“To follow Jesus and share his cross may mean that neighbors and friends do not always understand why we do what we do. Our understanding of what counting the cost means is only theoretical until we are put in such circumstances. But those who have contemplated counting the cost will be ready when the moment comes… when a time comes to choose God over family, self, or possessions.” [Darrell L. Bock, NIVAC Luke, p. 405]
Let’s pray: Father, may we be ready to say, “there is no greater joy,” when through our laying down of life, comes life. In Jesus’ name, amen.