This morning, I received a wonderful email from a high school student in the states. She told me that after hearing the mission news that we need more servants of God who can communicate and share the Gospel in either Arabic or Farsi language, she went to the section of foreign languages in the public library near her house yesterday. And then, she borrowed the Arabic and Greek study books and embarked on the Arabic alphabet immediately last night! Oh, what a tremendous and extraordinary maiden for Christ!
So, today, I'd like to write a letter of encouragement to our mission-minded Christian youths. Yes, I want to encourage you to pursue a concentrated life.
As you all know, in this world, there are so many cultural & athletic events, harmless hobbies, recreations etc which are not evil in themselves, meaning, it is not sin at all for Christians to engage themselves in these things.
However, I want to challenge you, my dear young Christians. Do you want to live a Gospel-centered life? If so, the Gospel preaching should not be just one piece of your fairly busy life schedules and various trifles. No, it should be the very center of your life. In fact, the Gospel mission should be an axis and that your life shall revolve around it (and not vice versa.)
If we do this and pursue "one thing needful (Luke10:42)" seriously and wholeheartedly, then He will show you the order of priority in your life. Maybe your church friends are enjoying some things which are not evil in themselves, and they spend quite a lot of time and money on these and talk a lot about these things. Yeah, of course, these might be good for them but what about you?
Have you heard the names like Van Dyke or Henry Martyn? They were the young missionaries who had been sent to Middle East in the 19th century and after tremendous efforts, they started to translate the Holy Bible from Hebrew/Aramaic/Koine Greek into Arabic and Persian languages.
Amazingly, both Van Dyke Arabic translation (1867) and Henry Martyn Persian translation (1837) have been used as one of the best word-for-word translations until today.
"No one going as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of life, that he may please him who has enlisted him as a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:4
I think you all know about Jim Elliot. He was a missionary martyr to Auca tribe in Ecuador who was killed along with his four other fellow missionaries in 1956.
Elizabeth Elliot, who later became his wife, wrote in her memoirs that while they were studying in Wheaton College, she happened to see this young man (=Jim) in the student cafeteria. Waiting in the line, Jim was completely absorbed in memorizing the Koine Greek verbs on the cards, which left her deep and lasting impression.
"When the time comes to die, make sure that all you have to do is die!"
― The Journals of Jim Elliot
So, like Van Dyke and Henry Martyn, Jim was the man of concentration, too.
“Surely those who know the great passionate heart of Jehovah must deny their own loves to share in the expression of His. Consider the call from the Throne above, "Go ye," and from round about, "Come over and help us," and even the call from the damned souls below, "Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place."
Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more.
Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.”
― Jim Elliot
My dear young Christians, our life on this earth is just one time. For which cause and for whom do you want to pour out your life?