Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ready To Live or Die



John G. Paton (1824-1907) pioneered a missionary work in an area that was inhabited by cannibals. The depth of his commitment to Christ was demonstrated by his reply to what an elderly acquaintance said to him as he was making preparations to leave for the field. His friend expressed a fear that Paton might be eaten by cannibals.

Paton responded, "Mr. Dixon, you are advanced in years now, and your prospect is to be soon laid in the grave and to be eaten by worms. I confess to you that if I can but live and die serving the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or worms."

Paton was fully committed to serving Christ in whatever way and place the Lord might choose, and how he would die was of little consequence to him. Such total and unqualified surrender to the Lord Jesus reminds me of the apostle Paul's declaration in our Scripture reading. He indicated his desire that the Lord might be magnified in his body, "whether by life or by death" (Phil. 1:20).

The hymnwriter A. C. Palmer wrote:

Ready to go, ready to stay,
Ready my place to fill;
Ready for service lowly or great,
Ready to do His will.


Do those words echo sentiments? Can you say, as did Paul, Paton, and Palmer, that you are ready to live or die dor chirst

IT IS BETTER TO SUFFER FOR THE COUSE OF CHRIST THAT FOR THE COUSE OF CHRIST TO SUFFER

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