04 June 2010

Our lack of denial of self betrays our lack of knowledge of "the great passionate heart"

From Jim Elliot's (1927-56) journal:
"Surely those who know the great passionate heart of Jehovah must deny their own lives 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."
(H.T. Radical)

Elliot's first sentence is critical. Everything hinges on knowing the great passionate heart of God. And knowing that "great passionate heart" comes from seeing it demonstrated at the Cross (Romans 5:8). And the Cross only has value if my sin was so serious to God in His holiness, so permanently separating, and so impossible to overcome that it was absolutely necessary for the Son of God to suffer there in my place for my redemption. If everything hinges on knowing the great passionate heart of God, then everything hinges on knowing the Gospel.

Our lack of burden for people, our Mammon-loving bank books and our dusty Bibles all have the same source, namely, unbelief in God and the Gospel. But how do we overcome this?
  • Repentance for our coolness and idolatry (Ezek. 14:6, 1 John 4:20-21, Rev. 2:5).
  • Prayer for divine help to see Christ as He is and the Gospel for what it is (Mark 9:24, 2 Cor. 4:4-6, Ephesians 3:14-19).
  • Participation in a community that stirs us to remember our confidence in Christ (Hebrews 3:12-19, 10:19-25).
  • Urgent, Gospel-service to the "Quichuas" God puts on our heart (Romans 10:1, 1 Cor. 9:19-23).
Our clocks are ticking...


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