There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Maybe you have heard of missionary Jim Elliot. He and other missionaries lost their lives seeking to win the Auca tribe of Ecuador to Christ. His life and testimony continue to live long past Elliot as he and his team were killed in 1956.
Not just is his life or death as a martyr incredible, but the fact that his family continued his work after the tribe ended the lives of the missionaries. Elliot’s life and writings before his death open up much more for us to think about and to work through.
Here are some of the journal entries Jim Elliot wrote before his death (these can be found at this WEB SITE):
March 22, 1947
"I lack the fervency, vitality, life, in prayer which I long for. I know that many consider it fanaticism when they hear anything which does not conform to the conventional, sleep-inducing eulogies so often rising from Laodicean lips; but I know too that these same people can acquiescently tolerate sin in their lives and in the church without so much as tilting one hair of their eyebrows."
"Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me."
November 6, 1955
"You wonder why people choose fields away from the States when young people at home are drifting because no one wants to take time to listen to their problems. Ill tell you why I left. Because those Stateside young people have every opportunity to study, hear, and understand the Word of God in their own language, and these Indians have no opportunity whatsoever. I have had to make a cross of two logs, and lie down on it, to show the Indians what it means to crucify a man. When there is that much ignorance over here and so much knowledge and opportunity over there, I have no question in my mind why God sent me here. Those whimpering Stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it---while these never heard of such a thing as writing."
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
Are we willing to give up anything so that others may live?