After reading, “Through Gates of Splendor”, and “The Savage My Kinsman”, I took up this book for more of the same. I was not disappointed. This book was filled with excerpts from Jim Elliot’s journals, and interspersed with Elisabeth’s commentary and additional information that put the entries in some context. This book moved slower then the previous two, but was absolutely worth the read.

This book was powerfully inspiring and motivating. The journal quotes breathed such love and fervent, passionate devotion to God. His preoccupation with the things of God, the way he viewed all of his life as a sacrifice for the service of Christ, helped reveal to me the areas of my life in which I still viewed my life as “my own”. Reading this book stirred a lingering desire in me to be a missionary and share the gospel with those who have never heard, as it laid bare how empty this life is if not devoted to things that matter in eternity.

Although his passion was extraordinary, at least when compared with the majority of Christians today, he did have times of discouragement and despair. He was not without his weaknesses, yet he did not let those times or temptations dissuade him from seeking his treasure–Jesus Christ.

Jim Elliot was encouraged by friend and family to remain in the states to stir up the American Christians. He did not, saying that Americans had the Scriptures, and he could not stay while there were other peoples that had never heard, and didn’t have the Scriptures. I find it a marvelous working of God that in following his calling to go to Ecuador, Jim Elliot did both–was a witness in an unreached people group, and yet, also stirred up, and continues to stir the American Christians who hear his story, and read his story–a life lived passionately for God.

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Memorial Day

28 May 2008

I’m late with my Memorial Day post, but after just listening to a message by John Piper—William Tyndale: A Life Transformed by God’s Word—I realized it would be an excellent resource to share in light of this day of remembrance.

The most touching part of the message, for me, was this quote from a letter written by Tyndale, to the king of England.

I assure you, if it would stand with the King’s most gracious pleasure to grant only a bare text of the Scripture [that is, without explanatory notes] to be put forth among his people, like as is put forth among the subjects of the emperor in these parts, and of other Christian princes, be it of the translation of what person soever shall please his Majesty, I shall immediately make faithful promise never to write more, not abide two days in these parts after the same: but immediately to repair unto his realm, and there most humbly submit myself at the feet of his royal majesty, offering my body to suffer what pain or torture, yea, what death his grace will, so this [translation] be obtain

ed. Until that time, I will abide the asperity of all chances, whatsoever shall come,

and endure my life in as many pains as it is able to bear and suffer.

The king refused. And Tyndale never went to his homeland again. Instead, if the king and the Roman Catholic Church would not provide a printed Bible in English for the common man to read, Tyndale would, even if it cost him his life—which it did five years later

In other words, Tyndale will give himself up to the king on one condition—that the king authorize an English Bible translated from the Greek and Hebrew in the common language of the people.

Quote from: “Always Singing One Note—a Vernacular Bible”

He was willing to offer himself, if only the translation would be permitted. I realized—again, afresh—that I do not have that kind of love and passion for the Word. Lord, grant that I would!

Do you know how great an impact William Tyndale had on the Bible you hold in your hand (hopefully) every day (you’ll learn this in the message)? Do you know the people who gave their lives for the furtherance of the written Word of God? Let us thank God for them—and praise Him! Let us not take the privilege for granted that we can hold the Word of God in our hands, and read it in our native tongue—many, many people don’t have this blessing. Let us pray for them, too, that God would send laborers into the harvest to share with them the message of reconciliation, and in their own language. And let us also ask, with humble, obedient hearts: “Lord, I’m willing; do you send me ‘not where Christ is named’?” He has called, without exception, all of us as witnesses (some at home, and some abroad). The question to be asked is, “What kind of witness am I being? One faithful to Him?”

On Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives for us that we might live, and in freedom here on earth. Should we not also remember those who gave their lives that we might live spiritually, and be freed from the bondage of sin, and to sin to glorify God? And ultimately, that is what Christ did and has done for us. Soli deo gloria!

Note: If, for whatever reason, you can’t listen to the message, here is a similar message you can read. “Always Singing One Note—a Vernacular Bible” (also linked to above)

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