Cross Connections

18-1

Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. ~Revelation 5:9

When he was in his late twenties, an ordinary young man named David Livingstone attended a meeting to hear a pioneer missionary, Robert Moffat, speak of his experience in Africa. Moffat said, “Many a morning I have stood on the porch of my house, and looking northward, have seen the smoke arise from villages that have never heard of Jesus Christ. I have seen, at different times, the smoke of a thousand villages– villages whose people are without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world… the smoke of a thousand villages.”

David Livingstone went home and couldn’t sleep that night, haunted by Moffat’s words: “the smoke of a thousand villages.” Soon, the call of God had taken hold of Livingstone’s heart, and he left England, sailed to Africa, and became a world-famous, trailblazing missionary who dedicated his life to bringing the gospel to the interior of “deepest, darkest Africa.” The burden of unreached people with no access to the gospel drove a lifetime of sacrifice and unreserved commitment to the Great Commission.

Our Cross Connections passage from Revelation 5 points us not just to Livingstone’s gospel motivation for missions, but to the very reason that you and this entire universe exist. The cause of missions– bringing the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ to every tribe and language and people and nation in the world– is not just for the few and famous like David Livingstone, but is the cause for which every believer exists. This is the purpose for which Father created the universe: that his Son would be praised by a redeemed people from every nation from all eternity. You exist, and have been rescued and joined to Christ and his church, for this great, glorious purpose: that the worship of Jesus would extend to the ends of the earth, and that he would receive praise from every people group on the planet.

We are given the picture of this breathtaking reality in Revelation 5. In this passage, the apostle John, in his vision of heaven, sees a scroll that no one in heaven or on earth has authority to open. This scroll contains God’s purposes for all of history, and only the slain and conquering Lamb is found to be worthy to open the scroll and fulfill those purposes. The song of praise that erupts in heaven says, in essence, that only Jesus is worthy to bring God’s purposes to consummation, because he alone was capable of doing what was necessary to fulfill them. “Worthy are you to take the scroll and open its seals” (that is, to consummate God’s purposes), “for you were slain, and by your blood you purchased that consummation– a redeemed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

If the worldwide worship of Jesus is so close to the Father’s heart, and the cause of missions is so central to our reason for existence, it follows that we should be wholeheartedly onboard with this mission. So in order to help cultivate a cross-connected burden for missions, I want us to see three glorious realities emerging from Revelation 5:9-10: the certainty of missions, the urgency of missions, and the passion of missions.

THE CERTAINTY OF MISSIONS

If we are to commit our lives to the cause of bringing Jesus to the nations, we need to have rock-solid confidence in that cause. I don’t want to sign on to a cause that will abort or fail. It’s one thing to go on a short-term mission trip that may or may not bear fruit. But if we are to truly and wholeheartedly obey the call to make disciples of all nations, that will mean laying down our finances and, in some cases, laying down our lives. Before I give up my prosperity to fund this mission, or lay down my life to bring the gospel to those who are hostile to it, I need to know that I’m part of a mission that will succeed.

The good news is that the cause of missions is a cause that cannot fail, because Jesus himself has promised that it won’t. In Matthew 24:14, Jesus tells us that the cause of bringing the gospel to all nations will most certainly succeed:

This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Do you see what he said? The gospel will be proclaimed to all nations, and then the end will come. This is the purpose for history; this is why nearly 2,000 years have passed since Jesus said these words– the gospel still has not reached every nation. But we can have absolute confidence that the gospel will penetrate every nation (the word “nation” in the Bible doesn’t refer to political states, but to people groups– more on that later), and that Jesus will have worshippers from every single one of them. Matthew 24:14 must happen so that Revelation 7:9 will be fulfilled:

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!”

That scene from Revelation 7:9 is a certainty; the Lamb who was slain to purchase people from every tribe and language and nation will have his redeemed worshippers around his throne forever. Men and women from every people group on the planet will most assuredly be present in heaven, because Jesus infallibly purchased them with his blood and has promised to infallibly pursue them with his gospel.

INFALLIBLY PURCHASED AND PURSUED

The heavenly worship anthem of Revelations 5 tells us something crucial about missions: Jesus has purchased worshippers from every people group on the planet. “By your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Every tribe in the Amazon rain forest, every people group in central Asia, every language in India, has people in it who, before the foundation of the world, were chosen to belong to Christ (Ephesians 1:4), and who were infallibly bought by the blood of Jesus at the cross.

It’s important for us to see that this is how Jesus talks about the cross. In John 10, he compares himself to a shepherd, and everyone for whom he dies to sheep.

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. ~John 10:14-16

“I lay down my life for my sheep,” Jesus says, and then crucially adds, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold;” that is, not part of this Jewish flock that surrounds him. “I must bring them also,” Jesus says. “I lay down my life for them, and so I will most certainly go get them.” This is the foundational certainty of missions: Jesus will assuredly save the sheep for which he died.

The same truth is seen in John 11, when the high priest Caiaphas unwittingly prophesies as to the purpose of Jesus’ death:

He prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. ~John 11:51-52

Jesus died “to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” That’s another way of saying what John 10 said: that Jesus lays down his life for his sheep, including those “not of this fold,” and will bring them together so that there will be one flock and one shepherd forever. The “sheep that are not of this fold” in John 10 are the same as “the children of God who are scattered abroad” in John 11: they are the ones among all people groups for whom Christ died.

These texts, and others like them, press a startling and controversial truth on us: the cross doesn’t just make salvation possible; it actually infallibly secures the salvation of everyone for whom Christ died. Every sheep for whom Jesus laid down his life will hear his voice and follow the shepherd. Every child of God that Jesus died to gather from the nations will come to the Savior. People from every tribe and language and nation will gather around the throne of heaven, not because the cross made their salvation possible, but because the cross actually bought them.

There is one more text to look at that both confirms this truth, and shows how it should affect our missionary outlook. In Acts 18, Paul has arrived in the pagan city of Corinth to preach the gospel, and a few people have responded. But the threat of opposition and persecution looms large, so Jesus appears to Paul in a vision that night, assuring him of the success of his missionary work in Corinth.

“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And Paul stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. ~Acts 18:9-11

“Keep preaching the gospel here in Corinth,” Jesus told Paul, “for I have many in this city who are my people.” Many unbelieving people in Corinth belonged to Jesus– they just didn’t know it yet. But Jesus, the good shepherd, had sent Paul to that city to preach in his name, so that every sheep for whom he died would hear his voice and follow the shepherd. And so Paul stayed in the city for a year and a half, preaching the gospel indiscriminately to everyone, and “everyone whom the Lord God called to himself” (Acts 2:39) came, and “as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).

That episode in Acts 18 shows how this doctrine of “definite atonement”– in other words, the truth that Jesus died to infallibly secure the salvation of his elect– relates to missions. It doesn’t, as some suggest, make missions and evangelism irrelevant, as if we could say, “Well, if everyone whom Jesus died for will be saved, then we don’t need to preach the gospel.” Just because God has chosen a people for himself from before the foundation of the world doesn’t mean that we don’t have to go and tell them about Jesus.

The way that Paul balanced these two truths– the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man– is really helpful for us to see. On one hand, he clearly taught the absolute sovereignty of God over salvation from beginning to end– “he chose us in him before the foundation of the world… he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:4-5); “he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills” (Romans 9:18); “those he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). But this knowledge didn’t make Paul passive; it fueled his urgency and made his life and mission possible. “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16) “How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15) “I make it my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has never been named” (Romans 15:20). “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). He stayed for a year and a half in the dangerous and difficult city of Corinth because Jesus told him that he had people in that city who would respond to the message (Acts 18:10). God’s sovereignty didn’t absolve Paul from responsibility; it compelled him to dedicate his life wholeheartedly to God’s invincible purposes.

The truth that Jesus infallibly secured the salvation of people from every nation gives us the confidence to, like Paul, go to hard places and preach hard truths, knowing that every sheep for whom Jesus died will hear his voice and respond. As John Piper said, “Predestination doesn’t make missions pointless; it makes missions possible.” Paul had confidence to stay in Corinth in the face of violent opposition and fearlessly preach, because he knew that he was on an unstoppable mission paid for by the blood of Jesus, and that every one of the people in that city for whom Christ died would be saved. In the same way, this truth gives us massive assurance to make sacrifices, take risks, and even lay down our lives in this cause: no matter how difficult the mission field, no matter how hard the hearts of people we are trying to reach, we are on a mission that cannot fail. Jesus will have his worshippers from every tribe and language and nation. Missions exists to make that certainty a reality.

THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING

Another inspiring missionary story will give us a clear picture of how this truth can and should inspire radical sacrifice in the cause of making Jesus famous to the ends of the earth. In 1732, two young Moravians, Johann Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann, heard of an island in the West Indies where an atheist slave owner had a plantation of 3,000 slaves who would live and die without ever having a chance to hear of Jesus. Deeply burdened by God, they resolved to reach those slaves with the gospel, and the only way they could find to get there was to actually sell themselves as slaves. And so they planned to go to work and live and die among the slaves on that island, all so that they could hear of Jesus.

Though most of their family and friends were opposed to their plan, Johann and David were committed. When the time came to leave, those friends and family gathered to say farewell to Johann and David. As the ship pulled away from the docks, the two young men raised their arms and shouted the anthem and foundation of missions that caused them to make such a sacrifice: “May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of his suffering!”

“May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of his suffering!” What they meant was, “Jesus died for people on that island, and we are going to go get them, so that Jesus will have what he died for: their everlasting worship.” The Lamb who was slain will have his reward: the praise of every people group. Missions exists to make that certainty a reality.

THE URGENCY OF MISSIONS

The scene of heavenly worship in Revelation 5 doesn’t just tell us that the cause of missions is certain; it also tells us that the cause of missions is urgent. “You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” The high price paid to secure the worship of a worldwide redeemed people should cause us to ask, “Why did that high price have to be paid?” In the answer to that question lies the urgency of missions.

The ransom of Jesus’ blood was paid to rescue us from the wrath of God that hangs over every person on the planet (1 Thessalonians 1:10, Romans 1:18) and to “deliver us from the domain of darkness” in which we all live. Without the sin-forgiving, wrath-removing substitutionary death of Jesus, we remain in our sins and under condemnation. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18). The terrifying verdict of “condemned already” is upon the heads of every person in the world, and the only remedy is to be ransomed for God by the blood of Jesus.

This means that standing behind the anthem of praise in Revelation 5 is the terrible truth that hell is real, and people are going there. “The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night,” Revelation 14:11 tells us. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 lays out the fate of all who are not ransomed by Jesus’ blood: the Lord Jesus will soon return “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” Thousands of people every day are falling into a Christless eternity of everlasting torment because their sins are not paid for. Billions of people– some in your neighborhood, millions more in the darkened nations of the world– have never heard the gospel, and will be lost unless they hear and respond to the saving news of Jesus. Bringing the only hope of heaven to them is the most urgent, important cause in the world.

WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD?

At this point, many people raise the question, “But what about those who have never heard of Jesus? How can God hold them accountable to respond to someone they’ve never heard of?” That’s a good question, and the Bible gives us an answer. It’s really important that we feel the weight of the Bible’s answer– otherwise our zeal for missions will be cut off.

In a nutshell, the Bible’s answer to that question is, “Yes, God will only hold people accountable for what they know– but every person knows enough, and is without excuse.” Romans 1 and 2 build this argument. In Romans 1:18-20, Paul begins laying out God’s indictment against the world by saying that everyone knows enough about God to be held accountable by him.

The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Paul says that God’s wrath is bearing down on this world like a freight train because every person clearly sees the reality of God’s power and character in creation, and instead of responding in thankfulness, trust, and worship, we suppress the truth, ignore the Creator, and worship the creation. From the brilliant atheist scientist to the primitive spirit worshipper in the jungle, our problem is not a lack of knowledge; our problem is that we suppress what we know. We don’t want to love and serve God, and so we shut our eyes and stop our ears to keep from hearing “the heavens declaring the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).

The result of this, Paul says in Romans 2:12, is that “all who have sinned without the law will perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.” The morally upstanding person who sits in the church pews every Sunday with an unrepentant heart will be held accountable for what he knows– and will perish because of it. And the primitive spirit worshipper in the jungle will be held accountable for what he knows– and will perish because of it. Those people have one brief life in which the patience of God is holding out to them the possibility of repentance. And you and I have only one brief life to spend and be spent for the cause of reaching them before it is too late. The gospel is the greatest news in the universe– but it is only good news if it gets there in time.

The only escape from the wrath of God on the final day of judgment will not be, “I didn’t know!” The only plea that will stand in the courtroom of heaven’s perfect justice will be, “Jesus took my punishment, and I belong to him.”

This is why the most important, urgent cause in which our lives should be invested is bringing the news of Jesus to those who have not heard of him.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” ~Romans 10:13-15

If you are not convinced of the urgency of the mission, pray! We must have our hearts broken for that which breaks the heart of God, and the lostness and hopelessness of the nations, while under the sovereign sway of the Lord of history, breaks our Father’s heart. Your friends and neighbors are on a path to destruction, and God has placed you in their lives to be a voice of truth, so they might hear and turn and be saved. Whole people groups live in spiritual darkness, never having heard the name of Jesus, and God has blessed you with abundant material resources so that your bank account and career could be dedicated to the cause of bringing Jesus to those people for whom he died. The clear command of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all nations,” the certainty of this mission succeeding, and the life and death urgency of the mission, make what John Piper says about missions crystal clear:

“There are only three responses to the Great Commission: Go, send, or disobey.”

Or perhaps if that doesn’t stir your heart, this impassioned appeal by William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, will:

“‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face– whose mercy you have professed to obey– and tell him whether you will not join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.”

UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS

Every part of the mission of telling people the good news about Jesus is urgent– sharing the gospel with your co-worker, raising your children, short term mission trips, financial sacrifices, etc– but there is one aspect that is especially urgent. If the only hope for sinners is to hear of Jesus and respond to his offer of salvation, then our highest priority must be to bring the news of Jesus to those who have never heard of him. We live in a land filled with churches and filled with Christians and those who have at least heard of Jesus. But there are millions– billions!– who have never heard the name of Jesus, never even had an opportunity to respond to the gospel, and will live and die without God and without hope unless missionaries reach them.

These areas of the world that have never been reached with the gospel are called “unreached people groups.” Across the world there are about 10,000 people groups– distinct ethnic groups defined by common culture or language. These are what the word “nation” in the Bible is referring to (the biblical word “nation” is the Greek word “ethnos,” from which we get our words ethnic and ethnicity)– not the 195 political states in the world. So when Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come,” he didn’t mean that the gospel would get to 195 countries; he meant that all 10,000 people groups would be savingly penetrated with the life-changing message of the cross. That’s the unfinished mission that the Second Coming is waiting on; Jesus said that the Second Coming will not happen until every people group has heard of the first coming.

But, according to The Joshua Project, of those 10,000 people groups, only about 6,000 have been penetrated by the gospel. 4,000 people groups are still considered “unreached;” that is, less than 2% evangelical (the reason that less than 2% is considered “unreached” is because if, for example, only 1% of a people group is Christian, most people in that group will probably never hear of Jesus). Those 4,000 people groups comprise more than 2 billion people, or a third of the world’s population.* Think of that: two thousand years after the coming of Christ, one out of three people on the planet will be born, live, and die, and perish eternally without ever hearing of Jesus.

And yet, the appalling and unacceptable reality is that these unreached people groups are not burdening the heart of American Christians as they should. American churches still send lots of missionaries, but most go to relatively easy, accessible places that have already been reached by the gospel. Only 1 out of 30 American missionaries is working among those 2 billion people who need them most. Think of your church or denomination; how many missions trips has your church done to Saudi Arabia or Mongolia? How many church planters is your denomination supporting in Afghanistan or India? Most of the American church’s vast resources are spent at home, and most of the slim percentage spent on missions is spent going to people who have already been reached. In fact, across the American church as a whole, only one penny out of every $100 is spent on mission to unreached people groups.* One hundredth of one percent is spent reaching those 4,000 people groups– people groups for whom Jesus died, from which Jesus deserves worship. As I said in the previous chapter, I believe that the reason the American church exists in its current freedom and prosperity is to fund the completion of the Great Commission– to get the gospel to those 4,000 people groups. But we’re not giving, and we’re not going, and in doing so, we are forfeiting our right to that freedom and prosperity.

The situation is not hopeless, however. The pace of missions has accelerated dramatically in the last century and continues to accelerate. God is raising up other nations with a heart for the unreached. Churches in China have pledged to send 100,000 missionaries to unreached peoples. The two countries who send the most missionaries per capita to unreached peoples are Mongolia and Palestine. A rising generation in American churches feels the burden of unreached people groups, and is making the radical choices needed to reach them. God will get his mission done, and Jesus will most assuredly have worshippers from all 10,000 people groups on the planet. The question before us is not whether or not the mission will succeed; the question facing us is whether we will join the mission and reap the eternal rewards, or whether we will cop out and waste our lives. Those are the only two options.

THE PASSION OF MISSIONS

There is one more reality that we need to see from Revelation 5 to build an unshakeable commitment to world missions. We’ve seen the certainty of the mission; Jesus will have the reward of his suffering from every people group on the planet. We’ve seen the urgency of the mission; with the terrible reality of hell and the plight of those who have never heard, our lives must be dedicated to the cause of reaching everyone with the gospel. Now we will close by looking at the passion of missions, the fire and zeal that will drive us to lay down our finances and our futures to bring Jesus to the nations.

The passion of missions is glory– Jesus’ glory among the nations. Jesus is worthy to receive worldwide worship, to receive the reward of his suffering. Listen to how passage after passage celebrates the burning heart of missions:

The time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see my glory. I will send survivors to the nations…that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. ~Isaiah 66:18-19

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. ~Psalm 96:3-4

Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!” ~Psalm 96:10

Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. ~Psalm 72:19

The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as waters cover the sea. ~Habakkuk 2:14

Christ became a servant… in order that the nations might glorify God for his mercy. ~Romans 15:8-9

Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation… Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! ~Revelation 5:9,12

Do you hear the anthem of missions? “Declare his glory among the nations, say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’ May the whole earth be filled with his glory! Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!” The cause that should and will propel us to forsake our comforts and lay down our finances, our futures, and even our lives is the cause of seeing Jesus worshipped by the nations, praised by those who died to purchase, and the knowledge of his glory filling the earth. This is, at the most fundamental level, why we exist: to magnify the great worth and glory of Jesus Christ. And missions is one of the most central, perhaps the central, way that we participate in that great purpose.

At this moment, our broken, fallen world is filled with injustice and tragedy. Seven thousand children die every day from hunger and malnutrition. Disease, school shootings, genocide, abuse; history is a conveyor belt of corpses. There are many, many tragedies; the news is full of them, and millions more go unreported. But all these are not the greatest tragedy, nor the greatest injustice; they are only symptoms of the greatest tragedy. The greatest tragedy in the universe is that Jesus Christ, creator of the heavens and the earth, is not receiving worship from the nations. This is the greatest tragedy. All the false gods of the peoples, all the idols in our lives that we love more than our Savior, are worthless (Psalm 96:5)- they cannot see, they cannot save, and they are robbing our King of the glory and praise that He alone deserves. John Stott said it this way:

“The highest of missionary motives is neither obedience to the Great Commission (important as that is), nor love for sinners who are alienated and perishing (strong as that incentive is) but rather zeal– burning and passionate zeal– for the glory of Jesus Christ.”

This is the zeal, the burden, that drives missions and should drive our entire lives. God intends for every Cross Connection in this book, every virtue in the Christian life, to be leveraged for this one great, glorious purpose: the worldwide worship of Jesus among every nation, tribe, and tongue. Starting in our lives and families, working its way out to our neighborhoods and beyond to the nations, the glory and fame and worth of Jesus Christ is what we exist to see and savor and spread.

I NEVER MADE A SACRIFICE

David Livingstone, the missionary to Africa whose life was changed by that single phrase, “the smoke of a thousand villages,” spent the rest of his life in Africa, dedicated to taking the gospel where it had never gone before. This dedication cost him dearly; he was frequently sick and in danger, he was absent for most of his children’s lives, his wife Mary died of malaria, and he himself died alone in modern-day Zambia. But what did he think about these costs that he bore? In December 1857, addressing students at Cambridge University, this is what he said about his leaving the benefits of a safe and successful life in England:

“For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa… Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us and for us. I never made a sacrifice.”

Lord Jesus, You are worthy to receive worship from every people group, and from my life, because you purchased me to be your own. By your grace give me a passion and a burden for this cause, and use my life to magnify your glory to my neighborhood and to the nations, until your fame fills the earth. Give me faith for every sacrifice, every cost, every step of faith, knowing that in the end when I stand before your throne, I will say with Livingstone and every other saint, “I never made a sacrifice.”

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