Friday, 22 October 2010

Renounce Your Shallow Frivolities!

John G. Paton gave his life to proclaiming Christ to the cannibal filled islands of the New Hebrides (known today as Vanuatu). On  Tanna, the first island he went to, he lost almost everything, his wife and only child to disease, and all of his posessions to the islanders. Yet he considered these sacrifices worth it, to see cannibal knees bowing to the Lord Jesus. Upon having the joy of seeing much fruit from his labours on the island of Aniwa years later he says these challenging words in his autobiography: 
My heart often says within itself - When, when will men's eyes at home be opened? When will the rich and the learned and the noble and even the princes of the Earth renounce their shallow frivolities, and go and live amongst the poor, the ignorant, the outcast, and the lost, and write their eternal fame on the souls by them blessed and brought to the Saviour? Those who have tasted this highest joy, "the joy of the Lord," will never again ask - Is Life worth living? Life, any life, would be well spent, under any conceivable conditions, in bringing one human soul to know and love and serve God and His Son, and thereby securing for yourself at least one temple where your name and memory would be held forever and for ever in affectionate praise, -a regenerated heart in Heaven. That fame will prove immortal, when all poems and monuments and pyramids of Earth have gone into dust.
May we listen well to these words. May we renounce the shallow frivolities of comfortable living and give ourselves to the sacrificial service of the gospel. May we not give our lives to work for the things that will eventually crumble into dust, however impressive they may seem. Instead, may all of our lives be given to serve a work that will have significance for all eternity, the work of the gospel, the work of seeing Christ magnified as He is proclaimed and knees bow to Him. A comfortable life is a wasted life, the unwasted life is one that is thrown away in sacraficial service for the sake of Christ being magnified.