Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Full Potential

Among my heroes I count Gladys Alyward, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, and Jim Elliot. Who are your heroes of the faith? When the church remembers effective Christians who do they remember? It seems that the common theme, the thread that ties the names of those listed is missions. William and Catherine Booth, Adoniram Judson, Mary Slessor; the list goes on, and what is it that they all shared? A heart for the nations, a desire to see God glorified and worshipped by all people in every corner of the world. These men and women did not spend their lives looking out for themselves. Instead, they laid everything aside and pursued their Righteous King, the Lover and Redeemer of their souls. It was their mission, their goal, to see Him glorified above all.

If I desire to be an effective follower of Christ, after the example of those I would call my "heroes" then there is one thing I must attain. I must be filled to overflowing with an all-encompassing passion for the glory of my King. His love must ignite my heart to eternal flames, flames that the world cannot quench with its lusts and passions. Set apart fro Christ I must become, and His glory among the nations of the earth must be my goal. I must delight in what He delights in, weep over the things that grieve Him, and fight for the souls He has fought for.

Our greatest potential, our potential to live sold out for the glory of Christ, is only realized when His heart takes over our hearts. If His heart is for the nations, then your heart, my heart, ought to be for those same nations! If He denied Himself every pleasure to bring people to Himself, then we ought to be striving each day to do the same. He laid down His very life for the love of those who curse Him, and we too ought to be willing to pay the same price. If we claim to be one with Him in life, we are also required to be one with Him in death.

Do your heroes seem like saints, their level of spiritual maturity and effectiveness far from you? At times I despair of ever reaching the height and image of Christ that they have attained. But are we doing all that we can, pleading with Christ to make us like Him, putting the world behind us so that we can join them in effective ministry? Or do we glance their way, and then give up, returning to the pleasures and comforts of this world? Take the harder road, the road which Christ inhabits. Realize where your full and greatest potential is found. Shrink not from the task, and He will be with you.

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