As I was reading 1 Cor. 16 this morning, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot came to mind. Jim Elliot felt called to reach the Auca people in Equador. The word Auca actually meant savage in the Quechua language, as that is what they were considered by those who lived around them in Equador.
Desiring to share Jesus with them…
Desiring to share Jesus with them, Jim began his preparation. As he and 4 other men began the process, they spent time sharing Jesus with the Quechua Indians of Equador. Jim married Elisabeth in Quito, had their honeymoon, and continued their work.
As they began to reach this new group, they knew the dangers. After dropping gifts for about 30 days, and actually giving one of them a plane ride, Jim and 4 of his companions went to greet the Aucas.
Due to the dangers around them, they carried a rifle, but the men said that they would not use it on the Aucas. They knew that they would go to see Jesus if they died, but the Aucas didn’t know Jesus yet.
On January 8, 1956, these 5 men went to be with the Lord. They lost their lives, but never fired a shot (staying true to their beliefs). They were compelled by love to reach those who didn’t know Jesus, and lost their lives in the process.
This reminds me of 1 Cor. 16:13-14…
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”1 Cor. 16:13-14 NIV
Yet this wasn’t the only act of strength, courage, faith, and love that was shown. Elisabeth was invited to go to the tribe that killed her husband. She went and spent 2 years with them, sharing the love of Jesus. Her willingness to go came from a love for Jesus and the people that she and her husband desired to share Jesus with.
This is a reflection of the love God the Father showed us. From creation to that first advent, God loved His wayward and savage people. A look at human history and God’s Word shows just how unlovable we were (and can be). But God loves us so much that He was willing to send His one and only Son to be a sacrifice for our sin (John 3:16). Even when God disciplines us, it is out of a desire to bring us back to Himself.
Will we love Him back?
The question is whether we will choose to love Him back. And as we do, will we choose to do everything in love (as Paul and other true believers)? Will we allow love to motivate us and drive us in all we do?