I enjoy reading the accounts of pioneer missionaries, those men and women who have paved the way for “modern missions.” Their love for JESUS and their passion to share the gospel spiritually challenge and encourage me. Their commitment to JESUS illustrate the teaching of Romans 12:1: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Alexander Mackay, missionary to Central Africa, once said, “I want to remind the missions committee that within 6 months they will probably hear that some one of us is dead. Yes, is it at all likely that 8 Englishmen should start for Central Africa and all be alive 6 months later? One of us at least – it may be I – will surely die before that. When the news comes, do not be cast down, but send someone immediately to take the vacant place.”
Willard Hotchkiss, a pioneer missionary, said: “I have lived 40 years practically alone in Africa. I have been stricken 39 times with the fever, 3 times attacked by lions, and several times by rhinoceros, but let me say to you, I would gladly go through the whole thing again, if I could have the joy of again bringing that word “Savior” and flashing it into the darkness that envelopes another tribe in Central Africa.
I use these two illustrations to impress upon us all the value of “yieldedness to CHRIST.” Romans 6:13 emphasizes this truth: “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to GOD as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to GOD.”
Although GOD has not called us to be “pioneer missionaries,” He has called us to surrender our lives to His Lordship. GOD’s will is for every Christian to be surrendered to Him – to allow GOD to work in and through our lives to accomplish His will and to use us to make an eternal difference in our sphere of spiritual influence. Alan Redpath once said: “The will of GOD: Nothing less nothing more, nothing else.” Jonathan Edwards declared, “Resolved: To follow GOD with all my heart. Resolved also: Whether others do or not, I will.”
Another well-known pioneer missionary was C. T. Studd. He once said, “If JESUS CHRIST be GOD and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”