I was thinking today about the sacrifices made by many great men and women, past and present, so that others could come to know Christ and worship in freedom. We often face difficult situations here in America, but our problems pale in comparison to the horrific things others face around the world daily. Christians are being slaughtered because of their faith, and it seems that not a single nation is willing to come to their aid. I think about those who leave all comforts behind and go into the jungles, deserts, and the most undesirable places on earth. I think of my Pastor friend in Pakistan, who risks his life daily to bring the Gospel to his people in that Muslim nation. He, and many like him, do not spend their days seeking a nice house, a new car, or a position of authority. Society expects that of him, but he is on a higher journey than one that will make him successful in the eyes of the world. His thoughts are consumed with meeting the needs of those around him, both spiritual and physical. I am sure many who sacrifice their own lives for a calling have been asked by their family, “Why do you give up your comfort for this?” Those who measure a man by his financial stature will shake their heads in dismay when they encounter these selfless champions. The world may view them as if they are simple underachievers that hold little value, but they are truly heroes and giants of faith who will have a lasting, eternal effect on this world that we cannot imagine.
In my time on earth I have had the honor of meeting many great men and women. I have set at the table to dine with Community Leaders, Senators, Congressman, and Governors. In business, I met with CEO’s, Presidents, and VP’s of some of our nations finest companies. Most dear to me, I have had the pleasure of knowing many great and mighty Men and Women of God. Some of these Ministry Leaders have since gone home to be with the Lord and left great ministries that continue to bless others. Of all the people I have known, none are as valiant and revered as those who have turned away from their own comforts and needs, so that they may give their life for others. Esteem politicians and powerful leaders can represent success and motivate us to better ourselves. These people often receive and deserve our admiration. The others, who live their life to please God and help those in need, deserve our highest honor and respect. These are the men and women who truly look and act like Christ. They don’t care for praise or accolades; they live only to please the Creator. I pray that I may meet many more of these Heroes of Faith. They are the ultimate success story for me to follow in life.
When we see a soldier on the street, most of us feel a presence of respect for them as a man or women who put their own life on hold so that we may be free to continue ours. These men and women are heroes who deserve our honor and respect. It is my hope that they receive that recognition from all of us. However, there is another kind of enlisted ‘soldier’ who seems to go unnoticed. These are the Missionaries, Street Ministers, small church Pastors, Youth Leaders, Teachers, Christian Aid Workers, and others who have sacrificed their own comforts to bring the message of Christ to the world. They lay their life down, figuratively and sometimes literally, to bring Christ to the world. They may never be in a spotlight or have their name on an oak desk in a big office, but my Bible tells me these are the greatest men and women in the Kingdom of God. Wow! It puts a smile on my face to know they have received Gods ultimate recognition.
“Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” (Matthew 9:35-38)