Saturday, July 15, 2006
Expect Great Things From God
In 1793 William Carey made a 5-month journey to India with his wife and four small children because God had called him to be a missionary there. The life was hard and the sacrifice was great. Carey ran a business and established a missionary center and worked for 7 years before one person chose to follow Christ.
Carey's life statement was, Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God. As a result of God's power to do great things and Carey's faith to believe it, over the course of 40 years Carey made more than 213,000 volumes of the Bible in 40 different languages from his small printing business, his personal translating work and general supervision. Carey had taught himself 8 languages. When Carey died in connection to his work there were 30 missionaries, 40 native teachers, 45 ministry stations and about 600 church members.
All of these "great things" were accomplished while Carey lived near Calcutta in the jungle among tigers and malaria.
If your idea of "missions" is that Christians force themselves into un-welcomed places and lives and force their beliefs on people, let me ask you to think again. Surely that scenario has been played out in some situations but the Christian mission is not to be so. Carey created schools, provided education and literacy and enabled capacities for others to experience a way of life many times greater than they would have known otherwise. This "service" was rendered whether or not individuals were interested in Christianity.
When William Carey died Hindus and Muslims lined the streets of his funeral procession feeling that they had lost a true friend.
I repeat Carey's life statement for our reflection:
Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.
Christ gives His followers a mission. When we live the mission great things happen (great as God defines great). Do you dare expect and attempt great things for God?