Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fruit Bearing Involves Cross-bearing

Picture: Hudson Taylor as a young man.
The Christmas season has long been a time when Christians have set their hearts on missions. Indeed, the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, is at the heart of the Christmas story: "For God so loved the world, that he have his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16 AV).

I recently read the biography of Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) the pioneer missionary to China and founder of the influential China Inland Mission.

Even as young man, Taylor was overcome with a passion for taking the gospel to China. He wrote to his mother:

Think, Mother, of twelve millions—a number so great that it is impossible to realize it—yes, twelve million souls in China, every year passing without God and hope into eternity…. Oh, let us look with compassion on this multitude! God has been merciful to us; let us be like Him….

Taylor did go to China and led pioneer gospel efforts into the interior. The call was costly to his health and family. He buried two children in China. His beloved wife died at the age of only thirty-three. Taylor would reflect:

There is a needs-be for us to give ourselves for the life of the world. An easy, non-self-denying life will never be one of power. Fruit bearing involves cross-bearing. There are not two Christs—an easy going one for easy going Christians, and suffering, toiling one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are you willing to abide in Him and bear much fruit?
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Note: Evangel article November 28, 2007

No comments: