One of God’s Great Gifts – Today’s Family Devotion

One of God’s Great Gifts

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:1-4

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven. Colossians 3:1

Yesterday you heard about five friends who died bringing God’s Good News to the Auca tribe of Ecuador. Take a vote: What’s your gut response when you hear about Jim Elliot and his missionary coworkers?

  • I want to be just like Jim. Book me an afternoon flight to the jungle.
  • I’m hiding behind my couch and not coming out until everyone on the planet is a Christian.
  • I think Jim and his buddies would have been safer at home in a church bowling league.
  • I want to follow Jesus no matter what, being courageous like Jim in whatever I face.
  • It’s reckless to jump into a situation we don’t understand. It’s cowardly if all we think about is staying safe at home, not that bowling is a bad thing. But that last choice … that’s tough. Who knows where Jesus will take us?

Talk about it: What does it mean if we say, “I want to be courageous”? What can happen when we follow Jesus?
Jim Elliot and his friends weren’t looking for an early trip to heaven. Their aim in carrying the gospel to the Aucas was to bring life, not death. Yet they were called to give their lives. And without a doubt, they and their families believed the price was worth paying!

Those missionaries had a secret. They knew that for both the Aucas and for themselves, earthly life doesn’t last forever. But a relationship with Jesus Christ does. And they traded something temporary for something permanent. As Jim Elliot wrote in his journal before his death: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Those missionary friends weren’t just thinking about earth. They had set their minds on heaven. And they knew that their real life was with Christ.

We can’t keep our life or any of the things of earth forever. But the good stuff God promises us will last for eternity. Jim Elliot and friends had hearts set on things that last. They knew exactly where Jesus would take them. Do you?

TALK: What makes following Jesus worth the price? What benefits of being a Christian do you enjoy right now?

PRAY: God, we’re inspired by the commitment of those five missionary families in Ecuador. Help us to be courageous wherever you lead us.

ACT: Get in touch with a missionary family via e-mail or airmail. Tell them you are praying for them to be courageous—and be sure you do!