There are many great cities in UK. Due to my background and passion for education and students, the two cities I enjoy visiting are Cambridge and Oxford. I love the vibe and history of both cities. Over the last few years, I have visited both cities many times. During one of my visit to Oxford, I encountered a really enjoyable moment. First, the plan to visit the city was random and unplanned. Then after our arrival, we were slightly unprepared about the places to visit and stay. This made the entire journey more exciting. However, while we were visiting various place in the city, we stopped at one famous pub. There was some spoken word event organised by the university students. We all got little sad, as we were not the students of that specific college in Oxford. However, our sadness turned into joy at the gate of that pub, when we were told that whether you are Oxford university student or not, you all could join the event for free. Isn’t this exciting when you realise that something special is available for everyone for free?
There is another gift given to us, so rich and for everyone by our creator: The gift of salvation. Faith is the gift we receive from God that enables us to actively and willingly believe, and keep on believing in Him. He loved the world so much, that He gave His only begotten Son, and that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
“Salvation is God’s way of making us real people”– Saint Augustine
Recently, I was going through the Book of Romans again. It is always inspiring to read Saint Paul – the apostle’s letter to various churches. Few verses which spoke to me were from chapter 10, verses 12 to 15.
From verse 12 to 13, Apostle Paul quotes from Joel 2:32, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. God bestows his savings riches on all, both Jews and Gentiles, who calls on him. As seen, verse 14 is linked with verse 13, with the word “call”. In verse 15, Paul quotes from Isaiah chapter 52 and verse 7. Since salvation comes from hearing the gospel, the feet of those who bring the message about the Christ are beautiful, because the feet carry the messengers to their destinations.
That is why Paul was so urgent about spreading gospel to the ends of the earth. Famous early 18th century missionary to the peoples of India and Persia, Henry Martyn once said:
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”– Henry Martyn
In 1732, a Dutch ship left Copenhagen harbour for the Danish West Indies. In Phillip Anderson’s book, “The Lord of the Ring”, he tells us about two men: Johan Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann from Moravian community of Herrnhut. They were among the first missionaries to be send out in Protestant church history, the first to go as lay workers rather theologically trained ministers, the first to be sent by a church rather than a state body or society, and the first to work among the slaves. Dober and Nitschmann had wanted to sell themselves into slavery. When they were prevented from doing so, they instead took manual jobs on plantations so that they could have close access to the slaves they were trying to reach.
By the end of the century, this tiny village of around 300 people was responsible for sending out over 1000 missionaries to virtually every part of the known world. It is said that Dover and Nitschmann called out to their loved ones on shore, as the ships pulled away from the docks to go the Caribbean, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering”.
These two men, were willing to go to extremes, leaving everything, travelling to far reaches of the world, for the love of Jesus and a longing that Jesus might receive His reward – a people from every tongue and tribe and nation. I am going to leave this question with you before we pray to together:
What if God were to ask you champion the gospel in ways that have never been done before, to forge a path for others to follow?
God of rescue and restoration,
we thank you for Your great and beautiful mission in the world.
We pray for the seed of the gospel that have been sown all over the world by missionaries – many of whom were martyred. Bring life to these seeds that would spring up again.
Here we are Lord, fill us with Your Spirit and send us to spread your Good News.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!