While I was recently perusing different overseas opportunities online, I came across a non-profit happening in Kenya that got me excited. I continued reading through the site and got to the story behind the beginning of the non-profit. This is what the founder wrote:
“My personal motivation is simple: I have seen a deep brokenness and poverty in my own life. Yet, in the midst of my greatest struggles, Jesus Christ stepped into my mess and set me free. Jesus was not satisfied with sitting from a distance in the abundant wealth of heaven simply watching my personal brokenness nor anyone’s hurt and poverty. Instead, he took off the robes of heaven, became a man who walked among us, entered into our lives and sacrificed his life for each of us. If someone has done this for me, then shouldn’t my life reflect that same passion? Shouldn’t I also give my life away for others? It is this self-sacrificing heart that Jesus lived out so well that has become the foundation for my fighting for others in Kenya.”
I’ll be honest, everything in my being had to restrain itself from jumping out of my chair in readied agreement as I read those words. I wanted to proclaim at the top of my already too loud voice, “Yes! Exactly!” I know far too well what Christ has saved me from (namely myself) and when I look at Christ’s sacrifice for me and my chance to sacrifice for those who have nothing and those who don’t know Him, my heart says yes, this is good and holy and right. It excites me. And I love the fact that I still get excited about the idea of sharing with others what Christ has so freely given me – I hope that feeling never goes away. I hope I never lose excitement over the realization of the depths he saved me from and this new life that he has given me.
But as I pondered this over the past couple of weeks, I realized that as good and right as it is that my heart burns within me to go and share Jesus in third world countries with people in poverty of spirit and body – while that is good – do I have the same desire to share Jesus and his love and grace for all right here where I am? Am I burdened for the over privileged, yet just as soul poor right here in America? Do I look at the people I work with and live among and make my life among and does my heart burn within me for them to know Jesus? Do I live sacrificially towards them so that they might know? Do I give my life away right here in America? Or is that something I reserve only for Africa?
Whatever I am doing, whether it is living in little ole suburban Raleigh, living in the slums or back roads of Africa, or residing in small town America among the less socially elite of America, my ultimate goal should be to give my life away in such a way that my life and words are sharing the reality of what Christ has done for me. So, before I pack my bags for my next trip to Africa, perhaps I should employ some of that same burning desire for Christ’s kingdom right here in affluent America…for the glory of His name.
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith…“