"May the Lamb that was slain, receive the reward of His suffering"
A few years ago a friend of mine preached a message using Paris Reidhead's "Three Shekels and a Shirt" sermon. At the end of that sermon Reidhead quotes the Moravian Anthem that I wrote above. That one sermon, that one story, that one phrase has changed my life.
Have you ever heard of two men by the name of John Leonard Dober and David Nitschman? Probably not, neither had I a few years ago, but these men are two of my greatest heroes.
John a potter and David a simple carpenter, both had pretty "normal" lives from the outside looking in. They had families, one was even married and had kids, but something happened in 1731 that would take their "normal" lives and make them… what's right word?…. FAR, FAR, FAR, from normal.
John and David were both part of the Moravian church (which eventually began the first movement of 24/7 prayer that lasted DECADES). John was sitting in a service when the preacher told about slaves on an island in the West Indies. Word had gotten out that these slaves had never heard the gospel and no one was allowed to come in and preach to them.
John decided this would change. Forsaking homeland, jobs, families, children, and all they had ever known, John and David sold themselves into slavery in the West Indies. They gave up a "normal" life of loving God, working, family, and comfort to go be slaves, praying and believing that they would bring salvation to slaves who had no hope.
As their boat was pulling out of the wharf their families stood weeping still begging them not to go and the two men raised this cry,
"MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING"
This single phrase catapulted me into a study that still continues to this day. Searching throughout the Word for what all was paid for by that Lamb whose name is Jesus! He paid for so much and He deserves every bit of what He paid for.
John and David's commitment to the great commission and the call of their Father is so similar to what Jesus consistently said to His followers throughout scripture. "Follow Me". Leave life as you know it behind and come with Me. We know missionaries all over the world who have left homeland, jobs, families, air conditioning, money, cars, native language, etc. because the call came to do more. These people inspire me daily.
But what about the countless others whose mission field is right here in industrialized society? God may not be asking you to take cold showers, sleep on the ground, leave this nation, learn another language, leave your parents, spouse, kids, or grandkids. So what does sacrifice for the gospel look like for you? How can we scream at the top of our lungs, "MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING!!"?
Give Him what He paid for… for you. First off, trust in Him for your life. Believe in Him. Accept salvation and share the Truth of the gospel with those around you. He deserves for people to know the Truth, BECAUSE He paid for it. Walk in joy. He paid for your joy. Walk in peace. Walk in authority. Believe and trust in Him for healing. Rely on the Holy Spirit, He died so that the Holy Spirit could be sent to US. Stop worrying. He took care of all of your temptations, sin, struggles, and trials on the cross. He even says it, "TAKE HEART, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD". Go boldly into the throne room, He tore down the wall of separation. There's so much more that He paid for then just for you to waltz into heaven one day.
You may not be asked to leave everything to preach the gospel to an unreached people group, but you can give Him what He paid for in your life.
Be Blessed, J. Tate
Just one short plug. As I sit here with a blanket, coffee, and reflecting of how blessed I am that I got to share the holidays with family and friends, hot showers, and all the comforts of "normal" life in a modern society I realize there are many across the globe who gave all this up for the sake of the gospel. Pray for your missionaries, bless them with your finances, reach out to their families who are missing them during these holidays.