If you are a regular reader of this blog, I want to apologize for the long stretch of silence. I am fine and everything is going great. Actually my spirit is full of things to say, but the time to write has been illusive. As a ministry, we have been involved in intensive preparations for the next season of Gospel Campaigns, which will result in literally millions of salvations. Also, since I wrote last, we have had some incredible meetings in Europe; Belgium and the U.K. Even now I am in Germany on an extended ministry tour that will take us around the globe. Thank you for continuing to pray for our team as we go in obedience to the call.
Last week I took my family to Titusville, Florida where we watched, up close, history in the making; the final launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. What an amazing sight! Even from quite a distance, the explosion of energy was awe-inspiring. As the solid rocket boosters ignited, the ground began to tremble and in less than one second they went from producing 0 to 3-million pounds of thrust! The shuttle raced skyward leaving a thick stream of smoke behind and within seconds it had broken through the stratosphere and was out of sight.
Once the shuttle has penetrated the mesosphere, at an altitude of about 30 miles, the rocket boosters, that have expended themselves, are no longer needed and are ejected to return to earth. As Atlantis was racing to space for the final time, I saw in those powerful boosters an equally splendid metaphor.
Those rockets, though powerful and full of energy, do not exist for themselves, but they are designed to propel something forward that is greater than they are. Their glory is in exhausting themselves for a greater purpose and so it is for all those whose lives will have any significance in grand scheme of this world. This is why Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35)
Paul told Timothy, “I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.” Paul saw his life as expendable for the sake of the Gospel. He would be poured out like a drink offering and then drop off like rocket boosters, but not without having done something of eternal importance. With his mortal and finite life he had propelled God’s everlasting Kingdom forward.
The reality is that everyone is expending their lives and burning through the finite fuel they’ve been given, but only a few will lives will ultimately matter. The missionary martyr, Nate Saint, once said, “People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives … and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.”
On the wall of the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey hangs a memorial stone to John and Charles Wesley, which says, “GOD BURIES HIS WORKMEN, BUT CARRIES ON HIS WORK”.
One day, the fuel of our lives will be exhausted and the boosters will fall away, but the Kingdom of God will keep moving forward to victory. The greatest glory that any human being can have is the knowledge that with our mortal hands we have helped to build God’s eternal Kingdom…that although we only have one short life to offer, we have poured it out like a drink offering, expending it all, holding nothing back in the service of the only King who will reign forever and ever. Amen!
So, in keeping with my space shuttle metaphor, today I am re-entering the blogosphere. Below I have posted some pictures from our recent events in Belgium and the U.K. and there’s MUCH MORE TO COME! Enjoy.