I am constantly reading or listening to learn and grow. The longer I live, the more ignorant I become. Thus, the more my realization of the need to mature and develop. Often, I come across a quote or three that I feel needs to be shared.
So, my plan is to once a week (we’ll see) devote a post to significant quotes I have come across through my reading and/or listening. My aim is to stimulate your thinking. Or, to keep with the ‘Q’ for ‘Quote’ theme: ‘Quicken’ your thinking.
As I type, I am sitting in a Starbucks coffee in Asheville, NC where I am attending IMB trustee meetings. Below I offer you five quotes, four of which are IMB related.
1. “I am never happier than when I am on the field ministering to those who need the love of God.”
This quote was written by an IMB candidate looking to go to one of the most difficult places in the world. She has found what makes her happy and is pursuing it with her life. I’m like, “Really?” Do you see the irony in this? Some would see her pursuit of cross-cultural missions as a sacrifice that she will have to grind out until her time is up. Obviously, however, she is simply pursuing what is making her happy. Actually, what makes her HAPPIEST. Causes me to wonder: “Am I pursuing what makes me happiest?” And, “Is what makes me happiest giving of myself for the eternal good of others?”
2. “At the age of seven I realized my need for a Savior and my state of sinfulness.”
I have heard or read this exact same thing (give or take a year on either side of seven) 8-10 times this week alone . . . and all from men and women going on the field. This hit close to home for a couple of reasons: (1). I have a seven year old; (2) my seven year old has recently expressed interest in trusting Christ; and (3) I am a pastor of parents of seven year olds.
I am guilty of wanting to ‘see how serious’ a child is before I know their expression of salvation is real. This is important, of course, but I cannot play God. What is more, I cannot forget that the same God who saves at seven will be the same God who keeps them until they are eighty-seven. MANY seven year olds who prayed a prayer and were dunked by their pastors are now being sent off to the mission field. Take heed Pearson!
3. “I grew up in a home where Christ was very real.”
This was spoken by a candidate whose father actually saw a vision of Christ in a dream. This vision was the catalyst that redirected his heart from a false religion to faith in Christ. Christ was real in her home because Christ was real to her dad. Help me, Lord. No further comments needed here. Dads, read the quote again and ask yourself if Christ is real to you and in your home.
4. “This is what I was created for.”
Again, spoken by a missionary candidate describing what the Lord said to his heart when he got off the plane in the area where he is going to serve. He knows, without a doubt, what he is created to do. For him, it is to do a specific task in a specific area of the world for specific people to the glory of God. What about you? Have you discovered why God created you?
5. “Would you like me to mark an ‘X’ on the Bold blend for you?”
You guessed it. I heard this from the Starbucks barista after I sat down a few minutes ago. A lady came in and ordered several different drinks. When handed her drinks, this is what the barista guy asked her. Why do I mention this? Simply because it impressed me that this guy was thinking about how he could best serve her. He wasn’t required to. He would still get his paycheck. She didn’t imply that she wanted it done. But he thought she might need to be able to distinguish between them when she delivered the drinks.
Of course, I thought: “Why don’t we do this at church?” Here I sit in a secular establishment listening to a barista ‘out-serve’ his customer. How I long to always be thinking how I can serve those around me! How I long to hear long-time church members ‘out-serve’ others on Sunday mornings. It’s not hard. This guy was simply thinking about this lady’s situation and what she might need. Simple, yet thoughtful and helpful.