The great Methodist missionary James Calvert and his wife Mary felt called to work among the cannibal natives of Fiji. Obviously choosing to be a missionary to cannibals seems like a suicide mission and the captain of the ship taking the Calverts to Fiji knew it. One day during the voyage, the captain approached the missionary, filled with concern. "You will lose your life, and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." Without hesitation, James Calvert looked the captain in the eye and said, "We died before we came here.”

Paul had a similar experience. He told the Corinthians, "I die daily" (1 Corinthians 15:31), and to the Galatians he said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Witnessing to people, ministering to them, whether around the world or in the house next door, cannot be done unless we are dead. If we have any shred of self in our lives, it is impossible for our Savior to shine through us. The Calverts spent 18 years among the Cannibals and returned to Great Britain to translate the entire Bible into the Fijian language. But none of that would have been possible if he weren't already dead.

Dying daily,

Pastor Sutherland

Comment