Over sixty years ago in Ecuador, Jim Elliot and Nate Saint set out on a mission to bring the remarkable story of God’s salvation and grace to the Huaorani people. Their ministry could have completely ended when a group of Huaorani warriors viciously killed them and dumped their bodies in the Curaray River.
But—God’s grace is more powerful than death.
Through the amazing grace of God, Jim and Nate’s families continued ministering to the Huaorani tribe. Jim’s wife, Elizabeth, spent two years living in the settlement and ministering to the tribe that killed her husband. Nate’s sister, Rachel, spent 36 years living in the jungle ministering to the people who killed her brother. At age 10 Nate’s son, Steve, developed a relationship with the tribe and began spending his summers with them. In June of 1965, he was baptized in the Curaray River by Kimo and Dyuwi, two of his father’s killers, who, through this ministry of grace, had received the gift of salvation.
The Elliot and Saint families had a common characteristic—a deep understanding of God’s grace towards themselves. This enabled them to give incomprehensible grace instead of seeking retribution. When we are awakened to God’s immense grace towards us, He fills us with His supernatural love and our choice to love others isn’t based on how they treat us. We know that no one has sinned against us like we have sinned against God.
The experience of God’s loving grace towards us becomes the most compelling and persuasive circumstance in defining the way we treat others.
Living in the knowledge of God’s profound grace and love allows us to freely give away whatever gifts and resources He has given us. We will even give what is most precious because what we already have is priceless. God’s presence is our greatest need. We never run out of giving Him.
Although Jim Elliot did not know he would die for Christ, six years before his death on October 28, 1949, he wrote in his journal:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.“
Ah, when we pursue a close personal relationship with Christ, we find that we need Him more than anything. When we’re close to Him, He begins to give us glimpses of the sheer magnitude of His grace towards us. We are humbled and grateful. We are filled with the power to love those who don’t return our love; indeed, even those who are our enemies.
The more we learn to love like God, the more His grace gives us the power to GIVE LOVE far beyond our own ability.
The Lord graciously and continuously gives us mercy and love to a degree that is far beyond our own understanding.
The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin… Exodus 34:6-7
As we surrender our life more and more to Christ, we recognize the immense grace and love He is continually giving us. We realize just how much we have to give to others. We can’t keep His goodness to ourselves! We cheerfully join the flow of all-sufficient love which multiplies itself both within and without. Think about this passage in the context of giving God’s supernatural love:
“He who sows [love] sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows [love] bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give [love] as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an ABUNDANCE for every good work…
…Now may He who supplies seed [including love] to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything [especially His love] for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NKJV
My friend, you and I don’t have to go to Ecuador for God to write His story of grace through us. God has a plan to weave a powerfully compelling story for each of us—right where we are. When we are overcome by His grace and love towards us, it compels us to passionately give Him 100% of all we are and all we have and then—He gives us more love than we can give away.
God’s glorious love writes HIS everlasting stories through us.
We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.
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