For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Philippians 1:21HCSB
Jim Elliot lived his life with passion. A journey through his journals shows a young man utterly sold out to his Savior, making every decision in light of what would be most pleasing to God. For that reason, he delayed marriage, traveled to South America, became a missionary. For that reason, he took his bride and baby daughter to live in the Ecuadorian jungles, very near the unreached and savage Auca tribe. With every breath, he lived this quote from his diary: “Wherever you are, be all there.”
He took that passion with him when he and four other young men went right to the heart of Auca territory, trying to make contact with these known killers who had never heard of Jesus. But Auca warriors attacked the five missionaries on a jungle beach, spearing them to death in the sand, leaving their bodies to bleed into the river. The missionaries had guns to defend themselves, but chose not to. They’d promised each other they would not kill an Auca who did not know Jesus even to save their own lives.
With their dying breaths, Jim Elliot and his companions lived out this quote from Jim’s journal: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Jim Elliot could not keep his life, but he gained an eternity with Jesus and rewards untold. And that passion inspired others. Jim Elliot’s wife, the sister of fellow martyred missionary Nate Saint, and eventually, Nate Saint’s son all went to live among the Aucas as missionaries. Young men and women across the United States heard about Jim Elliot’s sacrifice gave their own lives to foreign missions. How many thousands of souls are stepping into heaven as a direct result of one life lived with passion?
Philippians 1:21. To me, to live is Christ, to die is gain. Paul penned those words in a prison. He got it. He knew what was really important – not nice houses or comfortable pay checks. Not vacations or new cars. But, eternity, the forever beyond this 70-something years we’ve got on earth. May I passionately live for God, knowing that even losing my life is gain.