Dr. James Dobson shared this dramatic true story in his book, “Coming Home: Timeless Wisdom for Families”.
In 1631, when the favorite wife of Indian ruler Shah Jahan died, he ordered that a magnificent tomb be built as a memorial to her. The shah placed his wife’s casket in the middle of a parcel of land, and construction of the temple literally began around it. But several years into the venture, the Shah’s grief for his wife gave way to a passion for the project.
One day while he was surveying the sight, the Shah reportedly stumbled over a wooden box, and he had some workers throw it out. It was months before he realized that his wife’s casket had been destroyed. The original purpose for the memorial became lost in the details of construction. They built the Taj Mahal, but they forgot the reason for the building. They forgot what their mission truly was!
What is your mission in life, your purpose for living? Is it to enjoy this life and get the most out of it while you can? It is a pagan attitude that says, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (Isaiah 22:13; Luke 12:19; 1 Corinthians 15:32). Some Christians want to live a life receiving blessing after blessing from the Lord. It's better, but not complete. Instead, is it your mission in life to honor the Lord, to worship and give Him praise, to see His kingdom come and His will be done (Matthew 6:10)?
The Apostle Paul stated his mission in Colossians 1:28-29, “We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.” He also declared, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Jesus Christ was Paul’s mission, his all-consuming passion. It did not matter what lay ahead for Paul – whether life or death; it only mattered that Christ be glorified in everything!
John Geddie (1815-1872) was a Scots-Canadian missionary who was known as “the father of Presbyterian missions in the South Seas.” He pioneered missionary work in the New Hebrides islands, now known as Vanuatu. It was a difficult mission but Geddie worked diligently to convert the islanders in the hope of eliminating some of their evil practices such as cannibalism, infanticide, and the sacrifice of the wives after the death of their husbands.
In July 1871 he contracted influenza which left him permanently debilitated, and the following year suffered paralysis. He died December 14, 1872. A tablet was placed behind the pulpit of the church in the village of Anelcauhat on Aneityum (an island in present day Vanuatu) where he had preached. On this was the following inscription (source: Wikipedia):
“In memory of John Geddie, D.D., born in Scotland, 1815, minister in Prince Edward Island seven years, Missionary sent from Nova Scotia to Aneiteum for twenty-four years. When he landed in 1848, there were no Christians here; and when he left in 1872 there were no heathen.”
An entire island brought to Christianity! Can you imagine the welcome John Geddie received from Jesus Christ in heaven? “Well done, My good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21). The beauty is that, if we remain faithful to the Lord and the mission He has given us, no matter how small and humble our work may be, we will receive the same welcome!
This Sunday, March 6, we will continue our teaching series entitled, “Markers along the Discipleship Pathway”, by focusing on Mission. Please join us at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream to both locations every Sunday.
Coming Up: Our next Drive-Through Prayer outreach is this Saturday, March 5, from 1-3pm. Will you join us as we intercede for people in need? What divine appointments will happen this time? Come and find out.
Aloha ke Akua!