Mark Batterson in his book, ALL IN, wrote: “A century ago, a band of brave souls became known as one-way missionaries. They purchased single tickets to the mission field without the return half. And instead of suitcases, they packed their few earthly belongings into coffins. As they sailed out of port, they waved good-bye to everyone they loved, everything they knew. They knew they’d never return home.
A.W. Milne was one of those missionaries. He set sail for the New Hebrides in the South Pacific, knowing full well that the headhunters who lived there had martyred every missionary before him. Milne did not fear for his life because he had already died to himself. His coffin was packed. For thirty-five years, he lived among that tribe and loved them. When he died, tribe members buried him in the middle of their village and inscribed this epitaph on his tombstone: "When he came there was no light. When he left there was no darkness.” 1
I have always been in awe of men and women like A.W. Milne. Still am. I know people like him have the call of God on their lives and have surrendered their will to the will of God – no matter what, no matter where, no matter when. I get that. What I don’t get is how these people walk away from so many of the comforts and conveniences the rest of us enjoy on a regular basis, yet in spite of the things they give up to serve the Lord, in so many cases, they seem to have more joy and a deeper sense of spiritual fulfillment than the rest of us.
God hasn’t called us all to be missionaries. But He has called us to be ALL IN!
Could it be those who sacrifice the most receive the most? Jesus sure seemed to support that when He said, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29).
This weekend we’ll have the privilege of having a number of people in our midst like A.W. Milne. People who are ALL IN! All of our missionaries are coming home.
Our missionaries will begin arriving today, and all of them will be leaving Sunday afternoon following lunch. I want to encourage you to take advantage of and enjoy every moment we have this weekend. I also want to encourage you, if you haven’t already, to get a ticket today to our Missions’ Banquet tomorrow night (November 4) as we have the opportunity to honor some of God’s best! The cost of a ticket and giving up a couple of hours pales in comparison to the sacrifices our missionaries make on a daily basis to represent Christ and Crossroads, taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
How do these people walk away from so many of the comforts and conveniences the rest of us enjoy on a regular basis, yet in spite of the things they give up to serve the Lord, in so many cases, they seem to have more joy and a deeper sense of spiritual fulfillment than the rest of us? (You said the same thing above.) They’ve learned the blessing of being ALL IN!
God hasn’t called us all to be missionaries. But He has called us to be ALL IN! Don’t miss a single part of our 2017 World Missions’ Conference this weekend. It’ll make a world of difference in your life and the lives of your family and will help all of us do an even better job of …
... MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE for CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH!
© 2017. Barry L. Cameron
1 Mark Batterson, ALL IN (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013) 13.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.