When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship sought to turn him back. “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages,” he cried. Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Christian who died in Nazi hands, once said: “When God calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
Someone once asked the German Christian George Mueller the secret of his victorious Christian life. He replied: “There came a day when George Mueller died, utterly died! No longer did his own desires, preferences, and tastes come first. He knew that from then on Christ must be all in all.”
My pastor during my college years in Columbia, South Carolina, was Dr. H. Edwin Young, who taught me so much about preaching and pastoring. One day I was in his office, and he asked me if I knew the secret of Christian victory. He said, “You have to die to yourself every day. You have to put 220 volts to yourself every day–Galatians 2:20. ‘I am crucified with Christ.'”
Someone once saw this sign in the window of a dry-cleaning and dying business: “We dye to live, we live to dye; the more we dye, the more we live; and the more we live, the more we dye.”
That’s the slogan for the Christian.
(This is excerpted from my sermon for tomorrow. For the entire message, click here).