How Will They Do It, Smother Me?
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Today at church we had a missionary speak at our church, Rev. Irvin E. Rutherford, the founder and executive director of Global Ministry teams. In his sermon he told a thought provoking story. The ministry is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and there is a local dentist who handles the dental needs of anyone associated with the ministry. Rev. Rutherford told the story of the dentist’s response to the question of how did you meet the Lord?
The dentist told him, “Well I had cancer, I had taken chemo-therapy and lost all my hair.” Like most dentists he was working as he talked. He continued, “I was a Buddhist, and a friend asked me to go to church with them. I still don’t know why I agreed to go.” The cleaning continued.
“At the end of the service the preacher asked us, Who is willing to give their lives to Jesus? Raise your hands. I was dying and I figured, that my life wasn’t worth much anyway so I raised my hand. If he wanted my life he might as well have it for the time that was left. Then the pastor told us to come to the front and we’d be taken to another room where people were waiting to help us give our lives to Jesus.” He was finishing up the cleaning and put the tools away. “I wondered how it would be done. Would they smother me , shoot me, or poison perhaps. I just went with them and gave my life to Jesus and he healed me. That was over 20 years ago.”
To be honest I didn’t hear much of the rest of the sermon. All I could think of was the man Who went to give his life to the Lord expecting it to end as he gave it to Jesus. I don’t know that I would have been willing to give my life to Jesus when I accepted the Lord. The irony is that I had been suicidal when I accepted the Lord, but on thinking back I really didn’t want to die and probably wouldn’t have walked into a room expecting someone to smother me, or shoot me. The man may not have realized what was meant, but that man was willing to lay down his life when he went into that room.
Here was a man who didn’t hold much value for his own life. Still he wanted more than he had. He was hungry for something there is no telling how much of the salvation message he really understood, but he was hungry. Whether for an afterlife, or a healing, or just something other than a slow agonizing death, the man was hungry.
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This is what it means to "surrender all". I am challenged to evaluate if my life as a Christian comes anywhere near this type of commitment. Sadly, too often the answer is no. My the Lord grant each of us the desire and the strength to reach for this level of love for Him.