He is No Fool – Jim and Elisabeth Elliot

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose - by Anchor Lines, a Christian Webcomic

Jim Elliot, along with 4 other missionaries, lost their lives in an attempt to share the gospel with a native tribe called the Huaoroni in Ecuador, speared to death by members of the tribe before even reaching their destination. His wife Elisabeth, with no less courage, carried on the work they had started together – and only a short time after his death she too went to the same tribe. Although she can’t have had much expectation for her own safety, through a series of events God not only kept Elisabeth, her daughter and her colleague safe, but opened the doors for the gospel to spread amongst a people who might never have heard it otherwise.

The Elliots and their colleagues are an example of Christians who have been so amazed, so captivated by the greatness of our God, so overwhelmed by the love Jesus showed us on the cross, that they stood willing to give up everything for his sake. Comfort, safety, riches, even their own lives – they had found something of infinitely greater value. Before he went away, Jim Elliot famously wrote in his diary:

“One of the great blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

At the age of only 28, Jim Elliot gave, and gained, exactly that.

Elisabeth Elliot has since lived a long life, writing a number of books. In particular, if you would like to read more about what God accomplished in Ecuador, then you might want to take a look at Through Gates of Splendour: The Five Missionary Martyrs of Ecuador

I used some of the images from this strip in a preach over the weekend on the cost of following Jesus (“The cost of discipleship”). If you are interested, it should be available on the website for Kings Community Church Norwich in the next few days.

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