“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great” (Prov. 18: 16)
What kind of gift would bring an ordinary man before great men? I’ve often wondered what this verse means. Though scholars & commentators clearly have different things to say, I can’t help but seeing this culminating in Christ. God’s greatest gift to man is Jesus Christ. And though we have never sought for it, I’m convinced it’s the undeserved and unearned gift of grace in Christ that brought us before these great men (men we realistically admire and want to emulate).
After going through a very difficult time in our lives & ministry, I learned that God’s way of replenishing us can be very humbling and encouraging. I felt small, very small indeed, as God surprisingly brought us to meet David Platt and Francis Chan whom we have the deepest respect and admiration for.
My wife and I were privileged to fellowship with them this weekend, over dinner. I thanked Pastor Francis for speaking up for the persecuted Church in Orissa, India. I first got to know him where he did a video about the persecuted church. He himself had gone to Orissa to preach among the persecuted which in his words was “truly humbling.” I was surprised to find that Pastor David & his team had done a significant work in India as well. He spoke of major cities- most of which I have never been to as an Indian. Especially for my wife, this was like a dream, and they both loved having my wife’s presence. We were super excited to be in their company and our initial reaction was to tell the whole world! But how much more should we want to tell the whole wide world if we have spent some time in the company of Jesus? Are we as excited in telling & showing Jesus with our lives if we claim to know Him and live with Him?
One thing I took away from these men is their humility, which is worthy of our emulation. As Piper once said, “”Hero worship means admiring someone for unholy reasons and seeing all he does as admirable (whether it’s sin or not). Holy emulation, on the other hand, sees evidences of God’s grace, and admires them for Christ’s sake, and wants to learn from them and grow in them” ( Desiring God). And as Paul said, ““Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
Please take a moment to watch the video where Chan and Platt share their thoughts about Japan.
And please , please, please, pray for us, and also consider partnering with us, as we believe this is just the beginning of a new adventure with Jesus in this most difficult of missions field. God has many people all over the world and His ways are incredibly higher than our ways, and He is wise beyond all comparison. He knows exactly what He is doing and does not make mistakes like us. He is holy, just and full of grace. How great is our heavenly Father! May His name be honored and glorified among the Japanese- for whom Christ died and rose again.