Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Made to Count

For me to live is Christ; to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

I wonder how many of us have prayed this verse, or quoted it as our life verse? It is one thing to quote it. It is another to live it! I wonder how many of us have lived it like BJ Higgins. Walker Moore started Awe Star Ministries in Tulsa, Oklahoma to help 14 - 17 year old kids go through a rite of passage into adulthood - through missions. Since inception fifteen years ago, Awe Star Ministries has placed thousands of young people around the world to share the gospel.

One of the young men was BJ Higgins. BJ went to minister to the people of Peru in the summer of 2005. During his time there over 5,000 Peruvians gave their lives to Jesus Christ. While ministering the gospel of Christ, BJ caught the bubonic plague.

When BJ's father asked him whether or not he was praying for God to heal him, BJ said that his prayer is that his life be used by God for the furtherance of the gospel, and if that means he lives, he is asking for healing. But, if the gospel is furthered through his death, he is asking God to take him home. BJ died in late summer of August 2005 of bubonic plague.

The story of BJ's life, written by his parents Brent and Deanna Higgins, with excerpts from the journals of BJ, is called I Would Die for You. It is #1 on Amazon's bestseller list among teenagers. BJ didn't talk about missions, he lived it. BJ wasn't concerned about his own legacy; he was captivated by Christ's legacy. BJ understood that a man is not really ready to live until he is fully prepared to die at any moment. It reminds me of a statement by martyred missionary to Auca Indians, Jim Elliott: “When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die.”

BJ wrote these words in his journal before he died:

I will not be satisfied.

I will not let my passion be held in a bottle.

I will not let my light be hidden.

I will stand up.

I will let my voice be heard.

I will lead. I will serve. I will fight.

I will tell people about Christ.

I will unsheathe my sword.

It's time to raise a revolution.

God will give me the strength.

(BJ Higgins, 1989-2005)

You were made to count! Like BJ, invest in the lives of others and leave your unknown future in the hands of a known Savior.

Until Next Week,

Dr. Derek