This July was the 10th year of my father’s passing. As I reflected on his life and ministry, I concluded that my father’s deepest passion in ministry was for the lost. He had a sense of urgency and compulsion that millions will die if he did not share the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus. He seized every opportunity to preach and he did this with compassion for over 65 years.
What was the secret of his successful ministry? I believe the greatest compelling factor was a deep sense of gratitude to God for his amazing grace and “extravagant” generosity in saving him from the bondage of sin.
G D James met God in the most remarkable manner through two visions: the first was where he saw all the wretched things he had done in his life till that moment; the second vision was how Jesus died on the cross for every one of his sins, right before his very eyes. It was this gratitude that kept him serving the Lord, as his eternal debt. He discharged this debt with a sense of urgency and gratitude.
To follow the Lord Jesus is not always easy. There are many distractions along this journey. Unless we intentionally fix our eyes on Jesus, other things will easily take the place of God. Jesus fixed his eyes on Jerusalem for that was the place where he would die for the sins of the whole world (Luke 9: 51-62).
Jesus invited three men to follow him but all of them had excuses. One of them wanted to follow him but when Jesus told him that he must forgo the comforts of life as “foxes have holes and birds have their nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”, he backed out! Two others gave lame excuses and conditions. Jesus told them that the greatest privilege and joy of every disciple is to share the message of salvation and reconciliation.
Right after this, Jesus sent 72 disciples in teams of two, into the villages to share this good news (Luke 10:1-20). The disciples returned with great joy as they experienced signs and wonders that accompanied their message. But Jesus told them to rejoice only because these names are written in the book of life!
We too are called to a costly and radical discipleship that may involve suffering and rejection. Nevertheless we must “go” and proclaim God’s kingdom – that Jesus Christ has indeed come, and that salvation is available to all who will humbly receive Him into their hearts and lives.
When people repent, turn from their sins and follow Jesus Christ, that is the greatest reason for celebration! Angels in heaven celebrate over one sinner that repents. How much more we who have experienced God’s extravagant generosity through salvation! It is a glorious privilege to follow and serve the Lord our King. May we never attach any conditions nor look back from following Him.
GD James was resolute in his mission to save the lost for over 65 years. He never allowed anything to detract him from his calling. Praise the Lord for his servant who was faithful till the very end. May you and I also be faithful and resolute to love and serve the Lord till He calls us home.
By Violet James, Deaconness (YCKC Bulletin 24&25 August 2013)