Murray's vision (Calling to Evangelism - written 28th May 2014).
I see myself as the captain of the passenger ship that recently sank off the cost of Korea. The captain upon realizing the imminent sinking of the ship needed to notify all persons to put on their life jackets and be out on deck ready to transfer to a lifeboat or if necessary temporarily jump into the sea to be rescued. These simple instructions given at the appropriate time would have resulted in all persons aboard being saved.
I see the ship as everyone's physical body. It is capable of going nearly anywhere and doing nearly anything, however at some stage sooner or later it "will" sink. Some will sink in an instant with little or no warning, others very slowly with clear warnings. However I see your “spirit” as “you” on the ship, in the same way you need to prepare for this inevitable sinking. You need to be ready to part from the ship and you need a life jacket. This procedure is very simple you need to know “Jesus as Lord of your life”. That is you need to believe in Jesus, to trust in God. When your ship sinks, Jesus will come along side of you and pick you up, just as the life guard picks up those from a sinking or sunken vessel. But you need to be prepared.
Why I see myself as the captain. I have put my trust in the God of all creation, who inspired the writing of the Bible. As such I am fully aware of this situation, when I die, Jesus will come and pick me up (outlined in detail in the Bible). However many people do not know this reality, they are just as the innocent and uniformed Korean school students. Is it enough for me personally to be saved while knowingly watch all those around me live in ignorance? It is my job to ensure that everyone knows this truth. It may be possible that even after carefully explaining this reality that some may choose to ignore it, however everyone must be notified in a way that is clear and unmistakable. Ignorance of the law of gravity will not save you from the natural consequences.
Jesus came into this world for one single reason, "to save you and me" (John 3:16), so that not a single person would be lost.
Stop rearranging the pictures on your cabin's wall as your ship is sinking, take immediate action, believe in Jesus.. and you.. and your family will be saved (Acts 16:31). Pray to the God of the Bible, pray about which nearby church would be best for you. Pray about the mission that God will give you.. and "just do it" (Nike).
God promises to provide everything you need for the mission "He" will give you. Don't live life "your way", live it "His way" then and only then can you truly live.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you this side of eternity, if not and you have put on your life jacket I will see you on the other side.
Murray's story (testimony - written about 1994) follows.
I have been brought up in a Christian home but just as going to McDonald's doesn't make you a Hamburger, going to church didn't make me a Christian.
In fact I was rebellious and very destructive making life difficult for everyone around me. I guess like many people I planned often to run away from home, not realizing that the problem was not in my circumstances but me.
In 1975 aged 13 I went to Mana College. One morning as I got off the bus my friend Warren Coffey asked me if I'd like to come to the morning prayer meeting, I saw no reason why not and went. It was held in a small room off the Woodwork workshop.
There was a small group of students, perhaps 3 or 4 and a teacher Bernie Perano who was a woodwork teacher. I saw in the students and particularly in the teacher a quality that I admired. That quality was a sense of purpose, a direction, a faith. I continued to attend this morning prayer meeting before College, even though after a while my friend Warren Coffey stopped coming.
I cannot remember any specific time when I made a conscious decision to know God, rather it was a gradual understanding that God was very real. I remember vividly Bernie Perano's prayers which I also prayed although I didn't believe they would be answered, however they always were. This included his asking for a car for his family. One year we prayed for 7 new Christian teachers, next year 7 Christian teachers turned up, one of them a Physical Education teacher by the name of Billy Graham.
In looking back I can see that as I came to know God personally church gradually became meaningful instead of Religious.
In looking back I have no doubt that the only reason why I am alive today is because of praying parents. During my schooling years I came close to loosing my life through various incidents involving trains, boating, climbing, electric shock, being shot and having a sickness considered terminal at the age of 14.
Sometimes I forget all that God has done and still does, and I feel caught up in the troubles associated with daily living. But it is my desire to live each day in a closer relationship with the Lord, so that I may keep my life in perspective.
As I reflect on all that God has done in my life I am truly amazed. God has in His time allowed every desire of my heart to be fulfilled. He made it possible for me to gain academic qualifications, build my dream house marry the most wonderful lady and now has blessed me with the opportunity to learn more of my wife's country, customs and language while doing what I really like doing namely teaching.
God has indeed blessed us in so many respects. Of course we have also been through many difficulties, frustrations and disappointments but in all things God has been faithful. Truly as we have committed our lives daily into His hands He has directed us. Often it has not been easy to see God's guidance each day but in looking back over the years it is very easy to see.
There are often times when I do things that are not pleasing to God, but I desire to more and more do the things that God wants me to do. I know that I can never meet the needs of everyone but rather I desire to be able to say at the end of my life that which Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished" meaning that I have finished that which the Lord has given me to do.
It is so incredible that I can serve the God who created all things, that I can know Him personally. All because He sent His son Jesus to make a way possible for me to know Him. I will never understand all the reasons why God sent Jesus or why He choose me, but I am forever grateful that He did and I desire to walk in the center of His purposes every day.
I know from personal experience that fulfillment in life begins with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However this is only the starting point. From here just as in marriage the hard work begins, learning to hear God's voice, working through the struggles and frustrations of daily life. And for many people the added difficulties of ridicule or even rejection by family and friends for making a decision that they do not yet understand. But through it all there is nothing as exciting as learning little by little to be more like Jesus and to do that which the creator of the universe has purposed for you to do.
Many people are waiting to see the perfect Christian before considering becoming a Christian, of course they never will. Only Jesus was perfect the rest of us are "on the way". When some people become Christians there is a sudden change for good but for most people it is very gradual. Often it is only as you look at someone's life over a number of years that you can see what God is doing in there lives. This has certainly been the case in my life, changes have been slow but God has truly been faithful in every respect to bring about change in areas of my life that are not pleasing to Him.
When I became a Christian a major area of change was that instead of doing things my way I gradually started to do things God's way. I did not realize till later that doing things "my way" is the best possible definition for sin. I had always thought that sin was murder or stealing lying etc. But actually sin in simply doing things my way instead of doing things God's way.
I have also noticed from personal experience that when I knowingly do something my way instead of waiting for God's time the result is frustration and un-fulfillment, even though I may achieve what I decided to do. But when I do it God's way, by committing it to Him and waiting for His timing the result is fulfilling to those around me as well as myself and results in significant good in the long term. God has given me my heart's desires but only after I have committed them to Him and waited for His time.
The song "I did it my way" is actually a perfect definition of sin, doing things your way will always result in frustration, lack of fulfillment, selfishness and a wasted life, when compared to what God has in mind for your life. Doing things God's way results in an incredible fulfillment, peace and sense of purpose. When I am asked to sing the song "I did it my way" at a karaoke evening I make a small change I sing "I did it His way" (meaning I did it God's way). It seems like only a small change but actually this summarizes the biggest and best change that has ever happened in my life.
If you have never made this change in your life you may wish to consider it?