The Bible teaches us that Stephen’s death had a tremendous impact upon Philip. Shortly after Stephen was put to death, Philip took the gospel to Samaria.
Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
Today I want us to focus upon the importance of impacting others for the cause of Christ. To do so let’s begin with a man named Jim Elliot. As many of you know, Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries who were brutally murdered while trying to share the gospel with a group of Indians in Ecuador. Elliot was only 28 years old when he died and he left behind a wife and a child that was less than one year old. Many might say that this was such a waste of a good man’s life; yet history reveals that God has used Jim Elliot in a very powerful way, even after his tragic death. During the years following these missionaries’ deaths, there was a great movement in America among young people to go into missions. Elliot’s death did not weaken their faith. It ignited it!
One of Jim Elliot’s most famous quotes was found written in his journal – “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Though Elliot is often attributed with originating that powerful thought, he actually copied it from another great Christian. During the 1600’s, Philip Henry who was the father of Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry Commentaries) wrote – “He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose.” But Philip Henry was not the originator of this great truth. No doubt he was influenced by something another great man said about the importance of sacrificing of our life. Jesus said:
John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life – loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.… ESV
As I bring this week’s study to a close, I want to leave us with these three questions:
1) What kind of impact is my life and ministry having upon others?
2) Will the next generation look at me and say? – “I want to follow Christ like they did.”
3) What personal sacrifices am I willing to make in order to be used by Christ?
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Jim Elliot, Philip Henry, Jesus Christ