"..... For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" Luke 9:25-26
In the early '50's a group of young missionaries went to the Amazon jungles to try to reach a previously unreached tribe. This was one of a group of tribes known for their brutality and were literally on the verge of extinction because of their violence. That put an even greater urgency on making contact with this people.
When asked about the wisdom of going to this remote area and confronting these savage people on of the young missionaries by the name of Jim Elliott replied, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
That is of course, a paraphrase of these words spoken by Jesus to His disciples.
The call to fellowship is the call to extend the fellowship by reaching the lost. And that usually involves risk of some sort. Whether it be risk of comfort or risk of reputation or, as in this case, risk of life, believers are called to the fellowship of risk-takers.
I have attached a clip from the movie "End of the Spear" which chronicled the true story of these missionaries. To set up the clip, the missionaries had spent months attempting to make contact with the tribe and win their trust enough to encounter them. When they felt the time was right they flew into a spot near the village to risk the contact with members of this savage tribe. Knowing the risk they had covenanted between themselves that if things went badly they would not defend themselves with the pistol they had. Their reasoning was that if the natives were not spiritually prepared to die and they were. This powerful film clip shows how that commitment was tested:
We are called to the fellowship of suffering and we need the support, courage and accountability of standing together for Christ.
You may be wondering, "I am not sure I could do what they did. How can I be sure?"
If you aren't living in fellowship with Christ today and if you aren't in fellowship with a strong church, you be able to stand when it counts.