Continuing our "time travels" we find ourselves journeying with Abram through Canaan, God's promised land to him. We notice that both Abram and his nephew, Lot, are materially wealthy in flocks and herds and tents. Both Abram's possessions and Lot's are so great that the land cannot support them both. Quarreling rises between Abram's herdsmen and those of Lot.
Displeased with the quarreling, Abram goes to Lot one day to discuss the matter.
"Let's not have any more of this fighting between your men and mind," Abram says. "Let's separate. You go one direction; I'll go the other." (See Genesis 13:5-9.)
Lot looks over all the territory to the east, and then chooses for himself the "whole plain of the Jordan." He sees that it is well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt." Perhaps seeing its potential for material prosperity, Lot then leaves Abram and lives among the cities of the plain near Sodom. But, the men there are wicked and sin greatly against God. (See Genesis 13:10-13.)
Abram, however, remains in Canaan and is refreshed with the promise of God: "Do you see all this land, Abram?" Showing Abram all of Canaan, God says, "I am giving it to you and your offspring." (See Genesis 13:14-15.)
Abram walks through the land, seeing only the potential of God's promise. At Hebron he builds an altar and worships the LORD there." (See Genesis 13:18.)
Then our time machine transports us to the New Testament times when Jesus trekked the Promised Land (Old Testament times, Canaan; for Jesus, Palestine; in the 21st Century, Israel).
We look in on Him during one of His private times praying. His disciples are there with Him.
Sharing with His disciples, Jesus predicts the kind of death He will die. He also teaches them, as the apostle Paul will later report to the Colossians, "Set your affections on things above, not on earthly things," (Colossians 3:1-3; cf. Matthew 6:33)
And as Jesus put it to His disciples (and to us), "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it" (Matthew 16:25). He goes on, asking them rhetorically, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?" (Matthew 16:26)
Swoosh! Our time machine now carries us away to the Year of our Lord 1860, and deposits us in England. Here we witness the birth of Charles Thomas Studd (C.T.Studd). We watch as he becomes an expert cricket player at the age of 16, yet later "loses his life only to find it" in service for the cause of Christ.
C.T.'s father is a wealthy Englishman, whose life has been radically changed since he received Christ at a D.L. Moody campaign. He persistently witnesses to his three sons until seeing their conversion to Christianity.
In his youth, however C.T. strays from his faith. But, then, at a Moody campaign, he rededicates his life to God. And, like his father, he zealously pursues the task God has prepared for him to do, sacrificing wealth and prestige for the more worthy goal of making Christ known. Giving up a half million-dollar inheritance -- recovering eternal values -- he chooses rather to live by faith.
In July 1931, C.T. Studd passes from the physical realm into the eternal presence of his Lord. His last spoken word is "Hallelujah!"
Today God continues His search for other "C.T.s and Priscillas," who are willing to risk wealth and fame for the nobler ambition of making Christ known among the 'nations' (peoples of the world).
For further reflection, consider--