July 18, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, 'Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied." Genesis 22:1
The unhesitating obedience Abraham displayed when God called him, and his unwavering faith in following Him, will forever be a challenge and inspiration to all. It has been told that Robert Morrison responded with singleness of heart and purpose to go to China as a missionary in 1807. The London Missionary Society turned him down until it saw his zeal and enthusiasm. His prayer was that God would place him in a missionary field where the difficulties were the greatest and most insurmountable. His appointment to China was God's answer to his prayer. With his goal in sight, he pursued with purpose the call of God on his life.
He was the first Protestant missionary to China, which was then closed to preaching the gospel, and even to commerce from foreign "barbarians." Unable to sail from England to China, he went by way of New York. The ship's captain asked him if he expected to make an impression on the idolatrous Chinese. He replied, "No sir, but GOD will make an impression!" Unable to preach, he started the difficult task of mastering the Chinese language. He had no friends, no helper, no companion, but God had placed him there and he never murmured. His accommodations were extremely poor. He soon began to pursue his insurmountable task of translating the Scriptures. After four years in China, he published his version of Acts. Three years later he had translated and published the whole New Testament, and in that year baptized his first convert. In 1819, with the help of Dr. William Milne, the second missionary to arrive, he had translated the whole Bible into Chinese, a miracle in itself! He had no grammar he could use, so he created one. He had no dictionary of Chinese characters, so he put together one, acclaimed as a miracle of learning and ingenuity. The Chinese language is the most difficult of all, having over 6,000 characters. He issued an original Chinese catechism to teach potential converts the truths of the gospel in a simple way. His translation of the Bible made it possible for one-third of the world (China) to read the Word. His Chinese dictionary was so miraculous, that leading universities throughout the world use it today to teach the language. This is a testimony to the faithfulness of God.
When he returned to England after 17 years, he sought to interest others in missionary work in China. The Parliament of England made him a member of the elite Royal Society of England. Christians from all professions acclaimed him as a great man of God who will forever be remembered as the "Apostle of Protestant Missions" in China. Here was a man unschooled, without training in theology, and rejected as a missionary candidate. But with the call of God upon his life, he persevered with undaunted courage and dedication under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We also have such a call from God: to be all He wants us to be, as we are, where we are...empowered by the Holy Spirit. Will you respond with unwavering obedience to what God wants you to be? It's not a question of whether you are able, but whether you are available. God does the equipping and the enabling for every task He calls you to do. "Faithful is He that calls you, who also will do it." DARE TO BELIEVE!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-07-18
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