Saturday, December 1, 2007

How Few There Are Who Die So Hard!

This is the title of the biographical message John Piper gave on the life of Adoniram Judson at the 2003 Bethlehem Pastors Conference.

Friday I took this sermon with me for the commute (mp3 player) and as I made my way home, listening to Piper recount the suffering in Judson's life, tears filled my eyes. In fact, they nearly filled the car! I was broken over my own apathy to God's Great Commision in light of the sufferings that Judson's endured to bring the Gospel to Burma!

"... Judson went [to Burma] with his 23-year-old wife of 17 months. He was 24 years old and he worked there for 38 years until his death at age 61, with one trip home to New England after 33 years. The price he paid was immense. He was a seed that fell into the ground and died. And the fruit God gave is celebrated even in scholarly works like David Barrett's World Christian Encyclopedia: "The largest Christian force in Burma is the Burma Baptist Convention, which owes its origin to the pioneering activity of the American Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson"
Read/listen/download the sermon here. (BTW, there are also many other biographical messages about C.H. Spurgeon, Calvin, Martin Luther, Johnathan Edwards.)

Back to Adoniram Judson. If after listening to the bio. message, you still haven't picked up on Piper's passion for missions (especially what he calls frontier missions), you can also read his article The Cost and Blessing of Being a Christian Missionary. Get Desiring God and read the chapter on Missions ... or even read it online for free! (As my friend Luke pointed out, it's refreshing that Piper's generosity is indicative of the fact that he's not "about the money" or "His Best Life Now".)

Sadly, not much is written on Judson. To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson is recommended. There is a children's book called Adoniram Judson - God's Man in Burma by Sharon Hambrick, which my daughter will be reading as part of her homeschool curriculum this year! Piper also mentions a book that Judson wrote on baptism.

So again, download Piper's stirring message here (and listen when you're not behind the wheel.) No need to take notes; it's all in the manuscript. As Piper says, "put your notes away and relax and soak and then get convicted and become a missionary ... that's my goal."

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Here is my testimony: mike