Monday, December 31, 2012

James Martin, Pioneer Medical Missionary in Antioch

This short and well written missionary biography recounts the life and work of Rev. James Martin a minister and missionary of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ireland.  His life spanned the 19th and 20th centuries.  While I was reading this book I was preparing to preach on John 12v24 "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit."  James Martin was a 12 24 man. His life was a burning example of what it means to be a radical follower of the great Radical Jesus Christ.
This little bio is well written, concise, clear and full of the life of a man whose heart was devoted to serving his Lord and Master.  The book recounts the witness of a man sent by a small Irish denomination to reach the lost and needy of Syria and Lebanon.  It is a fascinating, challenging and encouraging read.  One question was constantly in my mind - where are the men of this calibre today? Where are the men who will preach to the unreached, plant churches, set up schools and set up dispensaries displaying the mercy of the Lord?  James Martin could have been an exceptional pastor in the home church or a leading medic - but his heart was in tune with God's plan for the world - to reach those who had not been reached.  O that the Lord would put the same mindset into the hearts of 21st century pastors to go where His great name has not been heard or little known.
Any theological students reading this blog - you simply must read this.  Any young person reading this blog - you must take up and read and pray that the Lord of the ends of the earth might raise up more men with such a love for the Lord Jesus.  Read and fall into the earth yourself and die so that there might be some fruit from your short life.

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