JACKSON, Tenn. – Sept. 9, 2004– “The will of God can be a very dangerous place,” said Dr. Al Jackson, pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn, Ala. “Some would say we should go into all the world where there is safe food, good water to drink and no State Department advisory and that if it’s not safe, we should stay home. But we have to go and stay and stay and stay in those difficult places.”
Jackson told students, faculty and staff at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. that more money was donated to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering than in previous years but the average gift still amounts to two Big Macs, two fries and two Cokes.
“When are we going to get serious and tell the world about Jesus?” he asked. “Just imagine if someone had been in a village where there was a child named Osama Bin Laden. What if he had heard about the power of Jesus and accepted Him as savior? What a different world we’d be in today.”
Jackson pointed out that Jesus was a homeless man dependent on others and not “the American success story.” Reading from Luke 9:57-62, he said that what Jesus tells us in those passages is radical and against our culture.
“Jesus says that to follow Him, we must be willing to give up our comfortable lifestyle,” he said. “We must be willing to pay the cost. If you’re willing to take the gospel to the world, you have to be willing to change your plans.”
Jackson advised college students to be flexible in finding God’s will for their lives.
“You are in a stage of your life where you have plans,” he said. “Let the Lord rewrite your plans according to His will. When we say ‘no to the Lord, He ceases to be our Lord. There are many on this campus who God is calling. Be faithful and follow Him.”
Jackson read from Tom and Gloria Thurman’s last prayer letter as they prepared to retire from missionary service in Bangladesh.
“‘We are leaving but the task is not finished. We came because of the lost millions—who will take our place? We walked with Him and our lives have been full!’”
Jackson reminded his audience that, though it seems like a cliché, Jesus really is the only answer.
“We live in a world where people are desperate for the Lord,” he said. “We have the story. We have the resources to show them the way.”
by Kathie Chute