As I think upon my subject matter, I think of what the apostle Paul said in II Timothy,
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus . . . endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier.” (II Timothy 2:1, 3-4 – NKJV)
The author writes,
“The clearing, which only five years ago had been dense, uninhabited forest land, was now filled again, but this time with a vast crowd of Christians, all natives of the Congo who had been won to the Lord by the efforts of the figure who lay in the simple coffin at their feet. Many chiefs from neighboring communities swelled the ranks of the two thousand gathered there, not seeking precedence because of their rank but standing shoulder to shoulder with their brothers in Christ. Those natives who had known ‘Bwana Mukubwa’ – the ‘Big’ Bwana – most intimately had been given the privilege of carrying his body to the graveside.”
This is as it was when “Bwana Mukubwa” – the “Big” Bwana was laid to rest in the dark soil of Africa. This is as it was when Charles T. Studd, the man who abandoned great wealth and all the creature comforts that a man of his position would have been able to partake of, and was laid to rest in the dark soil of Africa. This “figure who lay in the simple coffin” was a man who had given himself over to the service of Jesus the Christ, to go into the world and preach the gospel. This “figure” was the body of C. T. Studd.
I’m of the mind that heroes and their accomplishments should always be made known, should always be respected. History is filled with the thrilling endeavors of those we frame under the title of “hero,” and it has been this writer’s blessing to read of many. Men and women who went above and beyond what we regard as the norm for people walking through the life that was given to them.
But what is their end-reward, these heroes we learn of, these heroes that dot our history books and stand out so prevalently because of their deeds? My oh my . . . their deeds! Do they not capture our attention, these heroes, and cause us to pause and be in great awe?
I think that I am not able to answer as to “what is their reward,” when it comes to the many heroes. But to this “Bwana Mukubwa,” this “Big” Bwana, this man, appropriately to be called “a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” who preached the gospel of Christ to so many and so many turned from their sin and received Jesus as Lord and Savior, I think I have at least some insight into his reward. I would liken it to that which the apostle Paul spoke of regarding his future reward,
“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day.” (II Timothy 4:7-8 – NKJV)
C. T. Studd, the “good soldier of Jesus Christ,” a man who left it all to serve the risen Savior, whose missionary endeavors would take him to America, India, China, and finally Africa. To Christians, the man who brought thousands together to honor his passing, a hero above and beyond the very term, of this man I am of the belief that a “crown . . . which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give” will surely be his “on that Day.”
When you find yourself in a conversation and should the subject matter possibly come up of heroes, do not hesitate to acknowledge C. T. Studd, and note how Christ used this servant to reach thousands . . . and then maybe add these words that C. T. wrote,
“Only what’s done for Christ will last . . .”
Oh so very true! Who was Bwana Mukubwa? He was C. T. Studd . . .
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