Laying Down Our Lives

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Paul Carlson arrived in the Congo in 1961 shortly after the African nation was given independence. Trained in medicine, he felt the call to become a missionary doctor for the Evangelical Covenant Church. Though there was widespread turmoil in that part of Africa, he realized that these unsettled conditions provided a great opportunity for medical missionaries to help people and share the Gospel.

After his first tour was completed, he returned to the United States. His wife, Lois, saw that he was “a new person. His attitudes had changed…his purposes in life were well defined, his outlook on the future was confident.” So he and Lois decided to return to the Congo in 1963, even though the situation remained dangerous.

Soon after his return, Carlson was captured by rebels and tortured while he endured three months in captivity. When Belgian paratroopers landed on a rescue mission, he and other missionaries tried to escape, but Carlson was killed.

His martyrdom became front-page news across the world. In particular, people throughout the Congo were moved by the commitment he had shown. At his funeral, many pastors told of the impact of his life. On his grave marker, these words were written in the Lingala language: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Paul Carlson had laid down his life, and thousands of people were impacted by the Gospel as a result!

How serious is your commitment to God? Have you made Jesus your Lord? Are you seeking first His Kingdom? Are you willing to lay down your life for others? Are you serving God with your mind, soul, body, and resources?

Today, commit your life to Him anew, and allow God’s love to flow through you to others.