30. GOD, YOU, AND AN INDIAN CHIEF

PERHAPS YOU HAVE heard the story of the evangelist who was preaching in Indian territory some years ago. As the preacher tried to impress the listeners with God’s love for them, an Indian chief, evidently moved by the story, walked down and laid his hand-woven blanket at the preacher’s feet.

“Chief give blanket to Jesus Christ,” he exclaimed in broken English.

The preacher paused for a moment, but said nothing. He then continued speaking of Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world. Overcome with gratitude, the chief again arose and left the assembly. In a few minutes he returned, leading a beautiful and valuable pony.

“Chief give pony to Jesus Christ,” he said.

By this time the evangelist could see that the man was deeply moved. Even though he realized that the Indian was offering his most prized possession, he continued to speak. He explained how Christ gave Himself for us while we were sinners.

Finally, with a sudden expression of understanding on his face, the chief again arose. With tears streaming down his face, he walked to the preacher. This time he had nothing in his hands, but said simply, “Chief give self to Jesus Christ!” This time the preacher welcomed him with outstretched arms. This was what he had wanted to do-move people to a love for Christ that would make them offer themselves to the Savior.

How many of us live as though we thought a few dollars, an hour or two a week, a few words, were sufficient to show our gratitude and love to Christ? Paul told the Philippians, in effect, “I desire not yours, but you.” Have you really given yourself to the Lord?