Speaker Tells Students To Become Love Letters

November 7, 2000

"Will you allow Jesus Christ to take the seed of your life and sow it in the plowed up fields of the four corners of the earth?" asked Dr. David Crutchley during his Nov. 1 chapel address at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Crutchley, dean of the school of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former career missionary, was the first speaker during the university's Mission Emphasis Week.

Crutchley entitled his sermon "The Lord of the Harvest," and based his message on Philippians 2:5-11.

In this passage, Crutchley said, "Paul is asking the church to behave towards each other as Jesus Christ behaved towards them. Jesus emptied himself for them."

Crutchley described Christ as a "missionary from God who traveled from the celestial realm of glory to earth." His life is the model of how to do missions work, he said.

Christ made three conscious decisions that affected his ministry on earth. He chose to be born an ordinary man and live his life as a bond-servant, without a place to live or even his own tomb to be buried in.

"Borrowed-ness is the key to Jesus' earthly life he always traveled light," Crutchley said.

Jesus also chose to humble himself to the point of being obedient to death on the cross, "a diabolical form of capital punishment," according to Crutchley.

"The author of life laid down his life," he said.

Crutchley challenged the students to move past exegesis of the Bible and listen to God's call.

"When you hear God's voice, will you respond without hesitation, negotiation, deliberation?" he asked.

The Christian life is one of cost. "To the first century world, suffering was not a metaphor," Crutchley said.

Crutchley admitted that it is easier to follow the American dream and seek fame, money and life in the comfort zone, but those who want "to embrace risk live the life of missions," he said.

He encouraged the students to live their lives as love letters to the world from Christ. "There is incredible potential in this room," he said. "OBU can become a beacon of Christian light."