I’ll Sleep by My Goats

by Pastor Kevin Sadler

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Missionary Ben Anderson, International Director at Things to Come Mission, taught a class and shared at chapel time while I was a student at Berean Bible Institute. At the end of his chapel time, he shared a story from a recent trip to Indonesia. He told of a certain village where there was a church-planting effort under way, in spite of the fact that the village was almost entirely Muslim. One of the Indonesians, a recent convert, spoke with Ben and the president of the Grace Bible Churches in Indonesia.

The man was poor, and without shoes, estranged from family having trusted Christ, and he told Ben, “I want you to have my house for the church.” They at first resisted and said, “But that’s your house, where will you live?” The man said “I have a small goat pasture, I’ll sleep by my goats.” They asked him, “But why would you do this? Why would you give up your home?” The man replied, “Because Jesus died for me.”

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Eph. 5:2).

No sacrifice is too great to make for Christ who gave Himself for us. The Church is taught by God to “walk in love.” God wants us to be devoted to pursue His selfless love in each step we take in life.

We are to “walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.” Christ’s love is about sacrifice. In His love, Christ willingly allowed Himself to be hit in the face over and over, to have His back ripped raw in His scourging, to have a crown of thorns forced down on His head, to be spit upon, mocked, and to be struck across the head with a large stick. In His love, Christ was crucified for us, having nails driven through His hands and feet. In His love, Christ faced the wrath of God against our sins as our Substitute. He sacrificially took the punishment we deserved and paid sin’s penalty for us so that we might be saved from our sins and live eternally with Him.

Christ gave everything in His love for us. As that love touches our hearts, we too should give ourselves and be willing to give anything and everything for Him. To love as Christ loved us means to be willing to make sacrifices for Him. We should, like this Indonesian brother, be willing to give Him even our house and “sleep by the goats” if necessary, because He died for us.

Note: Some have asked if the man in this article really gave up his house to sleep by his goats.  Ben Anderson said that he did give his house to be used as the church building.  On his property, he also had a shed for his goats.  He tied up the goats outside under a tree and modified the shed so he could live there.  It was much smaller, but he felt it was sufficient for his needs.  Then he built another simple shelter for the goats.

To the Reader:

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