20 Powerful Jim Elliot Quotes


Although today a known name in much of western Christendom, Jim Elliot was not well known during his life. He grew up in a Plymouth Brethren church and attended Wheaton College before following God’s call to reach Quechua Indians of Ecuador with the Gospel. The thing he is most well known for in his life is the incredible passion he had for the lost. This passion ultimately led to his death by spear from the hand of those he sought to save.

Although Jim Elliot and the other martyred missionaries’ lives had ended as martyrs, the work of God in the Quechua Indians of Ecuador had just begun. Through the Christian witness of determined missionaries, including Elliot’s wife, the entire village he so desperately sought to reach was transformed for Christ.

Many of his journal writings were published by his wife Elizabeth after his death in In The Shadow of the Almighty (Jim Elliot’s biography) and The Journals of Jim Elliot.

Here are some of Jim Elliot’s most beloved quotes:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
― Jim Elliot

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
― Jim Elliot

“Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God.”
― Jim Elliot

“Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.”
― Jim Elliot

“God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.”
― Jim Elliot

“Lord, give me firmness without hardness, steadfastness without dogmatism, love without weakness.”
― Jim Elliot

“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth!”― Jim Elliot

“The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for, but we must believe that whatever it involves, it is good, acceptable and perfect.”― Jim Elliot

“Lord, make my way prosperous not that I achieve high station, but that my life be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.”― Jim Elliot

“Dreams are tawdry when compared with the leading of God, and not worthy of the aura of wonder we usually surround them with. God only doeth wonders. He does nothing else. His hand can work nothing less.”― Jim Elliot

“It makes me boil when I think of the power we profess and the utter impotency of our action. Believers who know one-tenth as much as we do are doing one-hundred times more for God, with His blessing and our criticism. Oh if I could write it, preach it, say it, paint it, anything at all, if only God’s power would become known among us.”― Jim Elliot

“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.”― Jim Elliot

“If we are the sheep of His pasture, remember that sheep are headed for the altar.”― Jim Elliot

“We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth Century does not reckon with. But we are “harmless,” and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are “sideliners” — coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!”― Jim Elliot

“I couldn’t have asked for more than God in deliberate grace has surprised me with!”― Jim Elliot

“Surely those who know the great passionate heart of Jehovah must deny their own loves to share in the expression of His. Consider the call from the Throne above, “Go ye,” and from round about, “Come over and help us,” and even the call from the damned souls below, “Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.” Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.”― Jim Elliot

“I pray that the Lord might crown this year with His goodness and in the coming one give you a hallowed dare-devil spirit in lifting the biting sword of Truth, consuming you with a passion that is called by the cultured citizen of Christendom ‘fanaticism’, but known to God as that saintly madness that led His Son through bloody sweat and hot tears to agony on a rude Cross—and Glory!”― Jim Elliot

“I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you Lord Jesus.”
― Jim Elliot

“The shiny paint laid on by curiosity’s hand has worn off. What thing better can a man know than the love of Christ, which passes knowledge?”― Jim Elliot

“When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.”
― Jim Elliot

Related Pages:

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Author: Kevin Halloran

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