We all love a good movie where the hero sacrifices himself for the greater good. There are tears for the ones we know will never come back alive, or there is twangs of hope that they may return unscathed from the point of death.
What is amazing is that we have that very story in our lives if we know it or not. Jesus sacrificed himself for the greater good of mankind. He died so that might be free from sin. He also returned not unscathed though, his scars remained as a remined of what he has done for you. Yet many hear this and think that can’t be true, or that’s not for me.
“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:12-13 NLT
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9 NLT
Would you be willing to lay down your life for a friend? Jesus did for you. And he did it for your friends and family, the strangers you meet everyday, your coworkers and your enemy. He died so that we might live amazing lives sharing to other what he came to earth to do. The even more amazing part is he rose from the dead and invites us into a relationship with him. No other religion leader is alive, so they can’t have a relationship with their followers. That is what makes Christianity so real, it is also what makes it so offensive because it is the truth, and the truth can be scary.
If we could see ourselves the way God sees us in our sin we would crumble and hide in shame. I think that is what a lot of people do when they start thinking about God and Jesus. They run from their true selves and try to mask what they really are. For all the good things they do, the feel if they just continue in their good ways that they will earn heaven. No, they may not say it out loud, but how many times have you heard “but I’m a good person.”
If you haven’t noticed yet I have been focusing for awhile now on the mission. We need to be better at reaching the lost people for Jesus, or for bare minimum inviting them to church. At the men’s ministry I lead, I made a board that reads ” if they matter to God they should matter to us” and on it I asked the men to start writing names of people they want to see come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. This visual list of names not only puts them out in the open it shows us that we know many many people that need Jesus and we have a huge impact on their lives. I told the men that I want us to start taking names off the wall as we reach them and they make commitments to follow Christ. As we add names we need to be removing some too. I am excited to see God work though about prayers and these men.
So today I ask you, do you value those around you to lay down your life for them. Is their fate and eternity priority for you, or do you care that one day they will be burning in hell? If it does then you need to do something, the benefits of reaching them outweigh the cost it may take. Stop storing up treasures on earth, let’s start storing up treasures in heaven. I would rather someone thanking me in heaven for telling them about Jesus then someone in hell wishing I had.
Jesus, we are called to share your love. I am not sure exactly how we come to this point where it has become taboo to us your name. People are offended and almost angry when the name of Jesus comes up on social media. But when you get them one on one, away from the veil of a computer, and open up to them sharing your love, something starts to happen. I ask Holy Spirit you will give us opportunities today to do just that, sharing the love of Christ. Encourage us, rekindle our fire and excitement in sharing our faith. We are free because of your love and free people can free people. Let them matter to us as we know they matter to you. Amen.