"Living and Dying"
June 27, 2015
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:15-16
For what would you be ready to die? If a person answers that question about dying, he will also find what should be his priorities for living.
I remember a story a brother pastor told me many years ago. It was from a time before cars were equipped with air bags, seat belts, and child seats were still decades away. He had been driving home when he came upon an accident. The first thing he saw was a little girl, about five years old, covered in blood.
The blood on the child was not hers.
The blood had come from her mother. Amazingly, the little girl had hardly been scratched. What had happened was this: the mother and daughter had been traveling down a two-lane gravel road when their car was hit by a drunk driver who had veered into their lane.
In the last moment before the cars collided, when avoidance maneuvers were no longer going to work, that mother had thrown herself across her daughter. When the vehicles slammed together, it was the mother's body that slammed into the car's dashboard; it was the mother's head which smashed into the windshield.
That mother's instinctual love had made her willing to give her all, even her life, to save her daughter.
Loving sacrifice had shown itself in that mother who threw herself between her daughter and the disaster of a car wreck. In this selfless act she is not alone. When mothers look at their children, they see the future. They see possibilities; they see dreams; they see a chance to change the world for the better. And because of what they see in their children, many mothers would be ready to die for them.
But would they die for someone else's child?
That number, while not inconsequential, is a smaller one. It would be smaller still if the life that needed saving belonged to a child who was the neighborhood bully -- a child who had frequently picked on and beat up a mother's own children. Yes, the number of moms ready to sacrifice for such a child would diminish in such circumstances.
Here it should be noted that Jesus Christ, God's innocent Son, came into this world to give His life to save sinners.
* In so doing, Jesus gave His life to rescue the worst of us, and not just the best.
* He came to redeem the ungrateful, as well as those who were naturally appreciative.
* He came for those who had spent most of their lifetime rejecting and mocking Him, as well as those who can never remember a time when Jesus hadn't been their Savior.
In other words, no matter who you are, no matter what your circumstance or situation, Jesus came to forgive your sins, save your soul, and offer you eternal life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I make no claim to being the best person this world has produced. My sins are many, and I am unable to change the smallest of them. Today I give thanks You were willing to live and die to save me. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries