(Paul said) "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
There are some things in life worth dying for, wouldn't you agree? In fact, when we get that idea straight in our hearts and minds that often is the beginning of really starting to live, here and now.
For those in our military, that theme is a pretty basic one. For those in law enforcement, that's part of the job too. The soldier goes to battle; the police officer goes to work, both are willing to lay their lives on the line because your life matters to them -- because people's peace and safety matter to them. It's worth the risk!
I was reminded of the fact that there are some things worth dying for when I heard this story. It is a story of the sacrificial friendship of two guys in World War I. They were inseparable. They had enlisted together, trained together, were shipped overseas together, and fought side by side in the trenches. During an attack, one of the men was critically wounded in a field filled with barbed-wire obstacles, and he was unable to crawl back to his foxhole. The entire area was under a withering enemy crossfire, and it was suicidal to try to reach him. Yet his good friend couldn't just leave him there and decided to try and go get him. Before he could get out of his own trench, his sergeant yanked him back inside and ordered him not to go. "It's too late" he said. "You can't do him any good, and you'll only get yourself killed too."
A few minutes later, the officer turned his back, and instantly the man jumped out of his foxhole and took off after his friend. A few minutes later, he staggered back to the foxhole, mortally wounded, with his friend, now dead, in his arms. The sergeant was both angry and deeply moved. "What a waste," he blurted out. "He's dead and now you're dying. It just wasn't worth it."
With almost his last breath, the dying man replied, "Oh, yes, it was, Sarge. When I got to him, the only thing he said was, 'I knew you'd come, Jim! I knew you'd come.'"
One of the great things that makes the Bible unique is the picture it paints of a God who cares for you; not just to comfort you when you are dying, but to give you life and salvation forever in Him. The Bible is a book about God in action for you! Its main message is about a God who comes looking for you when you are lost, a God who sacrifices Himself for you so you might live forever in Him. Just as the Bible says, God the Father sent His Son so that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life! (See John 3:16.)
God said, out of love, "Dying for you ... it was worth it!" Now, that sergeant had a point from his perspective. He lost two good men in that battle. But even on that battlefield there was a bigger issue than just winning a battle for the day. There was the issue of the preciousness of even one life, treating a person's life with love and concern, even though the cost was great. Jim's friend died, but he didn't die alone; he died in the arms of his buddy who loved him. God's promise to you today is in Jesus that is for you by faith, you do not live alone; you will not die alone; you will always be in the loving arms of a Savior who didn't just say it, He proved it. Dying for you, to make eternal life possible -- for Him for you -- it was worth it!
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, don't let me ever be so consumed with the trivial matters of this life that I forget that life is precious, and there are some things worth living for, even worth dying for. Help me remember what's most important in my life: faith in You and fervent love for others. Amen!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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