Who Are You Willing to Die For?
Mentoring Manna: Who are you willing to die for?
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Who would you die for? John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Who would you be willing to die for? Your mother? Father? Wife? Children? Friend? Stranger? Country? Few would be willing to die for another. Even if we were willing to die for someone, we would want to make sure that person was really worth the sacrifice. Some who have become willing to lay down their lives for others are our military personnel. Although it is not inevitable that they will die, the risk comes with the job. However, as a rule they are not laying down their life for an individual, but for their country and for a cause. They are willing to die for what they believe in. They are willing to die for freedom. They are willing to die so that future generations can be free and safe. It is true it is easier to motivate people to die for a cause than for an individual. Dying for an individual requires love for that individual. But Jesus died for you and me. The reason was His love for us: “Greater LOVE has no man than this…” Without love, our death, no matter how it might benefit others, profits us nothing in God’s eyes. “and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). In this verse, Paul was speaking of those who might be burned alive for the cause of Christ. While the willingness to die for a belief, a conviction, or an ideal is noble, the greatest motive for giving our life is love. Otherwise we may die just to demonstrate our resistance or defiance toward those who would carry out the execution. Jesus never stopped loving the ones who were crucifying Him. Unknown to them, He was hanging on that cross for them. Many claim that they would die for Christ. Although we may one day be faced with that choice, giving our lives one time in death might be the easy way out. The greatest challenge is to “die daily” for those around us. John the Apostle tells us, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”(1 John 4:10-11) How do we die daily? We do it through self-denial and service toward others. It is making the choice to give our life so that others might live. It may include giving up our dream in order to help another obtain theirs. How many parents worked much harder than they had to in order to give their child the greatest chance to pursue his or her dream in life? In the process of laying their own dreams, God gave them a dream for their child. The same is true for those who give their lives for others. It is in losing and in dying daily to our own personal dreams that we are infused with a dream for others. Our dream is not lost. No it is multiplied! Great leaders do not have great dreams for themselves; they had great dreams for others! Acts of unselfish love are the hallmarks of their achievement and success. Only when love takes over do we begin to live---truly LIVE! Now, back to the question. Who am I willing to die for? The answer may be found in answering the question, “Who am I willing to live for?” The degree of God’s love within us is measured by our answer.
Application: Re-evaluate the motives behind your dreams, the way you spend your time and money, the way you work, and the choices you make. Are they self-centered or are they investing in making the dreams of others come true? Our life is like a seed. We can hold on to it and refuse to give it away, or we can let go of our life and let it become a seed. Our lives have the potential to be multiplied when we give it away. Trade in selfish-centered living for a bigger goal. Give your life for others and, in doing so, find it---being multiplied in others.
Prayer: “Father, take my life as a seed and plant it. I choose to give my life daily for Your sake and for others. Help me to do it with a heart of love. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!”
We love you!
Pastors Keith & Sheila
P.O. Box 260
Rusk, Texas 75785