“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
This is the stuck place we find ourselves. And the church has used these two ends as motivational factors–the reward of heaven and the hatch of death, trying to push us out in faith. Preachers either preach avoid hell, or prosperity promises, but fail to touch on the real motivator: a heart transformed by Christ.
My boys have learned to write their names, and there is this primordial joy in their eyes that they can now place their names on things. They can begin to participate in man’s endless desire to leave their mark on something. They have tapped into this yearning to be immortal. We all do.
Want to get a pulse for faith in America? Look at the religion section at Walmart and Target. I did it a few weeks ago and was startled by the amount of books (and subsequently movies) about Heaven.
There is a deep longing for the immortal, we crave it but also as life progresses we have to come to grips with our mortality. We balance our immortal wishes with our mortal limitations.
This begins to shape the legacy we want to leave. Every man longs to leave a legacy. Daniel Levinson found that
men want to leave a trace, however small, on the course of humankind.
What we leave becomes our symbol of ultimate value. It may be familial based, it may be material (a building with his name on it or a sidewalk with his graffiti on it), societal or occupational. Whatever it is, we hunger to leave our mark on something.
The Gospel, however, should kill this longing–or more literally–crucify it. Publicly, humiliatingly displaying our sinful need to find value in our feeble attempts. It should motivate us that apart from Christ we should want to leave no trace.
Galatians 2:20~~I have been crucified with Christ, that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and died for me.
At our baptism we have already gone into the waters of our death, that we might rise to a new life in Christ. This life we live now in our body is no longer ours, but His. The fear of death should no longer hold us back, nor the allure of battling for immortality. Those things have been secured for us through Christ. That frees us up to live for today. It allows us to Trust God & Enjoy Today.
Each day, we should be awakening with less of ourselves on display and seeking to show more of Christ.
This month I have been praying John the Baptist’s words for myself: “I must decrease so He may increase.”
God’s story should tell us two things: 1) Don’t worry about death because God’s got it covered for you, 2) Now go get after it today for if God thought it was important enough to incarnate this world do not waste your day figuring out who will get the next rose, which soy milk is hormone free, how to save .4% on taxes or reading a blog.
Once more into the fray..
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know
Live and Die on this day
Live and Die on this day