Who are you willing to die for?
I know it’s a clicheish question, and there have been a hundred movies and a thousands books with heroes willing to die for others. But, have you ever really thought about it?
For your kids? That’s probably just a given. In fact, if its not a given as a parent you probably need to check your MOM or DAD O’ Meter. You’re obviously running low on something. Like decency.
For your spouse? Most of the time. Let’s be honest, you’d die for them any day of the week that you weren’t ready to kill them. Easy now, its completely metaphorical, an exaggeration, no worries. But, just for the record, Kat has showed me the spots in the backyard where she’ll bury me if I don’t watch it. If I ever go missing someone just remember this post… please.
Extended family? Well, I guess we decide this one based on whether we’re talking about in laws or out laws. Kind of a sliding scale in this arena for most.
Would you die for your friends? For a few I’m sure, but which ones? I would guess the ones who know too much about you. You need to be a martyr for them to make sure the guilt keeps them quiet.
Truth is, most of us don’t know, and never will, because talk is cheap and we really couldn’t make that decision until an actual life is on the line.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly where the Apostle Paul found himself in Romans 9:1-3:
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Wow, if you didn’t catch that, Paul said he wasn’t just willing to die for his fellow Israelites. He was willing to go to Hell in their place, if they would just turn to Jesus.
In my Bible, I have written a little note out to the side of these verses: “Wow, not it!”
Paul was standing on some solid ground, from heroes he’d read about in his past. For example, in Exodus 32:31-32 the story of Moses has a similar ring:
So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.”
These guys were the real deal. Willing to lose their lives, their ministries, their very souls for the sake of others.
I have to ask a question of the church today, who do we love like that?
Our church is considered to be quite successful. Annually we see growth rates of 10-30% and always hear stories about changed lives. But, in reality, those numbers indicate only one thing.
We are broken.
When did 10-30% start becoming good news? It’s a cop out, an excuse, it’s success by comparison only.
“Yeah, we are healthier than the other sick people!”
It may sound preposterous to some, but a real sign of a healthy church begins at a 100% growth rate. That’s when everyone in the house is reproducing themselves spiritually just like the great commission says.
Our churches should be doubling every year, not inching forward like glacial ice packs.
But, this will not happen unless one thing changes: We have to start loving the lost so much… we’d die for them.
God is able, the time is now, the harvest is ready!
But we (including this blogger) are too complacent, lazy and worst of all… satisfied.
I pray for you and I, that God would mess us up.
That we’d fall passionately in love with everyone on our block.
Or, we’d be overwhelmed with concern for every employee, every student and every parent connected to that school down the street.
Or, maybe we’d lose ourselves in another culture and even begin to feel our home is now somewhere else. In a place, with a people, for a calling that you’d be willing to die for.
God, please make us a people with so much to live for, we’d be willing to die for others just to share it with them.