TO DIE FOR…

“Ooh, that car is to die for!”  “You have to get that dress, it’s to die for!”  “Your home is so gorgeous, it’s to die for!”  We often to use this phrase to declare that something is the best life has to offer.  But, is it? 

Our Psalmist has different ideas about what is to die for.  “We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.  Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.”  I know these words are not what we want to hear at the start of a new day with our “Daily Manna” from God.  But read all the words.  He is trying to get people to understand the folly of self-help, self-drive or self-anything.  It all ends in self-death.  Just death.

What are you thinking about or doing now, right now, that is “to die for”? 

I have a friend, Mike, who I met at our church while serving on hospitality teams.  He faithfully stood at the east door and welcomed all who entered with a hearty handshake and hello.  He brought two friends from his motorcycle club to come help him.  He wanted his friends to know and follow Jesus, too.  That’s how he got them to come, he asked them to serve with him.  Mike, a nurse practitioner, worked during the week at our local hospital.  When COVID hit and families couldn’t go in with their loved ones, Mike offered to be a guardian angel and check on their person and report back to the family. “Just call me and let me know”, said Mike. Mike is larger than life, loving to all and flexible, willing to help in all kinds of ways.  He’s not about self, he’s about others.  He loves Jesus and we all know it.

Over the past few months, Mike has had two heart attacks.  One last summer and one in the fall.  His heart is now failing him to the point doctors can no longer help him.  Mike lays in hospice waiting for a natural passing from this life to the one God has promised.  He is assured of where He is going next.  BUT, while he waits, he is one of our best online greeters for our church.  BUT wait, there’s more.  Mike has been giving out “Your Best Life Ever” bracelets (our churches’ way of promoting salvation at the moment) to all who come to visit or care for him while he is in his last days in hospice.  He is still serving as Jesus’ representative here on earth.

I ask this question of myself, again, and hope you will ask yourself the same as you read this morning.

What are you thinking about or doing now, right now, that is “to die for”?

Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs

Psalm 49, The Message

1-2 Listen, everyone, listen—
    earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves
    and have-nots,
All together now: listen.

3-4 I set plainspoken wisdom before you,
    my heart-seasoned understandings of life.
I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise,
    I solve life’s riddle with the help of a harp.

5-6 So why should I fear in bad times,
    hemmed in by enemy malice,
Shoved around by bullies,
    demeaned by the arrogant rich?

7-9 Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue,
    pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means,
    and even then it doesn’t guarantee
Life forever, or insurance
    against the Black Hole.

10-11 Anyone can see that the brightest and best die,
    wiped out right along with fools and dunces.
They leave all their prowess behind,
    move into their new home, The Coffin,
The cemetery their permanent address.
    And to think they named counties after themselves!

12 We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

13-15 This is what happens to those who live for the moment,
    who only look out for themselves:
Death herds them like sheep straight to hell;
    they disappear down the gullet of the grave;
They waste away to nothing—
    nothing left but a marker in a cemetery.
But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death,
    he reaches down and grabs me.

16-19 So don’t be impressed with those who get rich
    and pile up fame and fortune.
They can’t take it with them;
    fame and fortune all get left behind.
Just when they think they’ve arrived
    and folks praise them because they’ve made good,
They enter the family burial plot
    where they’ll never see sunshine again.

20 We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

TRUTH:  Know what Mike knows, “We aren’t immortal.  We don’t last long.” Self-rescue is futile.  Have you tried to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, it’s physically impossible!  God sent His Son to save us and to give us eternal life with Him in a place of peace where there’s no more tears, troubles, confusion, sickness or…death.  Jesus defeated death, once and for all, going to hell and back for us, because of a love that was to die for!  God’s love for us.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  WE were to die for…

“But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death, he reaches down and grabs me.”

Mike knows this, I know this, do you?  If not, pray right now, don’t waste another precious minute! Ask Jesus to forgive you of all your sins.  Done.  “As far as the east is from the west”, your sins are gone, never to be remembered by God again.  You have nothing to lose and LIFE forever to gain.  Die to sin.  Live for Jesus.  That is to die for…

Proverb 18:10-12, The Message

God’s name is a place of protection—
    good people can run there and be safe.

11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
    they imagine themselves safe behind it.

12 Pride first, then the crash,
    but humility is precursor to honor.

WISDOM:  Run to God and stay there.  Ask God what He wants for what He wants for us is always the best.  Humble ourselves before our Father, God, the Creator of all, the God who saved us through His Son.

Abba Father,

YOU are God and we are not.  We can do nothing of significance without You.  You are the reason we live and breathe.  You want the best for us.  Only fools run from you. I do not want to be found among the foolish but to be found committed to you, in your care and keeping.  Thank you for helping me realize that I my soul was worth it to die for.  Thank you, Jesus for dying for me so that I can live forever with you. 

#forgiven  #forever

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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