The Value of Life
August 2, 2022
“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:22-23, NIV).
I’ve treated his chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) for 10 years, and he’s doing well. In addition to full-time government employment, he’s a lay preacher. We often chat about spiritual things at the end of his visits.
“Was your father a believer?” I asked him.
“He was, but he didn’t come to Christ until he was laying on his death bed.”
He paused and added, “You know, for some time I was upset with the Lord about that. Here I was, trying to do everything God wanted for decades. My dad just lived a life for himself, but he gets the same reward I do. I finally settled on Matthew 20 and got over it.”
“Besides,” I added. “You got to spend all those years with the presence of God in your life, and your father was alone.”
He smiled, “There is that.”
What do we get from following Jesus?
We don’t escape the pain of this world. In fact, we may face more pain than others because we decide to follow Christ with risk.
We will likely gain less of the things our friends get from this life: power, prestige, possessions, pleasures.
Therefore, if we are guided by our emotions or seek utilitarian goals of more pleasure and less pain, it sems a bit foolish to follow a God we cannot see.
Where then do we find value in being disciples of Christ?
It’s hard to answer that in ways the world will understand. We need to accept that we may appear naïve or foolish (1 Corinthians 4:9-13). We need to accept it and get over it.
And then, we need to know deep in our bones that life is eternal, heaven is real and we get to be there someday. Francis Chan describes this in a YouTube video, where he takes a long rope that represents our infinite existence as Christians, stretches it across a 40-foot stage and points to a red, two-inch, tape-wrapped segment at the beginning of the rope, representing our present life on Earth. He describes how we are so often consumed by the tiny, red-taped part…focused intensely on the worries and pleasures of this very brief life, forgetting the millions and millions of years beyond that. He looks at this truth of life and adds, “And they call me stupid?”
Finally, we need to understand and grasp, with all our being, that the greatest blessing in life is God Himself. Whatever the world brings us, we can face it as Christ followers with God at our side. Seeking God’s presence and living Him out in this world should be the end goals of all that we do. I may be totally wrong, but I somewhat disagree with Paul when he said, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19, NIV).
I personally believe the presence of Christ is worth it all, even if this brief, red-taped life was all there is. Praise God there is so much more.
Thank you for you—and life forever.
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