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Tag: Life

The Ultimate Price

Have you ever considered the possibility that God might call you to give up your life? To pay the ultimate price? We’re exploring this very issue this week as we continue our Giving Up series at worship. Read on for this week’s front page article in the announcements.

What is more important to you than life itself? For what are you willing to die? These questions are at the core of what it means to walk with Jesus.

Thankfully, you aren’t often faced with the opportunity to choose between your life and something you believe strongly in. But Jesus calls you to be ready to give up everything, including your life, in service to Him:

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Following Jesus comes with a steep price. He might not call you to a physical death, but He is calling you to deny yourself. Maybe that’s a steeper price. Being willing to die is a one-time decision if you choose death. Continually giving up your life—letting God be in complete control—now that’s a tall order. Of course, giving up our lives is the only way to have life:

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake
will find it. Matthew 16:25

Your only hope for true life is giving up your life completely to Jesus. It means placing Him first in everything, not just where it’s convenient.

Life in Death

We start a new sermon series this week title Pain Killer. It’s a series about bringing our pain to Jesus. This week we look at the pain of loss. The front cover of the announcements this week follows.

Death is ever-present. From the moment we’re born, we are moving closer and closer towards death. Babies who warm hearts with their giggles and smiles are moving towards death. Preschoolers, despite their wild play, laughter and energy, are moving towards death. Teens, adults, seniors—we’re all inching closer to death every day of our lives.

Death seems so final. On the one hand, we know that there is life in Jesus for those who trust completely in Him. We’ve heard Jesus’ words to Martha before:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

And yet, believing and dealing with the pain of loss are two completely different things. Death seems so final because it’s the end of our time with our loved one. There’s life to come, yes, but we’re still stuck with the stark reality that we will never see our beloved child, wife, husband, mother or father again here on earth. Jesus, the very Son of God, wept at the loss of His friend Lazarus—and Jesus even knew He would raise his friend from the dead!

So how do we cope with the pain of loss? The pain so deep and sharp that it threatens to overwhelm us and pull us under the waterline, drowning in it. We bring it to Jesus, the one who understands our pain. The one who understands and walks through the pain with us. The one who understands and brings life through death. The one who is life.

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