The Ultimate Price

July 2, 2013

Sunday afternoon Arizona lost 19 firefighters in a forest blaze, just outside Prescott, AZ.  These firefighters paid the ultimate price in giving up their lives for the welfare of others.  They willingly entered into a danger zone to save lives and property.   They did it without giving much thought to their own preservation of life.  Around this same time, Francois Murad, a Catholic priest, entered a village in Syria in order to provide aid to the suffering there.  Muslim rebel forces fighting the Syrian government congratulated his efforts by brutally killing him and followed this up with songs and shouts to Allah.  Father Francois, like the Arizona firefighters, entered a danger zone to save others.  He had little regard for the preservation of his own life.  Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  These men demonstrated this highest form of love; they gave their life to preserve another. How about you and me?  What is our major concern in this life? Is our main impetus in life to reach out and save our brethren drowning in sin, to live out “Christ in us” and to speak to those cut off from the gospel of Christ?  Sometimes we can lose our focus.  Jesus said, as believers, we can easily veer off course when we allow the lure of riches, the desire for pleasure or the common worries of life choke His Word in our lives (Luke 8:14).  Our passion is no longer Christ or serving His kingdom.  It is replaced by that vacation home on the lake or that million dollar nest egg. The result is our spiritual growth is cut short and we never reach spiritual maturity.  The best anecdote is to follow the example of these brave men spoken of earlier.  Their focus was to live other centered lives.  What about you and me as believers?  Our focus ought to be on eternity and the riches we will receive there for living our lives for others now.  God is not against riches at all.  He just reminds us where it is best to store them if we want a true reward in the world to come (Matt. 6:19-21). He reminds us how hard it is to avoid loving them and letting our heart be divided by them (Matt. 6:24).  He reminds us to have “purses that do not wear out”.  Let us move forward cultivating hearts whose captivation is not with this earth or its possessions, but in reigning with Him in the world to come.  “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” (Rev. 22:12).