Yesterday, we celebrated Memorial Day. And as my family and I stood with hand over heart, singing the National Anthem, with eyes lifted to the flag at half mast atop a ride a Carowinds, some people in the park seemed oblivious as they walked towards their next ride. However, as they encountered more and more people with eyes lifted up, still and motionless, with hand over heart all facing the same direction motionless — some of them seemingly awoke from their distraction, adapted and participated in this beautiful moment honoring our nation’s fallen heroes on this special day. However, some sped on by, hoping to take advantage of this moment and maybe get a little further ahead in the line they were headed to. I was tempted to begrudge or judge them, but they were the ones missing out, not us.As I again thought of Michael Adams, little brother to one of my closest and best friends in high school and college, who lost his life while serving in the military so early in his life — I realized again how beautiful this verse is from the book of John:
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 ESV
Michael, and so many other young men, have given their lives throughout the years sho that we might have freedom. Sho that we might enjoy this life that we have today. And Jesus Christ died on the cross to give us an even greater freedom — the freedom to “lay down or own lives” by dying daily to our passions and desires and testifying to the grace and glory of God as a witness to our friends, so that they might know such freedom — so that they might look up from their rushed lives, trying so hard to get ahead, to recognize the peaceful, reverent lives of believers with eyes lifted to Jesus, so that they too might choose to participate and not miss out and a beautiful opportunity.Our family devotional this morning offered us the opportunity for some good conversation on this topic:And we talked about the fact that even though we may not immediately see the impact of our witness and our testimony, that we must continue to sow the seed of the good news of Jesus Christ — with our words, and also especially with our lives, so that it clearly demonstrates to others this hope and joy that we have found.
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:24 ESV
My wife had just shared this image recently on Facebook, and we mentioned and discussed the truth about sowing seeds and trusting the Lord to do His work in the lives of others in His time:And just as we finished up our lesson, Mia found that Pompom, our pomeranian, had torn up another one of her dog toys — a skunk’s bottom that she had torn open and pulled out its insides. My wife takes these toys repeatedly and sets them aside until she has time to sow them up and give them back to Pompom later to play with. Mia said excitedly, “That’s like our lesson today! Mommy has to sow before Pompom gets to enjoy them!”Yes, Christians, we have to sow before they can benefit. Instead of being complacent and “never getting around to it” we must be eagerly awaiting the right opportunity to share our faith, and we must care enough about THEIR eternity enough to live consistently in a peculiar and different, set apart way that is consistently a demonstration of Christ in us sho that there is something to be noticed, to be seen, to be questioned, to be believed when we give such a miraculous testimony of Christ come to live in us and through us.
Heavenly Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit, and to your glory and honor and the righteous testimony of Christ Jesus who is the worthy Lamb of God — help us to be bold enough to bear witness, patient enough to live a faithful testimony, and loving of you and of others enough to know and believe the value in laying down our old lives of sin to live for you and to live for them. Help us to die to self daily and live for you, and sow the seed of the gospel consistently, knowing that the gospel has eternal consequences in the lives of those who receive the seed and it grows to one day bear wonderful, beautiful, nourishing fruit into their lives and the lives of those around them. Help us, Lord. Amen.