Today’s Thought – Are you dead?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 18, 2010
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)
Let me ask you a question: “Are you dead?” Let me explain: While a lot of people do not place a very big premium on the unborn, they sure love the lives they live. So much so that they will do almost anything to extend them from losing weight, exercising, taking vitamin supplements, to making sure they only eat “natural” or organic food. However, this being the 30th anniversary of when Mt. St. Helens blew here in Southwest Washington, I am reminded of a lot of folks who did not care about their lives very much. In fact, some of them had petitioned the US Government so they could go in a get their belongings out of the blast zone just the day before the volcano blew sky high. Then there was Harry Truman, not the respected President, but the mean old drunken codger who vehemently refused to leave “his mountain” and ended up being buried under 300 feet of hot volcanic ash and debris. I met Harry on several differing occasions and each time he was usually in a drunken fit cussing some poor soul out that happened to get in his way that day. So, I find it interesting how people place a value on their lives.
For Harry, his life was his lodge by Spirit Lake. And he lost his life foolishly thinking that the mountain would never blow him away. When Jesus told his disciples, they needed to deny themselves in order to follow him I bet immediately there were those who wondered what he met. Jesus begins to elucidate by telling them just what the cost of denying oneself is in order to follow him.
If you want to try and save your life by following Jesus, forget it. You have to be willing to lose it for him and the gospel’s sake. You have to be willing to let Jesus save your life, die to yourself, and lose it all for the good news message of Jesus. Here is where many folks, including some pastors I know, blow it like old Harry did. They are trusting in their gut feeling instead of giving themselves completely away and trusting the one who knows best. The gospel is the good news of Jesus being the long awaited Messiah. The kingdom of God had come to earth and God’s one and only son was walking among men giving them the good news. If you try to save anything in your old life and try to hang onto the gospel at the same time, you will lose it. However, if you willingly give everything in your life away for Jesus and his message, you will live forever. Now I am not talking about taking a vow of poverty, wearing gunnysacks, and sandals. I am talking about seeing your life as nothing compared to knowing the Messiah and his message. Jesus is the Messiah, there is no other. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by him. (John 14:6)
No Joseph Smith, no Mohamed, no Gandhi, or Buddha, Krishna, or Mary Kate and Ashley will save anyone ever. You cannot save yourself. There is nothing anyone can do except accept the fact that in order to save their life, they must lose it to Jesus. Does that mean I have to give up and surrender my life to someone I cannot see, feel, or hear. Absolutely! Faith, by its very nature “is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Dear child of the Lord, are you dead? If you are still struggling with seeing your old life as dead you can never live for the Lord.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission. You now have my permission…