Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bloodstained Royalty

I'm a little nostalgic right now because I just visited a website that paid tribute to the wife of a dear friend of mine who died in a plane crash two years ago (that makes two pastor friends of mine who have lost their wives under tragic circumstances in their forties, in two years). She was an amazing woman and was unquestionably the most well known and well liked female preacher in Nigeria. The website served as a reminder for me of the legacy that she has left for posterity. People who never personally met her spoke in glowing terms of the impact she had had on their lives and of how they had shed more tears than they knew was possible, at the news of her death.

Death, tears, impacting legacies. Talking about these things serves to remind me of the greatest legacy of all. "Bloodstained royalty. A God with tears. A creator with a heart. God became earth's mockery to save His children." These words were penned by one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado. Ultimately it is a sacrifice motivated by love. My friends wife had a great mentor in learning to give so freely of herself until she gave the ultimate: her life. God Himself has set the example of giving. A King who, motivated by love, would shed His blood for His citizens so that they wouldn't have to pay the deserved penalty for their sins. "This doesn't make sense to the natural thinking person," I hear you say. Well, welcome to the club of the initiated. You're not the first one to have received that "revelation" and chances are you won't be the last. Listen to what the Bible has to say about that subject;

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (I Corinthians 1: 18)

I am challenged daily with the question, how much is too much to sacrifice for the people I love, whether that be my wife, my children or the church I am privileged to pastor? I might have had a "canned" answer to that question just a couple of short years ago, but now I can truly look you in the eye, and with all the gusto I can muster, I would shout resoundingly "there's nothing that I am not willing to sacrifice, not even my life, for the ones that I have been called to love and serve." I know it sounds dramatic, quite like the stuff of movies, but it is the truth and I can't help but say it. My prayer is that, like my friends wife, when my scene is done on the stage of life, and I make my grand exit, the legacy I leave behind will be one that suggests a life that gave more than it took. I'm working hard to ensure that that's the case no matter what others may think or say to the contrary!

2 comments:

Chilly Chilton said...

Great thoughts and challenge. A quote that I often say/think is: 'What one man calls sacrifice, another man calls joy' - I've found this to be so true in our journey.

God bless!

Joseph said...

Chilly,

Thanks for your kind comments. It is true that a revelation of the joy in the journey helps us put a new face on our circumstances.