The Mission Christ Has For Us Is Bigger And Greater Than Anything Else

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   6/25/2012

"Three choices (exist) in life: give up, give in, or give it your all."

The author to that quote is unknown, yet conveys a Biblical truth that is also captured in Sidewalk Prophets' song "Live Like That."

The song probes the priorities of the heart: "Was I love when no one else would show up?" and "Was my worship more than just a song?" The central theme of the song is found in the start of the chorus: "I want to live like that and give it all I have so that everything I say and do points to You."

Scripture points to those who gave it their all and those who chose to hold back. In Matthew 19, Jesus converses with a rich young ruler, who is seeking what he must do to be saved, but does not want to part with his possessions.

In Luke 19, Jesus interacted with a man in a similar state. Zacchaeus was also wealthy and searching for Jesus. But after encountering Him, Zacchaeus committed to give half of his possessions to the poor and return fourfold what he had stolen.

Interestingly, scripture records that the rich young ruler left with sorrow, while Zacchaeus met Jesus with joy. I think we can be assured of a similar outcome: sorrow if we cling too tightly to this earth, and joy if we submit all freely.

There are contemporary examples of giving our all. Chuck Colson laid down his fast-driven political life, Kirk Cameron risked his Hollywood reputation, and Kylie Bisutti left her coveted modeling position-- each laid down what seemed like a hard-earned prize for the sake of submitting to Jesus.

Do you think they ever regretted it?

Luke 9:24 says, "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it."

Perhaps the reason we don't want to lose ourselves in order to have more life is because it's risky. It's unappealing to the rest of the world. It comes with a cost, as described in the examples above.

This brings to mind the story of the diamond willow cross my husband made when he proposed to me.

Diamond willow wood is rather ugly and unrefined. It comes from a large, messy bush-type plant. Its grey bark is unappealing and its branches are wrought with ugly twists yielding numerous knots which would be difficult to work with for the more common woodworking projects.

This large bush is considered a nuisance to aesthetic landscapers and tidy farmers. Perhaps it serves as a snow fence to some. Regardless, my husband has no competition when he calls on someone for permission to cut a few branches off their land.

Diamond willow wood is at first sight unappealing and unrefined. But when carved and sanded, it reveals whitened wood like pine with dark red wells where the knots are. My husband uses this wood to make crosses, and he strategically places these knots at the places where Jesus' hands and feet were nailed.

If this wood could talk, would it exempt itself from being transformed? Would it consider the process too risky, too high of a cost, and settle for the grayish, unappealing tone the rest of its life? That's the choice the young ruler seemed to have made.

But as Sidewalk Prophets sang, "Is there evidence that I've been changed? When they see me, do they see You?"

When my husband proposed, he said he had a gift for me. He pulled out the cross and described the passage in Luke about laying down our lives at the foot of the cross- and that is where we'll find our treasure. My ring was hidden inside the foot of the cross- and to be honest, it was a rather sparkly treasure.

I know I have a taste of the treasures Jesus has placed at the foot of the cross-- true peace, forgiveness, grace and wisdom-- but I cannot possibly fathom it all. I can tell you this: it’s of more value than my diamond. I said yes to Ben. Now, as I bow before the cross in submission, do I trust my Savior enough to say Yes to Him?

Here is a video of the song "Live Like That"

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